Over the past two months I have seen two movies in two theaters. On a personal note this is a lot for me because I don’t like to go to the movies alone and we all know I don’t have much in the way of friends or a significant other. Though both movies were excellent, both movie going experiences were not. So grab a trash barrel sized bucket of popcorn and a gallon of soda, I’m doing movie reviews!
First up, I, Tonya. Around these parts the Nancy Kerrigan going to the Olympics story was HUGE (come through Stoneham), even before all hell broke loose in Detroit, aka team Harding had a couple of morons whack Nancy in the leg. I think it’s worth noting in a situation like this I would typically use the word “Gillooly” (verb, to hit with a metal object) but since this story is the origin of the word it felt a little odd. Anyhoo, back to the movie. I was sooooooo young in 1994 (shut up) I don’t necessarily remember all the sordid details before and after the attack and Olympics, and what I do remember I can’t really be sure happened versus what was in first movie starring Family Ties’ Tina Yothers (google it, you’re welcome). Young Heather Foley was enthralled by the Kerrigan/Harding saga, so present day Heather Foley (who is a little older, a little wiser, and has a better grip on eyeshadow) was locked and loaded for I, Tonya.
For the movie itself, OH MY GOD so good. First of all, the story is BONKERS, like if you pitched this as a work of fiction people would be like “sorry but we’re not looking for anything more fantastical than Jurassic Park, NEXT!” The film does a great job of breaking the fourth wall (a risky move) to let viewers know what actually happened, and what the key players disagree on, and zig zag pacing manages keep you on the edge of your seat even though you know what happens in the end…or do you? JK you totally do. Now let’s talk costumes. If you know me, you know I am #TeamTurtleneck for lyfe and boy did this film speak to Steve Jobs looking soul. Soooo many turtlenecks! Tucked turtlenecks, casual turtlenecks, bougie turtlenecks, sleeveless figure skating turtleneck dresses, to paraphrase Oprah, “you get a turtleneck, you get a turtleneck, you get a turtleneck.” I love when the wardrobe in a film gives a real snapshot of a period of time’s style and I, Tonya does just that. (Another great example of this is Slap Shot, though they did it in real time.) A few more odds and ends, the soundtrack is a lot of fun, the performances are inspired (a slimy Hard Copy reporter is the role Bobby Cannavale was born to play and also let’s put him in more stuff, ok?), and the movie is just a really fun watch.
And now let’s talk about the theater. My dear friend (and Caught In Southie creator and editor-in-chief, gal about town) Maureen Dahill joined me. I use the phrase “dear friend” loosely because although she too originally committed to Dry January she showed up in an Uber with a Yeti full of vodka, also I should mention we saw this film in January and I have promising to write this every day since. We went to the new theater in the Seaport, the ShowPlace Icon and oh baby is it fancy. How fancy? Heated reclining seats fancy. Six feet of legroom fancy. Bourbon bacon caramel corn fancy. Champagne fancy. And like some technical stuff whose words don’t even make sense to me fancy.
Now onto movie number two, Black Panther at the Boston Common Loews
Like most people with their finger on the pulse of American culture, and almost everyone in America, I saw Black Panther the week it opened. It was great! I was so excited to see the beauty of Wakanda on the big screen and it did not disappoint. The cinematography, the hair, the makeup, the costumes all took me on a JOURNEY. I know it’s only February, but give Black Panther all the costume and makeup awards. When Angela Basset revealed those white dreads I was killed and then brought back to LIFE. I could talk about Lupita’s blush all day (don’t worry, I won’t). I may have gone a Wakanda inspired shopping spree. I want a rhinoceros! And I haven’t even talked about the performances yet! Is this the most acting talent ever assembled for a comic book movie? I think it is, it has to be right? And I’m not just saying this as a Lupita stan, but I stan and I stan hard. Oh, even the fighting! Like everyone in the theater has seen multiple comic book movie fights but people were legit gasping during fight scenes. I know Marvel has had a great run of successful movies, but Black Panther raised the bar. Every aspect of this film is visually stunning, go see it immediately…but don’t see it at the Boston Common Loews.
Have you been to the Boston Common Loews lately? You aren’t missing anything, it’s crap! This theater is a disaster, tip to taint. For starters, we wanted a water while we were waiting for the rest of our party to arrive and the first-floor concession stand wasn’t opened. Ok, bummer but hey, not a deal breaker. Once everyone arrived we went up to the second floor and guess what? The concession line was roughly 350,000 people long with just two kids working behind the counter because why would you have all hands on deck during February vacation when the biggest movie in modern cinema history is dropping? We declined to wait and decided to head to our seats and were told we couldn’t go into our theater just yet. Ok, cool, we can wait. We unofficially lined up off to the side with everyone else who would be in our theater, and when the (I’m sure underpaid for the nonsense she had to put up with) theater worker finally gave us all the go-ahead it was like the running of the brides, only these are all comic book nerds so there was more of a powerwalking situation.
Our theater was roughly 4 football fields away, so many of our fellow nerds passed out, RIP. So, we powerwalk into the theater to find, surprise, the theater is full because the movie is still showing from the previous show time. Yes, they let 100+ people barge in on a full theater waiting for that sweet Marvel final scene teaser and both those getting barged in on and those doing the barging were SHOOK. Just writing about it is stressing me out. Two of us left behind the group to Lewis and Clarke it back to the concession stand in the hopes they could snag us seats together. We said our goodbyes and it was a little emotional because we didn’t know if we would ever see each other again. I have made no bones about my love of crappy, processed, fake food, so a movie theater concession stand is usually my happy place, not this time, not this day. After waiting in line for about forty minutes (for reals) we were told they were out of bottled water, but we could buy a cup and fill it up, and any hots snacks would a few minutes for them to make.
Made to order pretzel bites, pretty fancy for a joint that hasn’t emptied the trash in the lady’s room since 2015. I declined on a made to order snack because I wanted to actually watch some of the movie. If you’re thinking once the movie started things got better, you haven’t been paying attention. The crowd was quite possibly the worst crowd I ever watched a movie with, and I have been to children’s movies in a theater full of children. Cell phones were lit up, people were loudly chatting, and the jerk behind me must have had restless leg syndrome because he hit my seat every five minutes. You might be asking if I ever spoke up, to quote RHONY’s Luann, not really. I’m going to let you in on a secret, I’m terrified of teenagers. Imagine if the person behind me was a teenager? They would have called me a mean name implying I was old and haggard and then I would have turned to dust on the spot. I did not suffer through the injustices of the Boston Common Loews just to be obliterated by some sassy teen. (I will add that I was very upset I never whipped around – after the movie I saw the kicker was just a skinny aging hipster. )
Time for my official reviews!