Friday, February 01, 2008

Clueless Moviegoers…and Other Job Hazards

New at Since Last Week:
Over Her Dead Body

This week, we got to say good-bye to January movies and move on to February movies. But, as it turns out, just because a movie isn’t released in January doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be better than a January movie.

Take, for instance, our Monday night screening.

I can’t say that any of us were actually looking forward to seeing Over Her Dead Body. I mean, I’m a girl, and even I was dreading it. Fortunately, though, we turned a negative into a positive by meeting up at BW3 before the screening to eat wings (I got some nice spicy wings, hoping they’d dull my senses so I wouldn’t feel the pain of the screening so much) and compare notes on Rambo. Jason, David, and I had all seen it together on Friday morning, and Bill had gone with his brother on Friday night—so we ended up spending most of our meal discussing exploding heads and dismemberment. So, of course, we were all in a pretty good mood by the time we had to head over to the theater.

The screening was scheduled to start at 7:30, so we made our way to the theater single-file, Swingers-style, by about 6:45. We got to sneak in just before they started letting in the rest of the crowd. We were all settled in (except for Kevin, who was meeting up with us later) at about 7, when the lights went down and something popped up on the screen. We all looked at each other in confusion, wondering if they were going to start the movie a whole half-hour early—and, in doing so, give us an extra half-hour of our lives back. Either that, or they were going to play a half-hour of ads before the movie started—which would suck, since that would mean we couldn’t even talk for that half-hour.

But after a few seconds, we realized that it was, in fact, the movie. No trailers or anything. We were thrilled.

Or at least we were thrilled for about five minutes—because that’s when everything froze. Then the screen went black, and the lights went up. The rep came in and called it a “test” and said that they’d start the movie again a little closer to 7:30—maybe in 10 minutes or so. So I ran out to the bathroom and came back in, figuring they’d be starting soon.

At about 7:35, the lights dimmed again, and the movie started again. Before we even made it through all of the studio credits, it stopped again. This time, the aspect ratio was off (though I’m not sure how that happened, since it was fine the first time they started the movie. So then we had to wait for another five minutes or so—meaning that the actual screening ended up starting 10 minutes late instead of 30 minutes early. What a cruel, cruel joke.

To make things worse, not only was it a ridiculous movie, but I was seated next to a couple who were convinced they were in their living room—and they proceeded to chat their way through the movie. Halfway through the movie, the guy pointed out “Hey…this is kinda funny.”

Really? I considered asking him if he and I were watching the same movie. Because the movie I was watching was actually kinda annoying.

My personal favorite moment, though, was when, at one point, Living Room Guy asked his wife, “Where’s she going?” as Lake Bell wandered off somewhere. Like his wife was psychic—and she actually knew what was going to happen in the movie before anyone else did. Or perhaps she wrote the movie (which would explain why he thought it was funny).

Then again, I actually could have told him where she was going—because it was just that predictable. But, once again, I kept my mouth shut.

Then, finally, when the movie ended, much to the rest of our great relief, Living Room Guy loudly announced, “That was a good movie!” Then he applauded.

People never cease to amaze me. There he was, sitting just two seats down from me, and he clearly saw a totally different movie than I did. Weird.

On a side note, though, the most amusing part of the evening (even more amusing than the people next to me) was when the security guard (whose job is to catch people who are using their cell phones and throw them out of the theater) got a phone call—and actually answered it while he was standing in the theater. Brilliant!

So anyway…we had another screening on Tuesday. It was a daytime screening—and since it was the first daytime screening of the year, I figured I’d go…just because.

The strange thing about the screening, though, was that it was scheduled for noon. Daytime screenings are typically at 11, and that extra hour totally threw me off. I was so confused. And then I had to try to eat something before I left, since I’d be starving by the end of the movie—but I wasn’t really hungry before the movie. It was all very strange. Obviously, I don’t handle change well.

Finally, on Wednesday night, there was a last-minute screening scheduled—one that hadn’t shown up on our grid until Monday afternoon. The screening was for The Spiderwick Chronicles, a movie that my young friend, Miss A, has been telling me about for ages, and she’ll be so very jealous when she hears that I’ve already seen it (and I’m pretty sure I’ll have to give a full account when I see her on Monday afternoon). I almost didn’t go—which wouldn’t have been a huge deal, since there are screenings scheduled for closer to the release date—but it’s always nice to get to a screening early and get the review over with. The problem was that I still hadn’t finished writing up the reviews for the other two screenings I’d attended earlier in the week. But I managed to finish them both in the afternoon, so I decided to go.

The screening was held in a tiny room, hidden in the back corner of the theater—so there weren’t many people there. As always, we were there early—early enough to sneak in before everyone else. Usually, that’s a good thing—because it means we get the seats we want. The downside of that, however, is that we don’t get to choose the people we sit near. This time, for instance, we ended up right behind some people who had brought a little boy (I’m guessing he was maybe two or three years old) who clearly had no interest in the movie. He was, however, interested in popcorn. Also, he seemed to be pretty interested in standing up on his mom’s lap and staring back at me. He also felt like chatting quite a bit. Fortunately, his mom eventually took him out of the theater—which was nice both for me and for the child, since I’m thinking the movie probably would have freaked him out a little bit. But, since it doesn’t come out for a couple of weeks, that’s all I can say about it. You’ll just have to wait for my review for the rest….

It looks like we’re going to have a busy couple of weeks now. Not only are there a few more movies coming out, but they’re actually movies that are screening for press (unlike Strange Wilderness and The Eye, which Kevin, ever the glutton for punishment, was going to see in a double-feature this morning). Next week, we’ve got screenings on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday (actually, Thursday and Saturday, too—but I’ve already seen that movie). The week after that is full, too.

Meanwhile, I’m already starting to gear up for this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival, which is just weeks away. The festival was one of the highlights of my year last year, and I can’t wait to go again (especially if it means partaking in another Martini Night). For those of you in the Columbus area, be sure to mark your calendars for Monday, February 25th. From 5:30 to 7:30, WCBE is sponsoring a CIFF preview party at the Arena Grand. John and Clay are hosting, and I’ll be hanging around for moral support. Not only is the film festival a great time, but so is the party—where you can grab some munchies while getting a preview of the festival. Last year, I was only there for a few minutes, but at least I got to chat with an It’s Movie Time listener for a while. This year, I plan to be mingling the whole time, so I hope to meet a few more people. If not, I’m thinking I’ll pretty much be on my own, since John and Clay tend to amass a harem of attractive (and attentive) young women wherever they go. And since I’ve known them long enough that I only occasionally humor them, it means that I usually end up sitting back and watching their antics in quiet amusement. So please…plan to join me and share in my amusement.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home