Review: Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Nothing about this is easy

When we meet Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) she's singing her heart out at the school talent show, but her song is drenched in subtext. "He makes me do things I don't want to" she sings. Then later when her family celebrates at the diner, her father refuses to compliment her because she's in a bad mood and she throws water at an unnamed boy's face. She then wanders into a crisis pregnancy center and is told she's 10 weeks pregnant. Her unwavering cousin/co-worker Skylar (Talia Ryder) steals money and travels with her to New York to get an abortion, since hey cannot get one in their home state of Pennsylvania without parental consent.

Director Eliza Hittman is amazing at getting honest performances from young actors. I really connected with her first feature, It Felt Like Love, but was disappointed with her last, Beach Rats. But even though I didn't care for it, it's undeniable that everything happening felt very realistic, and that's how this film feels too. It's infuriating to watch Autumn get terrible information from the anti-choice pregnancy center she goes to, especially when she eventually gets to the Planned Parenthood in New York and they do everything they can to help her. 

Another thing I appreciate that Hittman chose to avoid is big city peril. Sure, money is tight for them, and like all teenagers they don't completely think things through. But no one robs them nor do they get stranded somewhere and have to race to get back. Those tropes would've been so easy to write, and it would've brought the film down significantly. 

Flanigan and Ryder are very green but I think they both have a bright future. Autumn is an understandably melancholy person but Flanigan never plays her as if she's merely sulking. There's always a lot more to it behind her eyes. The scene where the film gets its title is absolutely heartbreaking. As for Skylar, she deals with plenty of unwanted advances throughout the film in a way that reminded me so much of myself at that age. Being so awkward you just kind of go along with it even though "fuck off" should be the correct response. I felt that.

Quiet films like this can be hit or miss for audiences but I hope this is one you check out. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "What do you want me to do?" - Skylar (Talia Ryder)

DVD Review: The Current War

The future is electric.

This film details the rivalry between Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) as they race to expand their electrical systems across the U.S

This film premiered at TIFF in 2017 and had the misfortune of being a product of the Weinstein Company right when long overdue convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein was finally charged with sexual assault. Then it was sold, and re-released as The Current War: Director's Cut in 2019, which is what I watched. I have no idea what differs from the film that screened in 2017, this one is only 102 minutes so it's not length.

It's nice to see Michael Shannon be the rational character again. I'm so used to seeing him blow up at people - and I love that type of Michael Shannon character too - but it was something I noticed. George tries to be fair throughout the entire movie that once he finally does do something shady his wife Marguerite (Katherine Waterston) rewards him by throwing herself at him. Cumberbatch plays Edison like a grade A asshole, which is amusing considering how Edison is revered. I liked seeing Cumberbatch work with Tom Holland, who played his assistant Samuel Insull. 

I wouldn't call this an exciting movie, but it wasn't boring either. It was perfectly okay. There's a bit of revisionist history here or there, but nothing egregious and there's a subplot with Nicola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) that I don't really feel goes anywhere, but it's perfectly fine for a Saturday afternoon. Nothing more, nothing less.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "....he's twelve." - Marguerite (Katherine Waterston)

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Book to TV Adaptations

This week's TV Theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is another edition of book to TV adaptations. I'm going to avoid using the same shows I used for this theme last year and if you're reading this post early, you'll notice I've pulled it back and edited it, because I originally wrote this back in February, and Miss Rona has given me the opportunity of watching more TV than usual, so I have new picks. 

1) Orange is the New Black

I had a lot of ups and downs with this show, it started off great, got really bad, then their finale season rolled around and they went right back to their A game to give the best send off that they could. I really appreciated showrunners that want to write a love letter to their characters and fans and not just rush through it to move on to the next thing.

2) Little Fires Everywhere

While I didn't read the book this is based on, I enjoyed Hulu's mini series. The actors were fantastic. I know they made a pretty big change to the ending but I thought this worked.  

3) I Know This Much Is True

This has to be one of the most depressing mini series I've ever seen in my entire life but Mark Ruffalo and the rest of the cast are so good it made almost every moment worth it. I did fast forward through their unnecessary rape flashback in episode 5. Ain't nobody got time for that. 

