Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend Report: Bad Teacher, Cars 2, Popper's Penguins

It was a hell of a weekend at sea, Captain! Hi folks…Reel Rhino here…what a great weekend for the box office. Yes, Cars 2 brought in $68 million to talk the title, but how about that Bad Teacher?!? $31 million for a hard-R adult flick…that’s not too shabby! Green Lanterns is only at $89 million so far and that’s on a $200 million budget…that really may hurt the chance of a sequel! While I know there is little chance of a sequel of Super 8, it is doing quite well, nearing $100 million domestically and on only a $50 million budget. JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg together…if you haven’t seen it yet, please do.

This Tuesday…JUNE 28th…9:00pm…TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON – You gotta love Bay for flipping the midnight release on its head and backing it up to 9:00pm for the old folks like me, who just don’t roll as easily into the all-nighters. The film is playing at 9:00pm in IMAX where you have it and otherwise in standard 2-D and mainly in 3-D. Michael Bay hooked up with James Cameron to get some pointers on the ins and outs of 3-D…that can’t be a bad thing, right?

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • 3-D Advice from James Cameron
  • Executive Producer: Steven Spielberg
  • Action Guru: Michael Bay
  • Megan Fox Out: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley In
I think I am excited! Are you?  Call me crazy, but I think my position as a Michael Bay apologist is about to gain some momentum.

Well, to some reviews…her is my last 8 days at the movies…#1001, #1002, and #1003…if you’re keeping score at home.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins: 3.5 of 5 Horns
Mr. Popper’s Penguins is based on a 1938 Newbury Award winning book by Richard and Florence Atwater. This movie, while based on that book, is certainly a liberal adaptation of that classic material.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a Jim Carrey vehicle that is a rather subtle Carrey performance. I lead with that nugget as there are those that like super duper ZANY Jim Carrey and those who like dramatic Jim Carrey. This has a few zany moments, but mostly his scenes are subtle enough to swallow down regardless of how you feel about the actor.

The story revolves around Mr. Popper (Carrey) who we meet as a lonely boy, whose father is an explorer and world traveler and the only way the father and son pair communicate with one and other is via ham radio. We see this little boy growing and while you can tell he loves his father, he is quite heartbroken as well and jaded as well.
Smash cut to the adult Mr. Popper, a smooth talking real estate executive who seems to have it all. One day he gets the call…his father has passed away and left him but one thing…Penguins.

The story is simple enough and is rather entertaining, but only in a simple and fun way. This movie is no thinker, but as it does give you miles of physical humor to enjoy in the antics of these penguins and their integration into a New York lifestyle. The emotional core is built around a variety of Daddy Issues. Mr. Popper had daddy issues to the senior Popper and Mr. Popper’s two kids, Billy and Janie, aren’t really crazy about him either. Hey, he divorced Carla Gugino (the former Mrs. Popper)….I’d be mad at him too!

This was a fun film to watch but really didn’t leave much of a lasting impression. Much of the interaction with the penguins is run into corny grounds, which is exactly where a movie like this HAS TO exist. What are you going to get with something like this…a pseudo documentary? This movie had to be ridiculous.

Cameos by Phillip Baker Hall, Clark Gregg, Angela Lansbury, Jeffrey Tambor, and David Krumholtz helped keep the interest level up; but for the decent story that it was, I think you can safely save this one for a rental.
3.5 Horns out of 5 for Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

Bad Teacher: 4 of 5 Horns
Cameron Diaz is no stranger to adult films. No wait just a minute! I didn’t mean that kind of adult films…get your minds out of the gutter!
Ms. Diaz is very well known in the R-rated comedy circles for her no holds barred portrayal of the titular Mary in There’s Something About Mary.

Her turn as Elizabeth Halsey is another classic performance, but for its execution and delivery, I don’t think this film will be nearly iconic.
Bad Teacher is a very funny story. It’s kind of funny like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but not as Funny as Old School or The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Elizabeth Halsey is a money-grubbing man chaser who will literally do ANYTHING to land a man with dough.

A great supporting cast made this movie truly shine, including Jason Segel as the gym teacher Russell Gettis. Segel plays Gettis like no character I’ve seen from him before. I think that this character had the most confidence of any Segel roles to date, and it suited him very well.

