Monday, October 25, 2010

A Minor Regret

Let me start with this: I am a fan of the Saw movies. Okay, they’re deplorable. We can probably agree on that. They’re unnecessarily convoluted, and the stories are rarely more than an excuse to watch a lot of people die gruesomely.

Nevertheless, I count myself among the fans of the franchise. However, I have never seen one the films in theatres, and I never will. The “final” film in the series comes out this Friday -- in 3D no less. But, I will not be there.

However much I enjoy the Saw movies, which I confess is more than I probably should though some are obviously more entertaining than others, I can not condone that style of filmmaking, nor do I think the films are particularly well made.

The franchise does not represent the kind of cinema I wish to encourage with my movie-going dollars. I made a conscious decision several years ago that I would not pay one dime to see a Saw movie in theatres nor encourage anyone else to do so.

Since Election Day is eight days away, I’ll relate it to that. A movie ticket is as good as a vote, and you cast your vote every time you go to the movies. If you want to see good films and want good films to continue to be made, you should pay to see good movies.

A movie ticket is expensive, which is all the more reason to cast your vote wisely because you most likely have a limited number of votes. See the movies you want to see, of course, but remember that you invite more of the same with every dollar you spend.

This is all a long way of bringing me around to my point. Last night, I saw Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter. I did not enjoy the film, but I would encourage Eastwood’s brand of filmmaking any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I have never regretted paying to see an Eastwood film.

I paid my $9 and made my way to the theatre listed on the ticket -- Theatre 12. But, Hereafter was playing in Theatre 2. Something didn’t stack up. Then, I noticed what happened. The cashier, surely unaware of my movie-going moral standards, inadvertently pressed the wrong button and issued me a ticket to Life As We Know It, a film I would never pay to see.

The new Katherine Heigl romance would die a quick death if I had my say, but when the cashier pushed the wrong button, he registered my vote for the exact kind of feature I hate.

But, rather than demand a refund and the proper ticket, I sat in my fourth-row seat, dead center, and watched the movie I didn’t pay for. I should have gone back. I should still go back. I may do just that, but until then, it’s a minor regret.