Rob: Welcome to Reserved Seating. I’m Rob DiCristino.
Adam: And I’m Adam Riske.
Rob: — we’re going to see what I saw and see what Adam says about what I saw. See? Are they time-honored classics? Hidden gems? Flaming trash piles? You be the judge. Well, Adam will technically be the judge. But you get it.
Let’s start at 7:00 PM on March 8, 2002, when I was in Auditorium 1 watching the Guy Pearce-led action adventure yarn, The Time Machine.
Rob: I remember almost nothing about this movie, but having ALSO just re-watched the trailer, I agree that it looks pretty great! The CGI is solid for 2002, and nothing says early 2000s like Orlando Jones. Game of Thrones’ Mark Addy in a minor role, too! Is Guy Pearce underrated? We’ll have to investigate. Looks like it was a minor hit ($123MM on an $80MM budget) that might be worth a revisit.
Next up: At 7:40 PM on November 9, 2001, I was likely giggling my ass off at the Farrelly Brothers’ new comedy, Shallow Hal, which stars Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Adam: I think Guy Pearce is just rated. He’s fine, but I’ve never been movie boner about him. Oh, Shallow Hal. I have mixed feelings about this movie. I remember seeing it (with the same friend I saw The Time Machine!) during Thanksgiving break of my sophomore year at college and thinking the movie was okay. Rewatching the trailer…. I’m not sure they could make this movie anymore. It seems too offensive despite having a sweet message. My fond memories for it come from when it came out on DVD, because I know I rented it with my then-girlfriend and I got lucky that night. Sorry to be a pig.
High Fidelity and pre-King Kong. Does it feel like they’re going for a Leading Man thing here, or is this the Farrelly Brothers making a statement? I mean, I like Jack Black just fine now that he’s settled into a “type,” but it feels like he Jason Alexander auditioned for the same role and the Farrellys just gave them both.
Adam: I think it’s a little of both with Jack Black. Hollywood was grooming him from comedic supporting actor to comedy lead at this time. He had School of Rock a couple of years later that knew how to use him. I like Jack Black when he has a director that knows what his positive attributes are. Oh, the think pieces Shallow Hal would get. P.S. I Googled Shallow Hal and saw that it’s going to be playing on Starz Kids and Encore Family in the next couple of weeks, so maybe it’s totally appropriate???
Rob: Report back as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the rest of us will be in 2003, when on March 2 at 7:00 PM, I was in Auditorium 1 watching Ben Affleck’s first superhero turn in Daredevil.
Adam: I remember being resistant to seeing Daredevil in theaters because I a) thought it looked dumb (I was right) and b) wasn’t yet on board with Colin Farrell movie-star. He was EVERYWHERE in 2002 and 2003 (like The Recruit) but didn’t win me over until Phone Booth. I caught up with Daredevil on DVD and thought it was a mess. I didn’t even bother following up and watching Elektra. What did you think of Daredevil, Rob? And why were you 11 minutes late for your show time?
Juno every so often just for her performance.
Adam: Honest to blog?
Rob: I know you’re post-Netflix these days, but did you ever watch their Daredevil series? It’s okay, but I honestly feel like I’d rewatch this film out of curiosity before I’d revisit that.
Adam: Nah, I never got around to it. Television series are too big of a time commitment when I could be watching movies, taking a nap or staring at the ceiling and frittering my life away.
Rob: I support all three of those alternatives. Okay, ready? January 10, 2003. 9:40 PM. Auditorium 4. Ashton Kutcher. Brittany Murphy. Just Married.
Adam: No, she’s not!
Rob: I feel bad because, again, I remember absolutely nothing about Just Married. The only thing I can say is that — as a fan of both early-2000s mall punk and P!nk (a love which has become less ironic as time has gone on) — I approve of the trailer’s music. The rest of it looks like a fucking nightmare.
Adam: I also need to point out the trailer features music from Avril Lavigne, whom I also unironically love as much as you love P!nk. I remember hearing “Complicated” at the mall McDonald’s and being like “She’s gonna be big!” I sort of discovered her.
Rob: Here’s one I can talk about: August 5, 2002. 7:15 PM. Auditorium 1 (my favorite, apparently?). Philly native M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs.
Adam: Signs still rules. I loved it the first time I saw it on August 2, 2002 and I still do. It’s moving, yo! Anyone who says they like A Quiet Place but doesn’t like Signs is misguided and needs to check themselves. I saw Signs in the evening on the day I saw my first Cubs game at Wrigley Field (I’m a Sox fan so I refused to see a Cubs game until I was 20 years old). The Cubs won (boo) that day in extra innings. Sammy Sosa (boo) hit a HR. I remember Juan Pierre was there leading off for the Rockies. It was Kerry Wood vs. Mike Hampton. Signs is so good Mel Gibson can’t even ruin it for me.
