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Opening Remarks

Everyone’s Gone to the Movies

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Editor Manson (far right, even though he’s a bleeding heart liberal) with Okaloosa Arts Alliance board members Bill Head, Becky Belcher, Karen Reid and Jeanette Shires, and OAA honcho Amy Baty-Herbert. This photo took place during the OAA’s annual wine tasting event at the Twisted Grape Café & Wine Bar in Shalimar, and it was fun.
Photo by Jean Dutton.

My brother gave me a MoviePass for Christmas, good for a whole year on any movie that isn’t IMAX or 3-D, accepted at most theaters, get yours today for $9.99 a month (cheap!) and go see a movie every single day!


Except that it doesn’t work that way for normal people with kids, dogs, jobs, and extended family that need you to pick up their kids from school right when the matinee showing is underway. Here I am almost a month in, and I’ve used my MoviePass a grand total of one time.


And it wasn’t even a movie worth writing about in Editor’s Choice. Taraji P. Henson’s Proud Mary was okay, but I prefer my blaxploitation throwbacks a little more over the top. I will note that the film’s running time was actually shorter than the total running time of the upcoming movies previews.


Anyway, I love movies—always have, though my peak period of viewing was 1981-1984, when my dad, as honcho of the #1 radio station in the Muscle Shoals area, had free passes to every cinema in town. That’s when I saw 48HRS, The Verdict, Tootsie, On Golden Pond (with my gramma), Sudden Impact, Stripes, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Porky’s, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, E.T., and lots of abysmal slasher pictures and subpar teen sex comedies.


Like the one where the nerdy high school student gets his tallywhacker stuck in a bowling ball. Okay, that movie was better than average.


These days, I’m lucky if I can stay awake through a not-so-late-night broadcast of Goodfellas. And that’s probably my all-time favorite movie, though I supplied a different answer for my online banking login if you’re thinking about stealing my identity.


Which brings us to the 2018 Academy Awards, the nominations for which were announced as I put pen to paper (okay, fingers to dirty keyboard). I’m very happy the (female) director of Lady Bird and the (African-American) director of Get Out got nods, as well as the (female) cinematographer of Mudbound, a superb movie you can watch right now on Netflix, unless you’re working, walking the dogs, taking the kids to archery practice, etc.


I’ve seen more of this year’s nominees than I have in recent years. And I’m hoping The Shape of Water, which led the nominations, will return to theaters or that torrent site I’m not supposed to write about.


See you at the movies.



Beachcomber Music Awards X is on, and the big event will take place sometime between the end of Spring Break and Memorial Day weekend. Date and location TBD. Or TBA. What are the kids using these days for “we don’t know yet”?


Meantime, you can vote for the final nominees in 327 (well, not that many, but if feels like it) categories online now through Sunday, Feb. 18. Visit, and once you’re there, stick around for a while.


Other things to look forward to in 2018—Beachcomber beer, the return of Beachcomber Jam Night, and Stephen King’s Pet of the Issue submission. Plus a 20-year anniversary tribute to The Truman Show. Hey, does anyone have Jim Carrey’s email?

Editor Manson
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