My entertainment options

The tradeoff for small town movie theaters is that you have to maximize your attendance, and that’s tricky in a place split between liberal weirdos at the university and narrow-minded Christian conservatives in town. So we get double-bills like this:


I’d like to see one of them, even though I’m getting tired of the genre. Can you guess which one?

As for the other one, the only question is…how much will you pay me to sit through it?

It gets even more fun next week, when the two movies in town will be The Grand Budapest Hotel vs. God’s Not Dead. I don’t think there’ll be much overlap between the 7:00 and 9:00 crowds.


  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    I saw Cpt. America last week. It wasn’t bad for a superhero movie. This one has a bit of a techno-thriller feel to it. Certainly a better option than Hercules’ Christian Agitprop.

  2. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    As for the other one, the only question is…how much will you pay me to sit through it?

    I got a buck thirty four in change in my pocket . . . . That enough?

  3. says

    I might be fun to remix the two.
    “Heaven is America”
    “Captain America is For Real”
    Maybe a sort of documentary looking for the real Captain America, who – it turns out – has become a socialist and works in a bar in Memphis, and is bitter but still hopeful. He’s still got the shield but he sold the other gear to pay for his insulin after the medical insurance was dropped.

  4. gussnarp says

    I’ve heard good things about Captain America. So far, the Avengers related movies have been handled much better than the rest of the big comic book movies lately. Surely there will be all sorts of sexism and other political problems with it, but it can’t be as bad on that front as X-Men Origins: Wolverine or Spiderman V.

  5. Alverant says

    I pass by a small theater on the train. They also ran The Grand Budapest Hotel vs. God’s Not Dead at the same time. Right now it’s Heaven is for Real. I’d rather drive 20 minutes to the theater that serves a meal while you watch the movie and has office chairs for seats so you can get comfortable.

    Cap is pretty good. Much better than the Disappointing Spider-man 2. I’m not sure about the political problems since it shows what can happen if you put too much power in the hands of the military. It has an “idealism vs pragmatism” theme to it. If you watch Agents of Shield, then it’s a must watch.

    Looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy though.

  6. twas brillig (stevem) says

    “” The Grand Budapest Hotel is a great movie! “”

    Agreed. A story within a story within a story. With snide “4th wall” winks along the way. What’s the problem?
    Heaven is RealFantasy vs “…Winter Soldier.” ?? Why the conflict? Fantasy vs SF. Choice is obvious!

  7. Dexeron says

    Captain American 2 was a lot of fun, if you’re into super heroes/comics/etc, and unlike a lot of super hero movies, I think it can work as a political thriller even if you’re not. I think a lot of that has to do with Marvel being unashamed (and celebratory) of what they have to work with, unlike Warner Brothers, who seems so ashamed that people might think their DC super hero properties are “goofy” or something that they couldn’t make a Superman movie without turning it dark and gritty and “real.”

  8. gussnarp says

    @Dexeron #8 – I saw Thor fully expecting it to suck. It was saved by having a sense of humor and not taking itself too seriously. That seems to be at the heart of the success of the entire Avengers’ series of films.

  9. says

    When we went to see Noah (which was decent enough for a Cheap Tuesday flick) at our local movieplex, there was a poster for God’s Not Dead. To me, it indicates the extent that evangelicalism has managed to go mainstream in my neck of the woods — 40 years ago, evangelistic movies would be special engagements, not on the regular distro.

  10. brett says

    Captain America is pretty good for a superhero movie. It’s a techno-thriller (as mentioned above), but there’s also a critique of espionage and secrecy in it as well.

  11. Alverant says

    There needs to be a response to movies like “God’s Not Dead” but no theater would play them unless they want to risk being boycotted and picketed.

  12. porlob says

    I was really surprised by how excellent Captain America 2 was. Not as a superhero action movie — which it did a fantastic job at — but as a parable about the cost of security theater, NSA-style spying, drone warfare, and the dangers of letting a few individuals wield too much power.

    It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t afraid to be political. And it wasn’t afraid to point fingers at some of the very structures that the rah-rah propaganda character of Captain America was designed to prop up, once upon a time.

    Amanda Marcotte had a fine review of the film to that effect, which is worth reading (AFTER seeing the movie).

  13. David Wilford says

    If you dare, here’s a surprisingly insightful review of the 7pm feature from Orson Scott Card:

    When Card doesn’t have a personal axe to grind (which is all too often, of course) he’s a decent critic who actually isn’t a fan of schmaltzy piety. FWIW, his take on K-PAX is interesting too.

