Midnight Movies in Atlanta
Apologies in advance. This entry takes a sharp turn near the end….
I went to see Collateral last night at a midnight (12:30, to be precise) screening at the Regal 24 Cinema. Regal 24 is that massive, brightly lit theater on I-85 north. I’m not going to write a full review here, other than to say that I liked the film quite a bit. Instead, I’d like to discuss my experience of catching a film at this theater.
Before I complain too much, I do like the fact that Regal 24 has midnight movie screenings. I tend to work (grade papers, write, research) until late into the night, even on a Saturday. To find a theater that offers midnight screenings made me very happy (and judging by the nearly packed house, more theaters chould consider late night screenings). The snack offerings, including a full coffee bar, aren’t bad (although they are way overpriced, even compared to other theaters here in town).
I probably should have realized a long time ago that Regal 24 offers midnight movies, but there’s a good reason for not noticing. The theater experience itself is simply unpleasant. Perhaps I’m spoiled by my trips to Landmark’s Midtown Art Theater, Graden Hills, and other art house theaters, but the non-stop advertisements are simply annoying. The ad-fest, “The Twenty,” that runs before every film is too grating and too loud, and because the theater is selling the audience’s attention to advertisers for the twenty minutes before the movie starts, you’d think they could at least cut us a break on the cost of a ticket. But Regal’s ticket cost ($8.75) is one of the most expensive in town. Now I know that I could show up right before the movie and skip the ads, but as a film snob, I’m pretty picky about where in the theater I sit (this will likely annoy you if you ever see a movie with me).
Despite my aversion to “The Twenty,” I did find myself intrigued by one of the shows they advertised, a new WB show called Jack and Bobby, made by the creative people behind Everwood and Dawson’s Creek (I’ve never seen these shows, but I’ve heard they’re pretty good). The show focuses on Jack and Bobby McCallister when they are children and seems to ask whether or not their future “greatness” can be seen when they are children, but of course, the family really repesents the Kennedys, something the preview clearly tried to gloss. It’s an odd election-year fantasy, nostalgic for some ostensibly more innocent form of politics (which begs the question: how will it deal with Joe Kennedy’s business connections?). The other notable creative decision was the choice to essentially write Ted (and half a dozen other brothers and sisters) out of the show. Based on the clips I saw and the promotional photo for the show, it’s like Ted doesn’t even exist. Now I don’t expect TV shows to be historically accurate, and gauzy nostalgic shows about a more innocent past are always going to remember selectively. But it seems that for the premise of this show to succeed, it has to write Ted out of the picture. Otherwise we have a connection to the contemporary political scene, and the nostalgia concept would no longer be possible. I’m usually too lazy to watch TV (or at least to remember to watch specific shows), but I’ll be curious to see how this show deals with the highly contested history of this family.
Updated to correct a misunderstanding about Jack and Bobby.