Due to popular demand (and by “popular demand,” we mean @TheBestCaptainK asked), you are about to enter a world that has heretofore been unseen by the public. A world driven by obsession, greed, lust and a lot of wasted money. The world of…
As you might have suspected, I have been a… hmm… let’s say “enthusiastic” moviegoer for most of my life. I’ve also been borderline OCD most of my life, so I have kept pretty much every movie ticket I’ve ever paid for. I don’t have any movie tickets from my early childhood but I assume that is due to the fact that when I was a child, my family and I frequented a drive-in theater AND a second-run theater that would not have given us ticket stubs. Tickets to movies that I absolutely know I saw at walk-in theaters when I was a kid (Beauty and the Beast, Batman & Robin, The Mighty Ducks movies, etc.) are either stuffed in a childhood scrapbook somewhere or are just plain lost.
Note the disgustingly reasonable matinee price of $3.75!
Because of the aforementioned second-run theater (our beloved drive-in closed in 1996), I only have 6 tickets from 1998-2000. (Spice World, The Parent Trap, Disney’s Tarzan, Star Wars: Episode 1, The Flintstones: Viva Rock Vegas, Chicken Run and Ron Howard’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas.)
2001 was a bit more eventful cinematically, with On the Line starring *NSYNC’s Lance Bass and Joey Fatone opening and I, being the dutiful teenybopper that I was, felt the need to see it 4 times. (In addition to the four OTL trips, we also have Carman: The Champion (seriously, don’t ask), Spy Kids, 2 trips to Josie and the Pussycats (SO UNDERRATED!), Shrek and The Princess Diaries.)
In 2002, a different teenybopper craze took over and my love for Shane West and romantic melodrama led me to see A Walk to Remember 3 times. (We also have Britney Spears’ Crossroads, The Rookie, Spiderman, Star Wars: Episode 2 (twice), Scooby-Doo, Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie, and Tuck Everlasting.)
2003 was relatively uneventful as far as movie obsessions go. Here we see tickets to Just Married, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, X2: X-Men United, Finding Nemo, From Justin to Kelly (not underrated!), Hulk, Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (aka “THE GOOD ONE”), Freaky Friday, and one of the best movies of all time: ELF.
2004 was a big year. I graduated from high school, which meant 3 things:
1) More free time
2) Graduation money to burn
3) Identity crisis time!
And what better place to find yourself than at the cinema? We began the year off right with Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, things took a turn when my aunt invited me to go to her church’s screening of The Passion of the Christ but things picked back up with Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Skipping ahead we have Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Van Helsing, Troy, The Notebook, The Bourne Supremacy, White Chicks (not my fault), King Arthur, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (a historic day in Crystal history) and The Incredibles. I saw 13 Going on 30, Mean Girls, Shrek 2 and (for some reason) Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow two times each while I embarked on the epic journey that was Spiderman 2 three times. And because I am strange, I also saw The Day After Tomorrow and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story 3 times as well.
2005 was an extremely important year in the History of Cinema According to Crystal. (Yes, that’s a thing.) Not only was the world blessed with the very first Judd Apatow feature (The 40 Year Old Virgin, which I sadly only saw once in theaters) but we also received Joss Whedon’s Serenity, a film that means so much to me, I don’t even know how to describe it. I saw Serenity in theaters 5 times in 2005 (and 4 more times in subsequent years, which we’ll get to a little later).
Also viewed multiple times this year: Wedding Crashers (thrice) and Rent (twice).
Movies with single viewings included Guess Who? (not my fault and RIP Bernie Mac), Star Wars: Episode 3, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Batman Begins, Bewitched, Fever Pitch, Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, Fantastic Four, Kicking and Screaming, Red Eye, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Baxter (RENT THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT), Just Like Heaven, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, Walk the Line, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Family Stone and Elizabethtown.
Various personal issues (plus general movie suckage) made 2006 a light year for movies. A final reprise of Rent at a second-run theater kicked off the year and then I didn’t make it to the cinema again until April when I caught James Gunn’s Slither (underrated!).
The only movie I saw more than once this year was X3: X-Men United, a movie which I hate with a passion. I didn’t want to see it twice necessarily, but when I saw it on opening day I had the misfortune of sitting in front of a child who insisted on pushing my seat back and forth while he chanted “Poo-poo! Poo-poo!” in a not-quite-indoors voice. Despite pleas to stop (to both the child and his guardian, who was also talking during the movie), this went on for the duration of the film and we ended up asking for refunds (apparently a lot of people did). The next day I went to a different chain to see and hear the movie and it turned out it was horrible. So. (Yes, that’s seriously the end of the story.)
Other films from this year: American Dreamz, The Break-Up, Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest, The Devil Wears Prada, You Me and Dupree (a serious candidate for the title of “Worst Movie I’ve Ever Seen”), Poseidon, Pulse, Stranger Than Fiction and The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D.
2007 found some cinematic relief, quality-wise at least, in the form of Knocked Up and Superbad. In fact, Superbad ended up being one of only two films that I purposely saw more multiple times this year. (Both Superbad and the UNDERRATED Beatles musical Across the Universe were viewed 4 times. I also saw Hairspray, The Simpsons Movie, Shrek the Third and Blades of Glory twice each, but those were out of courtesy to people who had not yet seen them.)