Justin Timberlake was acceptable in the corny role of Scott Delacorte, the new teacher in town who becomes the object of Ms. Halsey’s affections and the impetus for her to try and raise the dough for breast augmentation surgery.

There are plenty of juvenile humor moments in this film, but they didn’t bother me as much as normal. I think the writing was sharp and the execution clean, which actually made some of the “dick and fart” joke moments work. The movie was written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, both of whom are currently penning GHOSTBUSTERS 3. I hope their delivery here is an indication of what we might be seeing from the boys in beige!

Lucy Punch as Amy Squirrel was brilliant. Ms. Punch has made appearances in recent flicks like Dinner for Schmucks and Take Me Home Tonight and I give you the Reel Rhino 100% guarantee, this woman will be a star.

Additional support from Phyllis Smith…aka Phyllis from THE OFFICE…was great as she brings a sense of innocence to the dirty/crude antics and experiences them in a wholly comedic way. Fantastic character actor John Michael Higgins plays Principal Wally Snur, a man obsessed with dolphins and with making his school great. And the always enjoyable Thomas Lennon cameos as a state education testing official, with hilarity to ensue.

The crux of the tale revolves around Ms. Halsey and Ms. Squirrel jockeying for position as the love interest to Mr. Delacourt. It seems that he comes from money and while Ms. Squirrel has pure intentions as Delacourt is a real sensitive sally, Ms. Halsey will do anything to find a rich man to support her. She sees a picture of his ex-, and she realizes…it’s bigger breasts or bust (pun intended).
These two ladies square off with very funny results and the great supporting cast helped up the enjoyment of this naughty, well-made R-rated flick.

A funny aside…this film had a real FREAKS AND GEEKS feel to it. F&G is a series that if you haven’t seen, you really should. It runs occasionally on IFC and the full series is only something like 18 episodes. Jake Kasdan was the producer and occasional director of F&G and he was also the director of this movie. There was a great homage to F&G with the all teacher band and bar scene concert with teacher Sandy Pinkus, channeling his role from F&G as Jeff Rosso, hippie guidance counselor, who rocked it out in similar fashion back in 1999. See this movie, see Freaks and Geeks. Kasdan is one of the disciples of Apatow, so you can be sure he is one to follow.

All in all, I really had a good time with this film. There weren’t many huge gut-busting laughs, but it was a steady run of guffaws, chuckles, and “oh no you didn’t.” Also, the theater I saw it in was about ½ full and everyone in the theater also seemed to like, which made it that much better of a viewing experience.
4 of 5 Horns for Bad Teacher.

Cars 2: 3 of 5 Horns
Cars 2 is an extremely watchable film. The trouble is, when you’re Pixar, extremely watchable Is one of the worst things that can be said about your movie.

I enjoyed this more Mater centric tale and I thought that the Pixar folks successfully wove together this story of international mystery and intrigue with the old folks from Radiator Springs…but…
Oh that darn but, Rhino!

BUT…I think that Pixar decided to coast a bit for this one.

Exhibit A: Talking about the “dinosaurs” going extinct…they couldn’t have changed it to “Dino-Cars,” just for those few lines?

Exhibit B: When Lighting and Mater were at the dance club for the World Grand Prix reception, there were lights from above shining on the floor. Mater and Lightning drove around and as they did, the lights didn’t shine on them, indicating inattention to this as a detail.

Exhibit C: When the final chase/battle is on, as Mater and Lightning hit a big hill and launch into the air, the texture map for the animation modeling was visible for a fraction of a second.

What does all this mean? That the boys at Pixar are Human Beings! We all thought Tiger Woods, and Michael Jordan, and Charlie Sheen were perfect...but they faltered and their images paid the price…okay, so maybe Charlie Sheen was far from perfect, but you get the idea.

Pixar is made up of people and for what the film is, Cars 2 is a completely enjoyable film. It’s just not up to the level of quality of product or storytelling we are accustomed to for these folks.

I give Cars 2 a 3 of 5 only because when you consider the source, you have to expect better. This was an acceptable film from a studio that demands perfection. I think I can say that whatever comes next from Pixar, will be tuned up and checked over before it is released.

A quick aside...the 3-D in this film was visually stunning.  This film makes up in appearance for all the shortcomings in story.

On an aside, the crew from TOY STORY was all here well as there was Hawaiian Vacation, a Ken and Barbie centric adventure with all of your Toy Story favorites.

