Day 100 is here! Wow! I can't even begin to express how thankful I am to have finally reached the last day on this journey – and believe me, there were several times when I wasn't sure I would make it. Early on, at say, Day 14, I expressed reservations to my co-workers and close friends about possibly biting off more than I could chew (working a full-time gig, fitting this special project into my schedule, and trying to maintain my life and sanity turned out to be harder than I expected). Then, there came a level period where the exhaustion seemed normal...and then another wall appeared at about day 60...some more normal tiredness...and right here at the very end – a dead panic about somehow, some way not being able to crawl across the movie finish line.
But here we are, and before I get to a final wrap up of conclusions, kudos and observations, I wanted to make sure to give a final impression of the last movie on my list – the action spectacular and ode to '80s cinema known as The Expendables. The plot is fairly minimal, as it should be for any action movie co-starring or featuring all of the following titans: Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts (lest we forget Roberts' own action moves in Best of the Best). Here, Stallone's guys are hired by Willis (after Arnold passes on the job) to take down a rogue CIA agent, and in the process, they can also save a kidnapped lady and preserve some of their former humanity.
The mechanics of the movie are just an excuse to see these dudes blow stuff up real good. And that they do very well...in a movie that's rated R for good reason…it is hardcore violent and so over-the-top that it's impossible to take any of it seriously. It's basically just Stallone's last Rambo movie with more people shooting guns and chopsocking each other to pieces. So, yes, it is awesome. If you have a taste for this genre, go see it. Then go see it again.
Ok, so now that we've gotten the actual Day 100 movie review out of the way, now it's time to dispense with several ultimate summer movie experiences from the 100 Days journey, plus some fun facts and figures. It's been a long, good, hard and interesting haul, and I'm thankful to everyone who's managed to tag along for any portion or all of it. I really do appreciate each and every one of you, my fellow movie lovers...and here we go...
Best Overall Theatrical Experience – Hands down, and I know I'm not the first to recognize this, but the folks at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, are on a level unto themselves when it comes to unique and truly inspiring movie programming and presentation. From the themed menus to the cool trailers to the special features and the sheer love of film espoused by the management and the patrons, there is just nothing else like it in America. We were lucky to witness the Cinepocalypse quadruple feature of Demolition Man, I Come in Peace, Die Hard and The Expendables (and anyone wondering, yes, that means I watched Expendables twice in theaters, as part of the 4-pack and on its own). Thankfully for all movie lovers, the Alamo Drafthouse chain could be expanding to your area.
Most Luxurious Theatrical Experience – Tie between Denver's Hollywood Southglenn Stadium's "Skybox" premier auditoriums and Pasadena's Gold Class Cinemas. While nothing can rival the Drafthouse's programming, these two theaters offer the first-class presentation for customers who want to lounge around in oversized leather chairs and prefer to mix the pre-drinks, dinner, movie and post-drinks experience all together. As well, the service at these two venues is second to none.
Best Outdoor Movie Experience – While the screening of Say Anything at McCarran Park in Brooklyn was an amazing second, by far the most memorable and not-to-be-duplicated outdoor experience occurred on Day 50 for Grease at the Hollywood Bowl. On a perfect summer night, singing Summer Nights along with thousands of adoring fans to a new, beautiful remastered print and soundtrack…well, the cliché that you just had to be there holds true.
Most Sentimental Movie Experience – Although a hurricane showed up about ¾ of the way into Goldfinger at Washington D.C.'s Screen on the Green, I'll always cherish being able to see this Bond classic with my four best friends from childhood who'd flown in from all over the world. Plus, the whole crowd got up and danced when they played sponsor HBO's old logo and accompanying theme music. Definitely cool.
Best City to Catch a Summer Movie In – New York and L.A. obviously have plenty of great venues for moviewatching. But there's just something about Austin, Texas, that appeals to my inner moviegoer. It's not just the Alamo Drafthouse. It's the beautiful, green city and its citizens and its thriving music and art scene. Runner-up would be my hometown of Denver, Colorado, with its picturesque backgrounds that are also straight out of the movies.