2007 was marred by what I liked to call “the curse of the threequels.” Fittingly enough, three threequels were released and all of them sucked all life and interest out of the franchise as far as I’m concerned. The perps? Shrek the Third, Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End and one of the most odious crimes committed against my love for movies EVER: Spiderman 3. Bleh.
Other tickets bought this year: 1408 (CUSACK, MY LOVE), Hot Rod (Cool beans), The Bourne Ultimatum (The threequel exception that proves the rule) , Ratatouille (3rd favorite non-Toy Story Pixar flick? Discuss!), License to Wed (obviously awful), Live Free or Die Hard (I LIKED IT, OK?) and Transformers (still watchable, despite the sequel’s threequel-esque quality).
2008 started off smashingly with Enchanted and a double-whammy of both Juno and Cloverfield. Then things went off the rails a bit with things like Jumper, Vantage Point (there’s a story behind that one!), Get Smart and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But then came the bright spots. Baby Mama (seen 3x), Stepbrothers, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Wall-e and my beloved Pineapple Express (seen 4x). The universe gives and the universe takes, I suppose.
Other films seen: Be Kind Rewind, Semi-Pro, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Hancock, Eagle Eye, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, High School Musical 3: Senior Year (FOR MY 21st BIRTHDAY, OF COURSE), Yes Man and what is most likely actually the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my life: Four Christmases (or as I have come to call it: “Vince Vaughan, WHAT HAPPENED?!”)
2009 was perhaps as close to a golden age of cinema as I’ve come thus far. For every disappointment (The Invention of Lying, Whip It, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), there was a film that defied every and any expectation I had going in (Up, Where the Wild Things Are, Star Trek). For every dud (Sunshine Cleaning, Public Enemies), there was a gem waiting to be discovered (District 9, The Hangover). In the land of Crystal, 2009 will mostly be remembered as the year that I was introduced to Adventureland, Funny People and (500) Days of Summer, three films that are so indicative and representative of my heart, soul and psyche that they were actually uncomfortable to watch at some points. It’d been a while since I’d encountered a movie that felt personal to me, like it’d burst out of my soul and splashed itself across cineplexes across the world – and in 2009 I got three of them! I felt spoiled. It was amazing.
Also spoiling me in the two thousand and ninth year of our Lord: Fanboys, Watchmen (2x), I Love You Man (4x), Observe and Report, 17 Again, Land of the Lost, Away We Go, Inglourious Basterds (2x), It Might Get Loud, Jennifer’s Body (2x), The Informant, Zombieland, Toy Story 3D, Taking Woodstock, The Box, 2012, and the outstanding Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Which brings us to 2010.
I began the year by participating in AMC’s Best Picture Showcase, an awesome review (and helpful catch-up) of 2009’s best and brightest.
This turned out to be a fitting precursor to the year the cinema gods had in store for me, as I quickly made up for lost time (illness had kept me away from the theater for a couple of months) and drank in such films as: The Runaways, Cop Out, Hot Tub Time Machine, How to Train Your Dragon (in 3D), Date Night, Death at a Funeral, Kick-Ass, Iron Man 2, MacGruber, Get Him to the Greek (2x), The A-Team (2x), Toy Story 3, Salt, Inception (3x) and The Other Guys.
THEN… this happened:
YEAH. And THAT resulted in THIS:
Yes folks, 2010 was officially the year that Crystal went cuckoo bananas (or was it?!) and I saw Scott Pilgrim vs. The World a whopping 12 times in theaters. (And I actually have tickets to a special midnight screening that will make it 13 in a couple of weeks). What can I say? I loved the film and apparently so did a lot of people in Long Beach, CA because the film ran for an astounding 7 weeks at my local theater and was jam packed every single time I saw it.
Life got a little less exciting once my good buddy Scott left town but his spirit lives on as I’ve yet to see a real dud since: The Town, Easy A (2x), Pirahna 3D, You Again, Catfish, The Social Network (3x), Buried, It’s Kind of a Funny Story and Jackass 3D. AND just last week my family and I were lucky enough to participate in AMC’s 25th anniversary screening of Back to the Future, a childhood favorite of mine.
Speaking of favorites, I believe all that leaves us with is my special Serenity trips!
Can’t Stop the Serenity is an annual fan-organized charity event that begin in 2006 to benefit Equality Now, an organization that Joss Whedon has been involved with many years. Every year Serenity is shown on the big screen (more recent events have worked in Dr. Horrible screenings as well), auctions and raffles are held and the proceeds go to a good cause. My brother and I have gone every year since its inception but unfortunately had to sit out the 2010 event, as behind-the-scenes drama evidently tried to “stop the Serenity” and the Los Angeles screening was moved to a date and location that we were not able to make.
If you’ve made it this far, I offer you my sincerest congratulations and appreciation! This blog was brought to you by my pack rat nature and undiagnosed but assuredly present OCD. Until next time, folks, I’ll be at the movies.