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August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before" 
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Post August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
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Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:09 pm
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
Excellent essay, Mr. B -- but actually, there was a midnight screening of the first Batman. How do I know this? Because I was there! I clearly remember standing in line with my high school friends, eagerly awaiting to be let in while the night grew long. And I'm not the only one to remember (run a text search on "batman" on the page):

http://themovieblog.com/2009/09/do-you- ... screenings

I don't know if it was the first time something like this occurred, but I do remember it was my first one. And boy, it was crazy with die-hards and movie buffs and everyone in between.

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Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:47 pm
Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
I've never been to a midnight screening and I don't really have any desire to ever go to one regardless of the "atmosphere", not even for Expendables as I'd have a hard time staying awake which would likely diminish my overall enjoyment of the film. My prefered time for seeing films is either late afternoons or early evenings.


Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:52 pm
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
If they cut out the interminable trailer sequence from the midnight showings, they might be more tolerable.


Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:58 pm
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
I think people go to midnight screenings due to the atmosphere as well as the film. I mean going in with a hungry, excited crowd helps enhance the enjoyment of a film. It's fun when people cheer and clap during certain parts of a film or when characters are introduced.


Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:03 pm
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
With the elimination of projectionists and digital reels, its understandable why the midnight showings have encapsulated all releases now. The only two that I have seen is Eraser, only because Independence Day was sold out, I think half the audience, who also came for ID4, fell asleep and Judge Dread. Which had enough excitement to keep us awake. Not a great track record for midnight showings....


Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:40 pm
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
I went to the midnight debut of the Dark Knight, and it was a great experience coupled with a great movie... The late night atmosphere and energized excited crowd made the movie all the more memorable, and actually added a little impact to the Heath Ledger Joker performance. Those I saw it with agreed. Generally, I wouldn't do this for most movies, I'd rather be wide awake and ready to take the experience in. But for that, it really worked.


Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:21 pm
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
I saw Ed Wood at a midnight showing, which was packed. Turned out that everyone who wanted to see it went to that one showing.

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Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:55 pm
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
I have seen way too many midnight screenings to remember. I think my first one was Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, I was home from college and was 18. Most of my friends worked in movie theaters during high school and college. One of my close ones worked at a small independent theater in Neptune, NJ. Routinely, they would prescreen movies the night before opening for the employees and their friends. From high school until I was about 24, I rarely paid for a movie.

Unfortunately now seeing midnight viewings is harder due to work schedule or our friends having kids, and not being able to get a babysitter. The worst is when the husband wants to see the midnight movie screening, so they can't watch the kids :)


Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:28 pm
Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
I enjoy a midnight screening if its for a movie that has a passionate fanbase. The atmosphere can be very fun. My first was The Phantom Menace and I've been to a few since then. I found it odd when I looked and saw that now basically every movie has a midnight showing at the big theater near me. They really have lost their special event status, but they're still pretty fun sometimes for me. Also, its nice to be able to review a movie as early as possible, but now I'm getting invited to press screenings so I can get some sleep.


Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:06 pm
Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
I enjoy midnight screenings and have attended them for each Harry Potter movie, the last two Star Wars prequels, etc, and even Toy Story 3. The reasoning is quite simple for me. Beyond the charged atmosphere, when you see a movie with its fan base, you know you are with people to want to SEE THE MOVIE, not play on twitter, text, or take part in any social activity that people now seem to think is acceptable in a theater because they've "paid their money."


Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:53 am
Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
A full-time working adult, these screenings are only a sometimes treat, but as my midlife crisis clicks into place, I feel a bit more obligated to venture out to these Thursday night screenings.

I went to THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE for two reasons: First, it was the part of the last huzzah for Balitmore's historic Senator Theatre. While I take exception with their choice of final first-run movie (I would've thought that the universally loved TOY STORY 3 would've made a stronger final run than a "niche blockbuster" from a series which targets a demographic that is usually associated with shopping malls and the types of theaters which thrive there), I was curious to show up for the midnight premiere to sample the energy level (that being my second reason).

The first thing I noticed is that I came off like a creepy old man by virtue of being one of the only attendees who was not a teenage girl. I guess I should've expected that, but it was still a shock. Also, speaking as one who is most certainly not a prude or a conservative, I was a little shocked by the pornographic level of the chit-chat going on prior to the movie. These young ladies could hold their own with Jonah Hill's character in SUPERBAD (and perhaps even make him blush).

But what was especially odd was the sense of negativity directed towards the movie. Did they really all show up to mock it? That certainly seemed to be the case. Jokes would occasionally fly at the screen and a few girls made a game out of openly mocking Kristin Stewart's line readings. While understandable, it was odd given the occasion.

