Monday, August 07, 2006

Watching movies while traveling

I’ve been out of state the past week +, New Mexico mostly. Of course, I happened to catch a few films while I was traveling. The best thing about the films I saw was getting to see one in Trinidad, Colorado in a really special old movie theatre called The Fox. More later about that.

In Santa Fe I saw the French action film District B-13. Yes, I wrote “French action film” in that sentence. It’s not a style of film that I’d connect with that country but there are a few good ones from France—La Femme Nikita and Brotherhood of the Wolf are a couple that jump out of my memory.

District B-13 has some thrilling action and chases moments—it’s a style that is known in France as Le Parkour. Le Parkour mostly involves jumping off buildings and using urban elements as props that the participants react off of. So, you’ll see lots of full-on running, jumping, swinging and climbing these urban locations and in District B-13.

Le Parkour is the best thing about District B-13 as the fight scenes get repetitive and the story/script is a bit dodgy but on the whole this is a fun twist in the action genre.

On my last night in Santa Fe I got to see Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and thought it pretty humorous. The first half of it I really enjoyed as it has some really unhinged, absurd moments. The last 1/3 begins to drag a little but it’s just so goofy and silly that I had a great time watching it.

The best thing about seeing this was I got to see the trailer for Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat. I’m a big fan of Cohen’s and Borat looks absolutely hilarious.

As mentioned, I saw a film in Trinidad, Colorado at the Fox Theatre. I was staying in Raton, New Mexico and on a whim decided to drive the twenty-one miles north across state lines to see if there were any old movie theatres in Trinidad. I hit jackpot with this 1908 beauty.

The Fox was an absolute behemoth that I could see from the highway as I drove into town. I paid my $5 to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and entered the cavernous room that was darkly lit. The Fox has seen its better days as it is kind of falling into disrepair but the place reeks of history. There were ghosts of nearly a century of people watching movies in the place and those ghosts were sitting right there with me.

Pirates of the Caribbean sucked. Big time. This will be one of my least favorite films of the year. The story with all the supernatural stuff was absolutely ridiculous, the script too. Johnny Depp’s performance as the fey pirate rogue was charming in the first film—here he’s cartoonish and overacting most of the time. Come on Johnny, you are better than that. Orlando Bloom and Keira “Fake Top Lip” Knightley were there usual awful selves. This movie is raking it in too, ugh, it hurts me when movies are really bad yet get swept up by the masses.

After the film I got to go on a tour of the Fox by Michael, the projectionist and manager. I got the Fox history, went backstage (it was originally a theatre called the West) and even up to the second balcony. There are two balconies in the Fox! They sit on top of one another but the top one—which has these super tall wooden benches hasn’t been used in decades. I left Trinidad after spending an hour looking in all the secret hidden places of the Fox as midnight came and drove back to New Mexico. The Fox may be slowly crumbling but I loved spending some time in it as cookie-cutter multiplexes have nothing theatres like that. Seeing a movie at places like the Fox is real movie watching, not going to the depressing AMC 20 and their ilk.

I was driving home to Tulsa through the panhandle and on a whim stopped in Guymon to watch the horror film The Descent. I’d seen director Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers (about werewolves attacking a group of soldiers) a few years ago at a midnight movie in Seattle and really liked it so I was kind of excited to see The Descent.

The film starts out as a kind of all-girl survival film as a group of thrill seeking women enter a scary looking cave to do some rock climbing and exploring. They encounter much more than being able to climb down and back out as something might be living down in the cave.

Ah heck, if you’ve seen the trailer, you know something is down in that cave and the film turns into a complete f'n bloodbath. I’m talking serious gore. I love the gore and caves, with their small, claustrophobic spaces kind of freak me out, so I liked this film.

Although Marshall tries to give the film deeper subjects, The Descent is pretty much attractive girls crawling around in caves with some serious bloodletting. What’s not to like about that? The weird thing is the film could have been a straight up survival thriller about whether or not these women could find a way out of the cave but then these cave creatures show up and start killing and it’s suddenly a completely different film.

There you have it, four films, three states including stops in out of the way places like Trinidad and Guymon.


Brandon said...

Sounds like some good travels, I love spending time in out of the way towns like that.

I loved Pirates, I thought it was fun. Stupid? Yes, but still fun.

We saw Ricky Bobby tonight and I agree with you, it was mostly funny but dragged at times. I love Amy Adams though, I hope we see a lot more of her. And the Borat preview looked hilarious. We have a friend who did Peace Corp in Kazhakstan (or however you spell it) and from his description, it looks just about the same.

Cameron said...

I am so jealous. I have seen next to nothing in theaters in Nashville.

Mark Rogers said...

Sweet! You saw B-13. I still haven't. Looks like I'll have to wait for DVD. Ah well. I'm kinda prejudice against french films I suppose. I'm sure I'll enjoy this one though, from what I've heard.

Jory-san said...

did you get any interior photos of the fox?

and i haven't seen jack shite in any theater, here in Japan. tickets at around $20? for two=40? i don't think so.

Replicant said...

i have some photos but i'd have to scan them and my crappy $80 scanner/printer is on the fritz.

and i thought my $10 new york city movie ticket was high? $20? no friggin' way!

Jory-san said...

ok. 1800 yen. that's about 17.00 bucks. close enough.