Friday, May 30, 2008


New at Since Last Time:
Sex and the City
Son of Rambow
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

This week, I’m having a ROGO special: read one week, get one week free.

Since there wasn’t a whole lot going on last week (or this week, for that matter), I figured I’d hold off for one entry this week. That, and it was the holiday weekend, and I had stuff to do. Like shop. And eat.

So anyway…it’s been nearly two weeks since our big Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull screening. And it was definitely one crazy screening.

The screening was set for 2:00 on Sunday afternoon—something that’s never been done before, but apparently Paramount was screening the movie for press across the country all at the same time. Knowing how packed these press-only screenings of big summer movies can be (last year’s screening of Pirates 3 was the same thing—only on a weeknight), I hustled my husband and brother-in-law out the door as early as possible. And we arrived at the theater at around 1:20. By that time, the area around the little theater was already filling up—with people I’d never seen before in my life. John and Clay were there, too, so I wandered up to talk to them.

When they finally started letting us in, I managed to be the second person in the door. I had to be—because I was the only one of the Rodents there. I had a bunch of seats to save. Between the three of us, we ended up saving an entire row—10 seats. And I managed to make a lot of new enemies in the process. The theater we were in was one of the tiny ones—so it filled up quickly. There were all kinds of people there who weren’t technically “press.” There was also one gigantic guy who had made himself his very own “press pass,” which totally cracked the rest of us out. We’re still considering making our own press sandwich boards.

I’m guessing a bunch of people didn’t RSVP, as requested—because the theater filled up so quickly that I was surprised that fights didn’t break out. People were forced to leave as other showed up. And I have to say that I felt really bad when the rep’s wife and kids were sent away—because one of our favorite I-won’t-waste-my-time-by-showing-up-early colleagues showed up at the last minute.

In the end, I was pretty impressed that everyone made it out in one piece—and that no punches were thrown. And, a few missteps aside, the movie was pretty good. Not bad for an exciting Sunday afternoon.

Another big fiasco that weekend, however, was The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. We’d planned to see it on Friday afternoon—but when Jason and I were the only ones who could go, we decided to cancel our plans. So Ed and I went guitar shopping instead. First, we thought we’d see it on Friday night instead. Then Friday night turned to Saturday night. And Saturday night turned to…“Um…maybe Monday?”

Finally, we made it to the infamous Movie Tavern on Monday night. I wasn’t all that impressed by the movie (neither were the kids across from us, who spent the second half screaming and running around). And I guess the person behind me, who made me violently angry by kicking my seat through about half the movie, probably wasn’t all that thrilled, either. But at least the experience was cool. In fact, I think it was the highlight of Ed’s visit. He was pretty thrilled to be able to eat dinner and drink a beer while watching a movie. And, really, who wouldn’t be?

But that was it for screenings for the rest of the week—until this Tuesday night.

This week, there are two wide releases: Sex and the City and The Strangers. And, unfortunately, they were screening at pretty much the same time. It was a tough call—because:

The Strangers started at 7:30 at the theater I like, and it was only 90 minutes long. Not only that, but it looked pretty cool. Whereas…

Sex and the City was going to be held at a random theater in the middle of freakin’ nowhere. It was scheduled for an 8:30 New York premiere red carpet simulcast, followed by a 9:00 movie, which would then last almost 2½ hours. And, well, I’ve seen only a few episodes of SATC, so I really didn’t care. I was, however, mildly intrigued.

In the end, however, I ended up going to see Sex and the City. I really didn’t want to—especially since it was late, and I was suffering from some nasty allergies. But John asked me to be on the show this week—and he seemed pretty intent on covering SATC (which, I suppose, is understandable). So he made my decision for me. Not that I was happy about it or anything.

So at 7:45ish, there I was, in the lobby of this random theater in the middle of freakin’ nowhere, surrounded by girls in (I kid you not) dresses and heels, along with guys in suits. There was a huge line of very excited women (and about five guys) snaking through the lobby. And then there were the critics: Bill (with his very excited mom), Jason (with his very excited girlfriend and mom), and me. And then came Hope, who pointed out, “You can tell the fans from the critics by their shoes.” And she was right—my Chuck Taylors do not have heels. And Hope wasn’t wearing a dress.

When the rep told us we could go in, we all made a break for it. Jason’s girlfriend, Milu, and I rushed past the cheesy red carpet that had been set up for the event. There was someone with a camera nearby, and we really didn’t want our pictures taken.

Once we got inside, we were hit with a barrage of SATC stuff on the big screen. It was like watching the DVD’s special features. Some crazy lady talked (very loudly) about the wardrobe. And that’s when I decided to try to tune it all out (which was difficult, since the volume was deafening). I chatted with Clay and his friend, Michelle, who had taken seats behind me. I laughed with Bill and Jason at the people walking in. And I marveled at the fact that I was, without doubt, the only woman in the theater who would be watching the movie with a straight man on either side—and, really, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We also made plans to create our own TV series. It’s called Two Guys, a Girl, and a Movie Theater. We’re currently entertaining offers.

