Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday Triple Features

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies With Abe, Thursday Triple Features. Throughout college, I would often head to the movies for three films in a row on a Friday or Sunday, and I’m excited to recall some of my most memorable experiences. I don’t necessarily advocate that you try this at home, but I’ll explore that as well.

My second triple feature experience was memorable for a number of reasons: it marked my first such adventure in New York City, allowed me to walk a grand total on 5.1 miles on that day (walking route pictured below), and permitted me to see three films on their opening days.

October 12, 2007

Movie #1: Lars and the Real Girl
Theatre: Clearview’s Chelsea Cinemas
Time of Day: 10:40am
Runtime: 106 minutes

This rather peculiar little film starred the always excellent Ryan Gosling as a delusional man who starts dating a sex doll he ordered off the Internet. Gosling almost got nominated for an Oscar for his performance, and Emily Mortimer and Paul Schneider provide strong support as his mostly supportive family members. Its clever, heartwarming, Oscar-nominated script made it worthwhile, though I’ll admit that I didn’t have quite as fond a recollection of it as my review from October 14, 2007 indicates. Like its main character, it’s harmless and generally likeable.

Movie #2: We Own the Night
Theatre: AMC Empire 25
Time of Day: 1pm
Runtime: 117 minutes

I remember that this movie, starring two hot actors at the time, Mark Wahlberg (still going strong) and Joaquin Phoenix (not so much), as brothers, was marketed on the heels of the previous year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture, “The Departed.” Unfortunately, it lost track of itself quickly, and it didn’t give the arguably awesome Wahlberg anything to do. It’s amusing to see how I still anticipated “American Gangster” after having seen this film. While I do still have some memories of that film, this film doesn’t offer much to remember.

Movie #3: Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Theatre: AMC Loews Kips Bay
Time of Day: 3:40pm
Runtime: 114 min

This sequel to the Oscar-nominated 1998 Best Picture was the ultimate disappointment. Adding Clive Owen to an already exciting story doesn’t necessarily mean it will work, and this follow-up – made a whole nine years later – would have been benefited from being produced and released closer to the original film. Cate Blanchett’s less impressive performance managed to somehow net her an Oscar nomination, but everyone was wholly surprised by her inclusion over Angelina Jolie in “A Mighty Heart.” It was hardly the tour de force performance that inexplicably lost to Gwyneth Paltrow in “Shakespeare in Love.”

The review: The first film was fine, but this triple feature is noteworthy mostly for the excitement of the event itself rather than its cinematic content.
The grades: B+, C-, C+
A good lineup? Not particularly. None of these films lived up to my expectations. It was really just about the walk and the thrill of seeing so many movies in one day.

Coming next week: fast-forward to December for triple feature number three!

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