Movie Marathon almost Foiled / The Black Swan / Tron: Legacy / The Tourist / Scrooged / For Colored Girls / The Nutcracker 3D

Movie Marathon almost Foiled / The Black Swan / Tron: Legacy / The Tourist  / Scrooged / For Colored Girls / The Nutcracker 3D

So I’m a little behind on my Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man Blog. December 2010 has been a little bittersweet, so I’ve been very preoccupied. It started with the death of my mother. My girlfriend Jane and I made an unscheduled visit to my hometown of Santa Barbara for this. And on Christmas Eve I proposed marriage to Jane. She said yes and made me a very lucky man. More on these life changing events later. I have still found time to see movies during these events of course, well because that’s what I do. I’m gonna split these blog events into a couple of posts. So now lets get caught up.

Wednesday December 8th, 2010

Today I talked to my girlfriend Jane about watching a holiday movie with me. Every Christmas I get into the holiday mood by watching a few of my favorite Christmas movies. Some of the movies on this rotation are A Christmas Story (1983) about Ralphie’s quest to get his Red Rider BB gun, the original Miracle on 34th Street (1947) and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) which I try to watch first or right after Thanksgiving. I recently added Elf (2003) to my Christmas rotation. But my favorite Christmas movie of all time is Scrooged (1988) starring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe and Alfre Woodard. Bill Murray plays a cynically selfish TV executive gets haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve. This is my favorite version of the Charles Dickens classic. This movie holds a special place in my heart because I saw this movie originally in the theater with my mother back in 1988. We went to our favorite theater in Santa Barbara California called The Arlington Theater. My mom took me to many movies when I was a kid and this movie stands out as one of my favorite movie experiences with my mom. In the last couple of days my moms deteriorating health caught up with her and she was taken to the hospital. Since I couldn’t be with her at this time I wanted to watch this movie in her honor. Jane and her father agreed to watch the movie with me and give prayers to her health. Later I called my mom and spoke to her while she was in her hospital bed. Although she wasn’t 100 percent coherent she could understand me. I told her I loved her and that I watched the movie Scrooged with Jane and what this movie meant a lot to me because of the memories I had with her watching it for the first time. At this time my father and I were told that although my mother was in serious condition there was a strong chance she would pull out of this. It turns out that this would not be the case and that phone call would be the last time I would talk to my mother.  She passed away almost a week later. Scrooged is one of those movies that still gets me to tear up at the end. Next Christmas season I will watch this movie in honor of my mother and this movie will always be dear to my hear, just as she was.

Thursday December 9th, 2010

Today I planned a four-movie marathon that would end with a midnight premiere. Because I had a free Regal movie pass from last week when my girlfriend Jane and her daughter Little C and I left the movie Tangled early I decided to do this movie marathon at the biggest Regal multiplex. The one thing that Regal does have over AMC is the large size popcorn. You get more cause its served in the tub instead of the bag that AMC does.

The first movie I saw today was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010). This was the second time I have seen this movie. I really liked this movie adaptation better than most of the Harry Potter movies. The one scene I really wish the movie had was the Dudley scene. I liked the part in the book when Harry’s cousin Dudley shows concern for Harry’s safety and well being for the first time. It’s a touching scene in the book and shows a turning point in Dudley’s character. I thought they could have added a quick 5 to 10 seconds of the movie showing Dudley looking back over his shoulder giving a nod to Harry. Maybe this will be a deleted scene.

The second movie I saw was Red (2010) I really enjoyed this movie the first time I saw it. It was very funny as well as action packed with a great cast. I think I might be getting this movie on blu-ray when it hits the shelf.

Ok, here is where things almost got sticky and I almost had my movie marathon foiled by a theater staff personnel. The next movie I planned to see was The Nutcracker in 3D (2010) (aka: The Curse of the Rat King). Since I had my own 3D glasses I headed into the theater to take my seat. However I noticed that I was the only person in the theater. About 10 minutes after the scheduled start time I was still the only person in the theater. Shortly afterwards a guy dressed in a theater manager black suit asked me for my ticket stub. I had a ticket stub, but it said Harry Potter on it. But I did have a full bag of popcorn and a large drink in my hand. So I told him I must have left my ticket at the concession stand. He said this showing had been cancelled as well as the later afternoon showings cause the screen had a tear in it. He then got on the radio and asked another manager if any tickets had been sold for tonight’s cancelled show this evening. The voice on the radio said no. In my quick thinking I realized something. All of the staff currently working now in the evening was not on the morning shift when I started my movie marathon. So I told the guy I had bought my ticket for The Nutcracker in 3D this morning about 11am cause I thought the show might sell out tonight. He bought my story cause apparently he knew the ticket taker didn’t know this show was cancelled and there were other 3D shows playing and 3D glassed were being giving out by this ticket taker. He offered to let me go see another movie in the theater free of charge. I said sure! As we walked out of the theater he headed left towards the main lobby I turned right towards other theaters. I wanted to get away from this guy and didn’t want him to see which theater I went into to in case my story didn’t pan out. It was around 10pm at this time and I didn’t have a lot of choices so I went to see a movie I normally wouldn’t see.

So the next film I saw was For Colored Girls (2010) starring Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Thandie Newton, Phylicia Rashad and Whoopi Goldberg. Each of the women portray one of the characters represented in the collection of twenty poems, revealing different issues that impact women in general and women of color in particular. OK, too be honest, this isn’t my type of movie to voluntarily see, but I have to admit it was a good cast of great actresses. The acting was very good. However this movie was very, very depressing. Its not a pick me upper. However this movie ended by midnight, which gave me the time I needed to pad to see the midnights premiere of the next film.