Best Revival Theater – The American Cinematheque, both at the Aero and the Egyptian theaters in Los Angeles, offers up great revival programming and stellar, A-list guests. Jon Favreau, Tobe Hooper, even '80s icons like Savage Steve Holland are all regulars at the Cinematheque, and it's par for the course to find James Cameron and Robert Downey, Jr. spilling wise on Avatar and Iron Man on a good – and relatively inexpensive – night at the Cinematheque.
Best Movie Palace – I've seen all-night Halloween movie marathons there, and caught American Graffitti at this venue on the trek. Simply put, the Orpheum Theater in downtown L.A. puts the grand in grandeur.
Best Indie House – I know I'll catch flack for it, but I'm a huge fan of the quaint, old Laemmle Monica in Santa Monica. Sometimes, you don't need modern accoutrements to get the most from your indie films. And if you do, then go see these same movies at The Landmark. Or The Nuart. Or The New Beverly (more of a long-time, old-school revival house, but it must be mentioned that this theater – now owned by Quentin Tarantino – is fabulously cool).
Best Cineplex – With its huge Egyptian motif and backgrounds that carry over from the exterior right into the auditoriums, it's hard not to be overwhelmed and impressed by the Cinemark Egyptian 24 and XD in Hanover, Maryland. Picture and sound on both Despicable Me and Predators was stellar. Runner-up: the supremely awesome Regal L.A. Live Stadium 14, which hosted this year's L.A. Film Festival.
Best Drive-In – Any. The Mission Tikki where we saw Cats and Dogs 2 and Inception is absolutely stellar. But any operating Drive-In is fantastic simply because it still exists. There's still some summer left, so if you can find one, take your friends and family quickly.
Best (New) Wide Release Movies - Inception, Toy Story 3
Best (Old) Wide Release Movies - Beverly Hills Cop, Raiders of the Lost Ark, National Lampoon's Vacation, Die Hard
Best (New) Indie Movies - Get Low, The Kids Are All Right, Cyrus, Solitary Man, City Island, Mother and Child, Please Give, Winter's Bone
Best (Old) Indie Movies - Wendigo, Orlando
Best Documentaries - Exit Through the Gift Shop, Winnebago Man, Restrepo, Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, Rebel, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, Babies
Most Surprising Movie (i.e. – I thought it would be lame, and it was good) - Ramona and Beezus
Least Suprising Movie (i.e. – I thought it would be lame, and it was lame) – Five way tie between Marmaduke, Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Jonah Hex, Clash of the Titans and Star Trek V
Facts & Figures:
Number of Trays of Nachos/Cheese Consumed: 72 (or 79,272 calories)
Number of Hot Dogs Consumed: 67 (or 20,435 calories)
Number of Bags of Peanut M&Ms Consumed: 56 (or 42,000 calories)
Number of Cherry Cokes Consumed: 27 (or 2,700 calories)
Number of Boxes of Popcorn Consumed: 22 (or 20,922 calories)
Total Weight Gained over 100 Days of Movies: 25.2 lbs.
Total Days I'll Spend Working off 100 Days of Movies: 100 Days of 24 Hour Fitness, or 90 Days of PX90
Number of Times I Changed the Movie of the Day to Another Movie of the Day: 24
Number of Times I Mentioned I was Tired in a Blog Post: 48
Number of Days I'll be Sleeping As Soon As I Get Done Typing This: 4
Ok, that's all I've got. Again, thanks so much for hanging with me on this crazy, crazy movie journey. If there's anything else to be said, it's just that there really is no one ultimate summer movie experience, but there are many, many to be had with different kinds of movies, different kinds of venues, friends, family and people to meet and discover. I wish everyone peace, love and more amazing moviegoing experiences upcoming. See you soon at the movies! And woohoo! We made it!
This was really a fun movie and i was lucky enough to attend the premiere and get posters signed by the cast! I hope they do a part 2!
ALSO... not sure what math class you took in grade school... you may have saw a movie for each 100 days, BUT you did not watch 100 movies. You can't go counting the same movie multiple times. A movie is a movie, regardless of where you watched it. It is like me watching Inception 3 times on the same day and I said to someone.... "I watched 3 movies." Then they asked.. "Which ones?" And I reply... "Inception, Inception, Inception."
