Archive for February, 2011


#199, The 40 Year Old Rocky Horror Picture Show Virgin / #200, Airplane! Atlanta GA.

#199, The 40 Year Old Rocky Horror Picture Show Virgin / #200, Airplane! Atlanta GA.

So I’ve been a busy man. I have an upcoming wedding in a couple of weeks and I moved in with my fiancé and my soon to be stepdaughter. As you can imagine this has sucked up most of my free time recently so I haven’t posted a movie blog in a while.

I know that my loyal Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man fans have been wondering if I had made my goal of seeing 200 movies in the theater with in a calendar year. I was sitting on 198 the last time I updated you and the deadline at the end of January 2011 was looming with only a few days left. Since I had seen most of the movies currently out and I didn’t want to just see another movie I had already seen to hit the 200-movie mark. I wanted to make the last two movies interesting. For movie #199 I wanted it to be more an event than just sitting and watching a movie. So I decided to see a movie I had many opportunities to see over the past 20 years but never had and to be honest was a little apprehensive to see.

Sat Jan 29th, 2011, 12:00 midnight

I decided it was time for me to finally see The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) on the big screen. It stars Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick. This cult classic is about a newly engaged couple that has a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. In my hometown of Santa Barbara, CA they had a weekly midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at one of the local theaters. I had many friends that attended this every week including my friends Cat and Jennifer. I had seen the movie on VHS around this time because the idea of being hazed as a virgin seeing it for the first time in the theater didn’t appeal to me. Being in my late teens early 20’s I was a little more close-minded then too. I admit it, I was afraid to go. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate these types of events more.

Here in Atlanta they have a great loyal Rocky Horror Picture Show gathering Fridays at midnight at one of the local landmark theaters called The Plaza Theater  

The Plaza Theater is locally owned by Gayle Rej and Jonathan Rej. I decided to take the plunge and take in this midnights show.

Plaza Owners Gayle Rej and Jonathan Rej

I wasn’t feeling well at the time cause I was coming down with bronchitis. But I was determined to get my last two movies in. I arrived fashionably late so I could avoid the local every week crowds waiting to get in. After I bought my ticket I went to the men’s bathroom. I knew it was going to be an interesting evening when I found two woman checking their costumes and makeup in the men’s room. They both made the long drive from South Carolina to see the show tonight. After I took care of my business I took a seat near the back of the theater.

Before the movie started they did a raffle for many cheesy but fun prizes. The theater was at about 90% occupancy.

The Rocky Horror crowd is gettin' ready

Many of the theatergoers were in costume. The energy was high and a lot of fun. Before the movie started they asked all of the Rocky Horror virgins like myself to stand up and take the “virgin oath”. After we pledged our oath it was time for the show to start. When the movie started the local cast took to the front stage right before the screen to act out the movie. The local cast was a lot of fun to see. They played their parts well. There was also additional cast / volunteer people in the isles adding to the theater atmosphere with props and funny jokes and other humorous related verbal cheers. I must say I was very impressed with this local Atlanta GA Rocky Horror Picture Show event. I had a lot of fun still being under the weather. If you’re in the Atlanta area and a Rocky veteran or virgin do yourself a favor and check out this awesome group of people.

Sat Jan 29th, 1pm

Last nights Rocky Horror Picture show kept me up till about 2:30 or 3:00am. I slept in somewhat but I still wasn’t feeling well. Today I had only one thing on my mind…. Getting to 200. Well I had another opportunity today that I couldn’t pass up.

It was the 30th anniversary of the classic comedy Airplane! (1980) Starring Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Leslie Nielsen. Its about an airplane crew that takes ill. Surely the only person capable of landing the plane is an ex-pilot afraid to fly. But don’t call him Shirley. Some of the local AMC theaters were having a special one-time screening of Airplane!. I had to jump at the chance to see this movie. I couldn’t think of a better movie to see to hit the 200-movie mark that Airplane!. So Airplane! Was the 200th movie I saw in the theater since I started my Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man yearlong experiment. And I did it just a couple of days from my calendar year deadline. How many people do you know that have seen 200 movies in a year? Yeah, I know I’m awesome. It was great that Airplane! Was the 200th movie. This movie is a comedy masterpiece classic. Everyone has his or her favorite part of the movie. Mine is when Barbara Billingsley (aka June Cleaver in Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963) tells the flight attendant that she speaks “Jive”. What was cool about this showing was that they gave out commemorative poster to all theatergoers after the movie. Before the movie started they had a female theater staff personnel come out and do one trivia question for a prize. The prize was a DVD copy of Airplane. The questions was “What famous basket ball player….?” I raised my hand up before she completed the sentence. She pointed to me for the answer. Being a Lakers fan and growing up in Southern California I new the answer was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I won the DVD. As big as my DVD / Blu-ray collection is (over 850) I strangely enough didn’t own a copy of this comedy classic. Although I enjoyed the movie my health was deteriorating. I was getting sick and was ready to head home. Wow, what a ride.

