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What Actually Draws You To See A Movie? 
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Post What Actually Draws You To See A Movie?
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True, but those dark ages also put a greater, more professional distance between filmmakers and film-watchers, which IMO was not an entirely bad thing. Some have argued that some of the immersion and illusion of watching a movie has been lost because people understand the filmmaking process too well without having any desire to actually take part in it themselves. In those dark ages, there were critics and there were people who just wanted to sit back and enjoy. Now, there's only critics. What happened to the people who just wanted to sit back and enjoy? Did they ever exist at all?


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Yes they do exist, i'm one of those people. When i'm looking forward to a film, I don't really feel a desire to read/watch every single interview with the actors/writers/directors/producers or read every single article about a films production, all I need to sell me on a film is an appealing plot synopsis.


Which leads to a central question: What actually leads you to go se a movie in a theater?

For me, it's one or more of the following reasons:

*The premise looks interesting.
*I'm a fan of the director or one or more of the cast.
*It's part of a series I follow
*It's one I feel I should see at least once.

A few concrete recent examples:

1: Edge Of Tomorrow. I like Doug Liman's work on the whole. But he's not one who I follow that closely. But the premise drew me in. Likewise Nightcrawler.
2: The Wolf Of Wall Street, American Hustle and Sabotage. Two of those turned out to be good, the third not so much. But it was primarily the directors who got me to see them (as well as curiosity of how well Arnold would pull off the grittier role in the case of Sabotage).
3: X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
4: 12 Years A Slave. I don't know if I'll go back and watch it again. But I'm glad I saw it and feel it should be seen at least once.

For an example of combinations, Boyhood. Richard Linklater's name drew me in and so did the premise.

So what compels you to actually go to a theater to see a film as opposed to waiting for DVD/Blu-Ray/Streaming?

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Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:25 pm
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Post Re: What Actually Draws You To See A Movie?
Since you delineated "go to theater" as opposed to home viewing, I would say spectacle certainly weighs in for me. I would rather go see something like Big Hero 6 on the big screen where it will be more impressive as opposed to Horrible Bosses 2, which wouldn't lose much on a smaller screen (apart from communal laughter). Not to say I only see big screen spectacle at the theater, but it does factor in to my decision making.


Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:36 pm
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Post Re: What Actually Draws You To See A Movie?
Interesting question, because I seem to be far more willing to throw away my money to watch a movie in the theater than a lot of people here. A few nights ago I counted how many movies I had seen in theater this year, 39 and I'm watching Exodus today so that will be 40, and I hope to see a few more before years end. Looking through the list, it's fair to say that I wasn't really interested in half of what I saw, but I am interested in the social outing with my friends most of the time. That being said, I never go see movies I'm looking forward to with my friends, because they just don't take it seriously and it ruins the experience for me.

For example: I watched Rio 2, The Amazing Spider Man 2, The Other Woman, and The Expendables 3 in theaters this year. I had no interest in any of them, but some good friends of mine did so I tagged along. On the flip side I watched The Raid 2, Gone Girl, Interstellar, and Fury as examples, either alone or with my close friend who also really enjoys films of a wide variety.

All that is to say that I'm obviously drawn to movies that match the criteria of what I usually enjoy: depth, technical competency, strong thematic emphasis, directors/actors I like, but I don't hesitate to pay for a movie with none of those things if it means I can spend some time with the good people in my life.

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Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:39 pm
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Post Re: What Actually Draws You To See A Movie?
If I'm being honest, any answer I give is going to be mostly confabulation as I root around for reasons that come close to the truth without actually hitting it. What draws the line between something I'd like to eventually see (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and something I'll probably never see (The Avengers) isn't entirely clear. In this case maybe it's a vague identification with the mutant characters and complete indifference to a movie I suspect is a variant of a Celebrities Celebrating Themselves movie. But they aren't likely all that different an experience, at least to a movie watcher like myself. Both are likely to be irritating or wonderful or something in between.

When I see a poster or trailer or blurb and say "Hey, that sounds or looks pretty good!" it could have something to do with an actor I like resurrecting his or her career (Michael Keaton in Birdman) and getting accolades they may have previously deserved but never received; it could be a writer/director I've strongly responded to (Paul Thomas Anderson or Abbas Kiarostami or whomever); it may be that the trailer managed to create a mood that I'd like to see played out to feature length. And more reasons.

This possibly apocryphal theory of "Fear of missing out" doesn't have any meaning to me. I don't care even a little bit about Interstellar, Jurassic World, Man of Steel (really any superhero movie outside of that X-Men one mentioned above) or any other blockbuster that lights up IMDB discussion boards with fawning and, eventually, threats of bodily violence. Special effects have had whatever effect they're going to have on me and I can't be moved to give a damn. Interstellar has great ideas? I'll read the Wikipedia entry if I need to. Jurassic World has new dinosaurs that can play hockey really well? I'll consider doing an image search for that. And Man of Steel? Please. As in: Please, God, no.

And that's me, now. It wasn't always like this. Small, quiet character-based dramas such as Like Father, Like Son have always interested me more because it's nice to see a perceptive drama about people with whom I'm likely to empathize. Certainly something like Enter The Void, which looked unlike anything I'd ever seen before, will generate some interest. And Edge of Tomorrow with its intriguing premise and the promise of some depth along with all the explosions.

