Friday, August 03, 2007

Down Time

New at Since Last Time:
The Bourne Ultimatum
Rescue Dawn
Talk to Me

It was a quiet week on the film front. Of course, I could have gone to screenings just about every night, if I’d wanted to. But, well, I didn’t. So sue me. I needed some time to catch up—and I’m almost there. If you don’t count the DVDs that I have piled up on my coffee table—the ones that I still need to watch—I’m only two more reviews away from being totally caught up. Just one book and one CD. And that, my friends, makes me happier than my morning cup of coffee.

So the only screening this week was on Tuesday night, for The Bourne Ultimatum. As I mentioned earlier, just about everyone went on Friday morning, so there weren’t many of us there—but just as we were pulling into our spot in the parking garage, Jason pulled up right next to us. He was just back from his Comic-Con adventure, so I couldn’t wait to hear the stories. He had some great stories about Christopher Walken and a birthday cake—not to mention the already infamous Kevin Smith roundtable discussion (which I’ve actually watched on YouTube since then). Mostly, though, Jason was just exhausted—which I totally understand, after spending four days at a film festival this spring.

For the screening on Tuesday night, we were at the theater with the balcony. For some reason, I keep going back to that balcony, despite the fact that I’ve had all kinds of horrible experiences with the other people who tend to sit in the balcony. All those times when people talked through the movie…or chatted on their phone…or repeatedly kicked the back of my seat—that was usually in the balcony. But still, for some reason, I still keep going back. Probably because I’m a glutton for punishment.

This week, the Balcony Bruisers were out in full force. Before the movie started, the radio station hosting the screening decided to do some sort of giveaway. In general, we film critics hate these giveaways—because taunting people who came out for a free movie with more free stuff is like giving a kid a nice big glass of Coke before bedtime. It’s just not a good idea. Personally, I would like people to calm down a bit before the movie starts. I would like them to sit down and shut up (and turn off their phones), so I can watch the movie without the extra soundtrack of excited conversations and ringing phones. Those giveaways, on the other hand, just get people up on their feet, yelling and screaming and jumping up and down (no, I’m not even kidding—it’s pretty sad, considering the people jumping up and down are usually grown men and women).

This time, they were giving away T-shirts and restaurant gift certificates. To win, you had to answer some sort of trivia question related to The Bourne Ultimatum. The girl doing the giveaway, however, was clearly new to this whole thing—and she didn’t realize that, as soon as she asked a question, everyone in the theater would be screaming out answers, and she’d have no way of knowing who got it right. So she changed the rules, telling people that they had to raise their hand and wait to be called upon before answering. But this, I’m afraid, was not second grade. This was a free movie. And there were people in the balcony.

After a couple of questions, the Balcony Brigade realized that they weren’t being called upon. They decided that that was because they just weren’t being loud enough. So they got louder. They yelled and screamed and hurled insults at the poor girl who was trying to maintain order and failing miserably. All she wanted to do was give away a few free T-shirts. Finally, she called on some loud, obnoxious kid in the balcony, who correctly answered her question. But when she told him to come on down to get his T-shirt, he said, “I’m not going down there. I’m eating popcorn.” So he made his friend go down and get it for him.

After that, however, it was wide open for the people in the balcony. They were actually called upon to answer questions (probably because they continued to get louder and more obnoxious, and the poor girl was afraid to ignore them). At one point, someone actually called out a cheer of “Let’s go, balcony!”

Yea! Go Team Balcony!

Fortunately, though, Team Balcony actually calmed down once the movie started. Or perhaps I was too distracted by my battle to keep dinner down to be distracted by the loud, obnoxious people around me. I don’t know why the heck Paul Greengrass feels the need to punish people for watching his movies, but he continues to do so. It was the same with The Bourne Supremacy, so I knew it was coming—but I’m pretty sure it took maybe five minutes until the shaky chase scenes had me squeezing my eyes closed in an attempt to calm my lurching stomach. About halfway through, my stomach actually went into convulsions. And by the end, when I had made it through the whole thing without throwing up even once, I felt like I deserved a medal of honor.

In my review, I pointed out that it seemed as though Greengrass put a cameraman on a child’s wagon and pulled him down a flight of stairs. But I believe I was incorrect in this statement. My friend pointed out that she saw a feature on the movie, and it was actually a wheelbarrow. I stand corrected.

So after making it through The Bourne Ultimatum (after which made my husband drive home—so I could keep my eyes shut—and then I turned in early, so I could sleep it off), I chose to skip Bratz: The Movie on Wednesday night. It’s not that I didn’t want to go, of course. I would have loved to see Bratz. In fact, I’ve been looking forward to it all summer. But I was still recovering.

Yeah, that’s it.

I was actually planning to catch one more screening this week—Thursday night’s screening of Superbad. Despite the fact that I’ve seen Hot Rod, and I know just how bad things can get (and don’t ever say “cool beans” to me—ever), I’m actually looking forward to it. But then, on Thursday afternoon, we got the call that our weekend camping trip (which was on the verge of cancellation) was, in fact, on. And that meant that we had to spend our whole night running to the store to buy lanterns and tarps and ropes and Doritos and steaks. You know. All the camping essentials. So Superbad will have to wait.

And now it’s time for me to get my stuff packed up. Though we’re tenting it, my brother and sister-in-law and the kids will be there in their air-conditioned motor home. So don’t feel too bad for me. I actually plan on spending the weekend watching my new Muppet Show DVD in air-conditioned comfort.

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