It occurred to me recently that the last time I bought a movie ticket was four months ago. After going through a chronological list of major film releases, I am pretty sure that I have not gone this long between movies since 2012. Here are the release months for films that I saw in various years. The maximum span here seems to be three.
An obvious problem with this list is that it is easy to watch a film one or two months after its release. If this had happened with the April 2013 film for example, then that would be an example of another four month gap. However, in this case, I happen to remember that I saw Iron Man 3 right when it came out. Another shortcoming is that the list omits movies that I saw in airplanes, people's houses or rented out venues. The latter type of cinema is something I have actually attended multiple times in 2017.
Four months instead of three is not much of an outlier. So I cannot really say whether this marks a sudden change in my interests. However, I can certainly mention two movies that I actively avoided.
The most egregious example is the new King Kong movie. My criticism of that one goes back to the 2014 Godzilla incarnation. As you may know, Godzilla was born out of protests against nuclear proliferation. The catastrophic nuclear bomb tests in the South Pacific that were common by 1954 prompted Ishirō Honda to write a cautionary tale in which the consequences of such recklessness were personified in a monster. Instead of some intangible political disaster that could have easily come out of the Cold War, it is the mutant Godzilla, rampaging through a city, that shows us what happens when humans have great power and don't take responsibility for it. This bold statement is completely undone by the remake.
The 2014 film paid superficial lip service at best to the nuclear issue, but really there's almost nothing of substance there. Rather than offering caution about nuclear energy, the new film almost gives you the idea that nuclear weapons are actually the answer to everything.
When the Kong: Skull Island trailer came out, it was annoying to see the exact same approach being used. People frame the nuclear tests as an effort by righteous heroes to save humanity from King Kong. People have told me that both movies are sequel fodder where the title monster only appears in the last few minutes. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that they keep following the same pattern. After all, there are plans to put them in the same universe with a Godzilla vs Kong movie as was done in 1962.
The other film from this winter that I refused to watch was Logan. Many friends who saw this one and liked it had the same initial fear as me; that it would be just as crappy as the other two Wolverine movies. Given all the acclaim it's receiving, I can admit that this fear was probably unrealized. However, my objection has more to do with condoning all this undue emphasis on Wolverine over other X-Men. The one character who's completely invincible and solitary doesn't need three movies about him. The title of the first instalment, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", reflects the fact that the studio wanted to focus on several superheroes over time and make an origin story devoted to each one. I am not in a hurry to watch movies in this vein when they keep passing on people like Storm and Nightcrawler in order to do Wolverine again and again. I will watch Logan eventually, but until then, I am happy to stick with "the good series" consisting of 0, 1 and 2.
On the topic of franchises that make more sequels than they should, my favourite examples are Ice Age and Transformers. In both cases, I watched the first film and found it to be decent. A fun thing to watch that doesn't take itself too seriously. But the abysmal ratings of the sequels are well-deserved.
To answer the question of what I saw in an independent cinema recently, it was Ghost in the Shell. The revolutionary 1995 anime that is, not the Americanized remake that I have no interest in seeing. It looks like people who live near my parents will also be able to keep enjoying non-Hollywood classics. A great theatre that I've visited many times was recently bought out by a group that plans to restore it and further its mission of supporting the arts. When it comes to movies, I bet most people would be able to complete the exercise that I did in the first paragraph — reading film titles in a list and remembering whether they were viewed in cinemas or elsewhere. The trick is finding ones that will form other memories beyond this!