On Watching Movies

There is nothing like going out to watch a movie – for two or three hours one can forget about life’s annoyances, troubles, aches, anything. Within this brief period one can get immersed in the lives of other people, experience their happiness and sorrow, love and hate, triumph and tragedy. In the Philippines, it is probably the cheapest, most available form of entertainment, next to gossiping with one’s next door neighbor (lol) – plus, there is even no limit on how long you can stay inside the freezer, err, theater (that is, if you can handle the freezing temperatures inside). That was one of the reasons why Baggy and I would often go out on Friday nights every week, back when we were still both teaching at UP Diliman. SM City was just a jeepney ride away.

Our first date, in case you’re interested, was actually spent watching a movie at Shangri La Cinema. The movie was Wuthering Heights, starring Juliette Binoche (a vision of beauty) and a pre-Voldemort, dashing and handsome Ralph Fiennes. And take note, I still remember the next movie we saw together – it was Mrs. Doubtfire. What made that moviegoing experience more memorable was that right after we got out of the cinema, some friends of mine saw us. At that time, we were not an item yet, so I was a bit embarrassed to be seen going out with a co-faculty member. 😛

Even here in Japan, where a movie ticket costs a whopping Y1,800, or roughly P700, Baggy and I wouldn’t mind shelling money just to watch movies. However, unlike in the Philippines where we watched movies indiscriminately, here we are forced to choose which ones to watch. Or, if we feel like scrimping on the budget, sometimes we just wait for the 1st day of the month, and take advantage of their discounted offer of only Y1000 or P400.

When I was pregnant with Aya, Baggy and I would frequently go to the cinemas for LFS. We knew then that once the baby was born, we wouldn’t have any opportunity to spend late nights at the movies. So right up to my ninth month, huge belly and all, I endured sitting for 2 hours or more inside the moviehouse, not minding the cramps afterwards! On the eve of Aya’s birth, Baggy and I watched an LFS of The Scorpion King at Cineplex here in Tsukuba. It was probably the excitement of seeing The Rock, or the exhaustion of having to sit for a couple of hours, that I wasn’t able to sleep the whole night, not knowing that I would go on labor in just a few hours!

As soon as Aya was old enough, and much to the disapproval of her sensei at the daycare, we took her to the movies with us. Her first movie was the animated feature, Nemo. Of course, for about half of the movie I had to stand and rock Aya in my arms to make her still. We took her several times afterwards, even once during an LFS. It was a one-time thing, you know. That is because the next time we took her to another LFS, they made us go out of the theater because minors were not allowed to watch after 9 pm. Shocking! Kainis! Wala naman ganyan sa Pinas ah. Yes, even with accompanying guardians. And yes, even if I argued (in vain) that she would be sleeping anyway, so what was the big deal about it? They refunded our money and profusely apologized, but we felt like we were cheated somewhat. Apparently, the first time was a fluke – they just didn’t notice us then. That was (almost) the end of our LFS nights.

As far as I can remember, there was only one other time when Baggy and I were able to go out on a LFS together – that was the time when my Mom was here with us. I asked her to look after Aya, who was sleeping anyway, while we snuck out for a movie time together.

Until last week, that is. Fortunately, my usually evil sister Lai wasn’t feeling her usual evil self, so I mustered the courage to ask her and look after Aya for the night. And so with much excitement and delight like kids out on a field day, we finally snuck out to watch our first LFS in what seemed like ages. It so happened that The Departed was still in showing. Hey, it won an Oscar award for Best Picture – it must be worth seeing!

More than the movie, of course, was the chance to go out with Baggy and have a little quality time together at the movies again. Just the two of us, eating nachos and sipping coke, eyes fixated on the wide screen. And no, we don’t hold hands anymore like we used to (corny ba?). We sat there and forgot about the world outside, even our daughter Aya, if only for a moment, enjoyed the story unfolding before our eyes, and most of all, simply enjoyed our precious company together.

Despite the gore and violence, The Departed was a real treat. At first, it doesn’t seem like an appropriate choice, given that this was our first LFS in ages. A romantic movie would have been the more appropriate choice, wouldn’t it? But clearly, this is a case where the following applies: “It matters not what movie you watch; it’s whom you watch with that matters.” That’s how I view it anyway.

