If I knew things would no longer be, I would have tried to remember better.Sam Krichinsky, Avalon (1990)
Scrolling through my Facebook memories feature is a bittersweet daily routine in recalling what “normal” looked like in the “time before.”
Yesterday, I was reminded that exactly a year ago, I was at my favorite theater watching the photorealistic computer-animated version of The Lion King.
My post then: “seeing Mufasa die twice in one lifetime, but this time more realistically, is more than I can take. I wasn’t ready.”
One of my summertime routines in the “time before,” was getting up early on Saturdays, stopping at Starbucks for a grande Caramel Macchiato with extra caramel, no foam, extra hot, then heading to the beach for a few hours when the weather allowed, leaving there to catch a matinee and treating myself to lunch afterwards.
So after thinking about The Lion King, I tried to recall the movies I saw in early 2020 and 2019…because memories are important. No matter how insignificant.
I immediately remembered that the last movie I saw (and will likely have seen in a theater for a while), was The Photograph on February 15 (*cue sad violins* for the protagonist of this blog post watching a love story solo on Valentine’s Day weekend). If I had known it was the last movie at the time — would I have enjoyed more?
I had to look up the rest on my AMC Theatres app:
• The Photograph – Feb. 15
• Just Mercy – Feb. 8
• Bad Boys for Life – Jan. 18 (there are three Will Smith movies in seven months on this list!)
• Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Dec. 21
• Queen & Slim – Nov. 28 (beautiful cinematography)
• Doctor Sleep – Nov. 9 (the book was better/scarier)
• Gemini Man – Oct. 13
• Ad Astra – Sept. 21
• Angel Has Fallen – Aug. 31 (things blew up)
• Good Boys – Aug. 18 (hilarious!)
• Hobbs & Shaw – Aug. 3 (things blew up and Idris Elba was in black motorcycle pants! 5 stars.)
• The Lion King – July 20
• Rocketman– June 8 (I played Elton John music for a week afterwards)
• Aladdin – June 1
• Long Shot – May 18 (notable, because I was actually on a date. With a real live man! I still can’t believe it myself. The movie title is apropos.)
• Avengers: Endgame – Apr. 27
I’d been looking forward to another summer of my relaxing routine and I’ve always loved the moviegoing experience. Disconnecting from my phone, reclining in my favorite back row center seat, getting nachos and a Blue Raspberry Icee… and focusing on new stories. And I was amped for this year’s releases… Mulan, Wonder Woman 1984, Top Gun: Maverick, but most of all Tenet. I love a Christopher Nolan film… Memento, The Prestige, INCEPTION! (After 10 years and 74 viewings or more, I’m almost ready to commit to what I think the ending meant. Almost.)
I’d hoped that Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. would do us a favor and do a home release of Tenet the same way Dreamworks did with Trolls World Tour in the spring or make a deal with Netflix, but apparently, much like Rihanna’s long-awaited R9 album, that’s not to be.
In this new normal, I’ll stream my favorite summer blockbusters from the “time before” in my living room to take my mind off the chaos.
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