Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (29Mar05)

We always put so much thought into deciding which movie to see (see yesterday's explanation). Sometimes we're right...sometimes we're wrong.

Like this week.

It was the most gorgeous day -- so gorgeous that even I almost wanted to stay home and go for a nice long walk instead. So we figured the theater would be dead, Cheap Night or not.

Not so much.

When we got to the theater, the parking lot was full. And when we hiked up from our distant parking space to the theater, we found monstrous lines leading to the ticket booths. For the first time ever (that I'd seen), they had three lines open. And, of course, we chose the slowest one (which had me constantly looking at my watch, worried that:

1) We'd miss the beginning of the movie. (Or...okay, I'll admit it...the previews. I'm one of those people who loves watching previews.)

2) We'd get in, and there wouldn't be any seats left. (Or we'd end up seated in the front row, way off to the left side -- I know this from experience.)

I couldn't believe the crowds. Paul suggested that there must have been some ad or something -- there had to be something that would make the entire city suddenly need to go to a movie on the most gorgeous Tuesday night of the year so far.

The lobby was packed, too. As I made my way through, I felt like I was trying to shove my way through the mosh pit at a Pearl Jam concert. And then we had to wait in another line just to get our tickets ripped.

Crap, I thought. We'd chosen a first-week movie. I just prayed that this line wasn't for The Life Aquatic.

Fortunately, it wasn't. Now that I think about it, I'm guessing they were all headed for Finding Neverland. The Life Aquatic, on the other hand, was in a small theater -- and not a full one, either. So we chose a pair of seats about halfway down the aisle. Paul went in first and let me take the aisle seat. After last week's experience, I think he's a little concerned about me. Probably for good reason. If there's a thing as Movie Theater Rage, I definitely had a case of it last week. Fortunately, I kept it under control -- but I probably couldn't have done so two weeks in a row.

As the previews showed, more and more people walked in, several of them climbing over us to take seats in our row. By about 15 minutes into the movie (some people even showed up a half-hour in!), the theater was pretty full. Apparently everyone in the theater had had a lot to drink before the movie because people kept getting up, walking out, and coming back in. Didn't their mothers teach them to go before the movie?

Other than the outrageously small bladders of my fellow moviegoers, the experience was surprisingly relaxing -- and quite uneventful.

I recently read an article or two about the fall of the R-rated movie. According to the articles I've read, people don't go to R-rated movies anymore. They just don't make any money. But I have to say that I often enjoy my experiences at R-rated movies more -- not because I'm into nudity and violence but because the audience is (obviously) more grown-up. I love low-brow humor as much as the next guy, but I just don't tend to love many of the other people who love low-brow humor. Many of them act as though they were raised in a barn -- no one ever taught them how to behave politely in a crowded movie theater.

So as long as the seat-kickers and loud-talkers and commentators and theater-seat-directors are shying away from R-rated movies, I'll keep going.

As for the movie, I loved it. It's got the exact kind of dry sense of humor that I was raised with. My dad would love it.

To read my review of the movie, check it out at


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