Today is known as Single’s Awareness Day or what I like to call “Make Single People Feel Like Crap” Day. Since I am single and have been single on every Valentine’s Day since I was born, I have certain traditions for celebrating this day. But since I am striving to try something new every day, I discovered something at Target yesterday that has enhanced my celebration. I discovered Red Velvet Pop Tarts!!!!!
So now, I am sitting here and starting a new tradition. I am eating my Red Velvet Pop Tarts while watching the 1967 film, The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Following this glorious holiday film, I will watch Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho followed with a Ghost Adventures Marathon. Since I highly doubt I will find a man who would enjoy my February 14th traditions as much as I do, I think this is going to be my Single’s Awareness Day celebration tradition for many years to come.
The temperatures have dropped and the tourists have arrived. It is almost the New Year here in Pasadena. You see the Rose Parade bleachers lining Colorado while out-of-towners try to find things to do in Old Town. I thought I could duck into a movie theater to avoid the crowds but I was wrong.
I made my way to the Lammle Playhouse 7 theater on Colorado, right next to Vroman’s bookstore. This was my first time taking in a show at the Pasadena Laemmle and the first time I had seen a line of patrons waiting to purchase a ticket.
I had been debating between going to the iPic theaters, Arclight and the Laemmle but the Laemmle won based on their film selections, specifically the film Hitchcock. I have been a Hitchcock fan since I was a young girl and I first saw Psycho. Many of my friends don’t share in my taste for the darker directors like Hitchcock (and Tim Burton, my second favorite filmmaker). So I decided to go on my own and was pleasantly surprised to see the theater was packed. (I also noticed that I was the youngest person in the audience).
I know the critics haven’t been kind to this film but I loved it. Psycho is my favorite Hitchcock film so seeing the story behind the making of the film play out on the big screen with Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Helen Mirren was a twisted dream come true. I am now an even bigger fan of the Hitchcock films (if that was even possible, I did write my Senior Thesis in college on the Hitchcock narrative). But now I have a love and appreciation for Alma Reville, aka Mrs. Hitchcock. She was truly the driving force behind the madness, the genius and the man. Dame Helen Mirren was divine, demure, and once again, a strong kick-ass female character. And of course Sir Anthony Hopkins was a genius, transforming himself into the Master of Suspense. I could watch this film over and over again with these two brilliant actors at the helm. Toni Collette does a superb job as Peggy Robertson, Hitchcock’s overworked assistant and secretary. I was even impressed by Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of Janet Leigh but I could do without Jessica Biel as Vera Miles.
It is a rare occasion these days when I leave a movie theater thinking, “I can’t wait to see that again.” I felt that way after Hitchcock (and I even stayed until the end to see the after the credits Hitchcock departure). I even went next door to Vroman’s to buy the book, “Alfred Hitchcock and The Making of Psycho” by Stephen Rebello, on which the film is based. Now, I am at home, wrapped up in my USC snuggie with a glass in hand ready for a Hitchcock marathon. I’ll give you one guess as to which film I am going to start with.
This is a documentary on the lives of the firefighters in Detroit. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it will open your eyes to what is really going on in our own country in terms of budget cuts made by politicians and how those cuts affect the working class. I cried several times throughout the film. It also made me a little homesick–with everyone drinking Vernors and talking about going to eat at National Coney Island.
At the premiere, I had the chance to spend some time with the firefighters who are featured in the film. They flew out to LA just to be there for the Grauman’s Egyptian Theater premiere. We all reveled in what a small world it is. One firefighter, “Doogie,” went to school in the same school district and graduated a year after me. It turns out that we used to hang out at the same places and were probably there at the same time. Another firefighter, Dave Miller, lives fairly close to my older brother. After seeing this film, I feel like I know them, like they are family. I received several hugs from Dave Parnell, a retired Detroit firefighter, that evening, just because I am a Detroit native and I support this film.
It opens this Friday in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Noho 7 in North Hollywood. This film will change your lives and it may even just change the way you vote next Tuesday. Check out the Burn website for more information, to see the movie trailer, or to find out if it is going to be playing in any theaters near you.
Lately I have been focusing mostly on trying new food places so this time I thought I would try something in the genre of entertainment. Using the 365 Days of things to do around Pasadena list, I found the Academy Cinema (number 17 on the list).
The Academy Cinema in Pasadena is run by the Regency Theatre group. It hosts movies that are no longer in the mainstream theaters but are not yet available for purchase or rental via DVD or digital download. The Matinee (any show before 6pm) prices is $2, Regular price (after 6pm) is $3 and the Saturday Midnight screenings are priced at $8. I decided I would see the 5:10pm Matinee of Disney’s Brave.
When I arrived there, I realized that you get what you pay for. The ticket prices are low but the food prices are way overpriced, like any other theater. I didn’t even bother with drinks or popcorn when I noticed that the cheapest combo price was $9.
Maybe I have become spoiled by the ArcLight cinemas (my preferred movie experience) but the Academy Cinema needs some serious TLC. The bathrooms were vandalized (lots of profanity written on the inside of the doors). The theater had not been cleaned since the previous showing. There were drinks and garbage still sitting in the cup holders through the theater. There was also a strange, unpleasant odor lingering in the air inside the theater–perhaps from the trash. There was plenty of staff just standing around the concession stands chatting. I’m sure someone could have inspected the theater before allowing patrons inside–like other theaters do.
They also left the doors open so you could clearly hear all the noise in the lobby. There was only a curtain to serve as a buffer between the door and our seats inside the theater but that too was left open. I actually got up to close the doors and the curtain once the film had started. (The staff was again standing around talking when I went to close the door–one noticed me and offered to do it for me but I had already completed the task).
In addition, the seats were uncomfortable and made an annoying squeak every time you moved. Patrons were on their cell phones or talking throughout the film. Again, I am used to the ArcLight where this kind of behavior wouldn’t fly and the seats are very comfy.
The movie itself was a good film but I would rather wait to spend the $2 to rent it from Redbox and watch it in the comfort of my own home instead of going through another experience at the Academy Cinema. As Mr. MoviePhone would say at the end of a bad review, “I’m out.”
Please check out this trailer for a documentary called Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit, made by two of my very talented friends. This film is very near and dear to my heart, not just because my friends made it but because it is about my home town. This is an amazing film that my own sister-in-law said was life-changing. If you live in the Los Angeles area, the film is premiering on October 29th at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. You can check out the Burn website to see if it will be screened in your area, if it is not, please donate to the film so it can reach more theaters across the country. And to my friends back home, Burn opens in Sterling Heights at the AMC Forum 30 on December 30th–so if you missed the Detroit Premiere, you can check it out then.
So please, help support my hometown and the heroes trying to save it.