Now don’t fret my fans. Even though my yearlong Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man experiment is over I’m not gonna stop doing my movie blogs. Besides, soon I’m going to share my best and worst movies of 2010. And I’m going to compile my updated Top 100 movies of all time. So stay tuned, there is plenty of movie nerdness to come!

–          Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  200

  • 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: 18
  • January            2011: Movies Seen: 24

The Mechanic / No Strings Attached / The Rite / I Love You Phillip Morris / The Company Men

The Mechanic / No Strings Attached / The Rite / I Love You Phillip Morris / The Company Men

Thursday Jan 27th, 2011
With only nine movies to go to reach my 200 movies seen in a year mark and only 5 days left to do it I had some catching up to do. The problem I’m running into is movies to watch. Sure I could watch movies I’ve already seen to meet my goal, but I had to get creative and find movies that I haven’t seen in the theater yet. So after work today I went to the independent movie theater to see a couple of films in limited release.

The first film I saw today was I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) starring Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor and Leslie Mann. Steven Russell is happily married to Debbie, and a member of the local police force when a car accident provokes a dramatic reassessment of his life. Steven becomes open about his homosexuality and decides to live life to the fullest – even if it means breaking the law. According to the opening and ending credits this movie is a true story. I thought Jim Carrey did a great job portraying the lead role of once ideal family man who leaves his family to live out his gay lifestyle. The best line in the movie is when he says, “Being a gay man is very expensive”. This leads to credit card fraud and jail time where he meets his future partner played by Ewan McGregor. Ewan McGregor is very funny in this film too. Both of them in time are released from jail and live together where eventually Jim Carrey’s character gets them into trouble again. This was a very funny film and well acted too. I recommend this movie but wait for video.

The last film I saw today was The Company Men (2010) starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner and Maria Bello. The story centers on a year in the life of three men trying to survive a round of corporate downsizing at a major company – and how that affects them, their families, and their communities. This movie takes place during the 2007- 2008 recession that affected everyone including myself. This movie did hit home for me. Although I wasn’t making the six figure salaries the characters in the movie were I did get laid off from a great paying job back in 2007. This movie had a great cast and the acting was good too. Kevin Costner had a good supporting role as a carpenter that hires Ben Affleck after he loses his office job. The movie was a little slow and depressing at times, but there was good drama. Not a great film but maybe worth a look on video later.
Fri Jan 28th, 2011
With only a few days left in the month to reach my 200 movie goal and not enough days off from work I had to get creative. Today I worked a morning shift that got me off from work about 1pm. This gave me enough time to get to the movie theater and get a decent size movie marathon in. I have a free Regal movie ticket from my movie reward points. So I used it to get in this movie marathon today.

The first movie I saw today was The Rite (2011) starring Anthony Hopkins, Colin O’Donoghue and Alice Braga. It’s about an American priest that travels to Italy to study at an exorcism school. Anthony Hopkins plays the seasoned exorcist that mentors the young American priest. However Anthony Hopkins’s character soon becomes the one who is possessed. The movie trailers lead you to believe that this is Anthony Hopkins best role since his Oscar winning role in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). This is not the case. Although Anthony Hopkins does get to play a creepy character in this movie it doesn’t measure up, in fact seeing him do creepy roles has become boring and predictable. He should stay away from these roles and keep to other dramatic roles. Overall this movie was boring and not scary. If it wasn’t for the music and creative editing this movie would have totally sucked, instead it just kinda sucked.

The next film I saw was The Mechanic (2011) starring Jason Statham, Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland. The Mechanic follows an elite hit man as he teaches his trade to an apprentice who has a connection to one of his previous victims. I was looking forward to seeing this movie. I’ve become a big fan of Jason Statham and his action films. I was also happy to see that Ben Foster was co-starring in this film. I became a fan of his after his scene-stealing role as Russell Crowe’s main henchmen in the 3:10 to Yuma (2007). This movie The Mechanic is also a remake from the Charles Bronson’s The Mechanic film back in 1972.

I saw the original and enjoyed it. This new movie does a pretty good job giving a good tribute to the original. This movie was sleek, stylish and had some good action scenes. I liked this movie and it was passed well too. For some good action check this movie out. Oh and for the guys out there you get your boobie fix too.
The next movie I saw was Gulliver’s Travels (2010), again. I didn’t see it in 3D this time, just 2D. The movie is funny enough to see again. I did like the current take it took on the classic Gulliver’s Travels tales.