If you plan on bringing a kid to see Cars 2, keep this in mind…at my showing:

Previews: 24 minutes
Hawaiian Vacation: 10 minutes
Cars 2: 1 hour and 52 minutes

That’s a long time to keep a kid happy. I recommend arriving in your seats around 30 minutes after the listed start time. The first 6 minutes of the actual movie was pretty fluffy as well, with some Radiator Springs business that gave us the set-up for Lighting and Mater to make the trip overseas for the World Grand Prix.

That’s my take on the whole bit of business…until later, take care!
Reel Rhino

Saturday, June 25, 2011

1000 Movies....a Life at the Movies, so far

(*Read through to the bottom for the REEL RHINO STATS FROM 1000)

(**This will serve as the last post telling the tale of the night of 1000.  Beginning soon, I will resume my normal posting habits of news and reviews)

It started out like any other Saturday. Momma Rhino let Papa Rhino sleep in a little longer than he should. Of course she knew he was going to need his rest, for it was a big day. Life was good as that wake up was administered by Baby Rhino that jumped on daddy. I think I heard my 22 month old son chanting “movie day, movie day, movie day.” Although I may have been dreaming.

Yes folks, Saturday, June 18th, 2011 was in fact: “1000th movie” movie day. The Reel Rhino has travelled a long road and last Saturday was the payoff.

I wrote my love letter to AMC Theaters in a previous post, but again, what an amazing run I have had with AMC.

730 of 1000 movies, 73% of the films I have taken in, have been with AMC theaters. Wow.

Thanks again AMC!

I mean it…you guys rock.

Ponce is the GM at AMC Barrywoods here in Kansas City. He and his staff made 1000 a memorable night. (See also, my last post.) Heather is one of his many who have always welcomed me with open arms. I single her out because she was instrumental in setting up the big night. But she, Matt, Scott, Amanda, Kenny, Zach, and all my friends at AMC made it an unforgettable night. It would be a crime to omit my good friend Mark, one of the daytime associates and Robert, one of the front box office guys. Mark is always there with a kind word and Robert loves shaking his head in disbelief as I approach the box office yet again. And a quick word about some former AMC’ers…Vince, oh Vince! A former ticket taker who was always ready to recommend a movie that I might like. I had the good fortune to run into Vince recently and exchange e-mails. It’s chance encounters like that which make a day at the movies that much better. Cary and Megan…two former AMC’ers who always made the trip to the movies more fun for me. Danielle, you are in that crew of great formers as well, but since you made it out for the night, you get mentioned below. If I left anyone out, you know it was only because it’s the elephant who never forgets, not the rhino!

Finally, of the AMC folks I have mentioned, if I didn’t give a shout out to Bill K., former AMC Barrywoods GM and current Independence AMC GM, I would be remiss. Bill was a great GM for Barrywoods and he was a great friend to me as a lover of film. Bill gave me the back room tour of the projection rooms and when AMC Mainstreet opened in 2008, Bill was there to usher in a new era. Pun intended, as Bill was an usher/ticket-taker when it closed as The Empire Theater in 1985. Not to age Bill, but he has lived through a great period in AMC history.

Back to the big night…

Tracie (my wife) was also very excited for movie night. Yes, she was proud of her movie going husband, but she also was excited to finally get out and see a movie. You see, while I am out there battling the crowds and taking in cinema for the sake of you, my loyal readers, she is usually holding down the fort. I couldn’t possible of gotten here without her, so her being there for this flick, was a “gotta have.”

And she couldn’t have been more excited for the choice in movie….GREEN LANTERN. Well, maybe some other movie would have been more preferable for her, but for the sake of the big night, she sucked it up.

The evening started at Buffalo Wild Wings, and we dined like kings and queens. We had a great posse in the Ross and Kelly Capps and their kiddies; Dan, Carol, Bevin, Michael, and Jillian Schmer, The G Man and Allison, Tracie, and I.

Cows around the world rejoiced as we tore through wings as if Adam Richman himself was egging us on. We had to build up our strength, but we all knew that we would have the luxury of well buttered popcorn and Diet Coke to fuel us forward if the need arose.

At around 6:00pm, we made the move across Barry Road, travelling from the Northland’s Zona Rosa to hallowed ground: Kansas City’s AMC Barrywoods 24…AKA my stomping grounds for the last 11 years.