Adam: I need to read this script!
Rob: I may need to digitize it. Once I do, it’s yours. Anyway, Signs rules.
Prepare yourself, my brother: On 9:35 PM on March 14, 2003, Auditorium 1 featured a clash of two epic Hollywood titans: Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler in Anger Management.
Adam: I saw this in college during one of my parents’ weekend visits. I remember none of us liked it and were surprised it didn’t rise to the Jack Nicholson level of quality, but instead Mr. Nicholson was dragged to the Adam Sandler level of quality. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been surprised because Sandler does that to everyone (including Al Pacino in Jack & Jill). The only thing I remember about Anger Management was that the whole thing was a ruse or something to get Sandler to give Marisa Tomei a PDA at Yankee Stadium. Like that would ever be a problem for anyone. She’s incredible. If you don’t want to hold her hand then you are a fucking moron.
Author! Author! and thought, “How the hell did Al end up in this movie?” How did Nicholson end up in this? Tomei? Did I see John Turturro in the trailer? Whatever. The early 2000s were weird, and everyone needs a paycheck every now and then. I have no further comment on Anger Management. I remember nothing about it except that it’s making me think of About Schmidt, which I’ve still never seen.
Adam: You’re fine. It’s not top-shelf Alexander Payne, imho.
Rob: Okay, the last two are a little different. Sadly, the MacDade Mall IV closed on August 18, 2003 (the mall closed store by store for many years until it was demolished and remodeled), so my friends and I would have to trek across town for all future movie viewing. At 2:15 PM on September 17, 2004, we drove over to the AMC Granite Run Mall 8 for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
Adam: I will never forget my viewing of Sky Captain, also on opening night. I had since been dumped by Just Married woman and was now dating someone that used to date one of my best friends in high school (he had since moved to Florida so I didn’t feel guilty). The woman and I were friends for years but then we hit it off and started dating. It was early in our relationship around the time Sky Captain was coming out. We went out a few days beforehand and I picked a fight with her, so by the time Sky Captain came out her and I were sort of broken up. We still had to go as a foursome with two other friends though to see the movie. I sat three seats away from her. I looked over to sort of check in and maybe apologize, but when I did she stared right at me, unflinching and mouthed “Fuck off!” and gave me the middle finger. I deserved it. As for the movie, it’s an interesting experiment but I don’t recall it coming together and being anything all that great. I thought that movie was going to be a blockbuster but I guess it was too much of an old-fashioned gimmick for mainstream audiences.
The Phantom or The Iron Giant but doesn’t have enough of the fun. I like it as a weird, art deco screwball action comedy. I’d double it with The Rocketeer or Captain America: The First Avenger. I also love the way the trailer’s narrator pronounces Angelina Jolie with an implacable accent. 2004!
Adam: Everyone needs to watch the trailer right now to hear the narrator say “And AnjouleenaJoulee!”
Rob: Okay, now. I don’t know what was happening on September 17, 2004, but apparently, we (I assume; I very well may have been alone) left the Sky Captain screening and went across town AGAIN for the 10:00 PM showing of Cellular at the AMC Marple 10.
Adam: That’s baller. Like a day-night double header. I have maybe the best story yet for Cellular! But first, I saw the movie on DVD and thought it was okay. If memory serves, this was the first time Jason Statham was a bad guy in a Hollywood action movie. I also liked this up-and-comer Chris Evans. Whatever happened to him? I don’t remember much about the movie itself but I could see myself rewatching it again.
Rob: Holy...shit. Can...can I fly out to Chicago tonight? I want to give you a giant hug. That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard. I’m buying Cellular on Blu-ray right now and rewatching as soon as possible just to thank the Movie Gods that things turned out the way they did. I mean, I’m sorry it was such an emotional roller coaster, but hopefully it was worth it. Oh, man. Alright. Well, I don’t have anything to say about Cellular, and even if I did, it wouldn’t be as important as that. I’m almost in tears. I just want to go up on the rooftop and shout, “I love my friend Adam!” I want the world to know.
Adam: I get your reference because I just rewatched Superbad with commercials on IFC a couple of nights ago.
Rob: Okay. This was really fun. Should we do it again soon? What’s up next week?
Adam: We should totally do this again. I led a very dramatic life before F This Movie! Next week we’re going to kick off the Summer Movie Season by each picking three summer movies of the past that meant a great deal to us. Until next time…
Rob: These seats are reserved.