Double Feature Crowd Pleaser
On a select number of occasions, I’ve gone to the movie theaters to see two movies in one day. Technically, they weren’t billed as double features because I had to pay for each ticket individually, but nonetheless I had a majority of my day/evening occupied by two movies. What I’ve learned on the select occasions that I’ve done this is that typically only one of these movies I will genuinely enjoy and the other could most likely bore me to tears or only be somewhat entertaining. Now I know all double features can’t be as brilliant and entertaining as “Grindhouse,” (which everyone should see by the way as it will change your life as it did mine) but with the frequency of how quickly movies come out nowadays, not all can be winners.
Here are the double features I’ve seen with a brief review to prove my point. Again this is my opinion and others may disagree, but I’m sure a lot of you will point out my mistakes. I know I have:
July 2004- “I. Robot” and “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”- “I. Robot” was awful, boring, and Will Smith’s worst movie to date. I loved “Anchorman.” Who didn’t. It’s one of the most quotable films of the last decade and still makes me laugh to this day.
January 2009- “Frost/Nixon” and “The Wrestler”- My intention was to see all the Oscar Nominated films that year and I spent one Saturday afternoon doing so. “Frost/Nixon” was an engaging story that really grabbed my interest. I’m not one so much for politics, but for historical dramas like this it was plenty entertaining. “The Wrestler” was good, but too depressing of a story that I’d actually eve r sit and watch again. Being a fan of wrestling, I’ve heard way too many tragic stories of men like Mickey Rourke’s character and it wasn’t uplifting at all. I expected a story of redemption, instead it was anything but that.
June 2009- “The Hangover” and “Land of the Lost”- “The Hangover” is still in my top five funniest movies of all time. I laughed all the way through and wanted to go buy another ticket to see it again. Instead, I purchased a ticket to “Land of the Lost.” What was I thinking you ask? I don’t know. I loved Will Ferrell movies and I thought it could work. It didn’t. I was one of six people in the theater that summer afternoon and by the time the lights went on I was one of three. It made me realize that maybe seeing an man in his 40s yelling like a moron for 90 minutes wasn’t going to pass for entertainment anymore and that audiences have seen enough.
May 2010- “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2”- I knew going in to the double feature that I already loved the first “Iron Man” after seeing it twice before already, in theaters and DVD respectively. Seeing it again before the midnight opening of the second film made me love it even more. “Iron Man 2” was a fun film and I enjoyed it, but it fell short of it’s predecessor. Not drastically, but out of the entire Marvel Avengers saga, this film still stands as the weakest amongst the current six.
August 2010- “Dinner for Schmucks” and “The Other Guys”- “Dinner for Schmucks” was one of the oddest comedies I’ve ever seen. I went solely on the cast to see it (Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and sure, maybe Zach Galifinakis) but the story just didn’t work. It was so unusual, but not that funny kind of unusual that you’d see in something like “A Fish Called Wanda.” If you thought I had enough Will Ferrell after the previously mentioned film, then think again. “The Other Guys” wasn’t awful, but kind of funny. I love buddy cop movies and the pairing of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg was a good enough tandem for me, just not the best.
November 2011- “Puss in Boots” and “Tower Heist”- I hated “Puss in Boots.” I love animated movies, but this bored the shit out of me. I wasn’t a fan the previous “Shrek” entries either, so I don’t know why I went and saw this. “Tower Heist” wasn’t the funniest movie, but it kept me entertained. I loved seeing Eddie Murphy back in an adult comedy, but he wasn’t in it as much as I’d hoped he’d be.
February 2012- “Man on a Ledge” and “Chronicle”- “Man on a Ledge” isn’t awful, but it’s definitely a rental or one of those movies you catch on late night TV. “Chronicle” on the other hand was awesome. Out of all the found footage movies out now, this is the best one ever made. It’s brilliant in it’s direction and intensity.
July 2012- “Ted” and “Savages”- “Ted” is funny, there is no disputing that, but it isn’t the funniest movie of all time by any means. The several key funny scenes were put in the commercials and trailers that everyone has been posting on Facebook for three months in between terrible memes and e-cards. There were several laugh out loud moments, but it really does follow the Family Guy formula. “Savages” on the other hand is awesome. Great story, acting and some of the most brutal violence I’ve seen in movies in a long time. Please go see this movie.
So it’s true they can’t all be winners, but sometimes seeing two good movies back to back can happen. It just hasn’t happened to me yet. Next week, my cohorts and I will be seeing a triple IMAX feature of “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” so disappointment can take a long night off. It’s time to celebrate the conclusion to the greatest trilogy in recent years. I hope all of you will do the same.