Little did I know that Tracie had made some special arrangements for our arrival at the theater.

What a great wife.

Everyone expected that we would be wheels down and running a little behind making the 6:20pm show, so my friends at AMC had some also tricks up their sleeve.

V.I.P. seating, ladies and gentlemen. What a group, these AMC folks! It was at this point, that The G Man and Allison had to take their leave of us. G Man, we hardly knew you (see also, Seinfeld).  It was also at this point, that were were joined by Danielle and "Danielle's Mom."  The more...the merrier!

So what about the movie itself?

GREEN LANTERN: 4 of 5 Horns
Let me start by saying, Green Lantern was a solid 3, but this night would have earned any film a 1 Horn bump. It really needed it, too, as this film was fairly critically raked over the coals. Let me say, this is an extremely watchable film. A fun movie to watch with popcorn firmly secured in the lap, as was my position throughout.

Green Lantern tells the story of Hal Jordan and his selection as the first human called into service in the intergalactic do-good syndicate of super heroes, the Green Lantern Corps. Hal meets his predecessor when the ring calls him into service. He has no idea what is going on, and given the lack of popular success for this tent-pole summer release, Jordan wasn’t alone as most of the Ryan Reynolds fans were probably in the dark as well.

Don’t get me wrong. This film is wholly successful in conveying the back story to this lesser known DC title. But my question is why? Why did we need this origin story? I think that Green Lantern would have been a far more successful film if we had skipped right past the origin into a full fledge adventure with these characters.

That said, I think the story of the Lantern Corps is competently covered but at the expense of long periods of exposition, which would have been much better substituted with battles or grand adventure.

The absolute shining star in this film is Peter Sarsgaard. His role as Hector Hammond is brilliant and if you think you will pass on this film, I promise you, Sarsgaard alone is worth the trip to the theater.

Mark Strong, aka the poor man’s Andy Garcia, is quickly becoming the rich man’s Mark Strong. Strong is literally everywhere these days, and his turn is Sinestro is quite watchable, with his main purpose of setting up the sequel successfully accomplished.

A laughable appearance by Tim Robbins is a role that would have been much better filled by a lesser actor. Robbins is quite laugh as the elder Hammond and he is absolutely outshined in the worst possible way when he shares the screen with Sarsgaard.

There were some concerns about Blake Lively as well. She had a great role in the drugged out ex-girlfriend in last year’s Ben Affleck caper flick The Town. She is wholly passable as the love interest and really doesn’t shine, but as a pretty face, she plays the role with ease.

So the final word is see this movie, but don’t expect too much and your experience should be both enjoyable and enlightening given the strong role that is Hector Hammond.

Oh yeah, my hetero-man-crush Ryan Reynolds is great as always. He is so affable that I think it is impossible to not enjoy his time on screen. Yes, hard core GL fans wanted Nathan Fillion…sorry gang, we can’t have Mal Reynolds play all of our heroes. Catch the animated features just released, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, to hear how Fillion would have fared in this role.

Final World: It was a great night and I would have watched anything. Green Lantern fit the bill, as the real stars of the night were my wife, friends, and AMC family that made the day so memorable. It’s been a great run and I’ve loved every minute of it. I can’t wait to get into my next 1000…

Thanks Gang!

Until next time, take care….

Reel Rhino

Movie Count: 1000
Total Minutes in the Theater: 111,371
Which Equals: 77 days, 8 hours
Average Length of Each Movie: 111 minutes

Total Dollars in Tickets: $6.618.75
Average Ticket Price: $6.62 per ticket
Most movies in one year: 2008, 166 movies

Sunday, June 19, 2011

1000...Part one of a dream, realized.

This post will serve as a placeholder for the story of the night of 1000.  Here are some pics and I hope to post the tale by Weds.  

On Saturday, June 18th, 2011, at 6:20pm, I attended my 1000th movie of my life at the theater.

With my 1000th movie in the bucket and a great Father's Day down, I think I'll take a nap...  Saturday was a great night and between my fantastic wife, my friends, and the hands-down best AMC Theater Crew in the WORLD, it was one hell of a weekend. 

Pregame Meal at Buffalo Wild Wings

What a great wife!!!

What a great crew!!!

V.I.P. Seats...Nice!


Thanks for making the trip to the Capps!

