Saturday, July 23, 2016

Celebrating one year of free movies

On July 21st, 2015, I used my AFCA critics card for the very first time in order to watch Terminator: Genisys.

On July 21st, 2016, I used that same card for the 62nd time to watch Star Trek Beyond.

It's been a good year.

That's 62 movies that didn't cost me a cent. Or rather, only cost me a handful of cents here and there when I bought tickets for 3D or Xtreme screen -- and only when they actually remembered to charge me the surcharge. Or rather, only cost me the 7500 cents of the annual membership fee.

It's been a good year.

I'm leery about discussing this card in terms of it being free access to movies, like I'm getting away with something, because that tends to underemphasize the fact that it has a legitimate use. Probably half of those movies were movies I reviewed, and that's the legitimate reason behind having this card in the first place.

But I can't help it if it fills me with glee over what a great addition it's been to my life. It's not pay, but it's the closest thing to pay that most critics today are likely to get.

And though my editor asked me to attend Star Trek Beyond on Thursday night -- so I could review it, mind you -- I'd been planning to go anyway to mark the one-year anniversary of my first use of the card. And since this was exactly the one-year anniversary, that's also why I waited on Star Trek (which just opened that day) instead of blowing the anniversary celebration earlier in the week on Ghostbusters. (Besides, there seemed something wrong about watching remakes of Poltergeist and Ghostbusters consecutively.)

I was in such a sprightly mood that I even treated myself to a popcorn, something I almost never do these days. I think 62 free movies pays for one $8 popcorn.

I didn't love the movie like I hoped I would -- my review is here -- but it is better than Terminator: Genisys.

And whether movies I see in the theater are good or not is kind of beside the point these days.

Needing a movie to be good is for the suckers who actually have to pay for them.

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