Posts Tagged ‘Film’

30 Days Challenge: Film Pt. 5

July 6, 2020


25 – A film you like that is not set in the current era

The Sting was made in the 1970s but is set in the mid-1930s. It stars Robert Redford and Paul Newman. It is one of the most quintessential con/heist movies in film history. Basically, the movie is a revenge story of a group of ‘honest’ criminals coming together to take out a violent crime boss. In some movies, this would be done by storming something and people getting gunned down over and over until somebody yields. In this movie, they decide to both embarrass and bankrupt their target. The movie has a lot of fun twists and turns and keeps you guessing until the end. Redford is arguably the main character as a hustler who goes on a journey to learn the ‘big con’ in order to achieve greater success and revenge. Paul Newman is also excellent as the mentor figure who comes up with the plan. A classic movie with a great plot.


26 – A film you like that is adapted from somewhere

At first glance, this movie is just a fun romp through the Southern United States during the mid-1930s (again). The movie is actually a loose adaptation of The Odyssey, a Greek epic poem (sequel to The Illiad) about the hero Odysseus’ long trip back from the Trojan War which is cursed by Poseidon. There is a cyclops, Sirens/Witches that turn people into animals, Lotus Eaters (who are actually Baptists), and so many more. It is a really clever take on the poem with certain things popping up that just fit with the famous book so well. The movie also mixes in a lot of the mythology of the Southern United States. For example, we have a stand-in for Robert Johnson and his famous deal with the devil. George Clooney is excellent as the central figure and Oddyseus stand-in. However, I really have to give more credit to John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson who are both brilliant as his compatriots. Nelson is especially great as the movie’s comic relief. Also a shout out to Charles Durning who once again plays a somewhat crooked and disingenuous politician. The movie is beautiful and it has one of the best all-time soundtracks.


27 – A film that is visually striking to you

I had to go with the original Candyman because of the imagery and the set design. Filmed in the actual since-demolished Cabrini-Green projects, the movie is fairly simple but brilliant. The movie has such good symbolism and imagery for a horror movie, similar to dreamlike imagery in Nightmare on Elm Street and Prom Night 2. However, a lot of it takes you by surprise. Some of it is even startling graffiti in the background which mostly covers a plot point that is only touched on. I wonder if the new version will go more into depth with it. Bees are featured prominently and that is incredibly strong imagery for me since I am very scared of bees. The movie plays a lot with allegorical and dream symbols which give more of an inner look to the title character rather than his victims.


28 – A film that made you feel uncomfortable

As a horror aficionado, a lot of films have definitely given me the willies and I considered using them. However, instead, I will go with the first movie I can remember that really gave me the willies (pun intended). The Temple of Doom has a startling amount of gross-out moments. There is the famous dinner scene with delicacies like monkey brains, tiger eye soup, snake surprise, and fresh beetles. Not exactly my cup of tea when I was a little kid and the scene is designed to make you squirm. Speaking of squirming, there is a scene when Willie has to press a switch to save Short Round and Indy but the alcove where the switch is is filled with all sorts of creepy-crawly insects. It made me shudder even as I was cursing her for hesitating. There is also the famous scenes of people’s hearts being pulled out of chests. On top of that, I was always grossed out by the scene where Indy is poisoned, just the look on Ford’s face as he acts it out.


29 – A film that makes you feel good

Hellboy was the movie that made me fall in love with Guillermo Del Toro but also Ron Perlman. The movie is very dark but Perlman’s Hellboy keeps cracking jokes and never gives up. The dialogue is also really good. The movie is about a group of misfits who are fighting against impossible odds. Perlman is so damn charismatic. However, we also have David Hyde Pierce with the beautiful movements of Doug Jones. Selma Blair is pitch-perfect as a pessimist who learns some optimism. John Hurt has the best dry sense of humor. There is also Jeffrey Tambor and Rupert Evans who are great as well. The movie is made by the dialogue and chemistry but the visuals also knock it out of the park. Part of what further endears this movie to me is the awesome director commentary and also a separate cast commentary with Ron Perlman. Selma Blair, Jeffrey Tambor, and Rupert Evans which both feel like watching the movie with friends.


