Since I've been a critic, I've gorged on movies, seeing practically anything and everything, especially when I have the luxury of an annual pass to specific theaters. Carte blanche access makes it easy to be omnivorous and undiscriminating when weighing moviegoing choices. It's also not the healthiest approach.
I realized that my compulsion to see as many of the films that open commercially in town, not to mention the arty and repertory offerings at the Wexner Center, is not always the best expenditure of time and energy even if it costs nothing to get in the door. Is it really essential that I see BRATZ? No, although that doesn't explain why I blew a couple hours on a perfectly nice Saturday morning at a press screening of DADDY DAY CAMP. Seeing more than three hundred films theatrically in a calendar year is a badge of honor and a pathology, even if it is something you can define as work.
While I still see the lion's share of new films that flicker on the multitude of screens in this city, I have cut back in the past year. Life is not less complete because I missed WHO'S YOUR CADDY? or the rare theatrical exhibition of SATANTANGO, although I'm sure a reasonably compelling argument could be made in the case of the latter film.
Even with my modest reduction in films attended--a number that is likely higher than what a family might tally in a year--I still like going. It almost doesn't matter what is playing. I've been enjoying taking advantage of AMC Theatres' A.M. Cinema on Saturdays to catch up with something I missed or watching a film that didn't screen for the media.
Usually it's meant some crap horror film or other disreputable genre release, but the act of going to the theater and the possibility of being surprised, however unlikely that might be, endures. Don't get me wrong. I'd prefer to see something good, but if not, being able to pay four bucks, bring in a coffee, and watch film projected through celluloid still holds an allure undiminished by the hundreds (or thousands) of other times I've taken a seat in an auditorium to do just that.