Plugging Into Culture Challenge (Movie Edition)

I’ve long recognized that I’ve let pop culture pass me by in all areas. I was never the most plugged in person on that matter to begin with. Like most people as I got older I’d rather listen to old songies, now definitely “oldies”, or my favorite older movies, now often definitely “classics”. That has left me feeling more disconnected than ever from the modern world. I have no idea who current actors, singers, writers, directors, etc. are. I am somewhat plugged in to some of the shows on the streaming services but that is not exactly the same thing. So for 2020 I decided I’d make an effort to see every first run movie that came through my local movie theater. COVID killed all that. Now that I’m fully vaccinated I’ve decided to revive the challenge.

The method is simple: see every first run movie that comes through my local theater whether I love, like, or hate the genre or movie. To make this a reasonable price thing I’m using the AMC “Stubs A-list Club” membership . You pay a monthly fee, in my case $22 a month but it varies by region. For that you can see three movies a week with absolutely no restrictions. You could even watch three 3D IMAX movies (do they still make 3D movies btw) if you wanted. Using this I’m going to try to watch up to three movies a week until I get caught up and then stay on top of the new releases as they come. Without that it’d probably cost $120-$200 a month in movie tickets alone. Again though the important part of the methodology is watching every first run movie whether I want to see it or not. Why?

I’ve been finding myself sounding more and more like a stick in the mud on pop media. “Why don’t they make good movies anymore?” “Why are all movies super hero movies?” “Why don’t they make movies like they used to?” I can feel my ear hair growing thicker and turning grayer as I type it! I discovered that a lot of that is perception because I didn’t go to the movies any longer except to see the one or two a year I was really dying to see. While I didn’t keep up with my plan in 2020 even before the pandemic I did see six movies before the pandemic hit. Only one was one that I was really dying to see, 1917 , and another I was only slightly less interested to see, Harriet . The rest fell between kind of interested or not interested in: Richard Jewell , A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood , Queen and Slim , and Parasite . I didn’t write a review of any of them so have to go on memory but what I do recall is that I enjoyed all of them. The only one I found so-so I think was the Richard Jewell one but even that was worth seeing. So maybe the problem isn’t that movies suck now it’s just I’m only seeing a few I’ve built up too much expectation around. That insight is what made me want to give the challeng another try

Starting today, with the movie Voyagers , I begin to try to get plugged back in to modern movie pop culture by seeing every first run movie that comes through my local theater. Writing reviews takes time so I may or may not end up trying a hand at reviewing each one. Either way it’ll at least be somewhat fun. Let the games begin!