Next I saw No Strings Attached (2011) starring Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Kline. A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it’s not long before they learn that they want something more. This movie was very funny and had a great supporting cast. Natalie Portman was refreshingly funny in this film. I’m used to seeing her in more dramatic roles. Her comedic timing was great in this film. Kevin Kline played the father to Ashton Kutcher’s character. He was very funny too. I’m glad the movie was rated R cause it really made the movie funnier with the racy language. This is a fun film and a good date movie too. Check it out.
The next and last film I saw at this theater tonight was The Green Hornet (2011). I saw this movie again but this time in 2D, not in 3D like I did before. This is another movie I recommend and is worth seeing more than once. After this movie ended it was a little after 11pm. Time to go home right? Not when I have two movie to see before I get to 200. Midnight was coming on. Since there wasn’t any new movie releases to see at midnight there was only one thing to see. Clue? Well it involves a “Time Warp” dance. Yep I was on my way to see the midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). More on that in my next blog post. Stay tuned…
– Spartan Phoenix
Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  198
· 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: 18
· January 2011: Movies Seen: 22


The Green Hornet / The Dilemma / The Heart Specialist / The Way Back

The Green Hornet / The Dilemma / The Heart Specialist / The Way Back

Wed July 19th, 2011

I’ve been looking forward to seeing this movie for a while now. The movie I speak of is The Green Hornet (2011) starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz and Christoph Waltz. Following the death of his father, Britt Reid, heir to his father’s large newspaper company, teams up with his late dad’s assistant Kato to become a masked crime fighting team. I saw this movie in IMAX 3D. I would recommend this movie in 3D but not necessarily in IMAX, although the sound was great in IMAX. This was a good fun popcorn movie with a good mixture of comedy and action. This is Seth Rogen’s superhero baby and you can tell cause he penned the script. Christoph Waltz was entertaining as the bad guy going through a midlife crisis. Jay Chou played Kato with great charisma, he was very funny too. Fun movie, go check it out!

The next movie I saw was TRON: Legacy, again. I saw it in 3D again even though the whole movie is not shot in 3D. 3D or not I really enjoyed seeing this movie again.

The next movie I saw was the comedy The Dilemma (2011) starring Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder and Channing Tatum. A man discovers that his best friend’s wife is having an affair. I had a couple of problems with this movie. First off it wasn’t a comedy. I didn’t laugh once and the movie was kind of depressing. The movie had a great cast but I didn’t enjoy it what so ever. The other main problem I had was with Vince Vaughn. Now don’t get me wrong I like Vince Vaughn, but his movies lately have fallen flat for my taste and have been disappointing. Unless Vince Vaughn does a good comedy soon he wont get in my good graces again until he does a sequel to Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Old School or another cameo to a sequel to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

Wed Jan 26th, 2011

A week later I wanted to get in another movie marathon. I had to get to work if I was gonna get to 200 movies seen in a theater in a year. My deadline was this current month of January 2011. The Academy Award nominations were announced and I wanted to see True Grit (2010) again as it got many nods. So it was the first movie I saw in today’s movie marathon. True Grit was just as good the second time around. This movie has it all, check it if you haven’t already.

The second movie I saw was the comedy The Heart Specialist (2006) starring Zoe Saldana, Wood Harris and Brian J. White. This is a comedy about two doctor friends that work in a Florida hospital. One of the doctors is also a stand-up comedian. This movie had a great cast. The main reason I went to see this movie was because of Zoe Saldana. If you have read my blog you will know that she is on my “Top 5 List” For more info on that list check the link out here:

What I thought was weird about this movie was that it was completed in 2006 and it finally got it’s theatrical release in 2011. Maybe it’s because of Zoe Saldana’s recent movie success. As for this movie it wasn’t great, it had a few funny moments but it fell short of a good comedy.

The next film I saw today was The Way Back (2010) starring Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan and Colin Farrell. It’s a true story about several Siberian prison gulag escapees that walk 4000 miles overland to freedom in India in 1940. This was a very good and inspiring story. The movie was beautifully shot too. The cast was awesome. It’s amazing what these people had to go through while hiking on foot through treacherous settings. Colin Farrell had a supporting role as one of the escapees on the run. He played a Russian thug that tags along. Ed Harris is one of the leaders of the group as he plays an American that got imprisoned in the Siberian gulag. Saoirse Ronan plays a young orphan girl who meets up with the escaped prisoners to join them on their freedom quest. This was a very good film with great drama and emotion. Check it out!

Before I ended my movie marathon today I went to see Unstoppable (2010) and The Green Hornet (2011) again. Unstoppable was just as emotionally charged for me the second time around. As for The Green Hornet I enjoyed seeing it again in 3D. I also saw these two movie again cause I’m trying to reach my 200 movies in a year goal. Do I do it? Stay tuned again!

– Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  191

  • 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: 18
  • January            2011: Movies Seen: 15