20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: A review in Silent Movie Mondays

The last time I went to a silent movie with an organ, I was extremely impressed. We were in the middle of somewhere in Los Angeles and my boyfriend and I might’ve been the youngest people in the theater – by 30 years. The three mini movies were hysterical not because they were old, but because they were actually funny. And the organ played back-up to a great time, hysterical movies complete with sing-a-longs and, best of all, $1 popcorn.

That all said, I was just as excited to go to Silent Movie Mondays. This Mighty Wurlitzer Organ induced movie experience isn’t new to Seattle, but it was to me. After 3 years of living here, I finally had a chance to enjoy my first film at The Paramount. I’ve seen plenty of shows there, but it just seemed different to actually sit back for 2 hours and watch a movie while Jim Riggs, the organ player, jammed away with such caress and ease.

After stalling the movie thanks to latecomers (this would never happen at 45th Guild) we finally were graced with our feature film – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Apparently this was a very important movie for its time because it was the first flick was able to film in the ocean. You can tell the movie took advantage of this brand new technology because there were maybe a few too many scenes that lasted a wee bit too long and all there was to show for it were some little fishies, lots of coral and a big shark.

The movie was entertaining in the way that you see old photos of yourself with a bad trendy hairdo. It wasn’t a quality movie, but one to laugh out for it’s ridiculous characters and bad acting. And sure, the organ maestro played perfectly with each scene and we all had a few chuckles. But I also found myself nodding off every now and then because I just couldn’t stay interested to the actual movie.

Maybe I’m no movie buff, or maybe I just rather see laugh out loud silent movie comedies, but 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea just wasn’t for me. If I were a critic I’d give it a solid C. But thanks to some free popcorn my boyfriend scored, the beautiful ambience that is The Paramount and the very talented organ man, I’d give the Silent Movie Monday experience a whole hearty A.

Silent Movie Mondays is happening throughout the month of November. To get tickets, click on this link.

1 Comment so far

  1. Dennis James (unregistered) on November 17th, 2009 @ 7:33 pm

    March 7, City Museum, Wenatchee, Washington
    Silent film program: comedy films

    March 8, Town Hall, Seattle, Washington
    OdeonQuartet (string quartet) with Dennis James, Glass Armonica chamber music performance

    March 11, Washington Center, Olympia, Washington
    4th annual silent film series: Janet Gaynor and George O’Brien in SUNRISE

    July 5, Lynwood Theatre, Bainbridge Island, Washington
    Annual Anniversary silent film screenings:

    July 6, Location tba, Seattle, Washington
    American Theatre Organ Society National Convention – feature silent film event by invitation conveyed by convention chairman Tom Blackwell: title tba

    November 13&14 Blue Mouse Theatre, Tacoma, Washington
    87th Anniversary screenings

    For more information, visit: http://www.cas.sc.edu/film/james.htm



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