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City to Creek: A trip to the movies

Posted on February 9, 2017 by Maple Creek

By Sean McIntosh

If you read Megan Roth’s story about me when I moved into town a few months ago, you’d know I buy and watch a ton movies.

I own at least a couple hundred Blu-rays – in fact, I added another eight last week, after I bought the American Pie and Scream collections. It’s not a problem, I can quit anytime I want… I just don’t want to right now.

Every year I watch all the major Oscar movies. I’ll sometimes skip out on one if it looks like a typical Oscar-bait type movie. And there’s been a couple occasions where I had to stop in the middle of some of the Best Picture nominees just because I couldn’t stand it (I’m looking at you “Les Miserables”).

I anticipated plenty of differences moving to Maple Creek, but the fact that I wouldn’t have a big movie theatre nearby is something I never considered.
Some movies don’t even screen in Medicine Hat or Swift Current. The real “art-house” Best Picture candidates would only screen in major cities in Canada.

I’ve only been able to watch three of the nominees this year. At this point last year, I was probably finished watching seven or eight of the nine.

What a weird number of nominations by the way.

So far I’ve only been able to see ones that have come to local theatres: “La La Land”, “Arrival” and “Manchester By The Sea”.

There’s a couple I really want to see still (“Moonlight”, and “Hell or High Water”), a few I’m at least a little interested in (Hidden Figures,  “Lion” and “Fences”) and then one I might as well see (“Hacksaw Ridge”).

“Hacksaw Ridge” looks like one of those Oscar-bait movies I was talking about earlier. I could be wrong, maybe it’ll turn out to be a masterpiece, but the trailer made me dread seeing it.

A couple of those are in theatres now – not the ones I really want to see. When I head to The Hat or Swift the sole reason won’t be because I’m going to see a movie. I don’t care to make an event of it.

Meanwhile, growing up in Whitby, Ont., the Famous Players had 24 theatres and was about a five-minute drive from our house.
Peterborough, Ont., where I went to school, has a theatre with 14 or so screening rooms and it was a 15-minute walk. Belleville, the other Ontario city I went to school in, had a very similar setup.

It’s a small thing to miss, I know, but believe me I miss the convenience of seeing a movie.

That’s not just Oscar movies, I miss the year-round effect of going to see something as soon as it’s out without having to take half a day to do it.
I was in Medicine Hat last weekend and saw “Split” – a couple weeks after it came out.

If I were in the city, I probably would have seen it on opening night, but I didn’t get a chance to.

It was a great movie, by the way – as long as you can deal with some mildly scary stuff. I think I liked it more than all three Best Picture nominees I saw.

Whether that says more about “Split” or the nominees, I’m not sure.

“Split” is an M. Night Shyamalan movie, so I think we all expected it to be bad. The guy hasn’t really made a good movie since the early 2000s.
If you were going to see “Split”, you may want to avert your eyes because I’m going to spoil it a bit.

I mean it, last warning.

Are you gone yet? OK.

The big spoiler of the movie is that it’s a surprise sequel to his movie “Unbreakable” which was made 17 years ago.

Sorry if you weren’t reading this column and you were just scanning through and saw that line.

“Unbreakable” is essentially a superhero movie without telling you it’s a superhero movie, while “Split” is a supervillain movie without telling you it’s a supervillain movie. That’s the easiest way to describe it.

I saw “Split” nearly a week ago and it’s still all I’m thinking about.

I’ve been thinking though, maybe not having the ability to see it right away made it feel like a more special movie.

You can take things for granted if you get it when you want it. Having to wait makes things better, so I’m grateful to not have a theatre next door.

I still have to see those Oscar movies though…

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