How To Cinephile In The Summer
Arts, Movies, Column

How To Cinephile In The Summer

We measure time by the seasons, and that’s probably the most numbingly obvious statement you’ll read all day. I measure time by the movie calendar and the baseball season. Opening Day is a local equinox where I come from. I know it’s summer when Opening Day swings around, just like I know it’s fall when every edible piece of food becomes pumpkin-based.

The movie calendar is an equally proficient mechanism for measuring time. When the capes and crashing cars come out, you can bet your tights that summer and its host of operatic action and chaotic comedy have arrived. And lucky for us, Opening Day was last Monday, and Fast 7 premiered last weekend. So, while it may look like winter, feel like fall, and in any real measure actually be spring, it’s really summer. We made it.

I’d like to offer my services, because I know summer can be a stressful time. I will as a guide to you of sorts, steering you through the attractions the theater provides. I’m not going to talk extensively about what is actually coming out this summer, because I’ve done that before.

Basically, I head over to IMDB to check out the schedule, whip up a couple clever lines about each movie that looks like it deserves a couple clever lines, and we all move on with our lives. You want to know what’s coming out this year? It’s the same as last year, and the year before that, and that’ll come out next year—The Avengers: Age of Ultron, a Judd Apatow movie, Fantastic Four, Terminator, Jurassic Park, Magic Mike, Entourage, something John Green wrote, and the much needed Ted 2.

Here’s how to actually enjoy it.

Bring / buy snacks. If you don’t want to mortgage your home for a bag of popcorn, I understand. And summer offers some difficulty when it comes to bringing food into the movie theater. It helps to go with someone who has a purse, because from personal experience it’s uncomfortable and embarrassing to cram a family bag of Twizzlers in your pants.

Go at night. You don’t want see Mad Max on a Wednesday afternoon. You want to see that at night. There are few things more disorienting than going to a movie during the daytime that takes place at night. It’s worth the few extra bucks to go on a Friday or Saturday night. I always remember movies better when they’re the last thing I do at night. And it shouldn’t be that hard to get someone to go with you. People like going to the movies.

Don’t be afraid to make your own double features. If a theater physically allows you to stay all day, do it. You’re only young once.

Understand what you’re getting into before you buy the ticket. The only time you should be upset or frustrated after seeing a movie is if the movie didn’t deliver on its promise. Every movie, with its trailer and general advertising, makes a promise. Fast 7 promised to toss cars out of planes. It does that. The Avengers: Age of Ultron promises the combination of comedy and pathos Whedon has become known for. My point is that a dumb movie isn’t always a bad one, as long as you’re both in on the joke. One of my favorite features of last summer was Godzilla. Did the movie have any characters? No. Did it have a plot that made any sense? No. Did have Godzilla? YES. And that’s the only promise I cared about.

Bring / buy drinks. Ideally, you’re 21 and the theater sells beer. If not, you’ll make do with a well placed bottle of soda (pop?). Again, it helps to travel with someone who carries a purse.

Catch some indies. Sure, you might get burned once (The Spectacular Now), but if you’re careful and go alone in the daytime, an indie is the perfect antidote to a slow afternoon.

And with this sage advice, I release you into the wild.

Featured Image by Breck Wills / Heights Graphics

April 8, 2015
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