The Penguin has been NABBED by Batman!

The Heart and Soul of the Ghostbusters...Scott and Matt!

Wing Men (And Woman)

Kenny Benne!

Danielle and "Danielle's Mom"

Thanks Heather!

Thanks Ponce!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Three Reviews: X-Men, Super 8, and Midnight in Paris

I have had a real-life work project rolling along, so I apologize for my rather selfish use of the site over the past few weeks.

For instance, if you haven’t heard, this Saturday, June 18th, 2011, the Reel Rhino will make history. Well nothing so significant as to cause Encyclopedia Britannica to get their shorts in a bunch, but significant enough for me to tell you about it here.

This Saturday at AMC Barrywoods, I will be taking in my favorite hetero man-crush, Ryan Reynolds, as he joins the Lantern Corps in GREEN LANTERN, the latest comic book, summer block buster offering. For whatever reason, DC comics always seem to have a darker tone than its Marvel counterpart. If you have seen the extended cut of the trailer, you’ll have to agree that but for Reynolds trademark wise cracks, that this film seems like the real deal for genre buffs, which luckily, I happen to be. I think this film will exist nicely in the realm of sci-fi, adventure, and comic book fare.

So what have I seen lately? I offer to you my single paragraph review, whirlwind takes on X-Men: First Class, Super 8, and Midnight in Paris.

X-Men: First Class 4 of 5 Horns
What a great entry into the X-Men series! This was an exciting film with a dynamic cast and it painted a vivid picture of the formation of one of the most feared super teams of all time: The Avengers! Wait a minute...that’s next summer! Make no mistake, this is a well made film and Matthew Vaughn is a force to contend with in the realm of up and coming directors. Layer Cake, Stardust, Kick-Ass, and now First Class…that is a quality resume. I think this entire cast performed with style, but super kudos go to James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as Charles Xavier and Erik Lensher. First Class has style, but it also has a sense of self-awareness. Some of the scenes are so comedic, given the high quality of the rest of the film, I am assuming that the scenes dialogue or action was shot with the tongue firmly planted in the cheek. These scenes are not only forgiven, they are embraced easily by the movie goers and provided well placed laughs amidst the gasps at the sense of adventure. Kevin Bacon is hammy in less sensational roles; he absolutely chewed his way out of this world eating set pieces with ease. For additional, enjoyable Kevin Bacon, leave Footloose on the shelf and shoot for James Gunn’s SUPER, from earlier this year.  P.S. Greatest cameo of the year....I'm not telling who, but you will know when you see it.

Super 8 5 of 5 Horns
Lora, I sensed from your comment, that you have some issues with Super 8. You are a dear friend, but I must contest, I loved this movie. J.J. Abrams has existed as one of my favorite folks in the entertainment industry for some time now. He solidified that opinion with the wonderful reboot of the Star Trek series. I always have been a fan of Star Trek; not a full fledge Trekker, but a fan none the less. J.J. made Star Trek cool again (yes, folks, it was cool before as well…deal with it). I’d like to say J.J. is a wunderkind director, but he’s been in the biz for over 20 years. In the 1980’s Abrams helped Steven Spielberg repair home movies he had made as a kid. That’s a pretty good break for a young wannabe filmmaker and this was just the first of Abrams/Spielberg interactions that would ultimately lead to this project. While Abrams calls Spielberg the Grandfather of Super 8; Spielberg maintains that Abrams could have travelled this road on his own. Super 8 is something of a Goonies meets E.T. alien adventure film, that is surrounded by all the mystery that both directors love. For further reading, please see also, Abrams TED talk on the mystery of the box. Well Super 8 is loaded with mystery. For starters, the mystery of who the hell are these kid actors? If they were to remake the Goonies, I would vote these folks in. Elle Fanning is charming and a chip off the old family block. I was also happy to see Noah Emmerich and Ron Eldard back in the acting game. Emmerich was formerly married to a friends sister. At said friend’s wedding, we had a blast hanging with “Mo” from Beautiful Girls. Must see TV, if you’re in the game for a flick. Super 8 is pure adventure from start to finish. See this movie.

