Archive for the Ruminations and Dedications Category

In Defense of Old Run Down Theaters

Posted in Ruminations and Dedications with tags , , , , on April 26, 2015 by Timothy Parfitt

by Timothy Parfitt

The two closest movie theaters to me offer two different experiences. One is a bit stuffy, and shows foreign and art house movies that I theoretically want to see, but rarely actually go to. They also sell cocktails and the audience is often on the elderly side. Then there’s the mall multiplex, which shows all the blockbusters and is full of kids and teenagers.

Never had a ventured to the third farthest, the one unconnected to any upscale shopping establishment or quaint faux-downtown area. Deep in suburban no man’s land I found what I had been missing all along: the dingy run-down theater. The girl selling tickets is sixteen. The man ripping tickets belongs in a Peter Jackson movie. There’s barely anyone working there and twenty screens showing a mishmash of first and second run attractions.

The night in question, I was in an inattentive mood, so I ended up skirted the law and watching bits and pieces of four different movies. I watched a smidge of While We’re Young, which felt plodding and stiff. Then I sat through the first thirty minutes of the movie I had paid to see, It Follows, which I wanted to like, but it felt polished in a distancing way. Then I snuck into Get Hard, which seemed painfully unfunny. Why Will Ferrell had decided to go with his innocent-baby-schtick instead of his arrogant-asshole schtick, I’ll never understand. Finally, I watched a bit of Danny Collins, which looked painful from the previews, but ended up being the best of the bunch. Al Pacino in full hoo-hah mode can be a little much at times, but here he’s put to good use.

So I thank the run down theater for letting me pick at these different movies like a buffet table. It wasn’t a balanced or refined meal, but boy did I leave satisfied.

Thoughts on the Aurora Century 16 Shooting

Posted in Ruminations and Dedications, Timothy Parfitt on July 23, 2012 by Timothy Parfitt

This past Friday, a gunman burst into a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises and shot and killed over a dozen people, wounding close to sixty. As much as rational thinking tells me to separate the incident from the movie showing that night, I can’t. Before the massacre, advanced reviews described the film as grim and mentally punishing. Why would I want to spend my hard earned money on violent, bad vibes superhero movie, especially one with the stink of tragedy to it?

Like many others, I was swept up by The Dark Knight, the previous chapter of Nolan’s reboot. Heath Ledger’s Joker transcended villain clichés to suggest something closer to a god of destruction, a Shiva born out of the American subconscious. So luminous was the performance that people like James Holmes get obsessed with it, the charismatic nihilism of it.

Ten years ago I was adamant that American movies weren’t dark enough. And while I still enjoy dark and violent movies and books, something about the new Batman sequel repels me. The events of this past weekend felt like the snake catching up with its tail, a horrific conflation of our society’s obsessions with violence, escapism, celebrity, guns and hype. I’m sure many very talented people worked incredibly hard to make The Dark Knight Rises, and that it’s a powerful and well-made film. I for one, though, will be leafing through the listings looking for a purer distraction, preferably something full of singing animals.

HBO Roundup

Posted in Ruminations and Dedications with tags , , , , , , on May 3, 2012 by Timothy Parfitt

I’ve been neglecting the discussion of my primary non-Judge Judy source of entertainment: HBO. I’m powerless against the astronomical production values and frequent nudity. I mean, HBO is classy. Novel-like storytelling and no fake boobs.

Here’s some recaps.

Boardwalk Empire
Season two goes a little hogwild with the whole Oedipal angle. Gutsy move killing off your most likeable character. Like “Mad Men”, this show likes playing with American moralty at an earlier stage of development. The convoluted gangster subplots definitely remind me of “The Sopranos.”

Game Of Thrones
Shakespeare reimagined by Tolkien on a soft-core porno set. Trashy in a lavish way. God knows how many millions of dollars each episode costs. Peter Dinklage is totally solid, and makes up for half-dozen scruffy and handsome indistiguishables.

Funny. Nice to see Julie Louis Dreyfus and Tony Hale (Buster from Arrested Development) back on TV. Sometimes I felt like I was laughing sort of inspirationally, like if I show some support, the show will become funnier.

This is the one everyone has an opinion about, at least on the internet. I watched the first episode and thought it was well written. It reminded me a lot of the kids I went to school with. In fact, I went to college with creator Lena Dunham. I remember lamely flirting with her once. We talked about Prison Break, specifically the bolt-cutter toe amputation at the end of the series premiere.

RIP “At the Movies”

Posted in Ruminations and Dedications with tags , , , on March 25, 2010 by Jared Parmenter

Well, it’s finally happened.  After 35 years of popularizing film criticism, Siskel & Ebert’s landmark series “At The Movies” will air its last show August 14th, 2010.  We give this decision a big Four-Thumbs Down.
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Sloppy Thirds: thoughts on Inglourious Basterds

Posted in Ruminations and Dedications with tags , , , on January 26, 2010 by Timothy Parfitt

There were two main reasons I avoided seeing Inglourious Basterds initially.  The first was that the film (along with Valkyrie*) seemed to belong to a recent batch of World War II movies whose historical accuracy was beyond suspect.  Hollywood has always bent people and events to its advantage, but usually in easily decodable ways.  Now we have nazi-scalping Jews and Tom Cruise valiantly trying to dethrone Hitler from within the SS.  Even as entertainment, don’t these films indirectly benefit the causes of historical revisionism?  The second reason… Continue reading

The 12 Best of the Decade

Posted in List-omania, Ruminations and Dedications with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2009 by Timothy Parfitt

I could’nt resist the List!  And could’nt recall very many memorable comedies?  Help me out guys.  Anyways, here is my 10 best movies of the decade list:

12. Zodiac (USA, 2007)

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Alien, Total Recall Screenwriter Dan O’Bannon dead

Posted in Ruminations and Dedications with tags , , , on December 21, 2009 by illwatchanything

Man did he write some winners and he did f/x for Star Wars.  The horror and science fiction fans of the universe will miss you, good sir.