Review: Artemis Fowl

i'M a cRiMiNaL MaStErMiNd

Young prodigy Artemis (Ferdia Shaw) has always grown up with stories about fairies and trolls from his father. (Colin Farrell) Now when he is kidnapped, he finds that these things are real and that his father may have assisted in stealing something very valuable from them. He kidnaps a fairy police officer, Holly Short (Lara McDonnell) and along with a troll (Josh Gad) and his bodyguard/butler Dom (Nonso Anozie) they must fend off more fairy troupe when they descend on Fowl Manor.

While watching this with my son, he asked if I could make popcorn. I told him to pause it, after all, we had just started it, and as I was walking away he was like "Wow, we only have 35 more minutes of this movie left." ..... how did a hour of this fly by with NOTHING happening? And therein lies one of the major problems with Artemis Fowl. It's not really a movie, it's a set up.

My expectations for this were set at "Maybe I won't think it's as bad as everyone else does because I didn't read the books" but unfortunately this fails at so many different things it's impossible to look past. The CGI is not what I would expect from a Disney film that a 150 million budget. The actors don't seem to know how to react to CGI either. There's so many awkward moments. Not just with the acting, but with the script too. Was the best way to create conflict really to have Holly get stuck in a chandelier? If Dom just got a large troll dropped on him, how did these two 12 year olds carry him into another room and put him in a seated position for their big dramatic moment? Also what was the point of Dom's niece Juliet? (Tamara Smart) I think the film forgot about her several times. 

Colin Farrell and Nonso Anozie are the only two actors that are doing a decent job, but they don't get a lot of screen time. Judi Dench and her Batman voice is fun to watch in a campy way, but the trio of mains in Shaw, McDonnell and Josh Gad, who is also the narrator leave much to be desired. I feel like McDonnell is probably a good actress most of the time, but Holly just got the short end (no pun intended) of the stick content wise. This is Shaw's first movie so I can forgive him for being kind of awful. Josh Gad on the other hand could barely contain himself enough to keep a consistent accent. It's like watching Olaf literally spring out of him a few different times.

They clearly wanted to use this movie to set up the Fowl universe, but instead they've all but guaranteed we'll never see another one of these. Thankfully this is on Disney+ and no one had to waste their theater money on it.

Recommended: No

Grade: D

Memorable Quote: "Top of the morning!" - Commander Root (Judi Dench)

Review: Babyteeth

One last obsession.

Milla (Eliza Scanlan) is a teenager fighting an unspecified type of cancer. She runs into a 23 year old druggie, Moses (Toby Wallace) and becomes infatuated with his laid back nature. Her parents, Anna and Henry (Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn) are already having a hard enough time dealing with the very real fact that they may lose their daughter. Henry is a psychologist, who has gone as far as to medicate Anna to make it easier while distracting himself with helping their aloof neighbor Toby. (Emily Barclay) Eventually, even they give in to having Moses be a part of Milla's life.

At one point Anna and Henry remark that letting Moses stay with them is "about the worst parenting ever" which is helpful in suspending your disbelief that parents would ever do this. On the other hand, it's also what contributes to this film being slightly different from all the others in the sick kid genre. Henry tries to sneak photos of Milla looking happy throughout the film, so it's quite fitting that director Shannon Murphy almost makes her camera a character of its own, constantly getting up close and personal with the actors. It's as if the camera itself doesn't want to miss a thing either.

Eliza Scanlan is proving to be one of the most talented young actors out there and she doesn't disappoint here. For someone who has already accepted death, but not accepted missing out on certain experiences, she's wonderful to watch, even when times get hard. Wallace is equally convincing, and of course I loved Mendelsohn and Davis in their parental roles. They give Milla space, which is sometimes a rarity in these type of films.

My only complaint is that at the beginning of the 3rd act, Moses' demons and misgivings are so rushed because the film needed certain characters to be in place for the ending, and it happened so suddenly I thought I missed something. It's a strange pacing choice because the rest of the film wasn't like that. But for the $5.99 VOD rental fee, this one is definitely worth your time.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "Of course it's true, I read it online." - Toby (Emily Barclay)

Review: 7500

Follow protocol.

Tobias (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a pilot flying from Berlin to Paris when suddenly his cabin is overrun with hijackers. His co-pilot, Michael (Carlo Kitzlinger) is killed and as he's locked in the cockpit trying to land the plane safely, the hijackers continue to torment everyone on board. One of them, Vedat (Omid Memar) seems to be second guessing himself.

I have been staaaaaaaaaaaarved for Joseph Gordon-Levitt content. He hasn't had a film come out since 2016's Snowden. Normally a hijacking story wouldn't interest me at all, but the things we do for the actors we love...

