Movies are a big deal in LA. So, today, my last full day in LA for a little while, was spent watching a couple movies. And also a trailer for a movie that was even a bigger deal than either movie. The two movie-going experiences really represented how much movie-watching has changed just in the last few years.
So, you might have heard that they released a teaser trailer for the new Star Wars movie today. You can watch it online here OR you could go to one of only 30 or so movie theatres that were showing it today to see it on a big screen. Guess which option we chose?
We had to drive about 20 minutes to get to the theatre, which happened to be at a giant shopping center on the busiest shopping day of the year. By some magic we found a parking spot within a few minutes so that major headache was avoided. Nominally, we were going to see the new Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay (Part 1), but that was in a lot of ways an excuse to see the Star Wars trailer. We were definitely not the only people there to see the trailer; I counted at least 10 people with Star Wars t-shirts on in the theatre.
My brother and I made a pact not to watch the trailer online before we saw it on the big screen. And I’m glad I waited (he cheated a bit and saw some screen grabs of it beforehand). It was the last trailer they showed before the movie and I think maybe they purposely showed way more trailers than usual in order to build up the tension or something. I think my brother was starting to worry that they weren’t going to show it. But they did and it was amazing. People in the theatre clapped when it was over.
I think my first thought about it was relief. Like, it looks like Star Wars (the original and only real trilogy). You can tell that J.J. Abrams and team really cared about keeping the look and feel of the original movies. Focusing on practical effects and real sets, you can really see a clear difference from the CGI disasters of episodes 1, 2, and 3. So yay! Only one year until a new Star Wars movie that might actually not suck for a change.
Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 was alright. Not nearly as good as the first two movies. It was slow, so the reasoning for splitting up this book (which was the weakest of the three in my opinion) is so obviously a money-making move and not actually based on storyline or plot. But oh well. It was fine.
After that movie, we had some dinner and went back to my brother’s apartment. My sister-in-law wanted to watch the movie What If. So, in true 2014 fashion, we bought the movie online and downloaded and watched it about 5 minutes later. How things have changed. It was actually pretty good, for a romantic comedy.