...that is the question for all new movies.
Some movies, like The Incredibles, or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, have the answer "all." We saw them at the first run theater, again at the Graham Theater, and got the DVD.
But with the high price of first run theater tickets ($40 for tickets for the five of us so we don't get snacks), we're very careful about what we see there. And, of course, unless we want to arrange for younger son to stay with someone, anything that's PG-13 we watch on DVD (I think we've seen a total of one R-rated movie in the last five years. Dear husband and I watched The Matrix last summer (only seven years after it came out)).
Tickets at the Graham Theater (second run) are only $2 so we can all see a movie for $10, and, even if we add snacks, it's still only half of what first run tickets cost. Of course, renting the film on DVD is the cheapest alternative.
So, some movies look really interesting and we want to see them right away, even at higher prices. Others we're willing to wait a couple of months (second run) or even a year (DVD) to see.
Which category does Ratatouille fall in? I think we've seen all of the other Pixar films at first-run theaters, although I spent the scary parts of Toy Story out in the lobby with one young child (it's still our least favorite Pixar movie). I almost ended up in the lobby at Monsters, Inc. too, but then younger son decided it was okay.
However, I've read very differing opinions of Ratatouille. Either it is boring and drags or it's a wonderful ode to creativity. There are very few opinions in-between.
Faced with a world that uses the great chief Gusteau's image to pimp fast food, the film argues for the subversive power of the amateur, for the craft that they can embody in the face of the commerce and "excellence". The art vs. commerce tension is played out with rats as the agents of imagination & community and humans as the powers that be, using individualism and compliance as weapons to snuff out any thing that evens resembles an expression of creativity.
Towards the end of the sumptuous feast that is Ratatouille, I was reminded that I am a geek for authenticity, for the work of outsiders, for the craft of amateurs. In a brief interview, the voice of Remy Patton Oswalt captures some of the spirit - the geekiness - that I feel in soul:
Wired: There's a great line on your new album, Werewolves: "My geekiness is getting in the way of my nerdiness." What's the distinction?
Oswalt: A lot of nerds aren't aware they're nerds. A geek has thrown his hands up to the universe and gone, "I speak Klingon — who am I fooling? You win! I'm just gonna openly like what I like." Geeks tend to be a little happier with themselves.
I'm just gonna openly like what I like - and as you can tell from this reflection, I liked Ratatouille a ton. Go see it - and be proud to be a geek.
As a geek, I'm interested in seeing it.
(I also didn't realize that two of the actors doing the voices are favorites of mine - Peter O'Toole and Jeanine Garofalo).