So the next movie I saw was the midnight premiere of The Tourist (2010) starring Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany and Timothy Dalton. This story revolves around Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Elise is an extraordinary and mysterious woman who deliberately crosses his path. The movie previews of this film want to make you believe that it is some kind of international spy thriller. This movie is anything but. This movie is a boring suck ass waste of time. Although the film was shot on location in Italy, which was the only redeeming quality of this movie, it seemed like half the film was about watching Angelina Jolie’s character who was always well dressed in the latest fashion stroll the Italian streets wile looking good. Boring.  This movie is a waste of time; don’t let it waste your time.

Tuesday December 14th, 2010.

While I was at work I got a call from my dad that my mom had taken a turn for the worst. I called Jane and she agreed to meet me at my place after work. She asked about booking plane tickets for the both of us to Santa Barbara California right away. I said yes and she got on it right away. Her father donated his Delta frequent flyer mileage to reduce the cost of the ticket, which was expensive. We decided to catch an early morning flight about 8am, which will get us into California early due to the time change. Jane agreed to pick my up on the way to the airport.  It was a nice surprise when her mother, father and daughter all showed up to pick me up. Our flight was somewhat uneventful, but our problems started after we landed.

Wednesday December 15th, 2010.

After we landed in Los Angeles we found out that our baggage was not on our flight. But might be on the next flight in an hour. We agreed to wait. I called the hospital and was told that my mom was stable and we should have time to still drive up and see her. Jane’s luggage arrived on the next plane but mine didn’t. So I had to fill out a Delta missing luggage form and arranged to have it delivered to my dad’s house in Santa Barbara. This delayed us another 2 hours. After we got our rental car we headed to Santa Barbara. I called my dad and told him what time we would pick him up. However when Jane and I pulled up in my parent’s driveway I found my dad waiting for us, crying. My dad had just received a call from the hospital saying my mom had just passed away. We missed her by 20 minutes. Damn you Delta. We then went to the hospital to see my mom. It was an emotional visit to say the least. Jane was great to both my dad and me. My dad and her hit it off. During my weeklong visit I helped my dad getting my mom’s ashes together and setting him up with a lawyer to assist with the financial duties. Because the weather was bad all week long in Santa Barbara my dad and I decided to split up my moms ashes as I would take my half back with me to Atlanta. While I was in Santa Barbara I still had time to introduce Jane to my friends and family. I of course also had time to see movies.

Thursday December 16th, 2010, Santa Barbara, California

Before things took a turn for the worst with my mom I had pre-purchased tickets and made plans to see the new Tron movie in Atlanta with my friend David in IMAX 3D. However since I was in Santa Barbara it turned out that there was a midnight 3D showing of TRON: Legacy (2010) at my favorite theater called The Arlington.

Tron stars Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges. The best thing about seeing this midnight showing was going with my old friend Cat whom I’ve know for a very long time. He is one of my long time and original movie buddies. He used to work here at the famous Arlington Theater and arranged to let me get a hold of one of the original marquee letters for the first letter in my fist name. I still have it in my possession. Cat brought along his roommate to the show too. I enjoyed this long awaited sequel. I liked the special effects and enjoyed the direction the story went. It was nice to see the return of original Tron actors Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges. My only issue with the film was that parts of the film were not shot in 3D. So I don’t think the extra charge of the ticket for 3D isn’t worth it. Seeing it in 2D is just fine.

Saturday December 18th, 2010, Santa Barbara, California

One of the movies that is getting a lot of buzz this Holiday season is Black Swan (2010) starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder. This movie is a thriller that zeros in on the relationship between a veteran ballet dancer and a rival. This movie buzz is getting help due to the Golden Globe awards it has received. This movie was playing at an old Santa Barbara venue called The Riviera Theater. It’s a one-screen theater hidden in the hills of Santa Barbara. Its one of those theaters that mostly plays artsy fartsy films. We had just been down south to visit my brother and arrived an hour early to the first showing today. We were the first ones in the empty theater. However when the movie started it was 95 % full. The buzz on this movie in Santa Barbara was larger than I expected. As for the movie itself, it was a two-hour mind fuck that was very depressing. I’m baffled why all of the critics think this suckfest of a movie is so good. I think there is something called critic peer pressure. I think if one well-known critic likes a movie other critics ride the coat tails to get their articles and blogs read and posted. The only convincing thing this movie showed was how well Natalie Portman trained to be a ballerina. She was very convincing. Otherwise the movie was very disappointing and confusing. I think my girlfriend Jane said it best as were leaving the theater “What the hell did we just see?”

On my next post, more movies and an engagement! – Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  168

  • February           2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 18
  • June                 2010: Movies Seen: 19
  • July                  2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • August             2010: Movies Seen: 21
  • September       2010: Movies Seen: 17
  • October           2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • November       2010: Movies Seen: 13
  • December       2010: Movies Seen: 10

1 Response to “Movie Marathon almost Foiled / The Black Swan / Tron: Legacy / The Tourist / Scrooged / For Colored Girls / The Nutcracker 3D”

  1. December 28, 2010 at 2:04 am

    I STILL have no idea what we saw. No Fucking clue. The popcorn was good though, and we did get a break from 2 hours of a rainy day in Santa Barbara. You’re right- December has been bitter-sweet. It was an honor to be with you in Santa Barbara. I love your family and your awesome friends, and am still blown away by the beautiful coast and vegetation in California. I am mostly blown away by a certain proposal on Christmas Eve. Thank you for giving me the most magical Christmas of my life, dear SP. Love you.

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