Thursday, November 15, 2012

Back to the Movies

I used to love to go to the movies. Back in the 70's and 80's not a weekend would go by without me seeing the latest new release. I even stood in line for hours to see the first Star Trek movie. So I'm not sure when and why I stopped going. There are several possibilities... My life got busier once I had a career, and movie theaters got yucky - the seats were disgusting, your feet stuck to the floor from all the spilled sodas, and too many other patrons were rude and distracting. I like watching a good movie in my pajamas, from my own sofa, where I can pause the action if I need something to eat or to run to the bathroom.

In recent memory, I've only been to the movie theater for several movies I REALLY wanted to see on the big screen. Titanic (1997 at Mann's Chinese Theatre in LA - thanks, Thom), Chicago (2002), Dreamgirls (2006), and Cowboys and Aliens (2011 - couldn't resist Harrison Ford AND Daniel Craig). I've always enjoyed Bond movies; and when the reviews started coming out for Skyfall, I wanted to go. We made plans with friends, bought tickets online, and headed to the afternoon matinee yesterday.

Skyfall is the best movie I've seen in a long, long time. (No Spoiler Alert necessary, by the way.) The story line is easy to follow, but solid and has impact. It's personal this time, for Bond, for M, and for the excellently creepy bad guy played by Javier Barden. New characters are introduced: a young and cocky Q who needs further development, and a government official barking at the heels of Judy Dench's M (who holds a few good surprises).

This may sound counter-intuitive, but there was a simplicity to this movie I loved. They didn't jerk us all over the world from scene to scene merely to show off glamorous locations(although there was just enough). The cinematography was beautiful, and avoided digression into that annoying dark, brooding lighting in which you can hardly see what's going on. Characters we already know were developed into people to whom we could relate. There were chinks in Bond's armor, and M's job was threatened. The "Bond Women" were only tangential to the story - not useless, whining women with torn bodices distracting Bond. The action was spectacular, and convinced me that some film reality is now influenced by the improbable stuff in video games. How many ways can you craft a chase scene? You would think that all the ideas and stunts were used up by now, but no! This movie elicited a few chuckles , some collective gasps, held breath, and a hint of damp eyes.  I enjoyed every minute.

All this and my feet didn't stick to the floor. Perhaps we're back to the movies.      

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