The very day I was asked to write this column I was, coincidentally sitting at lunch with colleagues talking about movies. The conversation moved from what we had seen recently to what we really liked about movies overall. There were some common threads so I would like to share my thoughts with you and hope I can have you nodding your head to at least one by the end of this article.

I want to be captivated by the story and characters. I want to forget where I am and whatever reality awaits me outside the theater.

I confess, I love “stuff”. I GENERALLY have the attention span of a three year old so the more car chases, explosions and action you can pack in early on works for me. Then I can settle down and absorb the exposition.

Yes, I cry in movies. I ugly cry in movies. I do not however want to ugly cry because a furry creature has been killed. I have an uncanny sense about films where animals are featured, whether they are live action or animated. It’s a safe bet, one of them is going to die and I’ll have to be removed from the theater in hysterics. I’ll pass on the movie and meet you for drinks later.

Can we scale back a little on the gore? Since I paid a fortune to see the movie I would like to not have to watch it through my fingers.,

I want to feel a sense of community when I see a movie. There are films that I insist on seeing at the first available screening, with people lined up and sometimes even dressed up! This is what elevates the entire experience. I know we can see films on our phones, although I have to ask, WHY? We have practically every film known to man available in our homes where arguably you can watch any time and even rerun the best parts. I do it all the time but undeniably it is a solitary endeavor. Some people don’t understand why I want to be the first person at the first show. There is an energy you can’t duplicate there. As technology has separated us, this one experience brings us all together. It’s primal, it’s visceral and it satisfies.

After all is said and done, after all the technology and cinematic tricks, it comes down to bunch of strangers, sitting in the dark, sharing an experience. Whether it’s comedy, drama, horror, sci-fi or a combination of everything, that unifying experience is the final component in entertainment.

Enjoy yourselves.

Catherine Woolf