There’s a really fun new destination in West Mobile that will give moviegoers a compelling reason to get out of the house: Nexus Cinema Dining, which puts a fun spin on having dinner and a movie.
A nice, new facility that is not nearly as far as my midtown-bound self thought it would be, this two-screen movie theater, currently showing “A Wrinkle in Time” and “Black Panther,” serves you a huge array of sliders, salads, sandwiches, appetizers and, soon, beer and wine, while you watch. It was so good, I didn’t even miss the popcorn. (Although they do have popcorn.)
You can choose from deluxe recliners with pull-out trays or high-back swivel chairs with long tables in front of them to accommodate your cinema feast. Each seat has its own iPad for ordering, which my small colleagues found utterly luxurious and enchanting. You pick what you want, press a button and soon a silent, efficient waiter whisks it out to you. The lighting is perfectly dim, so you can see your food and the movie.
Instead of paying 10 bucks for nachos, $8.95 will get you beef brisket sliders. I was expecting food that was good enough to eat in combination with the novelty of having it served to you during the movie, but it was legitimately tasty, flavorful and tender. My son enjoyed what he described as “the best sandwiches ever,” a rather clever treat of apples slices, bacon and cheddar, also $8.95. My daughter got VooDoo Shrimp ($15.95), served in a sweet and spicy sauce.
There was a nice crowd at our evening showing of “A Wrinkle in Time,” but I didn’t find the dining aspect intrusive in the least. The rows are spacious and comfortable and the whole setup is really well thought out. Better thought out, indeed, than some aspects of Ava DuVernay’s much-anticipated adaptation of the childhood science fiction classic.
My daughter said it best: “If you haven’t read the book, it’s an awesome movie.” Written in 1962, the Madeleine L’Engle novel was a watershed in what is now a huge market, that of Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction. The film’s creators, in an effort to bring this story into the present, seem to have found their answer in computer-generated effects and star power. It was the star power that I, a curmudgeon and a nerd, found the film’s biggest problems. Despite their stunning and elaborate costumes, it was hard to see Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah as anything other than their famous selves.
The story finds a young girl, Meg Murray (Storm Reid), a bitter outcast at school, challenged with an interstellar mission to rescue her lost scientist father. As such, she must delve into her untapped inner strengths, and the film doubles down on the psychological aspects.
Therefore, we find ourselves in the laughable situation of seeing our own greatest self-help guru playing, essentially, a self-help guru, albeit a bedazzled one. My kids don’t even know who she is, and found her simply an awesome, wise witch with amazing costumes and rhinestone eyebrows. To me, it was like a psychedelic version of any one of her life-affirming television segments.
Taken as a whole, “A Wrinkle in Time” is an exciting, uplifting fantasy adventure, eye-poppingly beautiful and affirming of the powers of love, science, empathy and acceptance. If you know what to look for, and you want to split hairs (I do!), some of it made little sense, but the overall vibe was consonant with my beloved original book, and its heart was in the right place. In fact — and I know I sound like the Grinch here — too much heart may have been part of the problem.
“A Wrinkle in Time” is now playing at all listed multiplex theaters, but Nexus Cinema Dining is the only place where you can watch it and also enjoy those delicious little sandwiches.
Visit www.nexuscinemadining.com to book seats, check out the menu and see upcoming films. The theater is located off Cody Road, near Grelot Road.
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