As the light go down in the theater, I feel a twinge of excitement I have not felt in, what seems like, forever. Going to the movies has always been one of my favorite things to do, and not only am I back in a comfy chair, but I am seeing Tenet, the newest film from Christopher Nolan and my most anticipated movie of 2020.
While other films got VOD releases, Warner Brothers and Nolan both knew they had to wait to release Tenet on the big screen. This is the man who gave us The Dark Knight and Inception and Interstellar (which Fancy Boy Kate Peterson declared her best film of the 2010s). His films are not meant to be watched on television screens or, even worse, a cell phone screen while you’re at the gym. You need to experience Nolan’s vision the way he sees it in his fantastic brain; stretching every sense and enveloping you fully.
Sitting in my chair in this IMAX theater, I get more and more excited as I think about this movie. Nolan is one of my favorite directors working today, and this cast (John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Robert Pattison) is filled with actors who have given some of the best performances in film in recent memory. And they’re all helmed by this master storyteller who looks like he’s going to give us another action-fueled thrill ride while also dealing with fun issues about time and how it’s perceived.
My wife is sitting next to me as we share a giant popcorn and soda. In 2019, we went to the movie house roughly 50 times. In 2020, we went once, and didn’t care for the film we saw very much (the uninspired Birds Of Prey). Nothing makes me happier than seeing a movie with her, and knowing that we’re going to have a long conversation on the ride home where she explains all of the things I didn’t understand about the movie because she’s much smarter than me.
The lights go down and I hold my breath for a second. My god… I’ve missed previews. Let’s finally put the worst part of this stupid year behind us. Let’s return to normal. Maybe later this weekend, I can invite my friends over to spend time with the baby. Maybe I can find time to get onstage again. Maybe I can hug my friends.
But first, let’s talk about Tenet.
Except we can’t. Because I didn’t go.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to the movies. Unless you are either of my sons, I’m not your dad. If you are one of my sons, I love both of you and am so happy to be your father. I’m very proud of you two.
The point is, I can’t do it yet. With a wife and a newborn at home and COVID cases rising, the idea of putting myself in greater risk is not an option. So, I’ll sit at home. Maybe watch the new Charlie Kaufman thing on Netflix later tonight.
People have been saying for months, “Hey, if you’re too afraid to leave your house, it shouldn’t stop me…” and other stupid bullshit like that. Those people don’t understand that caution is different than fear, and the reason why our country is in the place it’s in is because not enough people realize that.
Maybe I’ll watch Tenet in the theaters if it stays in long enough or gets a special re-release. Maybe, my sacrifice will be watching it at home. Hell, during WWII, we asked people to recycle pie tins so soldiers could have bullets. If I have to watch a movie on a small screen as my sacrifice, I will.
I will go back to the movies sometime. Just not today.
Not for Tenet.
Wear your masks. Be safe.
The Concept Of Seeing Tenet: 10/10
The Actual Movie Tenet: Unknown… for now.