30 – A film with your favorite ending

There were a lot of good choices here but I finally went with The Thing because the ending really stuck with me and continues to stick with me. I found myself nodding as it was happening and just thinking it was perfect as the credits rolled. For those who do not remember, The Thing is about a shape-shifting alien that slowly takes over a research base in Antarctica. After the base explodes, only two people remain alive: MacReady and Childs. The viewer cannot be a hundred percent sure that either is an alien or not. MacReady and Childs cannot be sure either. There is a silent agreement between the two as they realize that it does not really matter. They start to share a bottle of scotch as they slowly begin to freeze to death. That way, The Thing would surely be killed as well. Besides, they are in the middle of nowhere with no way of escape or shelter. It is an oddly hopeful ending for a dismal result.

30 Days Challenge: Film Pt. 4

June 22, 2020


19 – A film made by your favorite director

I have been on board with Guillermo Del Toro since I first saw Mimic but I really fell in love with him as a director since Hellboy. He is such an imaginative Director who knows how to make brilliant stories with breathtaking visuals. I have loved every single one of his films that I have seen and I am working on finally seeing them all. I feel like this movie was kind of lost from the conversation of his career. I think people went into this movie expecting full-on horror but instead got more of a fantasy drama piece. What I find most amusing about this movie is that it may have had a Disney origin. Del Toro had signed on to do a movie based on Disney’s Haunted Mansion but the project ultimately fell through. Lo and behold, his next project ended up being a movie about a haunted house anyway. It makes me wonder (and I am not alone) whether or not Del Toro recycled some of his ideas from the Disney project into his own thing for Legendary. The movie is a great mystery and a very atmospheric, spooky movie. The visuals definitely made me really feel the movie more than most others (ie the cold, the damp).


20 – A film that changed your life

“Changing your life” is a strong statement. I do feel that movies have the same power that a good book or a good television show has, to move society and expand our minds. One such movie that expanded my mind is Pi, my first experience with the trippy work of Darren Aronofsky. The movie is about a young mathematician who figures out a great breakthrough. He is pursued by the powers that be who want to use the breakthrough for their own ends. The movie is dark and atmospheric but it meant more to me than it just being a good movie. To me, the movie is about knowledge and how to be responsible for it. The government, corporations, and other unscrupulous and corrupt powers will take and pervert knowledge that could be used for good. It also has a really accurate portrayal of chronic pain (which I dealt with for years) and social anxiety which I still deal with.


21 – A film that you dozed off in

I am ashamed to say it but I did fall asleep during Vertigo. It was not that it was a bad movie, I think I had just been suffering through some light sleep deprivation. The movie is really good, obviously, a classic rightfully lauded with honors. At the time, my friend Arthur was excited to show it to me but I yawned and ended up actually falling asleep which unfortunately ended movie night. I felt embarrassed at the time but now I realize my teenage body was just going through normal weirdness and I was also a bit of a night owl which led to sleepiness on other nights.


22 – A film that made you angry

The Boss made me particularly angry. It was somebody else’s choice for a movie night and I was not exactly looking forward to it. I am no big fan of Melissa McCarthy who seems like a one-note comedian who almost completely traffics in fat jokes and plays dumb irredeemable characters. She is kind of like Because of this movie, I will always hesitate before giving Melissa McCarthy a chance. She plays an absolutely horrible woman in the movie who is never shown to have learned any lesson. What makes it worse is that one of my all-time favorite actresses, Kristen Bell, is in this movie. It is such a waste of her talents. The movie is set up to basically crap on Kristen Bell for its entire running time and that is basically the point of the movie.


23 – A film made by a director that is dead

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly is one of the best films of its time. It was such a revelation and I was lucky enough to watch it at a fairly young age. It took an Italian man to reinvent the American Western. Sergio Leone was really good at creating beautiful yet ugly movies with engaging characters. He turned a mostly silent protagonist into something compelling. It is a shame that that actor turned into such an old racist but Leone could hardly be blamed for that. Leone portrayed people as they are, warts and all. Heroes are not paragons of virtue and villains are not absolute monsters.