At 8:30, we had to sit through a trailer of the movie—and then the red carpet hoohah began. It, too, was deafening. A crazed Stephen Cojocaru (who looked like he was so excited, he could pee himself at any minute) interviewed everyone who walked up, telling them all that they were, in fact, the most stunning person on the carpet. Our personal favorite moment, however, was when Jennifer Hudson and her scandalous cleavage took her turn with Cojo. When asked if she’d bathed in gold that day (thus her tight gold dress), she replied, “No, I just rubbed up against my Oscar.” Classy.

At a few minutes to 9, there were a couple of giveaways, which Jason’s mother was totally eager to win. Finally, to hoots and applause from our row, she successfully listed off all four starring actresses, and she won a shirt. She was thrilled.

Then, at 9ish, the movie started. Finally. And, instead of being deafeningly loud, like everything leading up to the movie had been, it was ridiculously quiet. I could hear the oohs and aahs from the people around me (not to mention Clay’s chuckles from behind me) better than I could hear the actual movie. It was annoying.

It was even more annoying when, suddenly, the print was thrown off, and the top third of the screen was black. Everyone’s head was down at the bottom of the screen, and all of the boom mikes were totally visible. This brought about snickers from the crowd, along with groans from the critics. Jason said something not-so-nice about the projectionist and his mental capacity, and I expressed how happy I was that we came to this theater in the middle of freakin’ nowhere.

Somewhere in the middle of the movie, as the crowd gasped at something said on-screen and Jason and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes, I realized that we really do have our own sit-com. We’re living it every single week. And even when I have to sit through movies that make my head hurt—movies that take place too late at night, at a theater in the middle of freakin’ nowhere—it’s still kinda fun.

When it was all over, the guys and I waited in the lobby as the moms battled the crowds at the women’s bathroom. It was pretty amusing to listen to everyone twittering away about the characters and their actions—as though they didn’t realize that they’re fictional characters. We did, however, note that the crowd wasn’t all that enthusiastic. Sure, there were “oooh”s and “aaaah”s and gasps and giggles at off-color jokes. But the enthusiasm definitely died down. There wasn’t a huge, thundering round of applause after the movie (as is often the case at public screenings). People just kinda left.

I couldn’t blame them, really. I mean, I wasn’t impressed at all. It was pretty predictable and fluffy and melodramatic. It was whiny. And it was totally melodramatic. I don’t want to give anything away, but at one point, Carrie decides to check her messages—while on the beach in Mexico—and after listening to one, she deletes it and melodramatically throws the phone into the water. Then the camera cuts to the phone as it slowly sinks below the water.

Ugh. So much drama. I know that was probably supposed to move me to tears or something, touched by the pain that Carrie was feeling—but, mostly, it just made me groan and roll my eyes.

And it really drove me crazy how, every time the four of them got together, it resulted in about a minute of shrieking and jumping up and down. Last time I checked, girls stopped doing that at around the age of 10. It hurt my ears. And it made me angry. I was even a bit insulted. I mean, really—is this the way that strong, independent grown women are supposed to act? Because, last time I checked, that’s more like the way spoiled 13-year-olds act.

But I wasn’t the only one who was less than impressed. Jason admitted that he’s pretty much seen the entire series—and the show was way better than the movie. So that made me feel a bit better. Personally, I’d been intrigued by the show. I’d always meant to watch it more—and whenever I caught it on TBS or whatever while I was flipping channels, I’d stop to watch. And I remembered liking those few shows much more than I liked the movie. The show seemed to be smart and funny. The movie was long and annoying.

And if I get hate mail for saying so, so be it. Personally, I’m kinda glad that no one around here really knows who I am—because if they did, I’d probably get my eyeballs scratched out while walking down the street after giving the movie a D on the radio this week. I know that people are really attached to the show. I know they’ve been looking forward to the movie. And that’s fine. It’s not their fault that the movie’s not good—nor is it mine. But, well, I’m sure it’ll make a boatload of money anyway.

So did I mention that on Tuesday, before the movie, I was hit with some nasty allergies? Well, I was. And they only got worse on Wednesday. That made me a little worried about recording the show yesterday morning. Then again, considering how congested I was, I guess it wouldn’t be a big deal—it would just sound like John was doing the show with deep-voiced Clay, as usual.

Fortunately, though, everything went relatively well, considering that I spent most of the show willing myself not to hack up a lung—while finishing off a couple of bottles of water. In hindsight, it probably would have been best to record the show today—since I sound way better this morning. But, well, who knew? And, really, it didn’t turn out all that bad, after all (you can have a listen for yourself).

So anyway…next week, we’re back to a more normal schedule: two screenings next week. In fact, we’ve already got at least two screenings a week scheduled for all of June. That’s more like it. This whole one-screening-a-week thing was weird. I was starting to forget how to write reviews. And I found myself scrambling to fill my schedule each week. So I’m glad things are picking up again—even if it means having to watch You Don’t Mess with the Zohan and Kung Fu Panda on consecutive nights. I won’t even complain. Much.

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