How about you? Watched any movie with a special someone lately? :)

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43 Responses to On Watching Movies

  1. Gina says:

    Hubby & I just watched “The Departed” in the comforts of our own sofa =P the other night. It was quite absorbing that we didn’t “pause” the Dvd many times as we are wont to do( to do bathroom break,snack break,etc.).Fast paced movie with a lot of dead bodies in the end.Last night naman, we watched Babel (also@home).Interesting din.
    First movie that my darleng (ehem)& I watched together was “Chocolat” at the SM Cebu (or was it Ayala Center..).Didn’t enjoy it much as we were both freezing inside (sobrang lamig ng aircon) and took turns wearing his jacket.hehehhe.

  2. Toe says:

    Oh, when my husband and I were still dating, we absolutely loved watching movies. Sometimes, the excitement over the what food to eat was even better. Unfortunately, we have no movie houses in Cambodia. :( We could buy DVDs (only OPM, no originals here either) but there’s nothing like watching movies in the movie house and on the big screen.

  3. annamanila says:

    Awwww. Everybody loves a pair of lovers, especially a popcorn munching pair, hieing off to a dark moviehouse to pretend for all of two hours that problems and troubles exist only onscreen.

  4. pining says:

    We use to love going to the cinema too, but now that we’ve got 2 kids, we can only go ’bout twice a year; once in the summer, and winter, when we’re with the in-laws… childminders are a bit dear, during the night especially. So we just usually buy the DVD if we’re gaggin’ for the film (or minsan download sa bit torrent, hala!) :-)

  5. dimaks says:

    Me and wifey did what we called “movie attack”, so imagine that 😀

  6. hazel says:

    LFS are the best! just a few weeks back i watched 3 movies in a week with friends – The Holiday, Music & Lyrics, The curse of the Golden Dragon.

    dati nagmomovie marathon ako mag isa 3 movies in a day sa SM Megamall!

  7. Mon says:

    The weekend before last we watched Music and Lyrics -that was her choice and last weekend we watched the Ghost Riders -that was also her choice 😛

    I agree, quality time is necessary. I don’t think that kids are a good excuse to forget about romance and intimacy.

  8. bw says:

    It’s kind of embarrasing to say this but where I am I could buy DVD’s at the Chinese malls before they could hit the streets for a paltry $10 for 5 DVDs ( $2 a piece).. I bought Departed, Queen, Dream Girls, etc. a couple of weeks ago and the stunning part was the DVD quality was excellent :) I don’t think I’d be watching a movie anytime soon. A movie ticket costs $7.50 here :)

  9. verns says:

    uhhhmmmmm never! lolz :) Seriously..how pathetic.

    But I love watching movies. I do it with my cousin Mariya. She’s a terribly OC person when it comes to watching movies. She has this list of movies that we watched with dates and all. So everytime I asked her “mariya kelan nga tayo nanood ng The Grudge?” she knows the answer hehe :)

  10. dimaks says:

    movie diary ba? ayus, pwedeng blog entries hehe

  11. kathy says:

    Lots of dead bodies and blown-out brains – this is an appropriate description of The Departed.

    But hey, watching movies in the comfort of one’s sofa is just as romantic…you can snuggle up real close…yihii. :)

    Chocolat, uy that’s the one with Johnny Depp and…Juliette Binoche!!! Coincidence ha.

  12. kathy says:

    Pareho tayo on the excitement over food – we used to buy brownies at Brownies Unlimited to take with us to the theater. Just thinking of it makes my mouth water….

    Grabe, no moviehouses, I don’t know if I can survive with that! Pag-uwi niyo bawi na lang kayo ng nood sa sine. :)

  13. kathy says:

    Yes, I agree, anna! Also, minsan diyan nagsisimula ang lahat – sa panood-nood ng sine. Just look at what happened to us! lol

  14. kathy says:

    “Childminders are a bit dear” – Oh, I just love British expressions! :) I didn’t know that babysitters are called that way in your corner of the world.

    I dare say, the number of times you can go to the cinema is inversely proportional to the number of your children. :) I better start saving up to buy a large-screen TV lest I get confined to DVDs in the future!