24 – A film you wish you saw in theaters

I really enjoyed Knives Out but I really think that some of the nuanced humor could have been helped by seeing it with an audience. Also, the movie is really pretty, and seeing it on a bigger screen could not have hurt. There are plenty of other movies, especially during these times of COVID, that I wanted to see in theaters. I missed out on seeing the following in theaters this year or last: Spiderman Far from Home, Onward, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Bloodshot. I would have also loved to see older movies in theaters. In particular, I think of the Marx Brothers movies. I would have loved to laugh along with huge crowds as the brothers’ antics ensued.

30 Day Challenge: Film Pt. 3

June 15, 2020


13 – A film that put you in deep thoughts

I went with Do the Right Thing because it is such an important film that is still relevant today. The movie is written and directed by Spike Lee and is probably his best movie (at least in my opinion). The plot follows a young black man who works as a pizza delivery for an Italian-American restaurant. He is keeping his head down and just trying to make it through his day. In the height of summer, a strange disagreement becomes a racist incident which then becomes a fight. The situation quickly gets out of control until a young black man is killed by a police officer with a chokehold. This sparks the community to violence. The movie makes me really think because it is interesting to follow the course of events and the lines of dialogues to see how things go so badly. Many criticize whether the main character did “the right thing” but it is clear that he did. Those who claim that he did not have fallen into the racist trap of equating property damage with human loss of life or injury. Property can be replaced but a person can never be replaced once they are broken. This is incredibly relevant as I type this right now.


14 – A film that gave you depression

What Dreams May Come is such a depressing film. It is completely about death which is not exactly my favorite subject. Film is escapism and forcing me to contemplate my own mortality is not the escapism that I want. At the time that I watched it, I had recently started my fandom of Robin Williams. I love and continue to love him as an actor and entertainer but I love his comedy above all. He is not funny at all in this movie. There are plenty of movies that are not exactly wacky comedies that I have enjoyed him in but this is a really dire movie. It also has some weird casting choices with two white characters strangely becoming people of color in the afterlife. It also deals heavily with grief and suicide in a way that just drags on and on without being entertaining or uplifting. The movie just felt so dreary.


15 – A film that makes you feel happy

Moana is a film that just exudes joy. The main character is so interesting, a young woman with wanderlust. She denies that wanderlust but then must heed its call when destiny comes calling. The main character’s boundless optimism and determination are inspiring. The sidekick, a demigod, is funny and goofy but is constantly upstaged by a mere human. Every character in the movie is a delight. The monster comes off almost as a Polynesian David Bowie. The coconut goblins are so creative and the action is thrilling. On top of that, a lot of the movie is sunny and bright and it just makes my heart feel good. The songs are written by the excellent Lin-Manuel Miranda and Opetaia Foa’i combining Miranda’s snappy lyrical style with Foa’i’s more traditional island feel. The movie just comes together to form a very happy memory for me. Also, as an aromantic, the lack of a romantic subplot makes me even happier.


16 – A film that is personal to you

When I was in Fifth Grade, I was diagnosed with a structural birth defect that sent me into surgery. I was so afraid as I went into surgery but suddenly I was out like a light and I woke up in the ICU, recovering. As I lay there drugged and feeling completely destroyed, they wheeled a television in. I lay there on my side and watched Aladdin. It was such a gift to me. To be there with my mother and watch a movie that I absolutely love was such a godsend. Whenever I watch the movie, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling about my life being saved. It is also just a really great movie about how class does not matter but the strength of character does. It also about how freedom is more important than just about anything you could ask for.


17 – Favorite film sequel

Thor: Ragnarok was something that I did not expect and I was blown away by. I loved Thor and Thor: Dark World but I seemed to be somewhat in the minority. The two movies each felt like a breath of fresh air but they were both a bit dark. Ragnarok took the concepts from the first two movies and completely shook them up. They put a God in a helpless state and finally, truly having to face humility. The comedy is off the charts without distracting from extremely important messages. It is the first Marvel movie with a truly dynamic and interesting villain and it is a woman. Not just any woman but Cate Blanchett. It is not only a Thor movie but it is also a Loki movie and a Hulk movie. It fully revived a franchise and infused the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with new energy to move forward. This was absolutely necessary moving into the Infinity War.


