Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Batman Begins (27Sept05)

Some people hate Mondays. I tend to hate Tuesdays. For some reason, Tuesdays never seem to go right for me. On Monday, I'm still floating (or, perhaps, sleeping) after the weekend. On Tuesday, reality hits. I've got things to do and not enough time to do it in. This Tuesday was no exception. After last weekend's trip to Toronto for our friends' wedding (and the few days of preparations before we left), I was still trying to catch up. The one thing that could brighten my day, however, was Cheap Night at The Cheap Theater. The Tuesday night movie always brightens my day. This week, though, it took some planning. We'd planned to see Batman Begins, which was showing at 6:50 and 8. The early showing was earlier than usual -- and it would require careful dinner planning -- but I wasn't sure if I could stay awake through the late one, since I was still pretty worn out.

My careful planning didn't quite work. Paul's schedule was a bit thrown off, thanks to the big business conference he'll be going to next week. And when he finally announced that he was on his way -- and it was safe to make dinner -- it took longer than expected. And when I finally pulled my creation out of the oven, the chicken was still partially raw.

As Paul mixed me a vodka tonic to avert the nervous breakdown that he saw brewing, he suggested that we could go to the theater some other night, but I shook my head. I just wanted my normal schedule back, darnit. So once the chicken was fully cooked, we sat down to eat -- with plenty of time to still make it to the later show.

I was relieved to finally make it to the theater. We walked right up and got our tickets, and we stepped into the lobby. Since it was between the typical 7-something and 9-something showtimes, the lobby was pretty deserted. I paused to check out the Coming Soon board, which had Post-It notes indicating release dates. Next week, I'll be on my own, so I thought I'd try something I've never done before -- go to a movie all by myself. I was hoping for a good chick flick that Paul wouldn't want to see anyway. What I got was a bunch of horror movies and The Dukes of Hazzard. I'm not exactly sure which would be scarier. And I've watched horror movies before returning to an empty house before -- and I'm not sure if it's wise to do that again.

While I considered my options, we made our way past the ticket-ripper to our theater. We didn't have to worry about getting good seats because it was totally empty. So we went for the back row.

"Do you smell that?" I asked as we sat down? "Something smells bad," I sniffed.

"Is it me?" Paul asked, sniffing.

"I think it's my seat," I told him, turning to sniff my seat. "I think I need to sit over there," I said, pointing to the seat on the other side of him.

For a couple of minutes, we sniffed and switched seats until we were both comfortable. By that time, other people had arrived. College guys, mostly. A few couples. A pair of early-teen boys with their moms. Then a couple approached and chose the seats right next to us. The woman smiled at me -- that I'm-only-here-because-he-made-me smile that women often exchange. And I felt bad -- not because she had to see Batman but because he'd chosen The Smelly Seat.

As the opening commercials played, more people continued to file in. More college guys. More young couples. And two very small boys -- maybe 4 and 5 -- distantly trailed by their parents. After scouting around, they chose the seats right in front of The Smelly Seat. The woman next to me let out an annoyed sound that was part laugh, part sigh.

I'm not sure who was more restless during the movie -- the woman next to me, who squirmed and whispered, or the two little boys, who talked and wandered and sometimes shouted, and whose parents gave up on shushing them about 5 minutes into the movie.

I left the theater seriously annoyed -- not really because the kids were loud and obnoxious and out of control (though they were) but because they were there. For one thing, the movie got out at 10:20 on a Tuesday night. Shouldn't small children be in bed at that time of night? When I was a kid, I would have been going to bed when the movie started. And, second, this was not a kids' movie -- and, unlike a lot of babysitterless parents throughout the summer, these people were actually taking their kids to watch the movie. We're not talking a G-rated movie here. It's PG-13, and it's scary. There are fight scenes and guns and ninjas and knives. Lots of people die slow, painful deaths on screen. And there's a creepy villain with a scary mask who strikes terror in the hearts and minds of characters and moviegoers alike. I'm pretty tough, but even I expect a nightmare or two to come from this one.

Yet, in front of me was a 4-year-old boy on his mom's lap, jumping up and down and shrieking at the top of his lungs, "It's time for him to kill somebody! It's time for him to kill somebody!"

And people wonder why our society is such a corrupt mess. I'm sure that 4-year-olds cheering on violent murders isn't helping anything. What the heck ever happened to Barney, the big, annoying purple dinosaur and his songs about love? My parents didn't even let me set foot in a movie theater until I was 13 -- and I hate to admit it, but maybe now I understand why.

But enough of my rant about bad parenting and the fall of society... Back to the movie. What I could hear over the shrieking kids was actually quite good. Check out Tony's review on I generally agree -- though I need to add that Katie Holmes has to go. Sometimes, you can have too much publicity -- didn't we all learn that lesson from the Bennifer debacle?


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