Sunday, August 3, 2008

Let's go to the movies!

Back in the pre-kiddo days, Hubby and I went to the movies a lot. We saw everything. Seriously. There were some really not-very-good or utterly random movies that we saw in the theater. Movies that now, when we flip past them on TV, we turn to each other and say "Can you believe we once paid money to see this in the theater?" But back then, it wasn't odd. The only time we didn't go to the movies was when we'd already seen everything that was playing in town. We'd see at least one movie a week, sometimes two or three. By the time the Oscars rolled around, we'd already seen all the nominated films and performances. I was an ace at picking winners in the various Oscar pools back in those days...

That all changed, as we feared it would, once the kiddo was born. Now, going to the movies is a Major Event for us. (Case in point: we didn't see Million Dollar Baby, despite all its Oscar gold, until it was on TV. Not even in DVD new release, but when it was the Saturday night movie on HBO.) All the other parents out there reading this will be nodding understandingly right now, I'm sure. It somehow becomes exponentially more challenging to go to the movies once there are younger children in the mix. First, there's the money issue. I'm not even talking about the insane cost of tickets or the popcorn and sodas. (Though that "golden flavored topping" must really contain actual gold to cost what it does for a nickel's worth of unpopped corn kernels, not that we ever get the "topping" because ew, could there be a more chemical-rich, natural food ingredient-free substance on Earth?) Movies were pretty expensive five years ago, too. But, when one adds in the price of a babysitter, well that doubles the cost of an evening at the movies before we've even walked out the door. Then, there's the time factor. Most of the time, we're too pooped by Friday night to head out in the evening, and by the time Saturday night rolls around, we're pooped again. (Perhaps this has less to do with having a kid and more to do with the fact that we're just getting oooooolder...) We used to go to matinees a lot, pre-Kiddo, but now our weekend days are taken up with family activities, so there isn't as much free time to spend a couple of hours at a movie theater except in the evenings, when, like I said, we can barely keep our eyes open long enough to watch a movie from the comfort of our own couch.

What winds up happening is that nowadays, we judge which movies to see in the theater much more discriminatingly than we did pre-Kiddo. It takes something like a Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings to get us to go through the effort of lining up a sitter, ingesting sufficient caffeine and/or napping in preparation for a night out, and spending the money. Whereas before, a passing interest was enough to get us to plunk down our dough and park ourselves in stadium seats in the dark, now, it has to be something BIG.

That was, happily, the case this weekend. We secured a babysitter, took out a second mortgage to amply stuff our wallets with cash (not really, but seriously - $17 for a popcorn and two sodas? Oy!) and headed out to the multiplex. The movie that got us out to the theater was The Dark Knight. (The last movie we saw in the theater prior to today was VeggieTales Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, last January. Oh, and I did see Sweeney Todd - can't miss Alan Rickman, after all, plus it was a musical! Not just any musical, but Sondheim! So, that is TWO movies in the theater, seven months ago. Pathetic!)

Yes, the movie was great, just as we'd hoped - yay! (Hubby and I both loved Batman Begins, which, sadly, we did not see in the theater but on DVD. One more reason we really wanted to catch this one on the big screen.) Heath Ledger definitely warrants all the good press, though I do wonder if he'd be considered such a sure thing for an Oscar nod if he hadn't died... The one thing that took me by surprise, considering that I'm a spoilery kinda girl - I cannot resist reading a spoiler, yep, I'll always click the link or scroll down or keep reading - was Aaron Eckhart. I was not expecting what I saw regarding his character at all, and yes, I am familiar with the characters in the Batman story. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone else (there must be a few folks out there who haven't seen the movie yet besides us, right?) so I'll try not to get too specific here. Let me just say that Eckhart's character is going to give me nightmares, I'm sure of it. I wound up trying to block things out on screen with my hand but it was too late.
I'm the owner of a very active imagination, and Eckhart ties in nicely to two of my worst, recurring nightmare themes. There are images now seared on my brain that will be waking me up around 2am for weeks to come. Dagnabit. This is totally like when I went to see Pet Semetary, and was greeting characters from that film in my dreams for weeks thereafter. I've already warned Hubby, so he will be prepared should I wake up screaming in terror... I'm just hoping that some nice, white noise rainfall sounds on my iPod will be enough to lull my subconscious into dream-free submission...

But potential nightmare issues aside, I'm really glad we went to the movies today. I can't wait until the kiddo is old enough to see more grown-up fare and we can resume our more regular movie-going habit again. I wonder what the next movie we'll go to see in the theater will be? Probably Harry Potter in November... It certainly won't be The Mummy 3 or even Mamma Mia, which are two films I betcha we'd have seen as new releases back in the day...

2 comments:

tysdaddy said...

Going to the movies is one thing I've not neglected over the years. Movies mean a lot to me, and even if I have to go alone I make a point to see movies I really want to see.

And I'm picky as well. Batman was the only movie I held out for this summer. The rest can wait. I've been a Christopher Nolan fanboy since Memento, so this was a no-brainer.

Glad you enjoyed the movie . . . no so good that you're now having nightmares. Press through, dear one . . .

AJ said...

I miss going to the movies. Even if in the "old days" we went so often that we would watch the same movie over and over.
Yes... we watched "Last Man Standing" with Bruce Willis 5 times in theatre. We now actually own it too. Which I really don't care to watch anymore. We are planning a trip to the movies this weekend. **crosses fingers**

Thanks for the Congrats on my page!