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Gosh, I love going to the movies!
by Tony Farinella

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Popcorn .. yum!

Popcorn .. yum!
Even though it's insanely expensive to go to the movies, I still love the theater experience. It's a lot of fun to see a new movie on opening night with a lively audience. It's quite a surreal experience. That being said, you're going to run into a lot of unique personalities. Some of them might be quite annoying. Also, some of them might be entertaining for all the wrong reasons. With this week's column, I'm going to relive some of my most memorable theater experiences. I'm going to leave out names to protect the innocent. I'm also going to leave out names because I didn't meet any of these people or catch their real names. I just shared a theater with them. Nevertheless, they made quite an impression on me! They'll always have a place in my heart. I'll always smile and chuckle when I think about them. I hope this column encourages you to remember your favorite theater experiences. You've gotta love the cinema, right? RIGHT? What's better than movie popcorn? I can't think of too many things better than movie popcorn. It ranks right up there with a good nap.

Horror movies always bring out interesting crowds to say the least. I'll never forget when I saw Wolf Creek back in December of 2005. Yes, I checked out a horror film on a holiday weekend. First of all, the night was very strange. It was rainy and depressing, which I guess is a good atmosphere for a horror film. Before we were allowed into the theater, the lady at the front desk asked for my ID, which I thought was very bizarre. I was 20-years-old at the time. Now, keep in mind I still have a baby face, but do I look 16-years-old? I responded to her by saying: "Wow, you make me feel young again." I was hoping to get a chuckle or two out of this stiff and dull lady. She refuses to acknowledge my comment and simply checks my ID. Upon entering the theater, I noticed a strange smell. It seemed to be hovering all around the area. It's Marijuana, bygod! I stumbled over a couple on my way into the theater. It didn't take me long to realize that they were the couple with the drugs. They simply responded with: "Opps!" Oh boy! I knew I was in for a long movie after this encounter. As I sat down in my seat, I noticed a strange looking group in front of me. They were full of tattoos and piercings. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Since I'm a curious young man, I listened to their conversation. They go back and forth about how they hope this movie is gory and
What a crowd!

What a crowd!
"messed-up." They didn't say messed up, but this is a family column. The film starts shortly after their conversation ends, and it's Wolf Creek time, baby! The film starts off extremely slow. I mean, REALLY SLOW. We get a lot of boring talk and boring people. The audience is starting to grow restless. The group in front of me starts to talk really loud and full of anger. Because of their loud talking, an older woman is not pleased. She responds with: "This ain't your home! Shut up!" I'm starting to get extremely nervous. First of all, I wasted $9.50 on this. Second of all, this crowd might turn violent. Thankfully, the angry group didn't respond. I'm also not sure what happened to the pot-smoking couple. Thankfully, the film ends. It ends with a quiet whimper. The crowd is disappointed. The leader of the angry group simply says: "That F***ING Sucked!" I can't say I disagreed with his comment, but I'm not sure if I would have used the same language as him. Nevertheless, his comment spoke to all of us.

I'll also never forget the time I saw Saw on opening night back in October of 2004. It was a memorable night to say the least. First and foremost, nobody knew what to expect from Saw. We had only seen trailers and previews online for the film. I remember the first time I saw the trailer for Saw. It was during Suspect Zero, which was an interesting film. I was drawn in by the premise of Saw. You had two guys that were stuck in a room together and had no idea how they got there. It also had Cary Elwes! I marked October 29th on my calendar to remember the opening night of Saw. The week before I went to see Saw, I planned on checking out The Grudge. The film ended up being sold out. I was quite disappointed. (Side Note: Once I did see the film, I realized that it was a blessing in disguise) Because of my experience with The Grudge, I knew it would be wise to get to the theater very early for Saw. When Saw was released, horror films were somewhat of a gamble at the box office. You didn't know what to expect from them. After Grudge dominated at the box office, it was a sign that horror films might be back. I arrived at 8:30 for a 10:30 showing of Saw. It was packed already! I picked up my ticket and waited in line for them to let us in.

We were finally let into the movie at about 9:30. Once we were let in, we all raced to find a decent seat. Thankfully, I found a pretty good seat in the middle. It was perfect. As I sat there
Crazy folks!

Crazy folks!
with a group of total strangers, I felt something in the air. All of us were about to witness something special. Before the film started, I heard some interesting comments from the locals. First of all, I heard a bird call. Yes, a bird call. For those of you unfamiliar with a bird call, here's the definition according to Wikipedia: "Calls tend to serve such functions as alarms or keeping members of a flock in contact." Why human beings were doing bird calls at a horror movie is beyond me. I also heard a curious comment from another member of the audience. They stated proudly: "Dick Cheney's a dick" You see, Saw was released right around the time of the presidential election. You come for the horror film, and you stay for the free political message. After the political comment, I noticed a group arriving to see the film at about 10:20. What were they thinking? They looked confused and befuddled at the large crowd. I guess they bought their tickets early and messed around until it was time for the show to start. Didn't they see the large crowd?

The group was interesting to say the least. It was led by a large man in an Oakland Raiders jersey. He was dating a hot chicka. Why you ask? Life isn't fair! He also brought along his dorky friend with his hot girlfriend as well. They apparently thought they were black. They made a lot of comments that started with the word "Yo." The leader said: "Yo, this movie better be good, man. We could've gotten drunk instead." Why didn't they get drunk instead? They could have saved us a lot of headaches. I was sitting next to an African-American woman, and we looked at each other and simply shook our heads. Both of us were thinking the same exact thing about this group of clowns. I seem to always get stuck next to the weirdos. I also noticed some yelling in front of the theater. A large man was trying to maneuver his way to his seat. He seemed like a quiet man that just wanted to eat his popcorn and find his seat. He was told: 'Sit your fat ass down!" The poor guy was shocked. He stood there for a good 20 seconds. He didn't really know how to respond or how to react. After the shock wore off, he decided to sit his fat ass down. Oh, the movie didn't even start yet! All of this went down before the movie even started. God, I love movie crowds.

Speaking of movie crowds, I'm going to send this column into Matchflick.com right now and check out 1408 tonight. I might have some more stories to share with you!

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Expect the unexpected from Tony as he'll give you his columns on the way movies used to be, the way movies are, and the way they should be.

Other Columns
Other columns by Tony Farinella:

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Tony Farinella
Tony is an Oak Lawn, IL based film reviewer and columnist looking to have fun and share his unique views on film with everyone. Tony also has an unhealthy obsession with Vanessa Lengies, but that is neither here nor there.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Tony Farinella by clicking here.

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