It’s been a tough few years for movie theatres. First, they were completely out. Then they were kinda out? But also, it was like, you’re spaced out, wearing masks, being quiet…so they were back in. Then they were totally back…but everything was releasing on streaming at the same time so they were out again? In reality, though, no matter how big your TV is, no matter how loud your sound system is, no matter how good you are at popping popcorn, nothing will ever beat going to the theater for many reasons, but one in particular stands above all others for me: coming out of the theater and immediately debriefing with your crew.
It doesn’t matter if the movie you’re seeing is as good as The Godfather Part 1 or as bad as The Godfather Part 3, there is always something to talk about after a movie. That one scene that blew your mind, that one performance that seemed like it came from a different movie, or that one line of dialogue that was supposed to be serious but made you bust up laughing and everybody in the theater turned and gave you the stink eye…whatever it is, there is ALWAYS something to talk about.
I’m not sure if it’s the fact that you’ve been sitting there quietly for between 90 and 210 minutes, and I do mean quietly (if you’re sitting in a theatre having a full volume conversation with someone, you deserve a special place in hell), or if it’s simply the size and scope of seeing a movie on the big screen, but the feelings and opinions bubble and percolate differently when you’re at the theatre.
Recently I had the pleasure of seeing two VERY different movies in theatres, just a few weeks apart. First, I saw Jurassic World: Dominion, then I saw Nope. One of these movies was very good, one of these movies was very bad, and both of these movies had me chomping at the bit to talk about them after I walked out of the theatre. Jurassic World was so much fun to dish on and complain about…I mean how the HECK do you make dinosaurs NOT SCARY?! I’ll tell you how, they never get anywhere close to eating a main character in a way that makes you feel like they’re dangerous.
On the other hand, coming out of Nope was like walking into book club after reading a thoroughly engrossing mystery novel: what did this symbol mean? What do you think this character was trying to say? Why did Nicole Kidman do all those weird pre-movie ads about how great going to a theatre is when all she does is prestige TV!?
Either way, regardless of the quality of the movie or the tenor of the post credits debrief, there is something so fun about going over a shared experience and seeing how differently or similarly everyone felt and the things that stood out to individuals.
So, what about you? Are you a fan of the immediate debrief or are you more of a mull it over, kind of person?