I had lunch with a board member today that told he and his wife went to 36 movies last year. In the theater.
And they are well on their way to attending another 36 this year.
That’s a lot of movies.
I don’t go to the movies very often. This year we did make the effort to see many of the Oscar nominees before the awards, just for the fun of it. We ended up seeing seven of the best picture nominees and a few others over a couple of months, but some of them were on DVD or Pay-Per-View.
I thought the number was pretty impressive until today.
My problem isn’t just that sometimes I don’t want to leave the house to see a movie. I also severely limit myself on which movies I’m open to seeing.
To show you what I mean, here are a few classic, talked about or highly anticipated films that I will never see and why.
I have a low grade fear of fire and tend to avoid watching movies about them, fire fighters or arsonists.
In addition to watching a house go up and flames when I was a child, I was traumatized by the Waltons episode where the family home burned to the ground. I remember John Boy crawling through the smoke and those ash covered children to this day.
I’m sure Backdraft is a great movie. It stars talented actors like Robert DeNiro, Kurt Russell and Donald Sutherland. Actors I’ve enjoyed in other movies.
I just have no desire seeing them get singed, exploded, burned or charred.
Saving Private Ryan
I can read stories about war, although I don’t often. But watching people get blown to bits on screen is too much for me.
I don’t care how great the story is, I don’t watch war.
The only time I’ve sat through war on screen was in Atonement. And that’s only because of my love of Ian McEwan books.
And I forgot about how graphic and disturbing the book’s war scenes were. If I had remembered, I probably wouldn’t have gone. Even for Ian.
The same thing goes for boxing movies. They’re too violent.
I haven’t seen Cinderella Man, Million Dollar Baby, The Fighter or any of the Rocky movies.
Even though they are willing participants, there is something inhumane about boxing. Two people in a ring, pummeling each other.
The whole point of boxing movies is to get the audience to care for one of the fighters, just to watch him or her get the crap beaten out of them in the ring as some point.
Even if they are triumphant in the end, the fight scenes aren’t worth it.
Snakes on a Plane
There’s not much to say about this one that isn’t in the title. Snakes. On a plane. Who in the world thought that was a good idea for a movie?
Even worse than snakes, I refuse to watch any movie that I know has a rat or mouse in it.
(The only exception is The Princess Bride and that’s because the Rodents of Unusual Size or R.O.U.Ses are clearly people in big rat suits.)
My ban on mouse movies extends to cartoons too. I haven’t seen American Tail or Ratatouille. I know they are supposed to be cute, but they are still rodents.
The trouble with mouse movies is that often you don’t know it’s a mouse movie until you’re watching it. Film makers seem to think it’s cute to drop a mouse or two into a perfectly good movie, thereby ruining it.
That’s why I think there should be a rodent warning on all movies, along with the sex, drugs, language rating.
I avoid all movies about animals, unless I am 100% sure that no animals will die during the film. Not just the lead animal, any animal.
I have never seen Old Yeller, The Yearling, that racehorse movie that came out a few years ago.
Warhorse, of course, is a double whammy because it’s about an animal in a war.
The Dark Knight Rises
I see very few superhero movies. I don’t have a ban on them, I just don’t care about superheroes so I haven’t seen any of the Dark Knight trilogy.
But I did see the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises and if I had been considering seeing the film it would have convinced me to stay away.
First, the trailer was so loud that I couldn’t hear myself think over the noise.
And it just had these swooping shots of buildings and someone who I guess was Batman fighting bad guys and more swooping and more noise.
I was motion sick within two minutes.
I don’t like swooping and I don’t like big, loud movies.
A reviewer in NPR this afternoon said he couldn’t wait to see this movie in an IMAX theater. Just the thought of it makes me nauseous.
So with all these self-imposed limitations, I don’t think I’ll ever reach 36 movies a year. They only make so many romantic comedies and indy films.
And if you know of any wartime films where a boxer and his pet rat and snake are rescued from a house fire by a swooping superhero who neglects to save the family cat, let me know. I’ll be sure to avoid it.