  15. kathy says:

    Dimaks, what’s a “movie attack”? Watching all the movies being shown in the theaters in one day? 😛

  16. kathy says:

    Grabe ka! Di ka rin naman movie addict, no? lol

    Nakakainggit ka naman. Wala pa yung mga movies na yan dito. Natatagalan sila sa translation, har har har. 😉

  17. kathy says:

    You’re absolutely right! I think couples should and must make time for themselves to enjoy each other’s company. :)

    You’re the second person to mention Music and Lyrics…naiintriga ako sa movie na yan ha. Antabayanan ko paglabas dito. Believe it or not, di pa nga naipapalabas yung “Happy Feet” dito eh! :(

  18. kathy says:

    I’m SHOCKED! Not at the thought of you buying those kinds of DVDs, haha, but that they could be purchased at such a price! I couldn’t believe that I have pay a whopping $15 just to watch one measly movie here. And I couldn’t even stay for the rerun.

    Teka, region-free ba yung DVDs? 😀

  19. kathy says:

    Uy may movie-buddy ka pala…kahit cousin mo yun, special someone na rin yun hehe. 😉

  20. Belle says:


    It is good that you and your husband find time to enjoy each other. I seldom watch movies, maybe, once a year, when daughter is home for the summer. She usually takes me. My husband? He is not fond of watching movies. He is suck a cheapskate..hehehe

  21. lyn says:

    don’t laugh but can anyone clue me in to what LFS is??hehe

    I haven’t been to the theatre in a long while, but I might be there soon to watch “300”. It’s just such a hassle to find time when both me and my boy are off and not too tired. Also, it seems like every time we both feel like going out to watch a movie, nothing good is playing anymore. Instead, we end up going to the video store once a week. Last movies I saw was Borat and Babel.
    Also, if you liked The Departed and don’t mind reading subs I recommend renting/watching “Infernal Affairs” (Chinese Title: Mou Gaan Dou). Same exact story line but the plot seems more complex and you get more attached to the characters. It gets hard to just root for one side, cuz even the bad guys show some good qualities =p. I’m a fan of Andy Lau and Anthony Wong, so might be biased, heheh.

  22. Leah says:

    @BW, which chinese mall is that? I get mine at 4 for $10.

    Just finished watching Holiday, Music and Lyrics, Pursuit of Happyness and others…I have the queen and Departed in line for the weekend. When you can get movies like these with this price, you tend to forego going to the cinema and paying big bucks.

    My hubs and I were big movie goers back in the dating days. Our first date was also a movie (Money Train – Eddie Murphy and JLo). So once in a while is good and a good date as well without the little one in tow.

  23. dimaks says:

    that’s right

  24. snglguy says:

    Never had that many fond memories of the movies with my ex-wife. It’s always a source of argument on which movies to watch. She’d prefer to watch Pinoy films while I’d rather not be caught in a theater showing one. So we compromise by splitting up and meeting at a fastfood joint after the movies…

  25. sexy mom says:

    we are a family of movie goers, and my! it’s so expensive. imagine, brining 6 kids (eldest is already married), plus my mom (sometimes hubby), multiply that by P130 (gateway), plus the dinner after that.

    but it’s fun, and worth it. and unlike in the past when you can stay in the movie houses up to forever, nowadsys, most of the movie houses have reserved seating.

  26. raquel says:

    yung movies ba dito in jap or english? parang tagal ko na di nakawatch ng movie!! i cant even remember the last i saw. hubby isn’t a moviehouse fan so i really have to drag him nung nasa pinas kami.. what more dito! *sigh*

  27. lai says:

    see… i’m not THAT evil after all. but frankly you got lucky because i’m not much of a Leonardo fan. hehe. Oooops. ;p

  28. niceheart says:

    I’ve also seen that version of Wuthering Heights when it was shown in our local TV station here.

    I also want to watch The Departed, will wait for the DVD.

    We seldom go to the movies here, once or twice a year lang. Ticket is not cheap, CDN$8.50. I usually watch with the kids. Walang hilig si hubby.

  29. Sonnie says:

    I watched movie for free, including IMAX, as a privilege. The last time I brought my wife and two kids to a Movie was “eragon” oops it’s ghost rider pala.

