There’s quite a bargain at the Carmike Oakdale 20.
For $22, movie patrons can buy a plastic bucket of popcorn, take it home, wash it and return to the theater with the bucket an unlimited number of times over the course of a year for refills that cost $4.25.
“So we keep bringing it back,” Bruce Boudreau said, “but we only ask for it to be like a third filled because it’s just too much. I mean, it’s like a friggin’ big bucket!”
The Wild coach loves popcorn almost as much as he loves movies, and he really, really loves movies. He’s a moviegoing machine, having seen thousands, often on the road and at least once or twice a week when home. Sometimes, he has trouble recalling the names or the actors, but his wife, Crystal, helps with that. They just saw, “Allied,” and loved “Hacksaw Ridge.”
Movies have been a family affair for years. Dinner and a movie is “Date Night” and a source of celebration, as it was when he got the Wild job. When children are visiting, they know at least one night must involve a movie. Every holiday, a different family member gets to pick the flick.
This Christmas, it’s 18-year-old Brady’s turn, so Crystal said, “It’s going to be something really stupid. Like, I’ve sat through ‘Bad Grandpa’ for him.”
During one of Boudreau’s coaching stops in Manchester, N.H., he even was a movie reviewer on radio and in the Union Leader newspaper in the era of “Siskel & Ebert.”
“I’d take their advice on a movie, go see it and then disagree with them or agree with them,” Boudreau said, proudly. “It was pretty cool because sometimes I’d just rip the movie.”
Everybody has a source of relaxation. For the Wild coach, it’s going to a movie. Luckily, he has a wife who sits right there next to him and watches hockey. In Anaheim, because of the time zone, they’d watch all the hockey games, then go to a 7 or 8 o’clock movie.
In Minnesota, they’ll see 4 o’clock movies, then return home for a night of hockey.
“It’s one of the few times he can relax,” said Crystal, a pastry chef at Sur La Table, a high-end cooking store in Woodbury. “In the theater, he’s not worried about his phone, he’s not thinking about hockey. I mean, there are times I can look over and I know he’s still thinking about it.
“But if it’s a good movie, he forgets about it just long enough to relax. It is a great thing because he doesn’t do yoga, Pilates. He’s not a huge exerciser. Movies for him are really good stress relief.”
Bruce and Crystal Boudreau have a game they play during trailers. After each, they give the other a thumbs-up or -down sign. If it’s thumbs-down, Bruce knows that’s a movie he eventually can see on the road without her.
“Occasionally he’ll see one on the road that he knows I want to see, he tries to lie and say he didn’t see it, but he’s always busted,” Crystal said.
Originally, this was supposed to be a two-movie road trip. Last week in Calgary, Boudreau saw “Hell or High Water” with his son, Andy, who works in Banff, Alberta. On Monday afternoon after the Wild arrived in Toronto, Boudreau rented a car and drove to the suburb of Maple to visit his mom, 83-year-old Theresa. He planned to take her to a movie, but she felt he arrived too late, so instead he had dinner with her and his brother, Bryan.
“She doesn’t do much anymore, so I like to get her out of the house and take her to a movie, although sometimes she’ll just blurt out real loud, ‘This movie’s awful,’ ” Boud- reau said. “The older you get, there’s no filter.”
As a kid, Boudreau couldn’t afford to go to movies, so he’d save up to see the latest James Bond movie or a Matt Helm spy movie.
He loves most every genre, although not so much sci-fi or scary movies. He loves period pieces, loves musicals “if they’re songs that I know.”
He has seen “Mamma Mia!” 30 times, loved “The Idolmaker,” “Rock of Ages” and “Hairspray’’ — “the second one, not the first one with John Travolta,’’ he said.
He loves crime (“Godfather” trilogy and “Goodfellas”), “like the perfect murder, when the movie fits,” Boudreau said. “The first ‘Die Hard’ was great. After that, they became phonier and phonier. By the fifth one, when they’re going up a ramp in a car and it’s hitting a helicopter, Yeah, right. I can understand kids loving that, but I look more for the story now that I’m older.’’
Hit and miss
Boudreau says movies are just his way of unwinding.
“I used to party a lot. I’m sure that’s one of the reasons I didn’t make the NHL [full-time],” Boudreau said. “But it just sort of went away, the desire to do it. For the most part, I’d rather drink a Diet Coke than a beer.
“It’s not like I’m 25 anymore and I go to the bar for a few drinks. For me now, it’s going to the movie. I’m probably a pretty boring guy. I like watching good stories for a couple hours, and I don’t know if a movie’s good or not. I just know if it’s entertaining for me.”
Crystal won’t do the stupid man comedies, so that’s for Bruce’s taking on the road.
“We know what each other will like,” Crystal said. “My husband will sit through a romantic comedy, but they’re not his favorite. I’ll sit through a stupid movie on occasion, but they know I probably won’t laugh.”
Occasionally, Boudreau will well up during a sappy movie, or fall asleep during a boring one.
“We wake him up when he starts to snore,” Crystal said. “Everyone has their thing. Us, we do movies. He’s the same person I met 26 years ago.”
Oh, and for the record, that “friggin’ big bucket” of popcorn, that’s all for Bruce.
“I don’t eat popcorn. But we take it because he does,” Crystal said. “If I have a handful, that’s a big thing for me.”