You faithfully watched each newly released trailer online. You bought your ticket well in advance, and you lined up early at the movie theater on the premiere date. After the theater doors opened, you immediately bought your gigantic tub of popcorn and a large soda. You thoughtfully picked out the perfect seat, right in the center of the theater. You sat through the coming attractions with growing, giddy anticipation. You have been anxiously, sometimes impatiently, waiting a long time to watch and enjoy this film.
This is a familiar scenario to many, many people today. With all of the content that Hollywood currently releases, there are movies for every taste premiering all of the time, films highly anticipated by fans everywhere. People are excited to watch these great stories, see the awe-inspiring special effects, experience the edge-of-your-seat thrills, laugh uproariously at the jokes, and shed a few tears at the heart-wrenching drama.
From big-name, explosive, superhero blockbusters to hilarious comedies to animated kids’ movies to small-budget, independent drama movies, film enthusiasts and casual fans alike flock to movie theaters every day to enjoy a few hours of entertainment.
And with myriad film genres, the choices truly are endless.
The action-adventure movie genre currently is a weight-bearing wall in Hollywood. These tend to be big event movies, blockbusters that draw massive crowds to multiplexes, movie theaters, and drive-ins everywhere with their hotly anticipated releases. Fans of all ages breathlessly wait for any mention of production news or the online release of a trailer. Impassioned storytelling, insane stunts, and intense thrills mark this film genre and beckon moviegoers again and again, as the audience is eager to cheer on the grizzled hero and see the villain brought to justice.
An action movie is typically defined as a film in which the hero faces challenges that include fights, violence, and physical exploits such as chases and death-defying stunts. Hollywood studios budget big money into these films to realistically drop the audience right into the stories’ urgency.
Adventure films are very similar to action movies, while placing the protagonist into exotic locations and unique experiences, such as searching for treasure or exploring a jungle or the Arctic. Danger waits around every turn with a rousing musical score, and an excited audience reacts to every obstacle the unflappable hero or heroine faces down.
There are many subgenres to action-adventure movies that draw their own particular fanbase to movie theaters, including military movies, westerns, mysteries, or even horror films. Another very popular subgenre is the superhero movie. Fans love seeing their favorite comic book character brought to life on the big screen, and superhero films consistently account for the biggest premieres and box office totals of all movie releases.
You are not in the mood for gunfights, car chases, and bombs. You just need big laughs. Thankfully, Hollywood has you covered, too. Comedy movies are another pillar of the movie industry, and the variety of laughs stretches throughout the comedic spectrum, from slapstick to satire to blue comedy to black comedy, a fit for any and all senses of humor.
The animated film is another popular and lucrative movie genre drawing fans to movie theaters. Kids, and kids at heart, love to watch cartoons, and animation gives filmmakers storytelling freedom limited only by their imagination.
Maybe thrills, chills, laughs, or cartoons are not in your wheelhouse. You do not want explosions; you just want a thoughtful, realistic story loaded with drama, tension, and emotion. You are not alone. Millions of movie fans each year are drawn to drama.
Dramatic films shun the bombastic flair of the action-adventure movie. These portray realistic characters in realistic or even sometimes fantastical situations and conflicts to explore the human condition. You may see a film that follows the struggles of a young single mother fighting to provide for her family or a story about an older couple facing the onset of age together. Dramatic movies can bring tears and sadness, suspense, and even an overwhelming sense of triumph as the audience celebrates the protagonist overcoming his or her obstacles.
As with other film genres, drama owns its set of subgenres, and one such subgenre is the romantic movie. A romantic film basically follows the love story of two people, through triumphs and tragedy, through good times and bad times. As the two struggle to remain together as a couple or simply enjoy each other’s company, tension can create drama, adding to the movie-goer’s enjoyment of the story playing out in front of them.
You know the lines by heart. You have memorized the scenes. Classic movies have become integral parts of popular culture. “Rosebud.” “Follow the yellow brick road.” “You played it for her, you can play it for me.” “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” “Shane! Shane! Come back!”
Classic movies are those films from our past that have ingrained themselves into the very being of our culture. Whether they are silent films, black-and-white films, or even more recent films from just 20 or 30 years ago, they have found a place in our hearts, and their stars have become Hollywood legends.
Many movie theaters will run special showings of classic films or even schedule classic film festivals over a few days or a few weeks. These classic films come with a built-in, broad fanbase, an audience that may have only seen the movie on television and is very eager to watch their favorite moments — cherished scenes they have committed to memory — play out on the big screen, as was initially intended. A screening of a classic film may also draw new viewers, people who have heard of the movie and may have even heard its famous lines or be familiar with its famous scenes, but have never seen it in its entirety. Seeing a classic film on a big screen in a theater, a format in which it was created to be watched, is an experience that everyone can enjoy.
Not every film is a big-budget blockbuster, though, and not every film comes from a variety of screenwriters, directors, and producers at a major Hollywood studio. Some films are the passion projects of young, up-and-coming filmmakers. There is no big production team; these movies are written, directed, and edited by one person with a singular vision to tell a unique story. It may be a small budget, but it is a big idea. These films release independently, without the backing of major Hollywood money.
Where can a fan experience these independent films? You can see these movies by finding arthouse theaters. These theaters show these passion projects, often times artistic or experimental in nature, and allow the director’s vision and creativity to shine. Many filmmakers find an audience this way, and arthouse theaters are a way for movie fans to be right on the cutting edge of cinema.
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