By Zach Selwyn | November 3, 2006

So, my job occasionally provides me with the sweet benefit of getting to see movies for free at what are called “Press Screenings” in the business of film criticism. I am not a critic, but I do have to interview a lot of actors/producers on my TV show (Attack of the Show! – same as Chris Gore) – and therefore, I get to see a lot of free movies. Some of them are brilliant, like “Borat.” Most of them suck, like “Keeping Up With the Steins.” Occasionally, you get the tepid middle ground film like “Flags of Our Fathers” – which I felt like I’d seen 30 times before.
However, there is one surefire way for these studios to make a screening (and review) that much better: I’m talking free soda, popcorn and candy. That’s literally all I care about. If I get a call about having to go see a film like SAW III, my first response is ” Ehhh… they offering free popcorn and soda?”

My boss calls…
“Zach, we need you to go do a DVD re-release screening of ISHTAR.”
“What’s the popcorn/soda situation looking like?”
“All you can eat – plus refills and a box of Junior Mints.”
“Sure, I always loved that movie…”

“Running With Scissors” was only good because of one thing: The studio provided free popcorn, candy and soda to the audience in attendence. Since the film began so f*****g slowly (even though it did get incredible at the end) – I was able to drone out Annette Bening’s steady flow of tears with a consistent crunch of lightly salted theater popcorn that occasionally missed my mouth and oozed buttery goodness all over my t-shirt.

“The Departed” was supposed to be my favorite film of the year. Instead, as I nursed a wicked cottonmouth devoid of any liquid refreshment, I was uninspired. Throw in a 32 ounce Cherry Coke? Shiiiit – DiCaprio gets my Oscar vote.
That being said, and coupled with the occasional FREE SWAG you get, here is the first ever ZACH SELWYN list of the greatest films of 2006:

10. Date Movie – (Free nachos, soda, popcorn and t-shirt – which sold for $6 on ebay)
9. When a Stranger Calls (Soda, popcorn, chocolate, free cell phone minutes card)
8. RV (White trash-themed RV- cheap PABST BLUE RIBBON beer. I actualy got drunk and missed the screening)
7. The Grudge 2 (Soda, popcorn, candy, photo booth where you could superimpose your face ino a picture with Amber Tamblyn)
6. Click – (Soda, popcorn, candy, free universal remote that works my TiVo, CD player and Stereo)
5. Phat Girlz (candy, candy, candy, candy – free ‘Mo’Nique MuMu’)
4. Little Man (Soda, popcorn, candy, your face photoshopped into a mini-version-of-yourself stuffed doll).
3. Material Girls (popcorn, soda, candy, free 12-month DUFF SISTERS calendar…)
2. Failure to Launch (Soda, popcorn, candy, Matthew McConaughey “Just Keep Livin’ t-shirt and Terry Bradshaw autographed mini-football)
1. Flicka (Soda, Popcorn, 1 Free “Tim McGraw stick-’em goatee”)

So there you have it. Give me candy, soda and free crap that will fetch high prices on the internet, and I’ll be giving you a good review.
Now if you excuse me, I have to go swim in my inflatable “Lady in the Water” backyard swimming pool… Best flick of the year…

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  1. Mark Bell says:

    Out of this entire list, the only thing that surprises and amazes me is that you got $6 for a “Date Movie” shirt on eBay. Someone took the time to search for a “Date Movie” shirt, lost their mind when they saw one available and then proceeded to bid on it. I just… it’s amazing.

    I’ve got to go sit on my Jack Nicholson Signature Strap-On now…

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