18 – A film that stars your favorite actor/actress

Life After Beth stars my favorite actress, Aubrey Plaza. Her dark sarcasm and twisted sense of humor never fail to amuse me. She has done more television work but she is starting to get more film work. Life After Beth is an offbeat movie about a girl who dies and comes back as a zombie. Her boyfriend tries to deal with it but eventually, things start falling apart. The movie is funny but it is also off the wall bonkers insane. Aubrey Plaza absolutely makes this movie with her unhinged performance that shows such a range.

30 Day Challenge – Film Pt. 2

June 8, 2020

7 – A film that you will never get tired of

I never really get tired of Fifth Element. It is one of the most quotable movies that I have ever watched. The movie is unashamedly wacky and does not get hung up on taking itself too seriously. The world-building is wild and instantly made me want to know so much more about it. The comedy is strong and plays off of the characters and the plot in a very natural way. This might be low key one of the best movies that Bruce Willis was ever in as it allows him to exercise his comedy and drama chops. Milla Jovovich is a true action star and she really nails the role of a strange but wonderful alien. Some people find Chris Tucker annoying but somehow his character absolutely works for me. Ian Holm is underrated in this but great. The chameleon Gary Oldman is absolutely great as a melodramatic villain. It is still probably my favorite movie soundtrack, full of brilliant techno and a two-part opera piece that is legendary. The director Luc Besson still remains one of my favorites and this is the movie that made me always give him the benefit of the doubt.

8 – A film where you liked the soundtrack more

City of Angels sounded like an interesting concept when it came out but it turned out to be a pretty boring movie. You would think that Nicholas Cage is an earthbound angel who falls in love would be a recipe for a weird but fun movie. It was not even wacky and strange like a lot of so bad that they are good Nicholas Cage movies. It kind of once again proved that Nicholas Cage is at his worst when he is playing a romantic lead instead of a weirdo. However, it does have an absolutely great soundtrack full of bangers. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker, Goo Goo Dolls, Alanis Morisette, and Frank Sinatra are all excellent. Sarah MacLachlan, Peter Gabriel, and U2 are not as good but still alright. An absolutely forgettable movie that spawned a great soundtrack that it never deserved.

9 – A film you hate that everyone else liked

I just never really liked A Christmas Story. I have only recently started to like Christmas movies again period but this one was particularly dismal. Everybody seems to go crazy over this movie every holiday season but I never got it. First, the movie has no coherent plot. It is instead a collection of meandering stories that really do not amount to much. The whole movie feels depressing to me. It follows a family that does not really seem to like each other as they try to get through the holidays. Many of the stories have little to no effect on the rest of the movie and are forgotten as soon as they are done. The pacing is off because the movie is constantly narrated and cuts away to the main character’s fantasies. The narration is often unnecessary as it explains things and character motivation seconds before the movie shows what the narration just said. It is not a happy movie to watch during the holidays or any other time. People seem to love it but it is definitely not my cup of tea.

10 – Your favorite superhero film

This is a really tough one. This is my favorite genre currently and I have not watched a lot of superhero movies that I did not like. I particularly like the Marvel Cinematic Universe as anybody who has read this blog can attest to. However, I think I am going to have to go with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. The movie came out of left field to create a beautiful and nuanced superhero origin story. Miles Morales was a really great innovation on the Spider-Man mythos in the comic books and the character is infused with both Latino and Black culture. This movie did not shy away from that. Miles is an instantly likable character and his journey to become Spider-Man is beautiful. It is also extremely accessible as I have talked to many who are not exactly superhero fans who fell in love with the movie. The animation is some of the most fluid and beautiful that I have seen. They also managed to bring in Spider-Gwen (aka Ghost Spider) and make her not just “the girl”. She is strong, competent but a full character. There is also one of my favorite versions of Peter Parker in the over the hill, dad Spidey who has been around the block. The movie is just so good.

