Sometimes, I like going to movies by myself.
I hope this doesn't brand me as a loner. Going to movies solo boosts my mood — like meditation, or slow flow yoga, or a 24-ounce Miller Lite.
Sometime I pick a movie that's been playing a month or more so I can be the only person in the theater. I find this strangely satisfying, like popping bubble wrap with my teeth.
When you are alone in a theater, you can chew popcorn with your mouth open, rattle ice and check your iPhone without bothering anybody. And you don't have to compete for elbow room with a lumberjack or sit in front of someone with a hacking cough.
I realize that for most people, moviegoing is a social event. And there are times I really enjoy seeing films with friends and family members.
But not always. I can settle in with a bucket of popcorn and be perfectly content not to whisper a word for two hours. Also, I enjoy being able to eat an entire roll of SweeTarts without sharing.
I like having tunnel vision when I watch a film — especially if I'm seeing a movie that other people might find quirky.
For example, I like Quentin Tarantino movies. I realize his movies are an acquired taste — like asparagus. My favorite movie last year was "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood," a dark comedy about the Manson family murders.
Ask most people if they want to go to see a comedy based on the Manson family, and they'll probably say something like "Um, no. Addams Family, yes. Manson family, no."
"Oh, come on," I'll say. "It has blow torches."
Movies like "Hollywood" are an asparagus buffet. If you like them, you like them. I like Tarantino movies because when you least expect it — whamo — somebody bad gets casually decapitated. It's hard to overact while being beheaded.
But the main advantage of going to movies alone is you get to see exactly the film you want to see, without ever feeling guilty.
I have really finicky movie tastes. Sometimes I spend an hour watching movie trailers on streaming services trying to pick out a film to watch. Then, after an hour has passed, I no longer have time to watch one.
Welp. It's kind of like going into an expensive restaurant and reading the menu for an hour and then leaving without ordering.
Sometimes I try crowd-sourcing. I won't really watch a movie that has less than a 90% favorable audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.com. I figure that's a good way of bending the risk/reward curve in my direction.
This is not fool-proof. I watched a streaming movie about video gamers the other night that had a 100% audience score. But it turned out to be almost unwatchable.
What they don't tell you about crowd-sourcing is that sometimes the "crowd" is one emo kid in his rec room in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
I'm thinking about joining one of these movie clubs that allow you to see up to three movies a week for like $20 a month.
My idea is to create a Granny Pack tier where old people can rent studio apartments in abandoned Sears stores for like $1,000 a month and all the movies they care to watch for free.
Throw in bottomless popcorn, and you could call it heaven.
Contact Mark Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6645.