Rah Rah Pickford!

BELLINGHAM, WA — House-sitting really suits me, esp. when it is an out of town place. (Yes, I do travel as a house-sitter. Anywhere you've got a house, I'll prolly sit on it.) It allows me to check out a new town which does worlders for expanding my horizons. While Bellingham doesn't completely fall into the "new" category (I did attend WWU for a whopping 3 months back in '00), it has been nice to spend some time checking it out.

One of my favorite finds* is the Pickford Cinema, Bellingham's only independent cinema. It is a tiny theatre with a tiny screen (upgrades are in their future, I hear), but the movies they play and the people there make it so much different (and dare I say better?) than a regular movie-going experience. Growing up in Anacortes, we didn't get much independent cinema (although to be fair, the Lincoln Theatre does show some good ones, but it is still a car trip away.)

Anyway, enough of my waxing nostalgia. The main point of this post was to tell you about the two great movies I have seen recently, both of which I probably would have never seen had it not been for the Pickford.

Into the Wild: I read this Jon Krakauer book back in high school. All I remember about it, though, is that it really inspired me. When I heard a movie of it was coming out,
I was somewhat skeptical that it might shatter the memories I had formed of the story (as movie remakes of books often tend to do). I couldn't have been more wrong*. The movie inspired me the same way that the book did, perhaps even more now that I am an "adult" with my views of the world a little more solid than back in the days. There were a few parts in the movie, as well as in the book, that brought things back to reality which, although probabaly a good thing, took away from the inspirational side of the experience. Oh well. Anyway, I suggest you see it. Good times.

King Corn: To put it concisely, this documentary is essentially the first chapter in Micheal Pollen's Omnivore's Dilemma embodied in movie form. That isn't a strike against it at all. And, no offense Mr. Pollen, this embodiment was much more fun to sit through. It is essentially the story of two guys from the east coast who decide they want to raise an acre of corn. They document their experiment as well as investigate the curiosities that follow. About half the time you are learning about farm subsidies and the processing of corn post-farm, and about half the time you are seeing them run amok with a tractor or interacting with the Iowan townsfolk. As with any good documentary, IMHO, it educated as well as entertained. If the film happens through your town, I highly recommend checking it out.

(For all you RSSers, this post is specifically formated for the BdW layout, just so you know)


Sunday December 2 2007File under: movies

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A Night at the Drive-In


As much hot air as I spout against driving (vs. public transporation, biking, etc.), there is one situation where a replacement for a car is practically out of the question. While I've heard of people biking or walking in, carrying their own lawn chairs, blankets, and battery powered radios, the drive-in movies just aren't the same unless you drive in.

After keeping an eye on my schedule and the schedule of the theatre all summer long, I finally found a match this weekend: two movies that didn't look terrible with a weekend where I was free and had access to a car. The experience was well worth it. The movies may not have been awesome, and we had a little bit of a car door issue*, but the experience was almost exactly as it should be completely with giggling teenagers running around willy nilly and a foot-long chili dog from the concession stand.

For those of you in the northwest washington "viewing" area, check out Blue Fox Drive-In (open weekends until at least early December). For those of you outside of said viewing area, check for drive-ins in your area here

Oh, and if I can't convince you with the ambience and chili dogs, maybe this will do the trick: two movies for only $6, at 65%* savings over your nearest cineplex.
Sunday October 21 2007File under: movies, Anacortes

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Kwik-E-Mart

As most of you already know, the Simpsons Movie opened this past weekend. And as most of you might suspect, I went and saw it on opening night. I'm giving it a thumbs up! Good plot, good inclusion of the characters we have come to know and love*, and lots of good jokes. All in all, it was just like paying $10 to watch a good, long episode without commercials. Anyway, I enjoyed it muchly.

Since the Simpsons Movie is kind of a big deal to me, I tried to think of ways to make it special. I immediately* discounted the idea of dressing up like Prof. Frink. Camping out for tickets was also out of the question due to the 105 degree heat. Luckily, one of the 12 or so 7-11s that have been converted to a Kwik-E-Marts is in the Las Vegas area. (I've heard confirmed reports of others in Seattle (thanks, Siri) and Washington D.C. (thanks, Izak) Bingo.

Most notable at this particular Kwik-E-Mart was the number of other slack-jawed gawkers roaming around with cameras. Good thing there was lots to take pictures of. Life-sized replicas of many characters were placed around the store, although the Jasper from the freezer had been stolen. There were Simpsons-themed foods and drink available as well. The Buzz Cola was sold out, but there were Squishees a-plenty. I enjoyed a nice sprinkled donut. There were also little subtleties around that made it quite fun, like dashing uniforms for the employees and other quirks.

On my way out, I struck up a conversation with the cashier* who told me how well the promotion is working for 7-11. He said that in the Las Vegas area alone, they made over $30,000 in two weeks off the sprinkled donuts alone. Not bad at all.
Thursday August 2 2007File under: travel, movies

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February's Movie Marathon

I like watching movies. Whether they are mindless Hollywood action blockbusters or quirky independent films, I usually enjoy them. I've often been accused of poor taste in movies, but I like to think of it more as an indiscriminate palette. How's that for a euphemism?

Anyway, while I was on that other continent over there (you know, that big one with lots of people), I fell behind on the whole movie scene. Even before that, the commuter lifestyle I led didn't really lend itself to free evenings to rent a movie or two. Now that I have nothing to stop me and the weather is still on the "stay inside" side of warm, I hereby declare February to be a movie marathon here at Chez du Wren. I've been keeping a list of movies I want to watch (or re-watch) for some time. First features: Princess Mononoke and Little Miss Sunshine.

Anyone in the area looking for a night at the pseudo-cinema, drop me a line and join me. Anyone not in the area, leave a comment with any movies I simply mustn't miss. (Scary movies need not apply)
Thursday February 1 2007File under: movies

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Silent Movies are a riot!

So last night I went to see Sparrows (1926) at the The Paramount as part of their Trader Joe's Silent Movie Mondays. It was a grand old time and I recommend it to everyone. The Mighty Wurlitzer was played to perfection. The crowd got into it hissing at the bad guys and cheering the good ones. And there were even prizes given away. It gave some idea of what the movie experience would have been like back in the day.
Tuesday August 22 2006File under: events, movies

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