Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lord of War (29Nov05)

If you want to buy a ticket for a movie at The Cheap Theater, you have to wait in line outside the theater itself, in a semi-covered area that looks quite nice but isn't really all that practical. If you're sitting there, waiting for your mom to pick you up on a summer evening, it's a nice place to hang out. But if it's freezing cold, like it was this week, it's not fun at all. You shiver while standing in line, and by the time you get to the ticket window, your hands are so frozen that it's hard to get a grasp on your money to pay for your ticket. If this were, for instance, Southern California, where the weather tends to be permanently moderate, waiting in line outside probably wouldn't be too bad. But here in Ohio, it gets cold. And when it gets cold, people tend to get a little batty -- like the guy we passed inside the lobby, who was pacing and grumbling to himself.

Perhaps I should have passed on this little tidbit of information to the kid who sold us our tickets. After all, he must have been important because he was wearing an awkwardly ill-fitting suit.

In the Battle of the Cheap Theater Uniforms, this week the Cheap Theater Management chose to make the Suits and the Stripes mingle. Only one of the three ticket sellers wore a suit with a fancy nametag. He was frighteningly polite, and he told us to enjoy our show in that weird, robotic way. The other two ticket sellers, along with the concessions staff, wore the the usual red-and-white-striped shirts that were designed to make anyone who dons one look like Bobo the Clown -- Bozo's reject little brother.

Our ticket-ripper also wore a suit and a nametag that introduced him as Mr. Something. I have to admit that it seems a little silly to call a college kid in an awkwardly ill-fitting suit Mister, but who am I to judge? Our be-suited ticket-ripper -- Mr. Wilson, perhaps? -- was quite polite, as awkwardly ill-fitting-suit-wearing college guys often are at The Cheap Theater. And when I thanked him for directing us to our theater, he said, "You're welcome." Oh, the eerie politeness of these lads in suits!

Though we arrived at the theater ahead of schedule, we were just seconds too late to get our coveted back-row seats. We were beat out by a group of sorority sisters who giggled and chattered like they'd never been in a movie theater before. We could hear them throughout the movie from where we were sitting.

Once again this week, we found ourselves in a theater that was inhabited mostly by solitary men, most of them large and munching on popcorn. But, in the front of the theater, romance was blossoming. When we arrived, there were two solitary moviegoers -- one male and one female -- seated toward the front of the theater, one of each side of the aisle. They yelled across the aisle at one another in a friendly manner, making me wonder if they'd come together but had decided, for some reason, that they each needed their own row. These two were somewhat larger than average (or somewhat average for Central Ohio standards), so it's not that they were big enough to need their own row. She did just fine in her one seat. And he probably could have used two -- but he definitely didn't need his own row.

Instead, I prefer to imagine their story to be more of a fairy tale, the two of them showing up at The Cheap Theater alone on Cheap Night, taking their usual seats at the front of the theater and finding someone else who likes to sit alone in the front of the theater. Someone to shout across the aisle to. I even noticed once that the woman reached across the aisle to share her popcorn. It was cute. I didn't see the two of them walk out of the theater together, but I think Chuck Woolery would agree that those two may have made a love connection at The Cheap Theater.

As for the movie-watching experience this week, it was...noisy.

One of the large solitary men chose to sit directly ahead of me. But instead of being smelly, like the solitary guy ahead of me last week, this particular solitary guy was phlegmy. He spent the majority of the movie hacking and coughing in that manly, phlegm-curdling way. Just the sound of it made me want to guzzle some Pabst and go shoot a deer.

Meanwhile, across the aisle from me, another solitary guy was thoroughly enjoying the movie. He thought it was hilarious -- in a Farrelly Brothers, falling-off-your-seat-laughing kind of way. As this was an action/thriller kind of movie about running guns, most of us didn't see it as hilarious. Darkly amusing in that smirking-at-the-subtle-humor kind of way, yes. I may have gone so far as to chuckle a couple of times. But this guy had that explosive, grating laugh that sounds like your car does when you accidentally shift into the wrong gear. And he laughed at the moderately amusing parts -- but never at the parts that actually warranted a laugh. I could understand why no one would want to join him for the movie. I wouldn't want to, either -- but I got to anyway. Lucky me.

As for the movie itself, I enjoyed it. Check for the upcoming review.


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