Actually, this film wasn't bad. It was a great showcase for both JGL and newcomer Omid Memar's acting. They are both incredible and give wonderful performances. Being a semi-aviation geek myself, I enjoyed the amount of time we got to spend with the pilots as they do their jobs. Some might find the beginning of the film tedious but I loved watching them go through all their steps. The entire film essentially takes place in the cockpit and they paid attention to detail.

My biggest complaint was that that the backstory behind the hijackers was lazy. I would've preferred them to go in a different and less typical direction. 

This isn't an action movie, and it's definitely not as intense as say the first 10 minutes of Flight for instance. It's more of a study on how people would react to a situation like this. The decisions Tobias makes as a pilot, and the ones Vedat makes as a terrorist, and how they come crashing together. The film stays afloat because of that.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "His mother was half Turkish." - Tobias (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

Thursday Movie Picks: Period Dramas

This week's theme at Wandering Through the Shelves is the ever divisive Period Dramas. Some love them, some hate them. I have plenty that I enjoy, but I gave myself a rule to not repeat the ones I chose for this theme last year. So here are three more period dramas I enjoy. In fact, let's do a little theme within a theme with the queen of period dramas herself; Keira Knightley. And I won't even use Atonement like you're probably expecting me to.

1) A Dangerous Method

This film about the relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung isn't talked about very much anymore. I think it's a fine film. Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Vincent Cassel were all very good. 

2) Anna Karenina

I think this movie is gorgeous. I loved the costumes so much, though I've never read the book so I don't know how it compares. 

3) Pride & Prejudice 

I'm not big into Jane Austen. I currently own about 6 of her books that I promised myself last year I was going to read, this being one of them, but I haven't finished yet. But for someone who hadn't read it, I really enjoyed this adaptation of it. It's one I'd like to watch again, especially how that I realized Darcy is Tom from Succession. Yes, I know how embarrassing it is that I just noticed that.

Review: Lucy in the Sky

Without the diamonds though.

Lucy Cola (Natalie Portman) is an astronaut who has a truly profound experience in space. So much so that when she can't settle back in with her dorky husband, Drew (Dan Stevens) or her visiting niece Blue Iris. (Pearl Amanda Dickson) As she meticulously prepares to be considered for her next mission, she starts an affair with a colleague, Mark (Jon Hamm) and everything continues to spiral for Lucy. 

Much has already been made about the real story this film is based on and what director Noah Hawley chose not to include, so I won't get into that, but I just have to laugh at this point. I was looking forward to this last year and I thought it looked so much more interesting than the other space movie coming out at the time, Ad Astra. My, how the tables turned.

Lucy in the Sky is real bad. You can read that sentence in Natalie Portman's over the top Southern accent she dons for this role if you like. There was already no saving this screenplay but Hawley's terrible directing choices accentuates how awful this is all around. It's the exact same thing he did with Legion. It becomes less a coherent story and more about how many interesting ways he can shoot a scene. How many different aspect ratios he can use, and just how ~different~ he can make it all look. There's no rhyme or reason. Whatever intent is lost in how distracting everything is. There's no forgiving that terrible cover of the Beatles' song either.

The actors try, but I felt like I was watching shells of characters. Lucy is a character that on paper should be inherently interesting. She's having a crisis over her entire existence, that should be compelling right? No, because the film ever really lets us get to know her. Lucy is kind of an asshole, which makes it hard to sympathize with her when we're supposed to. Jon Hamm is just playing Don Draper as an astronaut, and actors like Dan Stevens and Zazie Beetz are given nothing to do. There's also the baffling decision to bring Lucy's niece Iris to the forefront towards the end of the movie as some sort of audience avatar, even though that is wholly unnecessary and she contributes nothing to the plot. 

I'm glad this is on HBO and I didn't have to spend money on this. I feel bad, because I do like Hawley as a writer and I enjoy a lot of the actors but there is nothing redeeming about this movie. Plus, putting that mustache on Dan Steven's beautiful face is offensive.

Recommended: No

Grade: D

Memorable Quote: "I think all this astronaut dick has made you soft." - Ellen Burstyn

Review: Da 5 Bloods

Back together again.

Four men who fought in the Vietnam War; Otis, (Clarke Peters) Paul, (Delroy Lindo) Eddie, (Norm Lewis) and Melvin (Isiah Washington) have returned to Vietnam to bring back the remains of their fallen friend, Norman (Chadwick Boseman in flashbacks, and the main actors also play their younger parts) and the gold he helped them hide.