11 – A film you like from your least favorite genre

I do not dismiss any genre offhand but I think the genre that I watch the least is the Romantic Comedy. I think I am still going to go with Trainwreck. Written by and starring Amy Schumer, it is a very real and dark version of a romantic comedy. A lot of romantic comedies follow two horrible people who try to trick each other into a relationship or try to destroy each other. In this, they lean into it by making Schumer’s character into a horrible person and have her truly seek to change. Additionally, she is joined by the genius Bill Hader who is also a somewhat flawed character. The movie includes an honest character arc that is not finished over the course of a day or two but instead goes on for a much longer period. It also confronts alcoholism and more deep-seated emotional problems than most romantic comedies. On top of that, it has Brie Larson in an excellent role. It also has actual comedy which is surprising since it is directed by Judd Apatow. It is not an easy movie to watch but it was so rewarding.

12 – A film that you hate from your favorite genre

That’s a tough one but I think I’ll go with Justice League because it was the culmination of a long project built on rotten foundations. I loathed Man of Steel because it took a potentially interesting character and wasted them. It made me actively like Superman less. This is why I never watched Batman v. Superman which apparently managed to screw up Batman and Lex Luthor. I knew for sure that was true after watching Justice League. It was not a matter of accuracy for me. I grew up with these legendary characters so I have seen so many iterations and versions of them. The problem was that the writing and direction sucked all of the life out of them. They were all assholes but not likable assholes. The attempts at comedy were either cliche or just too colorless. The dialogue is just awkward and clunky. There are a ton of plot lines that just end without being resolved. It poisoned the well to the point where I definitely did not want to see Aquaman after experiencing him in that movie. I am wary of anything that DC produces from here on out. (Birds of Prey rocked, though). Hopefully they change their plan and actually try to make good standalone movies. Now that Snyder is out, they may be able to find better and more diverse directors and writers.

30-Day Challenge: Film

May 25, 2020

1 – The First Film you Remember Watching

I am sure I watched many movies before it but the first movie that was an event, that I remember when I saw it was the 1989 version of Batman. At age 7, I was already a big fan of the character and this would be the first time that I got to stay up to watch a movie. I was so excited and the movie definitely lived up to the hype and continues to do so. This movie still has one of the greatest impacts on my creativity and imagination. This was peak Tim Burton, who worked within the framework of the comic books to create something absolutely new and fresh. Michael Keaton does such a good job of playing both Bruce Wayne and Batman which is a difficult balance to pull off. Jack Nicholson is so good as the Joker with so many quotable lines but a sinister edge to it that just works. The production design and the Prince soundtrack should not work but somehow do.

2 – A film that you like that starts with the first letter of your name

This movie absolutely came out of left field for me. I had never heard of the comic book prior to the release of the film but I wish I had. Still, it was really fun going in blind. The movie is delightfully wild and absurd. It is definitely up my alley as it is both a comic book movie and a video game movie (although it is not actually adapting a specific video game). The movie uses video game terminology and tropes to tell a compelling story about figuring out your life. For those who have not seen it, the elevator pitch is that Scott Pilgrim must defeat Ramona’s seven evil exes if he wants to be her boyfriend. However, the movie has way more to offer than just that. The movie is filled with deep moments accompanied by goofy and offbeat humor. It is probably Michael Cera’s best performance to date. On top of that there are a bunch of great comedic roles from Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza, and Anna Kendrick. We also get Mary Elizabeth Winstead as she was really coming into her own. I once chose this as my birthday movie for the express purpose of messing with and confusing my family.

3 – A film whose title has more than five words

Dr. Strangelove (for short), was a great watch when I first saw it. It is a zany comedy about one of the darkest subjects that you can joke about. Total nuclear annihilation. Set in the middle of the Cold War, a simple mistake threatens the safety of the world. There is a huge cast of characters, all parodying some portion of the Military-Industrial Complex. Three of the major characters are played by comedy legend Peter Sellers. He transforms himself into three very insane characters, the kind of people you hope are not in charge of nuclear weapons but who you fear are. There is also Slim Pickens as exactly what I think of the military. George C. Scott actually plays an over the top comic character which is usually out of his comfort zone. The movie is directed by Stanley Kubrick who is not exactly known for making sunny movies but he was able to inject the story with plenty of dark and zany humor. Additionally, this was my dearly departed friend Joe’s favorite movie so it will always be even more special to me. It is definitely a blueprint for later movies like Death of Stalin which makes the audience laugh as atrocities are performed.