--

My most recent midnight movie was INCEPTION. Yes, it's a long movie for a late night, but the deal was sweetened by the fact that the venue was within walking distance of my (soon-to-be-ex') house.

And it was well worth it. It was a satisfying evening on just about every level. There was an obnoxious group who howled with laughter at DiCaprio's first appearance (it's Leo! . . . and he's WET!! . . . bwa-ha-ha-haaaaaa!!), but they settled down quickly enough. By the last third of the movie, the audience was vocally in awe of what they were watching and it was exhilerating.

--

I'm considering SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD as my next midnight adventure. It looks like just the right feature for such an occasion. True, THE EXPENDABLES will be premiering at the theater up the street from my house, but, man, it just doesn't look terribly interesting to me.


Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:08 am
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
The only midnight shows I've been to have been late-night horror movie shows. Like the time I saw Return of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, Re-Animator, and The Evil Dead all in one night. That was cool. Current releases I can wait for...there's no rush for me.

And JB, you're lucky. You say your kid likes to sleep through the night. Most parents aren't that lucky.

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Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:05 pm
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
I've been to the midnight showings of Revenge of the Sith, The Dark Knight, Alice in Wonderland (which I really wish I would have been high for, I may have enjoyed it) and Inception. I may have been to others but I don't really remember. What sucked about The Dark Knight was that when I bought my Cinetopia ticket I didn't know that I bought them for a seperate screen then my friends, so once we were seated I was seperated. Luckily the movie was good so I didn't care. I'll be heading to the midnight showing of The Expendables this Thursday night, its a guys night I was told I don't have a choice.


Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:03 am
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
The only midnight shows I've been to have been late-night horror movie shows. Like the time I saw Return of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, Re-Animator, and The Evil Dead all in one night. That was cool. Current releases I can wait for...there's no rush for me.

And JB, you're lucky. You say your kid likes to sleep through the night. Most parents aren't that lucky.


My son has been sleeping through the night since he was about 8 weeks old. ("night" being defined as midnight through 7 a.m.) I realize that's a rarity, and do not expect it to be the case if we have another child.

It really wasn't that bad when we had to get up once or twice in the middle of the night, though, since we took turns, thereby making sure that we each got at least five or six hours of uninterrupted sleep.


Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:45 pm
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
James Berardinelli wrote:
My son has been sleeping through the night since he was about 8 weeks old. ("night" being defined as midnight through 7 a.m.) I realize that's a rarity, and do not expect it to be the case if we have another child.

It really wasn't that bad when we had to get up once or twice in the middle of the night, though, since we took turns, thereby making sure that we each got at least five or six hours of uninterrupted sleep.


I've heard plenty of horror stories about kids waking up every hour and stuff. Not for me. I like my sleep. but it sounds like you're enjoying being a dad...so that's real cool for you.

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Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:02 pm
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
I've been to a few midnight screenings, but only one of them I truly remember... Snakes on a Plane. A raucous packed house, with many people bringing toy snakes of all sorts. About a minute into the film, we realized that they were playing the wrong film; instead they were playing The Devil Wears Prada, which I guess was the previous film in this particular theatre. No booing in the crowd, just a steady chant of "WE WANT MOTHERF***ING SNAKES" The manager came in, apologized and gave everyone two free passes and a cart of free Cokes, and the film started properly about ten minutes later. Like I said, a rowdy crowd, and when we got to "the line" everybody screamed it in unison and gave it a snake throwing standing ovation.


Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:43 pm
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
I never really gone to a midnight screening, how and ever I fif once attend a film that started at 11:45.
I decided to go at this point becuase I have been busy all day and this was the only chance I would have to see.
The rerally cool thing was that I was the only one in the cinema.
I forget what film it was but I do remember how cool it was to be the only one there.


Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:04 am
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
The Arclight in LA is having midnight screenings tonight of Expendables, Eat Pray Love, Scott Pilgrim & Animal Kingdom!


Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:24 pm
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Post Re: August 9, 2010: "Twas the Night Before"
The opportunity cost for midnight showings is usually too great; trading off sleep (rare commodity though it may be) isn't a worthy sacrifice for the experience of a movie, not necessarily the movie itself. Or so it seems. The midnight showings I've gone to have been movies I've already seen -- The Matrix for example -- or movies that I don't particularly have any investment in -- a 3D 70s porno. To watch something like Scott Pilgrim or The Dark Knight would be, for me, more zeitgeist than movie. I'd go away remembering the crowds and reactions and wouldn't necessarily have a visceral reaction to the intended story. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing; it's just not preferred.


Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:55 pm
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