How I Survived a 31-Hour Marvel Movie Marathon

It takes a special kind of person to sit in a movie theater through 12 movies over the course of almost two days. And folks, I'm just that kind of person. 

From the moment I heard about AMC hosting a 31-hour Marvel-movie marathon event leading up to the premiere of Avengers: Infinity War, I knew without a doubt I was going. Mind you I came to this realization at work, where my co-workers thought I was absolutely nuts. They were used to me coming to work on Mondays and talking about how I saw at least one film each weekend, but this was some next-level stuff. 

Still I was up for the challenge, and I'm proud to say I survived. Here's how. 

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Of course I braved the event alone, as my friends wouldn't be caught dead doing this. So for that reason I had to go into this completely prepared. First, I did what every newbie nerd does right before a big movie-marathon: I scoured the internet for tips and tricks on how to survive. Many were as follows:

  • Drink lots of energy drinks. Just not in the first few hours or you'll crash. 
  • Avoid eating greasy foods, which will increase gas. 
  • Bring a neck pillow and blanket to make the duration more comfortable. 
  • Wear comfortable clothes. 
  My survival kit consisting of snacks, sanitizer and a cheeky shirt featuring one of my favorite Avengers. 

My survival kit consisting of snacks, sanitizer and a cheeky shirt featuring one of my favorite Avengers. 

Pretty simple, I thought. Most articles also told me to get plenty of sleep before the event, but of course, I was too energized to shut my eyes. Let's just say that I was incredibly excited to see Thanos, and Bucky (and Black Panther in theaters for the fourth time. I know, I know.) 

So, I failed to get enough sleep beforehand, but I did manage to pack a dope ass survival kit. My advice to you if you're thinking about ever braving an event like this is to overpack. Half of the stuff I brought with me I didn't use at all, but it was comforting to know that I had everything if I needed it. The contents of my backpack included:

  • A notebook and pen, for note taking, duh 
  • A portable charger
  • Snacks for when I got tired of eating movie theater popcorn
  • Eye drops. I don't know why, but I assumed that my eyes would get dry from staring at the screen for so long 
  • Deodorant, because it was early spring
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Mouthwash, toothpaste and a tooth brush
  • Baby wipes
  • Antacids
  • Blanket

Turns out you don't need that much when deciding to spend over 24 hours in a dark room. Just a good attitude and a few snacks.  The morning of the event I was still incredibly pumped. After I took a long ass, thorough shower I threw on my cheeky shirt (a nod to Black Panther, if you didn't catch that)  and a comfortable pair of jeans and headed out the door. 

Of course I wasn't the first person to arrive, but I made it just in time to snag an exclusive Avengers poster, collectible coin, and badge.  I only say this because I later heard grumblings that AMC ran out of some of the items.  

I introduced myself to my seat mates and we started chatting about our favorite (and least favorite) MCU films. I learned that this was the third marathon for one of the guys's beside me (he was also the one smart enough to bring a whole power strip to share), while the other was a father of two whose family didn't understand his obsession with these movies either. Another, turned out to be a writer for the New York Times and actually quoted me in an article

As soon as the credits on the first film, Iron Man, began to roll everyone started cheering, and instantly I felt like home. A lot of people don't understand why I love watching movies in theaters.  There's just something electrifying about seeing a story that so many people worked on come alive on the big screen. It's a feeling that words won't do justice, in my opinion. And at that moment I was surrounded by other people who felt exactly the same way I always have. 

I managed to stay awake the entire night with the exception of about an hour. The hour was split between Guardians of the Galaxy and a break. I kept full munching on a combo of pizza, my protein-packed snacks from above, and an order of cinnamon soft pretzels. In addition to staying awake, I'm also incredibly proud of the fact that I didn't drink a single energy drink or cup of coffee. Or dip out and go home for a nap like some of the other movie-goers. Seriously, we paid way too much to keep coming and going. 

Finally, at 6 p.m. on Thursday it was announced that Infinity War would be shown in 3D. My neighbor was sweet enough to get my glasses for me and like the other 11 films before when the credits rolled the cheering once again ensued. And honestly, it made every hour I sat there, every leg cramp and every time I wondered if I was certifiably nuts worth it. Ask me if I would do it all over again. 

Without a doubt, yes. 