4 – A film with a number in the title

This movie unexpectedly threw me for a loop. This movie is based on a Stephen King short story that I never read. It is one of the simplest adaptations of King’s work and has an astonishingly small cast. The main characters are played by John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. Cusack plays a writer who has recently experienced great loss and travels around the country debunking the supernatural. Receiving a mysterious challenge, he is in for the fight of his life. The movie is a pure horror movie. It relies mostly on psychological pressure than petty jumpscares. Cusack is great as a skeptic who is suddenly shown the light. The movie thrives on unreality and the special effects that show that are absolutely brilliant and understated. This is also possibly Samuel L. Jackson’s most subtle role and it is so interesting to see. The movie feels way deeper than most adaptations of King’s work and that helps drive the point deeper. It is light on plot and heavy on character moments which actually also helps prevent the usual Stephen King rambling. There is also a devious sense of humor running through which twists the knife even further. This was definitely a predecessor of effective horror storytelling like the legendary PT and so many other surreal horror stories about psychological torture.

5 – A film where a character has a job you want

I was always intensely interested in keeping archives and researching things. Indiana Jones was always a fascinating character and for sure I wanted to be him when I was a little kid. I even had a copy of his famous fedora for a little bit. I also wore a tiny bomber jacket with a map on the inside. I wanted to be an adventurer just like him. However, after growing up a bit I realized that I really did not want that. Indy is a professor and I really do not like talking in front of crowds. I also think the rest of his work is pretty dangerous. However, the people who research and catalog the supernatural things, that seems way more interesting to me. We first see this organization at the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. We next see evidence of them in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. If I read between the frames well enough, those scenes mean somebody is in charge of keeping tabs on magical and highly advanced technology. That definitely sounds like an interesting job.

6 – Your favorite animated film

I have written about it many times before but hands down my favorite animated film is The Nightmare Before Christmas. Henry Selick really brought to life a neat little world full of fun lore and interesting characters. It is a great look at depression, passion, and boundaries. Skellington Jack is such an innocent soul for the King of Halloween and it is hard not to see my own bouts with depression in his. I also definitely see Jack’s passion and sense of fairplay in myself. The portayal of Santa Claus is one of the best in cinema history. I would put him up there with the portrayals from Klaus, Ernest Saves Christmas, and The Christmas Chronicles. Santa is best when he is a rounded character who is not saintly good but good because he earnestly sees good and evil in the world and chooses good. Sally is just such an interesting character and it was not often back in the early nineties where a woman was portrayed as the smartest character. The whole cast of characters are so well designed and the animation and music are superb.

One, Please

April 17, 2018

Frank was sitting in his office going over the latest receipts. He was also idly paging through some of the solicitations for upcoming movies on offer. He could hear the printer at the box office and its steady, familiar rhythm. Business was pretty good and it eased his anxiety about running a private movie theater. He had offers from all of the chains to join up but he kind of liked being able to pick the best movies. It made it so he had to worry about his business each week but it was a small price to pay. Besides, it was Monday and the weekend receipts were the best they had been in a long time. It probably had to do with half of the current movies being Oscar nominees. He had slipped away from the office often to rewatch a few of them and they were really good. He often did not care for most so-called Oscar movies but things were looking up.

There was a knock at the door and Frank looked up. There was almost never a problem on Mondays, at least not any that required Frank’s attention. The semi-retired woman who ran box office on Mondays, Sue, was firm and usually could disarm potential problems with a hard look. So, it was a surprise that there was a knock on the door of his private office.

“Come in?” Frank said, a little unsure.

The door opened and Sue poked her head inside. “Hey, Frank. There’s a guy out here complaining.”

“Complaining?” Frank asked. “You can usually deal with a little complaining, Susan.”

Sue grunted. “You know I hate when people use my full name. Something about him is just so… insistent. I think you should talk to him so I can get back to cleaning theater 3.”

“That’s Jimmy’s job,” Frank said. “Wake him up and tell him to get back to work. And you know what? Send the guy in here.”

“Mmhmm,” Sue said and closed the door. A few moments later, the door opened and an unassuming man walked in. He looked a little annoyed but grateful to get to talk to somebody about it.

Frank stood up and motioned to the chair on the other side of the desk. “Please, come in and sit down. My name is Frank Eastman and I own this theater.”

