I am a fan of the movies. I love every genre – romantic comedies, action/adventure, crime, sci-fi, horror, historicals, biographies, war movies. You name it. I’ve seen it. And enjoyed it immensely.
I have access to a ton of HBO and Showtime channels. I own a bazillion and four DVDs. I will even stop and watch something that I own on DVD if it’s one of my sentimental favs. I can’t count the times I’ve dialed around late at night on a weekend and come in the middle of The Shawshank Redemption, Pretty Woman, The Green Mile, or Independence Day. I’m hooked – I have to start watching from that point on. I can do dialogue from these movies, people! That’s how many times I’ve seen them. I can even word-for-word out-president Bill Pullman’s Fourth of July speech rallying the world against the invading aliens, and you have to admit that his President Whitmore is someone we’d all vote for if given the chance.
But my favorite movie experience is GOING to the movies. Seeing a film on the big screen is just the way it’s meant to be.
My college used to play Gone With the Wind once a year. Although I knew it by heart, I couldn’t pass up that kind of opportunity. Seeing it on the big screen in Technicolor is breathtaking. Same thing with Saving Private Ryan or The Wizard of Oz. These are flicks that beg for a large screen viewing. I went multiple times to see Titanic at the box office because it was just so darn spellbinding.
The big screen adds that verisimilitude to your viewing experience. That’s really what it’s all about. We, as viewers, are escaping into different worlds and different lives, becoming one with what’s on the screen.
I recently saw the restored cut of Lawrence of Arabia on its 50th anniversary. Ever heard the old phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, that applies specifically for Lawrence. The sun rising and beating down unmercifully. The sky that never stops. The endless desert sand. Peter O’Toole’s incredibly blue eyes. I sat mesmerized, hardly able to breathe as I took it all the hypnotic, panoramic beauty.
One of our family’s favorite films is Jurassic Park. My daughter was only five when it came out, and she fell madly in love with all things dinosaurs after seeing it 4 times. Yes, 4 times. Twice for full price and twice at the dollar movie. The only other movie we did that with was 101 Dalmatians. She’s still mad about dogs. Dinosaurs? Well, they were a passing fancy, but it’s still fun to recollect hearing her spout out triceratops and pterodactyl and Tyrannosaurus Rex.
JP is back on the big screen for its 20th anniversary. Better yet? It’s in 3-D. I went today, slipping on my 3-D glasses and immersing myself anew in the characters and John Williams’ soundtrack. The storyline held up well despite 20 years having passed. Laura Dern looked impossibly young. I still wanted to wrap sweet little Joseph Mazzello up and bring him home with me. And those dinosaurs? If you thought they were scary before, 3-D’s big screen dinosaurs are frightening to the core.
So here’s to the movies on the silver screen – upcoming ones I’m salivating to see (Can anyone say Star Trek Into Darkness or Man of Steel?) and that occasional classic such as The Empire Strikes Back or Casablanca that I’ve had the opportunity to see once again on a 52-foot tall screen.
Movies. In a darkened theater. They rock.