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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Curious Case of The Crowded Cinema  
or baby blogger's first movie review... 

When Geo was a freelancer in the 90s we went to a lot of movies. A LOT of movies. At least one or two a week. It was great. We'd go in the afternoon, armed with the requisite ten gallon vat of popcorn and 55 gallon drum of liquid, and settle in for an afternoon of darkened theater escapism. Most of the time we'd end up being two of maybe 10-12 people in the theater. We saw everything...independent movies, foreign films, mainstream. Whatever. 

Nowadays we're lucky to see a handful per year. You see Geo has a lot of rules for movie going now. He hates, hates, HATES when people talk during the movie and he's not too fond of crowds these days. Ergo, we don't go in the evenings, weekends or holidays. Being that he works until 6pm, that leaves zero situations for us to visit ye olde cinema. Although he usually takes off a day or two for either my birthday or our anniversary so we can spend the entire day in the dark slowly swelling up from eating waaaay too much popcorn. 

That said, I went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button last Saturday night with my sister and her husband. Not Geo, you know, because of the whole "rules" thang. 

By the time we got there for the 2:45 showing, the previews had started. We bounded up the ramp, turned the bend at the top and found the ENTIRE THEATER PACKED!?! What the Eff? I realize I haven't been to a theater on a Saturday afternoon in a while, but... come on! There were only singles sparsely scattered throughout. Three of us...single seats, no thank you. Then I noticed a half wall in the back which corralled a smaller section of comfy leather lounge chairs. 

What kinda fascist caste system is this?  

Considering the lack of ample seating below, but lots of empty, comfy seats above I figured, what the hell. Let's use them. So my sister and I plopped down in the first row. Our butts hadn't even had a chance to warm the cold leather yet when the Comfy Chair Nazi swooped down upon us demanding to see our VIP ticket stub, ID, proof of our lineage and a blood sample. Okay, so I'm exaggerating. They didn't want our ID. 

Testing the philosophy that it is easier to get forgiveness than permission, I said we didn't have the aforementioned bourgeois VIP tickets. I mean, come on. There were loads of empty seats here in the lofty lounge. Surely he would take pity on us and give us a pass considering the lack of seating below deck. 

Alas, the power-hungry, prickly-faced, pubescent cast us out of Eden into the bowels of the cinematic underworld. Did I mention he was "prick"-ly-faced? I think I did. Our only remaining choices for seating were the first two neck-snapping rows. 

Resigned to our fate, we plopped down.. scrunched down.. hunched down as best we could for the slimmest..I mean, greatest optimum viewing. The last time I sat this close to the screen, I was a very young and nimble lass whose neck sprang back to its original shape in seconds. Now...not so much.

We were so close, I swore I was going to get sucked up into Cate Blanchett's flaring nostrils never to be heard from again. As it turns out, the movie was engrossing enough for me to forget my physical discomfort. That is until the credits rolled and I had difficulty releasing my neck from its upright and locked position. After what seemed an eternity and a thousand LOUD crunches later, fluidity returned to my vertebrae enabling me to look forward once again. 

Did I mention the Teutonic teen was PRICK-ly faced? 

Wait...this was supposed to be a movie review, wasn't it. 

The film I highly recommend.  Besides being a terrific story, the energetic, youthfully restored Brad Pitt is worth the price of admission. Seriously. But for the love of your movable parts, get to the theater early. 

Them teenagers are mean.

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