My takeaways for any other brave (or nerdy) soul who might be thinking of doing the same thing one day for Marvel movies or any other franchise are:

Pace yourself when it comes to eating

There's no reason to binge-eat just because you're binge-watching. Eating too much too soon will cause you to feel tired and bloated long before you even make it to the 24-hour mark. 

Get to know the people beside you...

...and everywhere else in the theater too. I can't tell you how nice it was to meet other people in the lobby/waiting areas. And this is coming from a socially-awkward introvert. I wondered how uncomfortable it would be sitting beside people for almost two days, but talking to them made it an incredibly enjoyable experience. 

Sleep during the breaks

The good thing about these marathons, which I did not know, is that break time is factored in. Instead of sleeping during the movies when I started to get droopy around 3:00 a.m and again at 5:30 p.m. I took the opportunity to crash during those 20-minute breaks that way I'd be ready to go when my favorite movies came on. 

Have Fun

No one goes to an event like this to be crabby and grouchy and sad. This is the time to let your nerd flag fly proudly. Wear the fun t-shirts, bring your Captain America shield, feel free to laugh loudly and quote the lines. This is an experience like no other, so if you're going to go, enjoy every second of it. 

Now that I'm fully recovered, I can totally start preparing for next year.  Let's just hope part two of this film doesn't make me want to curse at the screen. If you've seen the movie, you know exactly what I'm talking about. 

Have you ever gone to an all-night movie marathon? Would you? Let me hear in the comments!

Best Joelle Moments From 'Dear White People' Vol. 2

Winchester University is back in session and the star of Season 2 is without a doubt, Joelle Brooks. 

She's been in the mix of Dear White People ever since it was just a film. But on this season of the now-Netflix series, Ashley Blaine Featherson finally got a chance to really shine. Introduced in Season 1 as Sam White's always-down-for-the-cause best friend, Joelle was formerly relegated to the role of spirited sidekick, and for us darker black women, that really kind of sucked. While colorism certainly shouldn't be a thing, it most definitely still is. Personally, I get tired of seeing women with my complexion and darker not getting any screen-time compared to our lighter counterparts. 

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Fortunately, Season 2 found Joelle with her own episode, which she truly shined in. Honestly, I never would've known she was a brainiac if it wasn't for that episode. An in addition to her "smartest girl in school" newsflash, Joelle had plenty of other standout moments. My favorites include:

1. When she coined the term pre-bating

The number one thing I love about Joelle is her commitment to being as blunt and nonchalant about things as possible. Now, maybe she was a little blunter than I'd want her to be if she caught me masturbating in my dorm like she did Sam, but her quips were hella funny.

First, it was the 13 Reasons Why jab, but the one that really took the cake was pre-bating. Never in my life had a heard that term, but it made perfect sense. According to Joelle, it's "when you take care of yourself so you don't lose your mind in the company of problematic dick." Definitely useful and relatable. 

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2. Her singing Erykah Badu

A black woman who doesn't love or who hasn't sung "Tyrone" while thinking about a particularl man, hasn't yet lived. Joelle killed her open mic night performance belting about an acapella version of this 90s jam. And it didn't hurt that she was throwing daggers towards Reggie, the always-fine, but incredibly-clueless crush she's had since DWP first began.  

3. When she told off that hotep

This is one twist I actually kind of saw coming. From the moment Joelle met "T. King" something about him seemed off. Or maybe it's just that I'm instantly turned off by guys who constantly call me "queen" and spew conspiracy theories about "the man." Either way, I knew he was trouble and sure enough he turned out to be. 

Now Joelle being the classy person that she is tried to tell the guy off gently, but when he hurled an LGBTQ+ slur and called Sam a "halfrican" she had to take it up a notch, and boy did she deliver. I won't spoil the moment (more than I already have that is), but it's worth watching more than once. 

5. When she and reggie finally got it on

I could have shouted to the heavens, and honestly, I think I did, when this happened. It was clear since Season 1 that Joelle had a thing for Reggie. And who could blame her? Problem is Reggie only had eyes for Sam, even though (1) she was never thinking about him and (2) she had a boyfriend. Something last semester did a whammy on Reggie though, and finally, he saw Joelle for the "queen" she is. Not entirely sure if this situationship will make it all the way through Season 3, but hell, let's hope so. 

