Until they realize how much dreck Hollywood puts out, most people wouldn't mind having Murphy's job. Murphy, best known from the cult TV hit Mystery Science Theater 3000, set out to see a movie a day for all of 2001-and he's got the occasionally repetitive but usually amusing stories to prove it. He snuck into Cannes, roamed Route 66 in search of drive-ins, visited a midnight sun film festival in Lapland, and lived for a week on (almost) nothing but concession-stand food. Few would argue with Murphy's harangues at shoddy theaters and dopey summer movies ("people watch them simply to be distracted and sort of entertained, and since I can do this watching a ceiling fan, I bristle at paying good money"), and his jolly geekdom makes for engaging company. He's a highbrow man of the people, and even when the occasional chapter falls flat or the book feels a bit slapped together, he'll still make readers eager to grab a paper and see what's playing at the local theater.
This is a wonderful book! As anyone who's seen Mystery Science Theater 3000 or Rifftrax knows, Kevin Murphy is a funny, funny man. So it's no surprise that this book has a lot of laughs. But comedy isn't really the purpose of this book. Kevin Murphy is also someone with a deep love for movies and the entire experience involved in viewing films, and that is the real focus of this book. He writes about all sorts of aspects involved in seeing movies, from the different kinds of theaters in which they're shown to the food to the audiences and so forth, and the ways in which all of these elements come together to create an experience for good or ill. The writing is smart, descriptive, and engaging and most importantly it made me love moviegoing the way he loves movie going.