There's an amusing story regarding the evening I saw Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde". My friend and I decided to go to "The Fast and the Furious", a car racing movie. Once in the theatre, I had second thoughts about seeing the movie. I felt I might enjoy "Blonde" more. My friend said he wanted to sit in the front row so that he could feel like he was "in the movie". I said this was fine, but that I would be near the back. A few minutes later, I hoofed it over to "Blonde". I was shocked to see that the aud consisted almost entirely of women! Imagine.
The movie wasn't awesome, but one could do worst, it being less than 2 months before 9/11 and all. My movie ended before his, so I headed over to "Furious" after "Blonde" ended. I watched the last couple minutes of "Furious", my friend still being up front. The credits started and my friend headed back towards me. He had loved the movie and was really pumped. He said he was gonna speed all the way home and race cars at every stoplight he hit. He asked me what I thought of the show. I said it was pretty good (I didn't quite have the heart to tell him I was in another screening room while he was enjoying such a kick-ass movie. I told him about it at a later date. He had no idea). I finally saw "Furious" at home on VHS a year or two later. It was pretty good, I have to say.
One of my favorite movies of '01 was "The Others" starring Nicole Kidman.
Such a feeling of dread and disturbance permeated every minute of the movie's runtime. It takes place in Britain near the end of WWII. This is one of my all-time favorite scary movies and like "The Sixth Sense" two years earlier, the twist at the end took my breath away. Just writing about it makes me want to watch it again in the very near future.
Another movie I enjoyed to the nth (though many others didn't) was Cruise and Cruz in "Vanilla Sky". I went to it near the end of the year at Rochester's newest theatre, the Chateau. (the first one in town to have stadium seating). Only half of the screens were open. One could see the other side of the complex where 7 more screening rooms were being built. The seats were awesome, not only very comfortable, but also capable of rocking back and forth. The film dealt with vanity, identity, and reality.
It opened with a sequence taking place in Times Square in which Cruise is the only person there (this was not CG. It was actually filmed in the early morning when no one else was present). The ending was a jawdropper that took place at the top of a skyscraper in New York with the New York skyline (including the now-no-longer-standing World Trade Center) in the background. My positive experience at the Chat that evening made me realize I was going to be spending many more hours there soaking up the newest movies in comfort.
Some other films I went to in '01 were "Dr Dolittle 2" starring Eddie (a little too childish for my tastes), "American Pie 2" (I enjoyed this even more than the original), "A Beautiful Mind" starring Russell Crowe (solid), and Tim Burton's remake of "Planet of the Apes" (OK, the ending made absolutely no sense whatsoever). I can remember how palpable the feeling of excitement was in the theatre as I and many others waited for "Jurassic Park 3" to start. It was great to go back to dino island though the film wasn't as good as the first two. "
Ocean's Eleven" was a nice little heist flick. I had a headache throughout "The Mummy Returns". I'm not sure if the movie caused it with its overabundance of action or if I woulda got the headache anyway, but regardless, I was in pain. I thought "Rush Hour 2" was a tad better than the first. I especially enjoyed seeing Chris Tucker in Vegas wearing a cowboy hat and high-rolling it. "Monsters, Inc." was fairly enjoyable, but I found "Shrek" to be even better.
One evening in November, my friend and I were in the Galleria and noticed that there was going to be a midnight screening of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerers' Stone", the first Harry Potter movie. The screening had already sold out, so we went to it a day or two later. It was high-quality, but I had even higher hopes for a movie that was opening a few weeks later, a movie that would end up being my favorite of 2001.