    A movie can be good while dealing with supernatural subject matter, even for a non-believing viewer. M. Night Shyamalan’s Sixth Sense comes to mind as a possible comparison. If you can’t possibly suspend your sense of unbelief, it’s not required to watch either the 7 or 9pm features… ;^)

  14. magistramarla says

    I enjoyed the Captain America flick, and this is from a spouse who got sucked into going to comic book super hero films. I agree with the comments above, and add that for a woman of a certain age, it was certainly entertaining to see Robert Redford in a film again.
    I also got sucked into watching the weekly series, Marvel’s Agents of Shield. At first, I fully expected to be bored with it, but the writing has been compelling. It also has had some sweet tie-ins with the feature films, especially with this last Captain America movie – watch for Fury making a few appearances. If you haven’t been watching it, I would recommend putting it on your NetFlicks list.

  15. lochaber says

    I liked Captain America (but I tend to like most of the comic-book movies).

    Also, early on there was a brief bit of conversation I really liked. might be looking to much into it, but I couldn’t help but feel that it was a dig at all those conservative 50’s fan boys that want everything to go back to the ‘good old days’

  16. lorn says

    Captain America wasn’t bad. It wasn’t deep-thinking, soul-searching fare with a profound message but it was fun and had its moments.

  17. Ken Kohl says

    On my way home (to Buffalo) from meetings (Rochester) I drove through the time-suck town of Batavia. Their movie offerings were; Godzilla, Spiderman and X-Men. If you’re big on CGI, fine. If not, keep driving through town..

  18. twas brillig (stevem) says

    re 12:

    There needs to be a response to movies like “God’s Not Dead” but no theater would play them unless they want to risk being boycotted and picketed.

    Like the full satire movie, Dogma? I liked Smith’s story about he went to a protest of the movie and the sign he wrote to join in the protest. He told this ridiculous story about all the trouble he had to go through to protest his own movie right where it was actually being protested. And he kept saying, during the story, “I’m not joking. Absolutely true.” I suppose that now things have gotten so far out, you can’t even satirize them, Poe’s Law, that is. ^shrug^

  19. blf says

    Morris is undoubtedly a better movie than Heaven is the Real Captain America, albeit it’s a bit too heavy on the snow and there could be moar squid.

  20. mikeyb says

    So when is Valhalla Is For Real or Cthulhu’s Not Dead coming to theaters. Those might be tempting to see.

  21. says

    I still haven’t been able to catch Captain America 2 yet, but I really want to. If nothing else I’m certain to get about five really good laughs, so for me the ticket price is money well spent.

    As for Marcus Ranum at comment #3 up top, apparently you’re not far wrong. I read this all on Lawyers Guns & Money months ago, so take it with however many grains of salt you will, but it seems that Cap’s backstory is pretty well established, at least in the comics. He was an art student at a New York public university in the 1930s, there’s no way he wasn’t a solid New Deal liberal, probably with some socialist leanings. With the exception of one crazy reboot back in the 1950s (later retconned to be a fake Captain America) they’ve always played Steve Rodgers as a fairly left-of-center civil liberties type. Definitely a square, but his heart’s in the right place.

  22. Rich Woods says

    The Winter Soldier was a far better film (to my mind) than the first Cap film. There were also advantages if you’d been watching Agents of SHIELD as well. It all tied in quite nicely.

    Ezekiel 25:17


  23. hexidecima says

    watch Cap. It shows a decent man (actually men and women, lots of them including the techie at the desk) doing the right thing. Agents of SHIELD does the same thing. it’s decent people like everyone should wish to be like. Could be worse rolemodels for Atheism Plus.

    and lots of cool car chases and fight scenes don’t hurt either.

  24. greg hilliard says

    Darn, haven’t been able to see Cap yet because wife and I are on different schedules. Might have to wait for the DVD. I did see “Neighbors,” and it was funny and foul. That will arrive in Morris in what, July?

  25. Snoof says

    So when is Valhalla Is For Real or Cthulhu’s Not Dead coming to theaters. Those might be tempting to see.

    Valhalla is Real? Oh, they released that under its alternate working title, Thor.

    As for Cthulhu’s Not Dead… well, Cthulhu is dead. But not dead which can eternal lie, as the Good Book tells us!

  26. sw says

    I tried to watch God Is Not Dead, I thought it might be good for a laugh. Whatever your expectations are, it’s worse. I made it through about 15 minutes, if that.

  27. WhiteHatLurker says

    Just got back from The Grand Budapest Hotel. Was a good comedy – definitely not as action packed as Captain America would be. I haven’t seen Cap’s movie yet, might wait for a dvd/on-line release. Comic based movies usually disappoint me, with a few notable exceptions. The comic is usually better.

    On the other hand, I have enjoyed most of the films I’ve seen that were based on graphic novels