The joke of the year (decade?) is they don’t, and I’ll have to explain to my grandchildren that long ago there were these big living rooms with hundreds of seats that people used to pay half the price of a DVD (what’s a DVD, grampa?) for one ticket, and by kitchen snacks for, and sit with a bunch of people you did not know and listen to them eat and talk on their phones and otherwise interrupt your film. Unless of course, the movie wasn’t popular, in which case you probably wouldn’t see it, or you’d see it in the giant living room and sit way to close to it, because you could, and walk out with a neck cramp. Because that’s what movies were.
But as it turns out, there are still theaters open. Not any in my neighborhood, but near enough that I could get there if the urge was really on me. So let’s see what we’ve got, at a theater less than an hour from my house:
Wrong Turn (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29%). Hikers on the Appalachian trail do the thing they’re warned not to do, stumble into land that ain’t theirs, get the Texas Chainsaw Massacre/Green Inferno treatment.
The Marksman (Rotten Tomatoes Score: 34%). Liam Neeson takes on a drug cartel on behalf of some migrants. He learned to shoot good in the Marines, though, so it’ll probably be fine.
News of the World (RTS: 89%) Tom Hanks rescues a child kidnapped by Indians, fights the entire West to take her to her kin.
Wonder Woman 1984 (RTS: 60%) Wonder Woman does Wonder Woman things while Evil Mr. Business does Capitalism Things, in a film made by a marketing committee of a major international corporation.
Fatale (RTS: 46%) Hillary Swank goes Fatal Attraction on a dude. It’s meaningful because she’s a cop and he’s black? I got nothing.
Monster Hunter (RTS: 49%) “So what, are we Guardians of the Galaxy now?” May be the most truthful and pathetic line ever put into a trailer.
The Croods: A New Age (RTS: 77%) Low-Rent Flinstones are back for… something. Who cares.
Freaky (RTS: 83%) Serial Killer inhabits a high-schooler in this parody of a concept that actually got made. Good for them.
Come Play (RTS: 56%) Autistic kid summons monster from his phone in the most 21st Century horror film imaginable.
The Emperor’s New Groove (RTS: 85%) A re-release of a film we paid $26 for on DVD, and are glad to have done so, because its not on Disney+ (neither is Enchanted, because Disney enjoys annoying its fans).
This is an odd collection of films, and some might call it even barebones (granted, it’s January). But there’s at least two of those I would actively choose to see if I actually felt like going to a theater. So, it seems there might actually be a pulse on the film industry. I saw the trailer for a Tom Hanks film and wasn’t immediately bored. That’s something.