Independence Day (1996): I went to see Independence Day not on opening day, but pretty close to it. I went with my then-roommate who was a huge fan of big Hollywood movies. When Randy Quaid’s daughter’s boyfriend says the line, “This could be our last night on Earth. You don’t want to die a virgin, do you?” he and I both turned to each other and said, in unison, “I’ve used that line.” Got a pretty good laugh from the people around us. One of us was telling the truth.
Wild Things (1998): I wasn’t expecting much from this movie, though I had liked Neve Campbell in Scream, but a friend really wanted to see it. He had heard that Kevin Bacon did full frontal nudity, and he decided that he wanted to celebrate this rare occurrence. But as we got closer and closer to show-time, he started to chicken out. Finally, he offered me $5 to go ahead with his plan, so when showering Kevin Bacon turned toward the camera, I stood up and said, “That’s what I paid my 8 dollars for!”
The Faculty (1998): I went to see this in a theater where talking was the norm and it was a hoot. The movie was okay, but the crowd was great. People were shouting at the screen when things got tense, laughing when things got absurd, and cracking on things when they were stupid. I don’t remember what theater it was, and I don’t remember what I said, but I got more laughs than the screenwriter did. On purpose, at least.
The Blair Witch Project (1999): Kellie and I went to see this movie on opening night, because she was really excited that somebody was doing something new with the horror format and we had coincidentally visited the Burkittsville area a few weeks before and had actually stopped at the local cemetery to consult the map. The theater was packed to capacity and about when things are starting to get bad for our filmmaking campers, the guy sitting next to my wife gets a call. He answers and distinctly says, loudly, “…nothing, what are you doing?” I was pissed. I said to Kellie loud enough for him to hear, “If that guy doesn’t put away that phone, I’m going to shove it down his fucking throat.” He managed a quick “gotta go” and hung up. When the house lights came up after the movie he darted out, and I got my first good look at what turned out to be an enormous man who could have destroyed me.
Shrek (2001): I took my daughter to see this because she was very excited and I hoped that since it looked as good as a Pixar movie, it would be as good as a Pixar movie. Things turned south when the magic mirror describes Snow White, saying, “Although she lives with seven other men, she’s not easy.” My daughter turned to me and said, “What does that mean?” All I managed to say was, “Just watch the movie.”
Django Unchained (2012): I wanted to see this movie as soon as possible, but my wife avoids graphic violence, and it was around the holidays which meant that most people I knew were busy, so I ended up going alone. I tried the Landmark in Harbor East, but they were sold out, so I instead went out to the burbs and saw it in White Marsh. While Baltimore is about 70% black, White Marsh is 88% white, so I was a little surprised that I was one of only a handful of white people in the audience, especially since there was so much controversy about the treatment of race in the movie. I ended up sitting between two black women and when D’Artagnan was…attacked, both ladies and I covered our faces and whispered “shit.”
Man of Steel (2013): “Oh fuck you. This is terrible.”