Midnight in Paris 4 of 5 Horns
This film has been out for some time and for many of the past few weeks, Woody Allen’s latest film has raked in the highest per screen average amongst all the summer blockbusters playing at your local theaters. Impressive as the comic book, sequel, superhero films have occupied most screens nationwide, it’s good to see Allen still has the magic. And this film does have some magic. SPOILER ALERT: Most critics have steered clear of sharing the secret of this movie, but I think in doing so, you may be more inclined to see it. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS IS A TIME-TRAVEL, SCI-FI WONDER! Yep, you heard it here first. Midnight in Paris as a title describes a magic moment in time in a magical city. As the clock strikes midnight, our hero, Gil (Owen Wilson) is transported to an earlier time. The 1920’s in Paris were a renaissance as Gil saw it. As a “Hollywood hack” as he puts it, Gil is trying to write a novel. He dreams of a bygone era and wonders how great the inspiration would have flowed, had he been born in a different generation. Gil is transported into the 1920’s ala a midnight ride he takes each night in an old-timey car that mysteriously erupts from a foggy Paris night. This cast is loaded with stars and they all earn their paychecks here. I won’t say anymore other than Woody Allen works wonders with the time travel genre, flipping it on its head. This was an extraordinarily fun movie and whether or not you like Allen or not, this is not your standard Woody. I experienced a funny moment after the film, as I was discussing the movie with two ushers. I was perhaps the youngest person in the theater by 10 years and when I was talking to these folks, the young lady I was describing the film to, asked me in a hushed tone: “Is this an old person movie?” as several silver haired movie goers passed us by. Well folks, Woody Allen has been around for years, by I argue that he still has the power to entertain people of all ages.

I hope to see you all on Saturday at AMC Barrywoods…it’s a big day for me and I look forward, just as much, to the next 1000.

Until later, take care!

Reel Rhino

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The stage has been set for 1000. 

Saturday, June 18th, 2011
AMC Barrywoods 24
Kansas City, MO

6:20pm ETX Screening

All are welcome to join me for this milestone.

See you there!!

Reel Rhino

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quest for 1000 - Thank You AMC Theaters!

Greetings movie lovers! Sorry for my absence, but I have been quite jammed with my real job and some other non-movie business. I am shooting for two mid-week posts…one reviewing X-Men: First Class, Super 8, and Midnight in Paris; and one revealing the final plans for the 1000th movie.

For now, I am at a loss for words. I cannot say enough great things about my friends at AMC Barrywoods 24.

For starters, let me say that this was supposed to be a HUGE weekend for the Reel Rhino. This was going to be the hallowed 1000th movie weekend.

Life intervened.

I spent the better part of the week in Orlando, FL attending the Hexagon 2011 conference as a part of the Leica Geosystems User Group. I had planned on taking in two movies while in Florida, but like Congressman Norris in The Adjustment Bureau, it wasn’t in the plan.

In preparation for the big 1-0-0-0, the AMC crew prepared a gift for me. Let me say how humbled I am for such an effort on their part. While I am grateful to all who had a hand in the gift, AMC Barrywoods 24 GM Ponce and all of his staff; I am especially appreciative of Heather’s part. She shared with me her secret of wrapping gifts and I think you will agree, for the movie lover, it was perfect!

We didn’t have an AMC theater in my hometown of Erie, PA. It wasn’t until 1994, my freshman year at The University of Maryland, that I went to an AMC at the Academy 6 at the Greenbelt Mall in Greenbelt, MD, just outside of College Park. That first AMC film was Forrest Gump, on August 20th, 1994, at 10:00pm, at the low student rate of just $3.75. I was nearing the end of my first preseason football camp with the Terps, and I needed some comfort. You know, Momma always said life was like a box of chocolates…Forest Gump has remained one of my favorites and I did in fact see it three times during 1994.

My First AMC Movie
From there, I toggled between the Academy 8 and the Academy 6, both at the Greenbelt Mall, for most of my days at Maryland.

Regrettably for the AMC family, I moved next door to a Sony Theater during 1999 and 2000, which was my movie home for that span. That run of movie-going had me see every film released that summer, except Thomas the Tank Engine and Pokemon 2000. There is a bit of irony in the choice of what I skipped that summer as I spent this most recent Sunday visiting a real live Thomas the Tank Engine with my wife and son tomorrow.