Now, while Joelle is clearly my favorite character, everyone in DWP is amazing and this season is a definite must-watch. Hey, you may even see Kelsey's beloved emotional-support dog Sorbet from Season 1 again.* 

*Who am I kidding, you totally will. 

Dear White People Vol.'s 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix now! 

Photo credits: Netflix

Movies Lately

As much as I go to the movies, of course I had to get those super cute enamel pins!

Can you believe we're already in the second quarter of the year? Normally, when people say the year is going by quickly I roll my eyes, but 2018 is really flying. Before we know it, it'll be summer.  And once the heat comes, we'll be steps away from fall (and my 25th birthday!). Then, it'll be December and the new year will be on the horizon.

Last year I saw roughly 30 movies in theaters (not counting the fact that I saw some of them multiple times). This year I'm determined to see even more, and so far I've made good on that promise. Yep, I've been spending my days doing nothing other than working, writing, eating tacos and going to the movies. 

And here's what I've seen recently:

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Black Panther

So far this has been my favorite movie of the year and more than likely will continue to be. If you haven't seen the Marvel hit you need to run, not walk down to the theater. It's honestly the best origin story of any superhero I've seen and I'm not just saying that because Michael B. Jordan is in it. You can check out my full review of the movie here

Fifty Shades Freed

Let's just say that this is my guilty pleasure. Don't judge. There's nothing wrong with a girl loving a really erotic movie. Is there? Plus Christian and Ana are super cute together. Out of the three movies, I definitely think this one was the best. It had the perfect balance of suspense, steamy sex scenes and drama. Plus Ana was incredibly badass, and it was nice to see her actually tell Christian off for once. (Don't worry, that's not really a spoiler.)

Proud Mary

Taraji P. Henson is absolutely killing it this year! One of her first movies released in 2018 features her as a badass hit woman with heart, who longs to get out of the mobbing game when she finds herself growing attached to a young orphan. I wish there would have been a little more high-powered action scenes involving Taraji's character, but overall the film was great. 

A Wrinkle In Time

Never did I ever expect to see a young black girl in the lead role of a sci-fi/fantasy film. But alas in 2018 it happened. The incredibly talented and adorable Storm Reid brings teen misfit Meg Murry of the classic children's novel to life, under the direction of Ava DuVernay. It's the perfect movie to bring your kids/siblings/younger cousins too, or to see if you just need a little magic and inspiration in your own life. (Hint: we all do at some point.)

Love, Simon

Everyone deserves a great love story. Everyone deserves a great love story. Everyone deserves a great love story.  Yes, that includes LGBTQ+ teens and I'm happy they finally got one this year. Based on the best-selling book by Becky Albertalli, the film follows 17-year-old Simon Spier who has one huge secret: he's gay. He hasn't told his family or friends, but he suddenly finds comfort in an anonymous classmate experiencing the same struggle of coming out. I'd watch this movie over and over if I could simply because of how funny, pure and sweet it was. Bring tissues if you see it, you'll definitely cry!

Den of Thieves

If you're into crime dramas with good twists then this is the film for you. In it, a group of professional bank robbers comes face-to-face with the city's roughest department of cops, and what ensues will keep your full attention. And really, that's all I can say without giving anything away. 

Annihilation

It was incredibly refreshing to see a sci-fi movie centered entirely around women. Natalie Portman completely delivered as a biologist who signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone (i.e. the "shimmer")  where the laws of nature don't apply. It was weird, interesting, and little creepy all at once, but so, so good. By the end of the movie, I was scratching my head and wondering what the heck had just happened, though in a good way. 

Acrimony

Taraji strikes again! This time she plays a scorned wife who's anger towards her husband/ex-husband reaches epic (and maybe even deadly) proportions. Obviously, this is supposed to be a serious thriller/drama, but I couldn't stop laughing while watching. Neither could anyone else in the theater, simply because of how relatable it was.  No seriously!

Gemini

Who doesn't love a good indie film? In this mystery thriller, Zoe Kravitz stars as Hollywood starlet Heather Anderson. Her assistant Jill arrives at her house one day to find her dead from *multiple* gunshot wounds. And the number one suspect? Jill, who immediately embarks on her own investigation to clear her name and find out what really happened. Take my word for it: this movie is nothing like what you've seen before. Although the ending did leave me feeling a tad underwhelmed. But that's my only con!

What movies have you seen recently? What are you looking forward to seeing? Let me know in the comments!