“Eastman,” the man said. “Like the man who invented the film camera. Fitting that you would own a movie theater.”

“I guess so,” Frank said. “I’m not sure if there’s any relation. What brings you to my office, Mister…” It was a blatant attempt at fishing for the man’s name.

“Mister is fine,” the man said. “I have a list of complaints, though. I guess I should get started?”

“Please,” Frank said. “If there’s a problem with my movie theater, I’m interested in fixing it.”

Mister smiled and shrugged. “These are not just problems with your theater, they are problems with all movie theaters.”

“Now you’ve really got my attention,” Frank said. The man seemed incredibly intelligent and warm so why had his complaints unnerved Sue so much? It seemed weird.

The man flipped open a small notepad. “Well, for starters. I had to move my seat because a woman sat down in front of me. She was wearing really strong perfume and it burned my eyes.”

“Alright,” Frank said. “That’s rude. I’m not a fan of people wearing perfume or cologne in public myself but what do you want me to do? It’s not like we can sniff people as they walk in and toss out the smelly ones.”

“Noted,” Mister said. “The couple behind me was talking during the whole movie. Every time I looked back at them, they lowered their voices and whispered but they would only get loud again over time. I had already moved, so I did not want to move again.”

“Well, again, that’s pretty rude but I can’t really stand over everybody’s shoulder and shush them whenever they talk. Movies can inspire people to talk sometimes and I can’t really stop it even if I sometimes want to.”

Mister only grunted at that. “Should I even get into the whole trouble with smartphones? Set aside talking and texting, just checking your phone during the movie can be distracting as the light from the screen suddenly acts as a beacon.”

Frank laughed a little at that. “I hate that too. I really do. I wish I could make the experience great for everyone. I specifically pump the volume to cover up when people talk. I sacrifice more theaters to make them bigger so everyone can find their seat. I do what I can. What do you want me to do? Nail your list to the door like Martin Luther?”

Mister shrugged. For some reason, as he got a little more worked up, he seemed to have more presence. “And why not? Is this not a temple?”

“A temple?” Frank asked. “Wow, I guess I feel the way that I used to feel in church in here sometimes. I’ve never heard anyone talk about it like that.”

“Because this is your temple where you honor me,” Mister said.

“You?” Frank asked. “Who are you?”

Mister sat up in his chair and smiled. “I am the God of Film.”

“What?” Frank asked. “Man, I don’t need crazy today. Monday’s supposed to be my slow day.”

“I can prove it,” Mister said. “There are cameras in each theater, right?”

“Yeah,” Frank said. “I use it to scan for camcorders but I also save a snapshot of each crowd just in case.”

“Bring up yesterday’s snapshots,” Mister said.

Frank shrugged and grabbed his laptop and brought up the folder. “Which showing am I looking at?”

“All of them,” Mister said. “You’ll find me dead center.”

Frank frowned and started looking through the pictures. The first matinee’s picture showed Mister right where he said he was. The next picture, there was Mister again. The third picture was the same. Again and again and again there was Mister dead center, best seat in the house. Then Frank realized the implications of that. Several of those pictures were taken simultaneously. That was impossible.

“What are you?” Frank asked.

“I told you,” Mister said. “The God of Film. Did you expect me to look more like this?” He snapped his fingers and he suddenly changed into an extremely handsome young man with shiny black sunglasses and a big toothy grin. “Or this?” He snapped his fingers and he was suddenly a tall, platinum blonde wearing a fur coat. “This is my temple and you are my priest.”

“I never did any of this for you,” Frank said. “I bought this building to set up a movie theater because I love movies. If I worship anything, it is stories. If I want to watch a movie in peace, I can watch it in my living room or I can screen it here alone. I’m lucky that way. People come to the theater for the experience. Part of that experience is pushing past the petty annoyances and just getting lost in whatever story is playing out in front of you. And you know what? If you can’t get past that, then that’s on you. I’m not sure I even want you around anymore. I have the right to refuse service to anyone.”

“Not to me,” Film said. “You cannot deny me.”

“Well, to quote a really good movie: ‘I cast you out!'” Frank yelled out. Film looked pained and then he faded away, crossfading to somewhere else. It left Frank alone in his temple to do his receipts.


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