Greetings followers of Ed’s Review. It seems like I’ve been doing this most of my life. It’s hard to even remember how many years it’s been since I started doing this. A little research shows that it’s been 5 years this month. The first review I ever posted was for an awful movie called “The Crazies” which was a remake of a George Romero horror flick from the 70’s. That was on July 15th 2010. It was in December of 2010 that I did my very first “Christmas Movies on TV” project which I have faithfully done every year since. Last year I swore I wouldn’t do it, and when I saw the list of new films for the holidays, I had no choice but to watch them and review them! Then I decided some months ago not to do it this year, and then something happened that made me sure I will. During the 5 years I’ve been doing this I’ve made over 1700 posts.
Have you heard of Christmas in July? The actual date Christmas in July is July 25th, naturally, but most folks celebrate it the whole month. The custom was started by a business in Australia that was looking to drum up some business in the middle of Winter in the Southern Hemisphere since the Australian Christmas comes in the middle of summer. It caught on, and has endured for centuries. This year, as soon as the smoke cleared from the July 4th fireworks here in the States, Hallmark Channel immediately threw up two channels of Christmas movies on TV around the clock. I tried to stay away, but I couldn’t. I saw some of my favorites coming up, and I just had to turn it on, and as soon as I did, I found myself losing sleep enjoying Moonlight & Mistletoe, The Christmas Card, Silver Bells. There’s nothing more fun for me than watching Scrooge in July, darn it. Music Choice on the cable switched to Christmas music, and I must admit this is the first year I spent half of July listening to Christmas music, but it was a lot of fun.
Changing gears. I watch a LOT of movies. I love movies, and I love going to the theater, although it’s getting really expensive anymore, but by using matinee pricing and discount days (Tuesday usually) I try to do it as often as I can. Some years ago a theater opened at Gardenwalk in Anaheim that had a 21 and over theater that was filled with large leather reclining chairs, and waitresses that brought drinks and snacks as you wished. This was a premium option, but it was interesting to only have adults and to sit in such a comfortable setting and enjoy a cocktail with the movie. Recently all of out theaters, Regal, AMC, Century, etc. have been ripping out their auditoriums one after another and replacing them with the large reclining seats. They also offer a full dinner menu, things like steaks and grilled salmon, and the chairs have a table like those in the first class section of a plane, and you can have dinner and a movie at the same time. This seems to be a really big deal in California, and I would imagine this is starting to happen across the country and across the world. It is truly a different experience to watch a movie in a setting like this, and really hard to stay awake. So far, except for the original over 21 theater, the prices have been the same as they were before. There is a mad charge, of course, for ordering dinner, but if you use the concession stand and just watch a movie. But I don’t know if this is going to change the landscape or not. Will there become Have and Have Not theaters with bargain basement prices for a normal seat and premium prices for the nice seats? How long before the nice seats are beat up and ruined by the unruly public? And what about the base price tickets with all the upsells for IMAX, 3D, Xtreme Digital,etc? When we went to see Antman last week they tried really hard to get us to go into the XD showing in 3D as there was a $5.00 per ticket upgrade for that theater. When we went in, it was nearly empty because nobody likes to pay the premium upgrades. How do you feel about that? Is it worth it for the Upgrade. To me, I guess it depends on the film. I plopped down the extra 10 bucks and went for the 3D and XD experience and I really enjoyed it. But would I have liked the film as much if I saw it on the regular 2D screen? I don’t know.
Finally, as I said, I watch a lot of movies. I don’t watch a lot of TV. But now and then there is a program on TV that I HAVE to watch. I started into Nashville, and I can’t give it up. I started on Bates Motel, and I catch every episode. When I saw the ads for Wayward Pines, I had to watch it. This week the final episode was aired, and that’s why I said I was Shyamalan’d. I want to turn his name into a verb. Shyamalan has a very weird style to his films, and I’ve been a fan since the beginning. I like to watch the technical aspects of a film, and I don’t get lost in the story to the point that I can’t tell real life from fiction, but I am not the best at catching hints and figuring out what’s going to happen. Shyamalan is rarely predictable though, and he’s sucked me in many times. In the original Shyamalan film, Sixth Sense, I went into it with no previous notion of what it was about. I was pulled in hook line and sinker and at the big reveal at the end, I was stunned, much like I was stunned many years before in The Sting. Many folks did not like The Village, but I was totally sold on the story, and watching this old fashioned community get by surrounded by a forest of evil monsters. When Ron Howard’s blind (in the movie) daughter went over the fence, I was again floored. I had no idea that was coming.
Well, Wayward Pines, if you didn’t know, was produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and in keeping with his style it was very strange. The story caught me in the first 10 minutes, and I didn’t miss a second of the series. I even watched most of the shows several times to pick up anything I had missed. There are twists and turns in this story that are truly unexpected, and before you start into it, make sure you don’t know the details or it will truly spoil it. All of these episodes are up in On Demand, and there’s no doubt they’ll be on DVD very, very soon. I’ll try to let you know when I see them. But as I watched the final episode, the suspense built up to a fever pitch, and I realized there was only 7 or 8 minutes left to wrap this thing up. I couldn’t see any way they could wrap this thing up in 7 minutes. But wrap it up they did, but the surprise ending once again blew me away. I didn’t see that coming. Damn.
So when you’re watching a movie and really enjoying the story, and suddenly you lose all orientation and wonder what the heck just happened, let’s call it being Shymalan’d. It happened to me Thursday night. And during the last episode they previewed a new movie he’s got coming to theaters this fall. Here we go again.
Thanks for reading my rambles and feel free to use the comments to let me know your opinions. I would love to have your feedback.