Friday Night At The Movies

I’m declaring it a tradition

One person’s rut is another’s comforting tradition.  That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.  You see, I have been watching a movie every Friday night for something like 185 years.  Maybe I exaggerate a touch.  But it’s been a long freaking time.

It used to be the end of the workweek – tired and uninspired to do anything that involved movement (and with little cash to do it), movies on tape were the entertainment of choice.    Back then it was rented VHS tapes from the closest video store, which happened to be in the supermarket.  We didn’t even have a big chain video store and we took what we could get.  I never got there early enough to get a new release, or even one that I’d heard of, so we sat through a lot of crap that had good cover art.

The advent of DVD didn’t change things all that much.  The advent of children, however, did.  Now more tired than ever and with less ability to get out of the house, our tradition became a lifeline to the outside world.  Still never got to the store early enough to get anything new, still watched a lot of crap, eventually saw all the good stuff long after the rest of the world.  But at least we saw it eventually and when we happened to see other adults had at least one thing to talk about.  Oh, how proud we were!

Soon we became more choosy about our obscure movies and came to see a sprinkling of little gems among the lumps of cinematic coal.  We discovered The Indie – which had by then made its way to our sparkling new big video store and was routinely available for our consumption.   I was actively seeking out titles no one else wanted – sometimes even the new-turned-old blockbusters weren’t worth renting and it was Indie or Bust.

Then came the nirvana of mail order rental movies.  Three at a time, no late fees and at that time over 11,000 titles.  I never looked back.  Now those rental movies come to my mailbox from a catalogue that is probably in the hundreds of thousands (I could find out but I’m simply too lazy).  Very rarely do I look for a title, no matter how tiny the budget of the film or unknown the makers, and find it unavailable.  I can even directly stream some of them right to my TV. Most of the time I can get a new release within days.  My rut has expanded a thousand fold and become a full-fledged ditch!

So I still watch a movie every damn Friday night.  The process may have changed a little but the outcome is exactly the same – a movie and two giant cookies from a neighborhood bakery to start off our weekend.   Sometimes the movies are brand spanking new to DVD, sometimes they’re old as dirt.

The Friday Night Movie has opened movie doors that I never would have discovered without my set pattern of weekly viewing.  Without a movie, I don’t think I would enjoy my cookies nearly enough to warrant the calories consumed.  No matter how late we start, we always watch something – and sometimes the last-ditch choices (aka: the ones we make based on which is the shortest movie available) end up being truly wonderful and worth the Saturday fatigue. 

Sometimes I feel like doing a full review of these.  Sometimes not.  Not everything inspires me to dig into it deeply or analyze it.  Mediocre movies really don’t deserve that much of my time (or yours).  And sometimes I’m just lazy and will get to the review eventually but have no idea exactly when. 

But I want to share them with you – good, bad and ugly.  So look for Friday Night Movies blog posts to see what weird thing I’ve been watching.  Maybe it’s a hidden gem, maybe it’s just more crap (upon which I’ll gladly spill some vitriol).  But as we know, I always have something to say.   Maybe it’ll be a recommendation, maybe a warning.  Maybe it will inspire your own rut…I mean tradition.  I’ll even let you choose your own fattening treat and not insist that you eat giant cookies with your movies.  I’m nice that way.

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