The newest Spike Lee joint has a lot to say. Much like he's done in the past, he starts and ends with important black figures. This time Mohammad Ali, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He uses their quotes to highlight the conflict of what black soldiers faced during the Vietnam war. They were promised freedom, and didn't get it. These 5 men, calling themselves "Bloods" were all connected. Now that many years have passed, things have changed. Paul in particular is somehow a Trump supporter much to the bewilderment of everyone else. And he has a lot to work out with his son David (Jonathan Majors) who tags along for the ride. Lee easily remains one of the most interesting directors out there, and while this isn't my favorite of his, it's still very good.

The performances in this film are incredible all around. The two that stand out the most are Lindo and Peters. Being a fan of The Wire, Peters I've been very familiar with and seen plenty of his work but for the love of God PLEASE let this be the film that finally gets him an Oscar nomination. (Yes, it's June and we're talking Oscars) He was that good. Lindo I wasn't as familiar with. He probably had the hardest job to do. Saying that Paul has an emotional journey in this film would be an understatement. I really hope they push him as lead and Clarke in supporting. 

I found this to be a bit choppy at times. Lee edits many photos into the story when the characters are talking about various things, almost making it feel documentary-like, but it didn't always work for me. Overall, I'm just excited to have a film like this out on Netflix now. I imagine it's one people are going to be talking about for a while.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B 

Memorable Quote: "Damn, Otis. Just put the gold on Craigslist!" - Melvin (Isiah Washington)

2020 Blind Spot Series: On the Waterfront

What I knew going in: All the Oscars it won and that famous line.

Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) is an ex-fighter working odd jobs on the docks for some shady people. After her brother is murdered, Edie Doyle (Eva Marie Saint) starts asking questions around the docks and catches Terry's eye.

I've heard a lot of people say this is one of Brando's best performances, so that's the main reason I added it to my Blind Spot list. He's great in this (The Godfather is still my #1 of his though) and Eva Marie Saint was as well. They had wonderful chemistry which I sometimes feel is lacking in older dramas that I watch. I found them both compelling and even though parts of the story felt slow, I was always interested in seeing where they went.

This is the second film I've seen from director Elia Kazan, the other being A Streetcar Named Desire, while I think I prefer that to On The Waterfront, I've still been thinking about this film quite a bit, even weeks after I've watched it. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Conscience, that stuff can drive you nuts." - Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando)

Thursday Movie Picks: Prequels

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is prequels! There's no shortage of those nowadays. Some stories are just so good that the people want to know what happened before....or studios just want more money. This week, I want to talk about one of my favorite prequel trilogies.

1) Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I was never a huge fan of the Planet of the Apes franchise, and only reluctantly saw this, but it was a lot better than I expected. It's not the best of the trilogy, but it set up more greatness to come.

2) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Now that the human race is mostly extinct, we get to meet up with Caesar and his apes again, and to best honest they were far more interesting than the left over humans anyways. This was the first time I ever purchased a book version of the film, plus the side story that was released that bridged the gap between this and War. I just wanted to hear more from the apes.

3) War for the Planet of the Apes

I still think the release date hurt this film a bit, but how ballsy to make this huge dark epic done mostly in sign language? War was not for the faint of heart but was a wonderful conclusion to the Apes saga, and I still cannot believe it was robbed of that Visual Effects Oscar. I'll never stop complaining about that.

Review: The Assistant

Did I do the right thing?

Jane (Julia Garner) is working as an assistant to a high powered producer in New York City. We follow her on a single day at work, getting there early, setting everything up, being treated coldly by the male assistants in the office. When she's tasked with training a new assistant, Ruby (Makenzie Leigh) and her first duty is taking her to a hotel room. Jane becomes acutely aware of how differently she's being treated over all.

Julia Garner has been an actress I've enjoyed for a while. I'm glad she's finally getting more recognition due to Ozark but she's been giving solid performances in films long before that. This might be one of my favorites from her. It's very understated but so believable. 

It would be remiss of me not to admit that this movie gets off to a very mundane start, but I liked how we followed Jane through her routine. Knowing what this film is about, I enjoyed watching her have the office to herself for a while knowing a bunch of dudes were going to come in and ruin her day. We never see her Harvey Weinstein-like boss. But we hear bits of him cursing her out on the phone. The dread he leaves around the office is enough and you feel for her as she types up an apology email while her male co-workers loom over her.

