I mentioned that one of my goals for 2019 is to see more movies, specifically at the Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers. In addition to just being one of our favorite movie theaters, the Alamo in Yonkers is piloting a “Season Pass” program. I’m not sure why this Texas-based chain has decided to pilot this program in a suburb of New York, but it works out well for me, since it’s the closest one to where I live.
The concept of the Season Pass is similar to Movie Pass – you pay a subscription fee and you can then see movies for free (or nearly free). While Movie Pass has been a notorious disaster, I think it has the potential to be a lot more successful for the Alamo because, in addition to showing lots of great first-run and classic movies, they serve food and beverages during the movie. So, while they might be losing a small amount of money by not charging us for tickets, we always shell out $40-60 per visit on meals and drinks and we’ve seen many more movies at the Alamo since getting the pass.
We signed up for the waiting list last summer, and got invited to join the beta program in November. Curiously, Jason got a different offer than I did. We both pay the same flat subscription fee, but he can reserve movies for free, while I pay $1 for each reservation I make. I know they’re testing different pricing models, it’s just funny that we got different ones.
Since signing up on November 9th, we’ve seen the following movies:
- Bodied – A weird little movie about a young, white guy who gets involved in the world of rap battles. It’s produced by Eminem. I would have seen this even if we didn’t have the Season Pass, because I love the director, Joseph Kahn, but I’m not sure Jason would have gone. Or, it would have been more of a struggle to get him to go.
- Ralph Breaks the Internet – If we had the opportunity to see this follow-up to Wreck-It Ralph while visiting family for Thanksgiving, we might not have gotten to see it the Alamo, but we were definitely going to see it, one way or another. Really good.
- Creed II – This is an example of a movie that we both saw only because we had the season pass. I was optimistic because I like the cast, but there really wasn’t much of a story. It was pretty disappointing.
- The Favourite – I saw this on my own, while waiting to pick Jason up at the airport. But he would have seen it too, had he been home. It looked beautiful, the plot was chewy, and the performances were amazing. If this one isn’t nominated for several Oscars, I’ll be shocked.
- Mary Poppins Returns – We were both looking forward to this one. It was super entertaining – how could it not be? Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda are both adorable. But it’s hard to live up to a classic like the original.
- Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse – Aside from the fact that some stylistic elements of the animation made me wonder if we accidentally stumbled into a 3D movie without the 3D glasses, I loved this. The story and the way it’s told live up to all of the praise that everyone is heaping on it. Go see it if you haven’t already! Actually, just thinking about it makes me want to go see it again.
- Aquaman – We probably wouldn’t have seen this if we didn’t have the season pass, but if you’re going to see it, it’s definitely worth seeing in the theater. Nearly every scene looks like something you might paint on the side of a van (I stole that joke from my friend Rochelle, but it’s so very true!), and you need a big screen to appreciate that kind of airbrushed epic-ness. Jason Momoa is charming enough to make the whole thing enjoyable, even if it does feel a little like Thor underwater (I stole that joke, too, but I’m not sure from where).
- The Hidden Fortress (1958) – This beloved Akira Kurosawa film inspired George Lucas in a variety of ways that impacted his work on Star Wars. The humor, the characterization, some of the plot points, and some of the visual style of Kurosawa’s film can all be seen reflected in the sci-fi classic. It was my first time seeing it, and it had me engrossed every minute.
We’ve already got a few things lined up for January. I’ll report back every month or two, to share what movies we’ve seen and what I thought of them.