Tag Archives: AMC

View from the cush seats

Center of the row. Center of the auditorium.

That’s where I like to sit at the movies.

So I watch with furrowed brow when folks purposefully choose the aisle seat. Or sit in the first row when there are so many other options still available. I’ve always imagined the ‘aislers’ want to stretch out their legs…or take frequent bathroom breaks.

Or like their world view off-center.

Today I went to the matinee at the newly renovated 84th Street AMC here in my neighborhood in Manhattan.

amc renovationIt has cushy recliner seating and large aisles between rows, so legroom is never an issue. You even get to reserve your seat online or at the box office when you buy your ticket.

So, here’s the test: with all those improvements, where were people sitting?

On the front row. And on the aisle. Plus a few folks clustered around the center.

It takes all kinds to make an audience.

On the street where I live

Since I moved to New York City seven years ago, I’ve had a lot of celebrity sightings.

Actual meetings, though, are an event.

Yesterday, while out walking Rory Dog, I stopped to say hi to one of the doormen on my block who has become a good friend.  He was standing with a gentleman who I did not know.

castle season 3Once we started talking, I realized he was Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the actor who played Captain Montgomery in the first three seasons of Castle [pictured far left].

Turns out he has lived on my block for over 30 years.

Ruben has an impressive acting resume beyond Castle, especially on the Broadway stage, where he won a Best Actor Tony Award for August Wilson’s Seven Guitars.  And he has a new TV series premiering his fall on AMC called Low Winter Sun.

But the coolest thing?  He’s a really nice guy.

Popcorn, please

image

Hope a bunch of new Oscar contenders come out at the box office…

Cause there be movie passes in the house!!

Still-er funny

It’s Tuesday — time to tout one of my favorite flicks!

AMC agrees.

Keeping_the_Faith_HR622752

The 2000 comedy, Keeping the Faith, was featured on AMC this very afternoon while I was working from home.

(Really.  I was.)

Ben Stiller and Edward Norton star as a rabbi and a priest.  Jenna Elfman is the woman they both fall in love with.

The city of New York provides the backdrop for both their childhood story — the three were good friends — and their reunion as adults (where all hell breaks loose).

I love seeing Edward Norton in a lighter role like this, and Ben Stiller in a comedy that isn’t quite so over the top.

It’s the perfect feel-good film for the holidays.  Trust me —

I feel better already.

Dawned on me

Of course I saw Twilight Breaking Dawn: Part 1 at the first available showing.

And it was really good.  It was romantic and sweet and surprising funny.  And then freaky and bloody and gory.

What’s not to love?

I didn’t reread the fourth book before seeing the film, so I can’t obsess over any  details that director Bill Condon might have changed.  Instead I will share with you what I learned during my initial viewing (because you know I will see it again)

  1. Audience matters.  I have seen two of the four Twilight films at midnight.  Midnight audiences rock, and make your viewing experience that much better.  Last night I saw the movie at 8:00pm during a special screening for AMC Stubs members.  There were people there talking, texting, even making fun of the movie.  Why go if you’re not into it?
  2. Talent rises to the top.  In the first Twilight movie, the actors were pretty much on par in the acting department.  Even Kristen Stewart, the star, was ticky as all get out.  In this latest installment, Kristen and Robert stand out from the rest of the cast.  They are the emotional center.  Taylor Lautner, on the other hand, may be getting worse.  Perhaps he should spend less time in the gym and more time in acting class.
  3. Big weddings are the way to go. Bella’s character is a tomboy.  She doesn’t like dressing up or being the center of attention.  But her wedding is a showstopper.  Even if you think you don’t want a big affair, learn from the Cullens.  Pull out all the stops.

If any other deep thoughts hit me at later viewings, you’ll know where to find them!

Virtual reality

Waiting for a refrigerator to be delivered to my apartment in Boston — that’s where I was on September 11, 2001.

Last night I was watching, appropriately enough, The Killing, on AMC, when tweets and Facebook status updates hinted of an upcoming presidential address.

I never dreamed it would be the death of Osama Bin Laden.

CNN’s John King remarked — repeatedly, I might add — that last night would be another moment in history where people would always remember “where they were” when they heard the news.

For me, it’s more interesting how.

In 2001, the television networks were my primary news source.  I sat huddled in my apartment, told to remain there by my employer and by the city of Boston, my television set my only real connection to the tragic events in New York City and Pennsylvania.

Last night, I learned as much on Facebook and Twitter as I did on the television networks.  Obama’s announcement at 11:35 served only as a more eloquent confirmation of what I had already gleaned from my own sources.

