Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Fantastic Four (15Sept05)

Better late than never, I suppose...

Perhaps I was wrong when, on our last movie night, I fretted about not being able to go to The Cheap Theater on Tuesday for a couple of weeks, noting that Tuesdays are when the Crazies come out. Perhaps, however, the real Crazies stay away on Cheap Night -- since they prefer to avoid the crowds of cheapskates. Because they were out in full force when we moved our movie night to Thursday...

I'd had to work on Tuesday night, much to my chagrin. And Wednesday was Paul's hockey night (an unfortunate loss). So movie night had to be postponed until Thursday. The Thursday night Cheap Theater atmosphere was nowhere near what I've become used to. Instead of the noisy, carnival-like din of a Tuesday night, it was much more reserved. Somber, even. There were still plenty of people milling around, but they looked like they were wandering through a museum, not trying to disturb anyone or knock anything over.

The crowd inside the theater itself was even stranger -- though that may have a lot to do with the move we'd chosen to see. Fantastic Four (check out Tony's review on N&W.com) is, admittedly, a pretty dorky movie, aimed mostly at comic book nerds who have never been in a relationship more serious than the one they have in their head with Jessica Alba.

When I took my seat in the very back corner of the theater, I initially felt as though I were being punished. Forced to sit in the corner. But before long, I realized that the solitary confinement was probably for the best.

Fantastic Four isn't exactly a girl movie -- nor is it a date movie. The theater crowd consisted of:

a) About five couples, the female half of which was obviously getting paid back for having forced the male half to sit through The Wedding Date.

b) One group of four: one guy and three girls, who giggled non-stop throughout the whole movie -- and who will inevitably never let the guy forget that he liked that stupid movie.

c) Nine solitary movie-watchers. Seven of them male. They tended to cluster together, so it would look like they weren't alone. Three of them sat in one row. Another group took random seats in the front of the theater.

My personal favorite was a young man, probably mid-20s, who looked just like Napoleon Dynamite -- with the big, thick glasses, the huge 'fro, and the 80s wardrobe. Unfortunately, I'm almost positive that he didn't look that way because he was mimicking the cool nerd from the horrifyingly successful film (don't get me started on that...). I'm pretty sure he looked that way because his grandma picked out his clothes. You know the guy. There was one in your high school geometry class.

I watched in awe and amusement as Napoleon hurried to the front of the theater, a giant tub of popcorn in his arms. He took a seat near the center of the row. He contemplated it for a second. Then he moved one seat to his left. Then he paused. And he moved one more seat to his left. Then, apparently satisfied with his seating placement, he settled in. He carefully unfolded one of the white paper napkins he'd taken and daintily placed it tablecloth-style on the seat next to him. Grandma obviously taught him to be neat.

As I glanced around the theater, I realized that Thursday might be the best night for crazy Cheap Theater action. Then again, I have a feeling that any night a sci-fi comic book movie is playing might be a good night for crazy Cheap Theater action...


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