While I proclaim myself a geek and I do love movies, I tend not to have the time to go out and see anything in the theater.  Yesterday when Sue was heading out for a “Girl’s Night Out” I decided to go and see “The Dark Knight Rises” the final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.  This is not a spoiler filled review.  It was a good film.  In comic book land it took elements of “No Man’s Land” and “Knight Fall” included some nice twists and turns that having read nothing about it beforehand made for a good story.  Yes, I had to suspend belief (that’s what you do in movies) to ignore some holes in the plot, but I would see it again.  As Ty Templeton said Anne Hathaway is the “Best Catwoman Ever”

My movie viewing habit comes from growing up in Los Angeles.  I have been trained to show up to the theater in time to wait in the queue for tickets, then wait in the line to get in, then wait in the line for popcorn.  You rarely went alone because then you wouldn’t get a good seat.  One person got the seats while the other got popcorn, Red Vines, & a drink.  So I tend to show up early.  In the case of the Dark Knight it was only 30 minutes.  So I got to watch the pre-game commercials.  Then the trailers. they told me twice to silence my cell phone.  Then something I hadn’t seen happened. A commercial for the importance of seeing movies in a Movie Theater.

The screen showed all the monumental scenes of explosions, special effects, and action and slowly shrank.  It shrank to the size of a TV, then some tagline about seeing movies in a theater where you get everything.  Even with 3D and IMAX and IMAX 3D along with the cost I wondered what I actually received for my theater going experience. I did not see the film with any bells or whistles, just a regular multiplex.  I figured even with the matinee/twilight ticket and the $12.00 for a medium popcorn and medium drink I could have gone out for a nice dinner.  So what does the theater experience give you?  There were maybe 30 people in the theater so it wasn’t sharing the moment with the crowd.  If anything the guy three seats away checking his silent cell phone during the film was annoying.  That combined with the people who decided to be silent during the trailers by start talking during the opening credits were things to keep me at home.  So why see a film at a regular theater?

As I think back on “The Dark Knight Rises” I have to think about what made seeing this in a theater better.  There were big special effects scenes with explosions, but what brought me to the film was the story.  I wanted to know how Christopher Nolan was going to end his take on Batman.  I didn’t need a big screen.  I could have read the comic book adaptation & been just as happy, I just would have missed some nice performances.

The little commercial about seeing movies in theaters tells me that I’m not the only one thinking this way.  I know I might have been more impressed if I had spent more money and seen it in IMAX or 3D.  I remember growing up and seeing “Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom” for the first time.  I really wasn’t impressed.  I then was dragged to see it again in a theater that had it in THX.  “Wow!” It didn’t make the story any better, but it made the experience better.  I guess to me the story is important, a story that can be told on any size screen.  After my grandmother took me to a movie I remember asking her what she thought of it, “It was loud” was her reply.  At the time I thought “The Return of the Jedi” was epic…  come to think of it maybe I am just getting old.