    With my wife.. its the last movie of Denzel Washington. I forgot the title, he he he

  30. Zherwin says:

    three years ago, i used to watch at least 1 movie a day and even more (up to four a day, maybe) if there’s a film festival (cinemanila, cine europa, eiga sai, etc.) but that was before my monthly amortization days. nowadays, movie ticket is no longer the cheapest form of entertainment (there’s tv and the internet, oh youtube), and movie prices now ranged from a low of P100 to a lazy-boy seated-with-free-flowing popcorn at P400, so we just watch a movie once a week.

  31. kathy says:

    Awww, that’s so sweet of your daughter to take you to the movies. It’s a great way to bond, isn’t it?

  32. kathy says:

    lyn, LFS = Last Full Show. 😀 I assumed incorrectly that everyone knew what it stands for.

    I heard that Babel is also one movie worth watching – but it seems that we have to wait a few more months to see it! Sometimes Hollywood movies take a loooongg time to be shown here.

    Thanks for the info on “Infernal Affairs.” I’m intrigued. I actually saw it mentioned on the movie credits of “The Departed.” Will try looking for it in the video store. :)

  33. kathy says:

    Wow, *drool* you’ve got such a fantastic lineup! bw should let you on in where he buys his stuff. :)

    Leah, our experience only goes to “warn” women out there – be careful whom you go to the cinema with, you just might end up marrying him! hehe. BTW, di ba si *Wesley Snipes* yung ka-pair ni JLo sa Money Train?

  34. kathy says:

    Haha, pareho tayo, I could only count a handful of Pinoy movies (4 or 5?)that I had watched in my lifetime. 😉 Splitting up and meeting afterwards seems like a good compromise! There was a time or two when I had the same dilemma with my husband. He wanted to watch something else…anyway, I ended up going with him. 😛

  35. kathy says:

    I agree with you that a family outing at the movies is the BEST! I have very fond memories of my family – Dad (when he was still alive), Mom, sisters, brother-in-law, my own family – all going out for an LFS somewhere. One funny incident was when we bought take-out Kenny Rogers spare ribs to eat inside the moviehouse (para tipid)…haha, it was a riot. We were passing the sauce, ribs, and rice from one seat to the other.

  36. kathy says:

    Movies are usually shown in their original language and Japanese subtitles. However, yung mga animation (like Disney, Dreamworks pictures), and some movies of interest (e.g., mga box office hits) are available in both dubbed and subtitled versions.

    Try nyo manood sa Cineplex one of these days! Go on the 1st day of the month para sen yen lang ang bayad hehe.

  37. kathy says:

    Hey evil sister, muchos gracias, domo arigato…sa uulitin.

    For the record, I’m not a Leonardo diCaprio fan! 😛

  38. kathy says:

    Yes, The Departed is highly recommended, make sure you catch it on DVD! Methinks I’d like to have my own copy too 😉

    Once or twice a year is good enough, as long as you enjoy it with your family. :)

  39. kathy says:

    For free?!! That’s amazing. Sonnie, please let me know how I can get the same privilege, hehe. 😉

    Nice to know that you enjoy the movies with your family! I’d do the same!

  40. kathy says:

    A movie a day – wow, you gotta have a lot of moolah to spend on movies!

    I have been away from the Phils. too long – I didn’t realize that a lot of things have changed there, moviegoing styles among them. First time for me to hear about Lazy-boy/bottomless popcorn at the movies. San yan banda? Matry nga namin next time mapauwi kami. :)

    Thanks for dropping by, Zherwin!

  41. Sonnie says:

    Now I remember. The last movie my wife and I watched is De Javeu.

    I work in a firm that operates IMAX and other Cinemas. That’s why its free :-)

  42. kathy says:

    Oh yeah! I know that movie. I think it was shown here sometime ago, but I never got the chance to watch it. Might rent it on DVD one of these days.

    I see – that’s so cool! You’re so lucky to watch at IMAX for free! :)

  43. Zherwin says:

    we haven’t tried the Lazy boy experience (mahal masyado, two movies na yun!), they have that in Gateway, the new mall near the Araneta coliseum.

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