One of the strongest scenes, and also one of the most frustrating in the entire film is when Jane takes her thoughts to her HR rep (Matthew Macfadyen) It's heartbreaking and infuriating to watch knowing how often this sort of conversation happens. 

Clocking in at under 90 minutes, this is a short but very effective film with a great lead performance by Julia Garner. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Don't worry, you're not his type." - Wilcock (Matthew Macfadyen)

What I watched on TV in May

More social distancing, more TV. This is what I've been watching on the small screen in the month of May.

Six Feet Under - Yes, after years of saying I was going to start this. I FINALLY did. I actually started it in the last week of April but I already had so much written in my April post that I saved it for here. Over all, I'd say this series was okay. I found it a bit inconsistent. There are some characters in this show, like Brenda, Billy, Rico, and Ruth who I found truly so insufferable at times that I wondered why I was still watching. On the other hand, they had a few episodes powerful enough to move me to tears. The writing usually stayed true to the characters, season 4 when they handled a certain characters' death was the only time I found it questionable. I had heard for years that this show has one of the best series finales, and now after witnessing it with all the context, I absolutely agree. What the finale does here in terms of wrapping up everyone's stories is nothing short of incredible. Even if it wasn't the greatest watch at times, the finale really does everything that came before it justice. 

Westworld - I really liked the finale and am looking forward to next season, but this CAN'T be the end of Dolores, right? It wouldn't be Westworld without Evan Rachel Wood. That's the main thing I'm worried about. Also, HBO needs to cool it with the after credits scenes. The one they did here was so extensive I feel bad for anyone that accidentally misses it. 

The Last Dance - Like every other kid who grew up in the midwest during the 90's, I was a fan of the Bulls and Michael Jordan. Despite knowing a lot of things in this documentary already from various articles and interviews throughout the year, I really liked seeing it all laid out like this.

Insecure - Anyone else just STRUGGLING to watch Issa and Molly sabotage their friendship like this? It's hard. This season so far has been really good. I'm a bit upset that no one has gifed the absolute highlight of the season so far - which was Issa's dream sequence in Lowkey Done. EVERYTHING BIIITCH!

Run - This show was SO underwhelming. It got off to such a great start, then a murder happened and it's like the writers didn't know where to take the show after that so they included this weird subplot with a bumbling cop and a good citizen that runs into Billy and Ruby. It ended up just being dumb. 

I Know This Much Is True - Mark Ruffalo is amazing in this. I haven't read the book it is based on, but it's very heavy stuff. I'd call it a must see for any Ruffalo fans out there though.

The Clone Wars - First off, can we talk about Maul's hallway scene? The final season of this show was so good it made me mad about TROS all over again. It also makes me appreciate the prequels a hell of a lot more because they gave us this. I'm glad they came back one last time. It's funny in retrospect to see how Maul lives through all these crazy events when you know how quickly Obi Wan kills him in Star Wars Rebels. And I really hope we see Ahsoka again in future stories. 

Little Fires Everywhere- I caved and renewed my Hulu subscription and binged this all in a day. WOW was Reese Witherspoon's character awful in this. She was wonderful, don't get me wrong, but I hated her so much. She and Kerry Washington were both very good. It's the kids that really stood out in this series for me. Lexi Underwood and Megan Stott most of all. Pearl and Izzy were easily the ones I sympathized with the most, and both those actresses were wonderful. I liked how the show talked about privilege and how it forced the characters to examine their casual racism. My only gripe was how Bebe and Linda's story ended. It just left such a sour taste in my mouth. I know it ended that way in the book but it just felt cruel.

Mrs. America - I've been following The Film Experience's Emmy predictions coverage and they talk about Mrs. America a lot, so I needed to see what all the fuss is about. I'd hate to be an Emmy voter this season. There are so many great performances from women in this show to choose from. Ari Graynor, whom I fear won't get enough attention because she's not as famous as some of the other women here is wonderful and I really hope she's recognized. 

Unorthodox - This is a 4 episode mini series on Netflix that's mostly in Yiddish  is about a woman who escapes from an ultra-religious community in New York to Berlin. I loved it. I thought the lead actress Shira Haas was beyond amazing and is deserving of so many awards. This felt like the perfect length for this story too. It showed the perfect amount of her life before she leaves and how it isn't easy to start over when that's all you've ever known. I can't recommend this enough. 