Bin Laden was dead.

Although I was alone on my couch in both instances — a decade apart — I definitely felt a real sense of community last night. Yea, Facebook!  Yea, Twitter!  Yea, Texts!

Bin Laden is dead.

“I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” — Mark Twain

Killer enthusiasm

This morning I saw Jon Hamm featured in a promo on AMC for “Thanksgiving with the Godfather.”  Apparently the cable channel plans to show Parts I and II on Turkey Day, and Hamm was talking about how much the series of movies means to him.

Oh, what a different story I would tell.

When I first saw “The Godfather,” I thought it was a great movie, too.  I’m not a big fan of Mafia subject matter, but you can’t deny the performances.

But then I took a college class in film criticism, and my instructor was a huge “Godfather” fan.  He liked the movie so much, we spent six weeks — count ’em, six weeks — dissecting every word and gesture and thought and whisper in that film.

His enthusiasm for that movie killed any warmth I might have felt for it.  I can’t  even look at it anymore.

The very strains of “The Godfather” theme music make me physically ill.

The only reason I could watch the promo for “Thanksgiving with the Godfather” is because Jon Hamm was so prominently featured.

We can only hope that whack professor doesn’t ever do a class on “Mad Men.”

Trailers no more

Remember movie trailers in the olden days?

They promoted future movies to the captive audience waiting for the feature to begin, of course.  But they also gave the people who were running late another good 15 minutes to get to the theater.

Then the movie theaters added commercials before the trailers to make some extra dough, and suddenly movie audiences had a 20 minute window…which just made them later.

But today, movie trailers are become more and more the featured entertainment — a vehicle to get audiences in those pricey theater seats.

I’ll use “Twilight” as an example (sorry, but they do this stuff pretty well).

The “Eclipse” movie — third in the “Twilight” saga — is scheduled to hit theaters June 2010.  On Tuesday, Summit Entertainment released a 10 second “Eclipse” trailer as a “teaser” online.

Today they released the full 90 second trailer, and audiences who go see Robert Pattinson in “Remember Me” — opening this Friday nationwide — will see this “Eclipse” trailer on most prints.

Brilliant.  Summit is using the “Twilight” mania to drive audiences to “Remember Me.”  I’m sure a lot of these same people would have seen the movie anyway — since RPatz is the star — but the promise of footage of the upcoming “Eclipse” movie pretty much seals the deal.

My local AMC theater even advertises on their marquee when “Twilight” trailers are attached to films.  It’s whack…but it works.

Other films with equally rabid fan bases should pay close attention.

Those 90 second shorts can get butts in the seats.

Funny girl

I happened upon “Ghostbusters” on AMC last night — the perfect kick-back-and-veg movie after four days of business travel.

I had forgotten how funny Sigourney Weaver is!  She is such an elegant actress that her range can be deceptive.  I mean, she wins an Oscar opening a big can of whoop ass on space creatures in  ‘Alien,’  but can also play such nuanced characters in “The Ice Storm” and “A Map of the World.”

Still…her comedies are my favorite performances.  Uh, oh — I feel a list coming on!

THE WEAVER WHACK LIST

5. Dave
Kevin Kline is amazing as both a prickly President and likable look-a-like, but Sigourney holds her own as First Lady Ellen Mitchell.  Favorite moment?  Kevin and Sigourney singing “Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie” to get out of a traffic ticket. (I hope she can sing better in real life.)

4. Baby Mama
Sigourney’s role as the head of a surrogacy center could have been fairly mundane…but she adds a touch of sunny creepiness that is a joy to watch.  Plus, she just keeps having babies at her age.  Icky.

3. Working Girl
I think Katharine Parker is pretty close to home for Sigourney.  She grew up in a very privileged, monied world; this is how I imagine her day-to-day.  Not sure she would appreciate that.

2. Ghostbusters
Panting like a dog, levitating four feet above the bed, looking for the key master while Bill Murray struggles not to break character — that’s good stuff.

1. GalaxyQuest
In this great ensemble comedy, the entire cast pokes fun at actors, sci fi films, and fans. When all is said and done, it’s the best tribute to the genre that I have ever seen.  It has a lot of heart, too, mainly due to the  begrudging romance between Sigourney’s Gwen DiMarco and Tim Allen’s Jason Nesmith.

“GalaxyQuest” snuck by a lot of folks.  If you were one of them, there are many wonderful reasons to see it.  Alan Rickman. Sam Rockwell. Missi Pyle. Tony Shalhoub. Even MAC-boy Justin Long.

And, of course, silly, superb Sigourney.