(Relatively) New Releases vs. Cult Classics

When Rosie O'Donnell first had her talk show, she used to talk about going to see shows on Broadway all the time when she was growing up. In the first few months, she had Jennifer Holliday on the show to sing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," and talked about how much she loved seeing Dreamgirls. I'd never heard of that show, but I loved, loved, loved that song and went right out and bought the original cast recording.

You can kind of follow the story from the songs on the album, and the liner notes clue you in to the Berry Gordy Jr. & Motown/Diana Ross & the Supremes parallels, but seeing how the songs fit in the story — in this case, the movie, which I finally got to see a few Tuesdays ago — and getting all the visual cues (the costumes, choreography, album covers, photos, etc. that are little Motown/Supremes shout-outs) was fantastic. I went right home and dug out my CD to relive the whole show again. I think I might see the movie itself again, because (a) I liked it that much and (b) I want to watch the credits.

I like to stay and watch the credits — all the credits. Most people I go to the movies with know that I am an uncontrollable nerd this way, and some of them tend to hit the lobby and/or bathroom while I remain in my seat, and then they come back and quiz me on who the second assistant best boy was. The crew is not the reason I watch the credits, though; I like to look at the song list, and the songs always come at the end of credits. Meanwhile, you find out fascinating tidbits like who had to have a dialect coach, who had his own personal assistant, trainer, hairdresser, and driver, what locations were used, and what other stuff the filmmakers had to get permission to use. Okay, fascinating is maybe a strong word, but I find it interesting. Besides, sometimes there's funny stuff in the credits, like in the Naked Gun movies, or in Kevin Smith films. And who knows, maybe this will happen:

Anyhow, when I saw Dreamgirls I was with someone who didn't know about my credits fetish and I didn't feel like explaining it. So I gathered my coat and scarf and gloves and empty popcorn bag and empty Coke veeerrry slowly but finally had to suck it up and head out before the crew credits even appeared. Sigh.

I did get to see the entire credits for We Are Marshall, and I enjoyed those almost as much as the movie. I mean, if you've seen an ad for the film, you know the whole story — much like everyone knew what was going to happen in Titanic. I did appreciate the costumes and the training montages (cue the montage song from Team America: World Police, a film I refused to see but heard about from people who had). Plus, there were the scenes filmed in Cataract-Vision (Cathy's term for the blurring of part of the scene in order to focus on some small detail, like the reflection of Matthew Fox in the glass of a framed photo) and the recurring symbolism of a case of beer.

The credits, though, were photo collages that contained, among other things, images of the actor in costume, vintage shots of the real person he portrayed, and newspaper articles about the crash or the football season. They did a good job of casting most of the roles, in terms of finding actors who resembled the real person. Plus, I think there were some shots taken during filming of the Matts with the coaches they portrayed, which seemed so sweet and sad.

The video footage they show just before the credits talks about the progress of Marshall football since the plane crash, and includes highlights of recent players like Byron Leftwich. That made me think about the time I went to Huntington for the OU-Marshall football game that determined who would win the MAC East Championship. I had already graduated, but I went down to see a friend of mine who was still a student, and we drove over to W. Va. from Athens.

OU lost, of course — I think it was Randy Moss's last home game before going pro — and it snowed, so driving those twisty-curvy two-lane country roads was kind of scary. My friend Jeff was super-upset about the loss, but when we got back to town we went to the Athena to see Starship Troopers. That movie is so hi-lariously terrible that it cheered him up. So, I have a soft spot in my heart for that movie, and whenever I come across it on tv, I'll watch a little and remember that weekend.

I think that kind of memory-association is why I went so spaz the other week when someone pointed out that this weekend's cult classic at the Cedar-Lee is Office Space. I remember seeing that with my sister when it first came out. She didn't care if she saw it at all, but I knew it was going to be awesome and insisted that she go.

I'm already committed to seeing the Spazmatics on Friday night, but if it's not too snowy I'm totally going to drive across town Saturday night and pony up the dough to see something I already own on DVD and can watch at home any time I want . . . hey, wait a minute! Well, even if I did, at least I know I would enjoy it, not like Little Miss Sunshine. Too bad my sister's in NY and I can't make her come with me.

OMG! I was reading the Cedar-Lee Web site a little more closely, and discovered this:

The next movie in the Cedar Lee Cult Film Series is OFFICE SPACE, playing on Saturday, February 3, 2007, at 9:30 pm and midnight.

Wear your flair (15 pieces is the minimum) and you might win a stapler and two movie tickets! One winner at each show will be selected based on audience response.

Call the theatre for more details and visit the theatre box office for tickets.

Sweet! Off to find my pin collection from junior high . . .

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