Monday, February 29, 2016

GRIP & RIP WEEKEND: Room and Spotlight

Some weekends are for chilling, others are for GRIPPING IT AND RIPPING IT! Know what I mean? And by gripping it and ripping it, running and gunning, doing the Damme thing, on and on, I mean seeing 3 movies in 24 hours, working out, happy hours, checking out the new Fuller House on Netflix, going to a convention and watching a few minutes of the Oscars! The lady is into the awards stuff, so we upped our Best Picture viewings starting with Room over at the Cinemark Howard Hughes. Happy Hour at Dave & Busters came first where the kind of crappy service is ok because it's so cheap during HH. Followed by some racing and shooting games like Daytona and Aliens.

I knew nothing about Room going in besides Brie Larson from Scott Pilgrim VS The World was in it and it was about a mom and her kid, in you know, a room. Based on her novel, Emma Donoghue scripts and Frank's Lenny Abrahamson directs a sad but not depressing look at protecting your family and being reintroduced to the whole wide world when you've only known a small piece of it. Larson is fine as the mother but it's young Jacob Tremblay as her 5 year old son Jack who steals the show just by acting like a precious and precocious kid. I hadn't even watched the trailer for Room before we saw it so I had no clue what the outside world was going to be. Was it post-apocalyptic? Were they in another time? No, it totally wasn't but that was fine. I did find small issue with the fact that the "held against their will" film was shot in Canada yet set in Ohio. Why's it gotta be like that? Oh yeah, we used some Raincheck passes from the Expendables Marathon debacle to see the flick for free.

On Saturday it over to Culver City for drinks and grub at City Tavern, a chill, stylish joint with wood decor for cider, mac n' cheese, a burger and fries. Downtown Culver City has a nice feel, lots of impressive architecture, clean storefronts and you can feel the history. After City Tavern we stopped in for a quick drink at The Culver Hotel, who also does Saturday Happy Hour. James Dean starring East of Eden was being projected on the wall which I thought was Burt Lancaster classic Elmer Gantry at first. Damme. Then it was across the courtyard to The somewhat new Arclight Cinema for Spotlight. The true story of how Boston Globe reporters uncovered the city and worldwide scandal and cover up of Catholic priests abusing children. This is a total Oscars flick, true story, fighting the system, sad sexual overtones, etc. But it's solidly put together by director Tom McCarthy and co-writer Josh Singer along with a heavy hitting cast that includes Michael Keaton and standout (a lot coming from me) Mark Ruffalo who looks like Antonio Banderas here with his 2000's Julius Caesar haircut.

A few minutes in, I leaned over and asked the lady if the picture seemed dark and flickering to her, she agreed so I went to find a staff member. He told me straight up that Theater 8 is dark for some reason, something to do with the projector. But the flickering was new, he came in and watched a few minutes and agreed, making a call to someone but the issues remained. After the film I approached some crew to ask what the problem was, they apologized and we got some free tix. It's funny because I used some comp tickets to see it in the first place, mwa ha! Watching a bunch of people jot down notes and talk on phones in offices isn't exactly a visual feast so it was annoying but not worth any additional rage and retribution.

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