Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Movie Thoughts..."Black Mass", "Psycho", "Casablanca" and the Price of Popcorn

Some movie thoughts and opinions....

Saw this movie this afternoon.


It is the story about Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger.  I love mob movies, and while this one is no "Goodfellas", and certainly no "Godfather", it's a pretty good one.  I was somewhat familiar with the Bulger story, but wasn't totally aware of the "deal with the devil" that the local Boston FBI office made with Bulger, nor was I aware of the prominence of Bulger's younger brother in Boston politics.  The best part of this movie is the performance of Johnny Depp.  There was a school of thought that Depp's career had descended into a series of parodies of his Capt. Jack Sparrow character, but not in this case.  He's dynamite as Whitey Bulger

One minor quibble.  I suppose that when you make a movie that takes place in Boston, everybody has to speak in over-exaggerated Boston accents (there were a few points where I wish there had been sub-titles).  It adds to the authenticity, I suppose, but sometimes it just seems so forced.

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Earlier in the week we had seen the TCM/Fathom Events presentation of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" on the big screen at the Cinemark North Hills.


It was terrific experience to see this in such a setting, and it prompted my mind to wander in the following direction:  With a movie that has been parodied so many times, and is so ingrained in our culture, was there anyone in the theater that night who was seeing "Psycho" for the first time?  Similarly, is there anyone out there who is unfamiliar with what "Psycho" is about?  Could there possibly be anyone to whom viewing this movie would be a completely blank page, and if so, what would they think viewing it for the first time in 2015?  

After seeing this movie on Sunday, I went on line and searched for reviews of this movie that were given at the time of its 1960 release.  The Internet makes it possible to find such things, and they make for interesting reading with fifty-five years of hindsight.

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In conjunction with its current exhibit on World War II, the Heinz History Center is offering a "World War II Film Festival" this Saturday and Sunday in its Mueller Education Center this coming weekend.  I will be working as a Volunteer on Saturday afternoon when "Casablanca" will be shown.  Talk about being able to see a Classic on the Big Screen!


If you aren't doing anything this Saturday afternoon, think about stopping by.  Not sure what my volunteer role will be, but I just might be the guy to sell you a candy bar....or offer to procure a Letter of Transit for you!

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Finally, when I went to see "Black Mass" this afternoon, I thought I'd treat myself to a bag of popcorn.  A small bag.  Note that I said a SMALL bag.  The price was $6.05.  Putting aside the outrageous price for something that probably cost less than a dime for the theater to produce, I had to laugh at the cost of six dollars and FIVE cents.  As I said to the young kid at the cash register, they must just LOVE having to count out ninety-five cents in change all the time.  I mean, really, how was it determined that this commodity should cost $6.05?

It just struck me as odd.

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