We don't really go to see movies in a theater any longer because it's a real hassle to do so and it seldom seems worth the time. Event Movies no longer exist for me, maybe unfortunately. Even something like Gravity, which I saw on home video, was watched more out of obligation than interest. So I won't do that any more.

Guess I sort of moved away from the question being asked. Well, the above is my answer anyway. I still love a great movie -- Best Years of Our Lives and It Happened One Night were great experiences earlier this year -- but I don't have the burning passion to be on the cutting edge with new releases.

If you're not careful, this could happen to you too.

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Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:23 pm
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Post Re: What Actually Draws You To See A Movie?
Mark III wrote:
Guess I sort of moved away from the question being asked. Well, the above is my answer anyway. I still love a great movie -- Best Years of Our Lives and It Happened One Night were great experiences earlier this year -- but I don't have the burning passion to be on the cutting edge with new releases.
If you're not careful, this could happen to you too.

Too late, already has. If I see five movies theatrically/year I'd be doing well. When I was in my 20's/early 30's I used to go once/week, minimum. Nowadays I don't really care that much for theatrical viewing, unless it's to check out new technology (e.g. Avatar (for the 3D) and The first Hobbit film (for 48fps)). Too expensive, too much effort (given a 45 minute each-way drive to the nearest multiplex).


Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:47 pm
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Post Re: What Actually Draws You To See A Movie?
1st: All I have to read is the following "Directed by: Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorcese, James Cameron, Chris Nolan, Robert Zemeckis, Coen Brothers, Quentin Tarantino, Peter Jackson" and I will be at the theater...no other information necessary or trailer need be watched.

2nd: All I need to read is "Star Wars" and I will be at the theater.

3rd: Any "Event Film" or comic book movie and I will be there (exceptions made for shit like Jonah Hex that I won't see). The bigger screen to show off action and spectacle the better. For an event film not named Transformers that has footage filmed with real, IMAX 70 mm film cameras, I will search out the closest real IMAX theater which happens to be about one hour and 45 min from where I live. I've never seen anything as breathtaking as real IMAX footage.

4th: If items 1-3 haven't been met, than I will do research on the production team, director, writers, actors etc and pick on a case by case basis...or more than likely wait a couple of weeks, download the dvd from certain sources (no not bit torrents) and throw it on my media server.


Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:48 pm
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Post Re: What Actually Draws You To See A Movie?
I don't see myself ever getting tired of event movies, there are some that look really good(almost anything Marvel related) and some that look really awful(Exodus).

I do like smaller films, but I feel they play much better on the small screen at home then on the big screen at a theater, as that way there's less chance of the mood being killed by obnoxious patrons.

I will admit that I haven't been to the theaters since October(which for me is quite a while) as there simply hasn't been anything that caught my attention enough to make me want to go see them(especially when it's cold out).

Next films i'm seeing will be "The Interview" and American Sniper and that will be it for this year(aside from the ones I plan on catching on DVD like Mockingjay).

If any film has a "directed by Michael Bay" credit, you can bet i'll be there on opening day.


Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:01 pm
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Post Re: What Actually Draws You To See A Movie?
Incidentally, I've seen 210 films this year so far (on track for ~220), definitely higher than most years. How is everyone else here doing?


Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:21 pm
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Post Re: What Actually Draws You To See A Movie?
I'll go and see anything by Spielberg, and I'm eager for anything new by Walter Hill or Brian De Palma, but I don't hold my breath for that. I'm definitely excited to see the new Godard movie in 3D, and bought tickets last night for a screening almost 2 months in advance. And at any given time there are a couple sequels I'm looking forward to. Other than that, I just wait for any smaller films that might be worth seeing, or I just watch stuff at home. Sometimes, a film's sheer hype draws me to the theater, but not always. More often, I find myself waiting for the bluray, as for instance with Fury.


Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:15 pm
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Post Re: What Actually Draws You To See A Movie?
Usually it's one of the following reasons:

1) Positive reviews/word of mouth.
2) The premise looks interesting.
3) The trailer looked good.
4) I'm a fan of the Director or at least one of the actors.

Sometimes though, one of these will cancel out the other and cause me to lose interest in the film. For example: If there's a movie that's getting really good reviews, but the trailer just looks awful, I just don't bother with the film. I'll usually end up seeing it on DVD/Bluray at some point. Recently though, I've been seeing every film that's playing in theaters, but it's usually because of my friends who drag me to see whatever they want to see.


Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:47 pm
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Post Re: What Actually Draws You To See A Movie?
Convictions wrote:
Usually it's one of the following reasons:

1) Positive reviews/word of mouth.
2) The premise looks interesting.
3) The trailer looked good.
4) I'm a fan of the Director or at least one of the actors.

Sometimes though, one of these will cancel out the other and cause me to lose interest in the film. For example: If there's a movie that's getting really good reviews, but the trailer just looks awful, I just don't bother with the film. I'll usually end up seeing it on DVD/Bluray at some point. Recently though, I've been seeing every film that's playing in theaters, but it's usually because of my friends who drag me to see whatever they want to see.

I personally don't let trailers decide for me whether or not I want to see a film, as JB said in one of his Reelthoughts, any good movie can have a bad trailer and any bad movie can have a good trailer.


Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:15 pm
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