Tuesday, August 08, 2006

But Have You Seen The Movie High Uptown Yet?

If you see the movie downtown, you see it with your standard crowd. If you see the movie uptown, you see it with your peoples. And your peoples are like the craziest peanut gallery ever. Everyone turns into Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, or Eddie Murphy, and they got one-liners for every part of the movie. When Chappelle is tired out, here comes Rock ...

My most memorable uptown movie experience was during a screening of The Matrix. It was right when the movie came out. A full theater. And I'd say for the final third of the movie, once the love connection between Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss was firmly established, everytime they looked at each other, or did anything suggestive of romantic intentions, this guy would yell out, "GIVE HER THE MATRIX!!!"

Now The Matrix was a killer movie when it came out. one of the few that would keep an uptown crowd quiet for two hours. And so it would be deathly silent in the theater, everyone intensely captivated by this cutting edge movie, some crazy scene, and then Neo and Trinity would lock eyes, and you'd hear, "GIVE HER THE MATRIX!!!"

It was hilarious. A little annoying. But hilarious.

If you don't care about the movie so much, and find yourself in a fun mood, I recommend a late uptown screening. If you don't need the comedy, stay south of the mason dixon (96th St.).


  1. if you REALLY want some entertainment, come check out any movie in my hood at Magic Johnson Harlem USA on 125th. Magic himself has a special PSA before each screening that reminds movie-goers of several important tips, one of which is to leave their "colors" at home. No bandandas or laces allowed. (I left mine at home for a showing of Rent there.)

    For real. It's awesome.

  2. it works for every movie:
    Give her the Talledaga!
    Give her the Ant Bully!

  3. I thought Emily was gonna say he said leave your COLOR at home, as in, show up to the movie on time and shut up. :P

    I thought this was all a myth until I went to a movie in Baltimore about 10 years ago. I don't think I heard a word of the movie.

  4. I grew up with black movie theaters. The only time they are a good experience is when you are watching a movie where the dialogue and plot don't matter, just energy. Like Rocky 3, Rocky 4, The Last Dragon and You Got Served (yeah, I said it). Other than that, I avoid the black theater like the plague. Scariest black theater I've ever been to was the one on 42nd street when I was a kid in the 80s that used to show Kung Fu flicks and had dudes smoking trees inside.

  5. I need someone to give me the matrix. that sounds horrible, but whatever, I do. Keanue Reeves would be nice.

  6. Anonymous8/08/2006

    I've been to the "uptown" theaters. It is kind of funny, but as a white guy, it's also a little unsettling. You don't feel like you can really participate, and you definitely don't feel like you can ask anyone to be quiet, so you're kind of stuck

  7. deryckx8/09/2006

    The Benetton catalog I call my crew loves the movies.
    Our favorite NYC theaters:

    "The Ghettoplex"
    (UA Court Street Stadium 12, Brooklyn)
    Predominately Af Am crowd which is on occasion obnoxious, loud and looking like a big baby in over sized baseball caps. Not so much during the notebook. or did i see that in times sq? anyway, i digress...

    "The Ritz"
    (Landmark Sunshine Cinema, W Houston, Manhattan)
    Nothing but a bunch a Crackaz.

    "The Emptyplex"
    (Regal Battery Park Stadium 11, across from WTC)
    Only recently christened. Not as clever a name, but no less apt.


  8. Anonymous8/09/2006

    Nearly six years living in West Philly means I had many such experiences watching movies: from the matrix, to kill bill, to 8 mile, to lord of the rings. All good times.

    Now i live in Egypt where practically everyone talks through the movie and/or yells at the screen while spitting out shells of sunflower seeds on the floor.

    Continued good times.


  9. emily - yeah magic johnson is awesome ...

    deryckx - I saw a scannaer darkly at "The Ritz" not too long ago, it was exactly as yo udescribe.

    anon 1 - yeah, dont' ask anyone to be quiet, especially if you're giving off the fear scent. you could participate though with no problem I bet.

    anon 2 - it holds up from west PHilly to Egypt ... nice tidbit to know. sunflower seeds are ubiquitous in theaters?

  10. Whenever I download a 'cam' pirate, I always hope that it was filmed in a theater with an enthusiastically participatory audience. In fact, I would love it if DVDs came standard with an in-theater, audience supplied commentary track. It would be so much better than some nepotism beneficiary of a director droning on about what decisions he made and why they culminated in his work of undeniable genius.

    We've got multiple camera angle options, why not a "funkify" option? You could even hire professional comedic stars for the big budget joints!

  11. I don't have any uptown experience, but the Charlottesville, VA, equivalent was the only thing that made "Higher Learning" bearable.

    To this day I still laugh when I think of the climactic end with Michael Rapaport on the roof, shooting at anyone he sees. And Laurence Fishburne's character crouched down behind a stone piling of some sort with another character. And someone from the audience shouting, "Would you like a mint?"


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