Sorry you felt that way, but even though I did see Inception multiple times, I did also see double and quadruple features that included movies that were not Inception (e.g. - Die Hard, Fletch, I Come In Peace, Demoltion Man), and that weren't included against the 100 days tally. Anyways, to each their own...as far as why 'do it,' why not do it? If you love anything, why not set some sort of challenge to see if you can accomplish it. Regardless, you have a right to your opinion, so it's all cool. Hope you still got to see some good films this summer! Cheers!
Hey there Chuck,I was going to leave you alone for the rest of the summer,but I just had to reply to your cool and grace in handling the rude tactlessness of this guy. You are awesome,even though we don't agree on all movies (lol) and have class. I,on the other hand,have nothing to lose by respectfully saying to MovELuvR78-Shame on you and get a life.
Get over it, dude. A couple of things. Since he does this for a living, it seems likely that none of this was out of pocket. Your average is also incorrect, since it depends on where in the country (and which theaters) you are movie watching. In my area an evening at the movie is around $7.
I'm also sure that he had to accommodate the movies available in the area(s) where he was going to be during this time period. If I were to do this project, I'd have had to borrow heavily from rental stores and Netflix.
Finally: GIFT does not require additional support to prove itself.
You are an idiot. All that money spent just to do this stupid project and for what? Nothing and what did you gain other than weight and the loss of all that money. Average 10 a movie ticket. So alone, that is 1000 just for movie tickets. Then on the food.
Congrats Chuck! That's awesome that you were able to complete this! Will you be doing it again next year ? hehe... I look forward to reading the 100 days blog again for 2011!
Congrats Chuck! Your caloric intake is almost as impressive as your 100 day movie feat!
Thanks everybody! Kristina, great to meet you in Denver, and MovieDudeKyle, FlickChick421, filmsavior, and lovestalentmoviefan, and Indra, thanks for all the comments (and Indra, the surf in San O was fun on Sunday, up to County Line tomorrow)! And lovestalent, for the indies, I'd put Get Low and The Kids Are All Right at the top of the current must-see indies. But look for City Island on video. It's a great, great indie dramedy. And filmsavior, hmm, 200 movies in a row...I'd have to wait another couple months before I could answer that with a straight face ;)
Thanks for finding time to reply...waiting for Get Low! A few of us are on the lookout for City. Will leave you alone now to enjoy the rest of the summer!
Congratulations Chuck on making it through the journey. Thankfully, there's still some summer left to enjoy outside of a movie theater.
Congrats! What an amazing feat for any fan of film. Unbelievable. Next time, why don't you go for a cool 200 straight movies? :)
Congrats on making it all the way through! Your blog was the highlight of my summer internet-browsing, and your reviews served as a great guide to the movies. I'm glad you got do to some traveling and experience so many different movies and venues-congrats again!
Hi again...is there a chance you could narrow down the Indie movies more? Congratulations again and thanks for sharing your passion with us!
Congrats man!! you deserve a good long nap. Must have been hard getting thru a few days but u had fun.
All i can give is an inadequate,but heartfelt,thank you. This has been fun to keep up with,compare notes with other viewers and kind of feel a part of something with other cinephiles! Look forward to more Chuck from Fandango activities.
Woo hoo!! Congrats on an amazing feat - I know that it seems like a dream job, but I'm sure there were days when the last thing you wanted to do was sit in another dark room for a couple of hours (especially on those bad CGI kid movie days). Thanks for taking us along on the journey, it was quite the experience to observe (and I'm glad I was able to enjoy it without the extra calorie intake - whew!) It was great to get the chance to meet you in Denver and I hope to get to see a movie with you next time you are in town.
"Welcome to the party, pal."
"I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."
"When am I gonna learn how to punch?"
"These go to eleven."
"Benjamin, have you ever been severely beaten about the face & neck?"
"Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."
"You're gonna need a bigger boat."
"Jessica's got cable."
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