1st AMC Barrywoods 24
Movie for Reel Rhino
At the end of 2000, I moved to Kansas City, MO and the AMC Barrywoods 24 has been my home screen ever since. My first film in Kansas City was yet another Tom Hanks film, Castaway, on December 29th, 2000, at 10:45pm, at the low cost of $5.00, student rate. Chuck Noland...”no land,” cute, right…was no Forest Gump, but damn that Tom Hanks can act!

The adventure has continued and will into the future. The first stage of my moviegoing is nearly complete. This Saturday, June 18th, 2011, I will be seeing my 1000th movie.

I will be posting again on the event, but the short story is that I am shooting for a 7:00pm-ish show of Green Lantern, probably the full monty 3-D version.

This is not a commercial for AMC Theaters. From those 999 movies, I've been to a slew of other theaters, some good, some great, some not so much.  But I can’t deny the hospitality that AMC Theaters has always showed me. From the gift for my filmgoing achievement to always greeting me with open arms for every show that I attend at my home theater of Barrywoods, they have exemplified excellence in providing a great theater experience.

In their honor and as a show of thanks for their kindness, I have tallied my moviegoing life as it has interacted with AMC Theaters. Oh, if you’re wondering how I know all this…I have every stub from most every film in my moviegoing life. You call me crazy, I call it reverence for a beloved form of art.
AMC Academy 8, Greenbelt, MD
AMC Academy 6, Greenbelt, MD
AMC Union Station, Washington, D.C.
AMC Shore, Long Island, NY
AMC Barrywoods, Kansas City, MO
AMC Town Center, Leawood, KS
AMC Metro North 6, Kansas City, MO (no longer open)
AMC Van Ness 14, San Francisco, CA
AMC Studio 30, Olathe, KS
AMC Stonebriar 24, Frisco, TX
AMC Mainstreet, Kansas City, MO
AMC Cherry Creek 8, Denver CO
AMC La Jolle, San Diego, CA
AMC Independence 20, Independence, MO
AMC Creve 12, St. Louis, MO
Midland Theater by AMC (for Kevin Smith’s Red State)

1994: 5
1995: 11
1996: 23
1997: 20
1998: 15
1999: 4
2000: 8
2001: 20
2002: 23
2003: 32
2004: 24


2005: 26
2006: 42
2007: 83
2008: 134
2009: 135
2010: 78
2011: 46

729 of my 999 movies to date have been with AMC.

Thanks AMC. Thanks.

Box Office Challenge
Thraxxus sat atop his throne for a mere week before having his record setting PERFECT WEEK tied not once, but twice, by JUNIOR and KENFU. Cheers to you both and Kenfu, I already owe you Cars 2, another pick if you like, and Junior, your pick is my command as well. Here were last week’s box office results as well as the four entries into the Box Office Challenge:

1. X-Men: First Class $55.1 million
2. The Hangover Part II $31.3 million
3. Kung Fu Panda 2 $23.8 million
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides $17.9
5. Bridesmaids $12 million
6. Thor $4.2 million
7. Fast Five $3.1 million
8. Midnight in Paris $2.7 million
9. Something Borrowed $848,013
10 . Jumping the Broom $844,909

JUNIOR Top 5 (15 Points)
1. X-Men
2. The Hangover 2
3. Kung Fu Panda 2
4. Pirates
5. Bridesmaids

KENFU Top 5 (15 Points)
1. X-Men
2. The Hangover 2
3. Kung Fu Panda 2
4. Pirates
5. Bridesmaids

Karzack Top 5 (13 Points)
1. X-Men
2. Hangover 2
3. Kung Fu Panda 2
4. Bridesmaids
5. Pirates

1. X-Men: First Class
2. Kung Fu Panda 1
3. The Hangover Part 2
4. Bridesmaids
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Since the weekend is alive and kicking and I have been off the grid, I offer a week off from the Challenge. My picks for the weekend are as follows:

1. Super 8
2. X-Men: First Class
3. The Hangover Part II
4. Kung Fu Panda 2
5. Pirates 4

While I think Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer will have some pull with the youngins, the 5 I picked are all playing on 3000 or more screens. Judy Moody is playing on just under, but I still don’t see it generating enough momentum. Cars 2 will hold its own, but Ms. Moody, probably not.

(PS…I made my picks early in the weekend. While I nailed it, the contest was off, so I still consider myself a perfect week virgin.  My top five above do represent the top five from this most recent weekend.)

Until next time….1000, I’m a knockin’!

Take care, Reel Rhino