Thursday Movie Picks - Seven Deadly Sins: Sloth

I've been finding it hard to talk about movies this week with everything going on, but I've had this post written up for over a month now and I'm going to try to get back on track. Movies are my happy place, after all.

It's another Seven Deadly Sins edition at Wandering Through The Shelves and this week we're talking about Sloth. I love how challenging this series has been, and I know I say this every time..but this one was really tough! I know "Sloth" is more than just laziness but here's what I could come up with in a category that was stumping me.

1) Avengers: Endgame

How does this action packed film end up in the sloth category? Well, for good ol' Thor. I'll admit, when I read the spoilers prior to seeing the film about Fat Thor I was terrified because how dare you do that to beautiful Chris Hemsworth, but Thor completely letting himself go to video game and beer is pretty slothy. 

2) The Big Lebowski

The film where Thor probably got his inspiration from, The Dude is the epitome of Sloth. It took someone ruining his rug of all things to get motivated

3) Shaun of the Dead

Nick Frost's Ed is a master slacker, though he does sort of step it up once the zombie apocalypse hits. 

At The Movies Challenge

Katy over at Oh So Geeky had the wonderful idea to use this time in quarantine to reflect on our most memorable trips to the movie theater. Her rules are simple, write about at least five memories you have of going to the movies, no matter the theater size. I wanted to focus on positive memories and not all the times I wanted to scream at someone to shut up during a show. I realized when compiling everything that a lot of my positive memories are from blockbuster films. I suppose because of the large crowd size. But here are a few wonderful memories I have in no particular order.

Titanic -This is the first movie I can recall my parents letting me go to without them. Everyone in my school went to see Titanic multiple times and I got to go with a couple of my friends. 

 The Matrix Revolutions - I took the greatest nap during this movie and woke up with about 15 minutes left. My friend was shocked that I slept through it all but to do this day, the most memorable thing about this movie was that awesome power nap. I can't do that anymore.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - I love midnight showing for franchises that I'm into, and this one was fun because everyone was batting around a giant beach ball waiting for the movie to start. Then a random woman caught it and stabbed it because she "didn't want to deal with that during the movie" like 300 Potter heads in a theater at midnight on a Thursday would be doing anything but watching the movie once it came on. Chill, Karen. 

Atonement - I used to have to drive a few hours if I wanted to see any smaller movies and I saw this one in a theater that I affectionately referred to as "the closet" because it had about 30 seats and you can tell that room originally had another purpose. But The Closet brought me and one other random woman together as we both stayed behind and sobbed openly at the end of this movie.

Avengers: Infinity War - The cool thing about this movie was that I saw it on two different continents during its opening weekend, so I got to contribute to two different box offices. I saw it in England on opening day, then when I came back to the U.S that Sunday I went straight to the theater here and watched it with my family again. 

The Lion King - This is the first movie I can remember seeing in theaters and it is still to this day one of my favorite animated films.

The Work of William Kentridge - This wasn't technically in a theater, but I was lucky enough to visit the EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam last summer and watched several of William Kentridge's short films during the exhibit. There's so many cool museums to visit in Amsterdam but if you go, don't miss this one. The ferry ride behind Centraal Station to get there is free, and it's only about 6 euros to enter the featured exhibit (which is where I saw these films) the other part is also free. 

Prisoners - There's a case for crowds elevating a film and even though I love Prisoners on its own, I had the funnest time seeing this in a packed theater because everyone was so into it. There was a point where I felt like the entire theater gasped in unison. 

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace - I started to really get into Star Wars a few years before the prequels would eventually hit theaters. My dad and I went to all the re-releases of the original trilogy together and when the day came for The Phantom Menace the theater was so packed we couldn't find two seats next to each other so we sat apart. I remember walking down the aisle at the end of the movie to find my dad with the most incredulous expression ever on his face. He was not a fan.

The Dark Knight - Just because the entire theater went insane when Joker made that pencil disappear. 

Avengers: Endgame - And finally, what easily has to be the coolest theater experience I ever had. Seeing Avengers: Endgame at the TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles on opening night. I've never been with a crowd that excited before and IMAX treated us very well. We all got Avengers t-shirts and posters for the occasion, and they were doing giveaways, trivia and a costume contest before the film started. Everyone screamed when...well, literally anything cool happened. It was just an unforgettable experience. I loved every second of it.