Friday, April 13, 2007

Date night!

In a rare synchronicity of kid-events, me being organized and planning ahead, and the kindness of friends from church, Craig and I have managed to farm out both children to different families for the night. With no family in the area, and no promising teenagers in our neighborhood, we rarely get a night out without kids unless we convince some kind soul to take our children for a sleepover. So thanks to those families, if you're reading. Trust me, we owe you and will repay you as soon as possible.

Craig has a master's degree in film, and we used to spend an embarrassing portion of our income on movie tickets before we had children. Seriously, internets, how many people do you know that, in labor, go to see a movie? (Con Air, if you were wondering. Nicholas Cage can totally get my mind off anything bad. Dreamy.) Our first vacation (after our honeymoon, of course) as a married couple was to the Chicago Underground Film Festival. Richard Kern and Chris Gore were featured speakers, and sweet Craig was in heaven.

I enjoyed a few of the films that were screened that weekend, and we even purchased a couple of them on video (VHS, actually....this was 1994).

Keep in mind this was just a couple years after Quentin Tarantino had just hit the scene with Reservoir Dogs. The film world was changing, fast. Independent film was coming to larger audiences and larger audiences were coming to independent film.

(I promise, I'm getting back to date night....really!)

All that to say, movies were a big part of our courtship and early marriage. Going to the movies, well, that was what we did. And even after the kids were born, we often found ourselves at the movies. Afternoon matinees were generally not crowded, and when our first child was a baby, we just took her with us and hoped for sleep. The drive-in was another favorite, since we could bring our own food and kids receive free admission up to age 12.

But as the kids got old enough for us to care what they saw on the screen, we pretty much stopped going to movies. Too difficult to arrange for the kids to be somewhere else. And Netflix and Greencine made it easier to decide to wait for the video. Oscar time, Craig feels the need to see all the films before the awards. This year we were lucky: half of them were already on video. We did go to the theater to see The Queen, but I don't think we've seen a "grown up" movie since then. Until tonight, that is. Because we're going straight back to the mid-1990's and seeing Grindhouse. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Three-and-a-half hours of crazy action, old-skool-style.

I can't wait.

Edited to add:
Apparently the movie TANKED at the box office last weekend, so there was a rep from the studio there talking to folks before and after the movie, and we had questionnaires to complete after. I selected "About what I expected" among the choices of "Was the film....better than you expected, about what you expected, not as good as you expected?" Because I expected awesomeness. And yes, people, it was awesome. Exploding zombies, loss of limbs, fast cars, fast women, and a stunt woman playing herself. My back was tired from the 3.5 hours of awesomeness. And the fake previews? Were awesome too. Craig and I had different opinions about the previews and the films: I preferred the zombie insanity of Robert Rodriguez's "Planet of Terror" while he preferred the muscle car road rage of Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof." And my favorite preview: "Machete." I would see that movie if it really existed. He liked the two slasher previews: "Don't" and "Thanksgiving."

The demographics in the theater were unsurprising: about 65% male, 90+% white, 70+% 30-40 age range. So yeah, WE were the audience. Cloned. Because when I see movies in the theater? I'm often one of few females. I dunno...slasher films leave me cold, but give me "cartoon" violence, especially if it's wacky (like a machine gun attached to the stump of a woman's leg?!) and over-the-top.



Anonymous said...

The older I get, the more I can't tolerate violence in film. Even artsy film violence. Even artsy film violence with a deeper meaning. Or even artsy, deep,film violence as a tribute to 99-cent pulp fiction theatre.

Did I jsut say "pulp"?

I envy your date night. Trying to figure out who is brave enough to deal with two kids and an infant.


Aaron & Alaine said...

Date night - oh the envy. I have 3 kids, ages 7 and under....when we relocated I went into a deep depression that I would never see date night again. I am so thrilled whenever I find that couples have managed to prioritize getting together, without the little people. I am a firm believer that the best gift we can give them is a happy set of parents.

So - Good for you, from the Netflix target family!

Brad said...

So how was Grindhouse? It looks quite fab, but I doubt I'll make it out of the house in time to see it in the theatre.

Almost Vegetarian said...

I totally understand your feeling about movies. Netflix has just made it far, far too easy to avoid the big-head-in-front, the open-mouth-popcorn-muncher-in-back, the poor elderly person down the aisle who inevitably falls asleep, the out-of-control-child and exasperated mother, and the giggle-at-all-the-wrong-times teenagers.

But, come Oscar-time, I agree with your husband: Must see the movies. Ideally, in the theater. It's the mark of the film major, I suppose.

But Netflix will never kill the theater, at least not for me. I still get that little thrill when the movie starts. You just can't get that at home, alas.


Kelly said...

Totally agree with you about Grindhouse. I loved it. All of it. I really don't understand why it flopped. I read somewhere that Robert Rodriguez thinks people didn't understand the double feature concept. I thought it was great.

Kelly said...

That was me, by the way. I don't know how I got that invalid blogger ID as my default identity here.