My husband and I are closet nerds. While his nerdy indulgences lie in the form of computer games and an interest in Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, my heart belongs to super heroes. The men in my family have a soft spot for comic books and caped vigilantes and throughout my childhood, I not only picked up useless knowledge concerning mutants, secret organizations and winged avengers, I became quite fascinated with the stories and characters. I don't let my geek out often, but when she does come out, she comes out in full force.
My Facebook has been all abuzz with the movie The Avengers. Despite loving super heroes, I made it a point to not see Thor, Iron Man 2, Captain America and several other movies dedicated to Marvel super heroes. This recent interest in the commercialization of super heroes as made it less fun to be a nerd. The movies never follow the original story lines of the comic books, the dialogue in the movies is always awful, the plots are weak and I leave the theaters feeling unfulfilled. I heard such great things about this movie, that I figured we should give it a chance.
My husband and I made a trip down to the South Bay Drive-In located down in Chula Vista. We wanted to attend the 8:30 p.m. showing of The Avengers and also hopefully stay for the screening of Dark Shadows immediately following. We didn't know much about either movie, but paying $14 to get out of the house seemed totally worth it.
We've always loved the atmosphere of the drive-in theatre. I love being in the privacy of my own car and the adrenaline rush I get from sneaking in my own snacks. An aspect of the theaters I do miss in my experience at the drive-ins is the feeling of being surrounded by pictures and sound.
Filling up on stove-popped popcorn and sugar-free candy, my husband and I sat through 143 minutes of what might have been one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The plot was weak. The characters were flat, meaning there was little character development, and their back stories and introductions were as as bad as some of the computer animations. Despite some funny moments, the dialogue was terrible. I was also bored through most of the movie.
I may not have seen the other movies leading up to this one, but I feel as though watching those movies still wouldn't help with the back stories of the characters. I think this movie was just this terrible.
The movie finished around 11 p.m. and we were tired and full of junk food; it was marvelous. We decided to start the second movie and if it was as awful as the first, we'd leave. Both my husband and I didn't know much about Dark Shadows. We knew it was based on an old after-school special that scared children with the stories of vampires. We both never even saw a trailer for the film but we had never been disappointed with the trio of Depp, Burton and Bonham Carter.
Unfortunately, our fatigue and fullness got the best of us and we were only able to make it for about 30 minutes in. The movie seemed to follow the basic progression of a television show and my interest was peaked with the little back story I learned in those first few moments. I loved the gothic costumes, the extravagant movie sets and the dark feelings that seem baked right in to every Tim Burton movie. In those first 30 minutes, I knew more about the quirky characters and their complexities than I did after watching The Avengers in its entirety. I wish this movie played first. I'll find it when it comes out on DVD.
The theater itself was simple. Three screens, decent-sized parking lots, restrooms and a snack house is really all you need. I love the feeling of privacy that comes with drive-in theaters. It allows for loud criticism and laughs toward the movies that are wasting your time.
I'll absolutely go again...but for better movies.