The 52nd week

25 Feb

It’s done.

We’re 52 weeks through.

This realisation came mid-way through last week, when it clicked that we hadn’t received our Monday text message from Telstra.

So, this means movie #52 was J Edgar, also one of our most anticipated movies of the year.

This photo reflects how we feel about reaching Week 52. Reflective and a bit sad.

She says: I found J Edgar to be somewhat like the Iron Lady, in that overall I enjoyed it and learnt a fair bit, but found it was missing something…oh, like, a comprehensible narrative structure? The flashbacks were confusing, especially between the layered-in-makeup/current day actors.

And I strongly, strongly, recommend not seeing this in a busy cinema*, so as to avoid ridiculous audience reactions to Eastwood’s homosexual references. So much Sydney sniggering, gah! 7/10

He says: I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, and ended up being disappointed.  It wasn’t particularly bad, it just didn’t have the expected punch.  As a biopic it failed to really create an emotional link with the main character around one, or even a series of character-shaping events.

It also felt very consturcted in that the director (Eastwood) clearly had a view on Hoover and was telling you that view instead of gently directing the audience to see his viewpoint.  6.5/10

* Ironically we wouldn’t have thought we were going to a busy cinema – in fact, we went to the same one we visited about 30/52  times – Chatswood Mandarin. A typical audience (as we saw it, generally on weeknights) was maybe 8-10 other people in the cinema. This time, on a Saturday morning, it was packed out! Maybe 60-80 people….all sniggering.

A year in review

Most highly rated movie:
She said: Lion King. That was a bit of an exaggeration, sorry.
He said: A multiway tie on 9 points of: The Lion King, Limitless, X-Men 1st Class, The King’s Speech, The Ides of March, Money Ball and The Muppet Movie.

Actual best movie (accounting for comparison/hindsight):
She says: Hanna or X-Men.
He says: Limitless.

Best bit of the whole experience:
She says: Apart from the obvious benefits in seeing whatever we felt like, the car ride home was my favourite part.

Getting there was often stressful as we left work late and sat in traffic, starving, just to keep up our ridiculous promise to go every week. But on the car ride home, we were much, much calmer* from deliberately slowing down for a few hours.

* Well, generally calmer. Some movies had the opposite effect, with one or both of us experiencing ridiculous reactions to a film (hating it, hating a character etc etc). But still, this was a shared experience and a welcome distraction outside of our work/home lives. We’ll keep it up in some form or another.

He says:  I love movies.  So when we were able to get to see a movie every week that was great.  No more did I have to think about which movies might be best on the big screen and which I could really just watch at home.

So the best bit was not needing to be selective with which movies we saw.  Any trailer that we watched and thought “I would like to see that”…we could!

Cinemas we visited:
Manly Cinemas
Hoyts Warringah Mall
Hoyts Chatswood Westfield
Hoyts Chatswood Mandarin
Hoyts Blacktown
Hoyts Broadway

Restaurants we visited:

New Shanghai, Lemon Grove Chatswood
– a staple favourite. delicious pan fried dumplings and shrimp beans, yummmmm.

Shanghai Stories, The Concourse, Chatswood
– fancy date night setting, fancy dumplings, overall not as delicious as New Shanghai

Sagunja Sushi, Chatswood Mandarin
– we found this early on and kept going back – $2.50 for any sushi plate, no matter the colour! if you love sushi trains, visit sagunja for the freedom in picking out whatever looks good, not worrying about differing plate prices.

Sushi Train, Chatswood
– safe and predictable sushi chain (ha, see what we did there?)

Blue Fin Sushi, Chatswood Westfield
– pretty meh food, but close to the Westfield Hoyts cinema if you’re cutting it fine with time.

Makanai, Chatswood Westfield
– opened midway through the 52 weeks and a new favourite with tasty tasty ramen

San Churros, Chatswood Westfield
–  world’s best-practice placement for a restaurant. after a stressful movie all we often wanted was dessert – come down the escalators and oh, look, there it is.

The next 52

After enjoying this time off from the weekly commitment, we’ve decided to take it easy for a while, before potentially pitching new ideas to different places about how this might continue.

We were pretty excited to find out a few months into the 52 weeks that Hoyts actually recognised our free tickets with Hoyts Rewards points, so we have a good stash of these that we’ll use for an extra 3-4 weeks of movies. We were given Events cinema vouchers as late Christmas presents, so we’re looking forward to stepping out of the Hoyts paradigm too.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the ride, even if it’s been a long and often unpredictable time between posts! Feel free to let us know if you’d like to continue reading, how you might see this growing/changing etc.



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