Stardust at the Sundance Kabuki

I stopped going to the movies a few years ago. Sure, I made exceptions for the Lord of the Rings movies, but for everything else, I've had no problem waiting for things to come out on DVD.

Going to the movies had become unfun.

The commercials were the worst - up until the phenomenally annoying MPAA propaganda bits; between those and the ads, I spent the first half of every movie in a state of profound annoyance. Mix in the cell phones ringing, the rude people talking throughout the film, and the prices, and I found the whole thing unpleasant.

Just before the Labor Day weekend, though, I passed by the Kabuki cinema - recently taken over by Sundance - and glanced at the handwritten list of showings they've posted while they're remodelling, and noticed Stardust was playing. It seemed like a good opportunity to check it out.

And then I visited the Sundance Cinemas site, and saw that they don't show ads at their theatres. I was sold.

It was, in fact, delightful.

  • The show was blissfully ad-free. None of that MPAA nonsense that makes me so cranky, either.
  • There were a few trailers, which I usually enjoy anyway. In fact, it seemed to me that the trailers were good fits for the main show - The Golden Compass, Beowulf, and The Spiderwick Chronicles.
  • No one talked during the movie, and no cell phones rang.
  • Blissful silence before the film. I've grown really tired of the pop soundtracks piped into movie theatres before the show - more ads, and it's distracting if you want to talk or read.

And the movie was great. I really, really enjoyed it. Claire Danes was terrific, Charlie Cox was great, Robert DeNiro was awesome, Michelle Pfeiffer was terrific, and all the smaller roles were wonderful - well cast, well played, sly and clever and full of care and attention.

I honestly didn't expect to ever have a pleasant moviegoing experience again in my life. What a delightful surprise.