Number one movie in the box office and no wonder. Any film carrying such a-list names like Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas is going to come with a hefty price tag. Not to mention it is the fourth installment in one of the most successful movie franchises in history. But along with its own predictable fame, comes its predictable critiquing. Everyone and their mother is writing a review of this film, so I find it quite moot to do the same. Instead I will provide you with a social commentary on everything and everyone else today.
After a long day of sitting in the sun watching an interminable track meet, I decided to take a couple of friends to see the new film that has all the water coolers a buzz. Current gas prices coupled with the southern California geography, which is extremely unfriendly to pedestrians, makes for the perfect equation resulting in throwing money away. With that in mind the three of us piled into my friend’s Isuzu Amigo. I realize if you translate that into corresponding languages it means my friend’s Isuzu friend. We arrived at the strip mall containing our movie theater at around five in the afternoon. Since Indiana was playing every half an hour, we decided to grab a quick bite before we sat down to watch the film.
For some reason whenever I say no to the daily special the waitress throws out there, I feel guilty. It feels as though I have somehow let them down. “Oh you don’t want to try the grilled octopus? Well I guess that’s OK, I’ll just get you your drinks and then I will go kill myself.” I mean come on. The specials are never what you want anyway. They do that on purpose. The stuff that really tastes good and everyone likes, they mark the price up on, but the tasteless crap that the dogs won’t eat is always half off and comes with your choice of sides which are always exactly that, the side of a much better meal. By the time I am finished with my food, I am so riddled with guilt, I end up leaving a much more than generous tip which I severely regret later in the month when my credit card statement arrives. I try to avoid dining out altogether.
An hour later and a hundred dollars poorer, we stumbled to the theater across the parking lot. While waiting in the ticket line and debating with my buddies on what the best way to steal the large Incredible Hulk manikin in the lobby would be, I noticed that there was a large number of children at this particular movie house for a Saturday night. Since Prince Caspian had just been released one week prior, I didn’t give it much more thought and continued through the line. Upon reaching the front we checked our watches to find the time to be six thirty. “Three for Indiana at six forty-five,” I said. After the pubescent young man behind the counter took my money he remarked, “It is ninety-one percent full.” “Thanks a million,” I replied. There were only three of us, so it was safe to assume we would be able to squeeze in. Not a chance. Why is it that even when we have advanced to stadium seating, we still have six or eight rows of level plane seats? No one wants to sit there. Just make the whole damn thing a coliseum.
Trading back movie tickets is more of a hassle than it should be. I mean, you have to fill out your name and phone number and then sign the damn thing. I didn’t have to fill out any report when I bought the original one, why do I gotta do this now? Are they going to call me at home to have a discussion about the dangers of impulse buying and how I should really research each purchase before I make it? I got enough of that from my mother growing up.
Speaking of mothers, we enter this new theater and all I see is wall to wall kids. Now don’t get me wrong I love kids, its why I wanted to become a teacher, but a PG-13 movie on a Saturday night? I am not talking preteens here, I am talking kids under ten. Call me old fashioned, but when I was that old, I was limited to PG and G rated films. They were surprisingly well behaved however and I was able to watch the movie in relative peace, aside from all of the constant cell phone checking and texting that was going on around me. I love how people think they are being sly about it too. They roll their shoulders forward and cup the phone close to their bodies in an attempt to hide it, never mind the fact that it is lighting up the entire room.
The film was up to par. Not bad, but not great. If you want a more extensive review I can write one, but as I stated before, there are a million out there so there is no real reason to saturate the already over-saturated medium right now. One thing I do not fully understand and probably never will, is applause at the end of a film. I say ‘fully understand’ because if it is the premier and the actors and director are there, then it makes sense, but otherwise you are applauding at no one. It isn’t any more silly than watching an episode of American Idol and then standing in your living room clapping and cheering for David Cook as he belts out another Aerosmith remix.
My friends and I shared a few comments on our thoughts concerning the movie, but kept it brief. In fact we all agreed that the highlight of the evening was not the feature, but in fact, the new trailer for “Kung Fu Panda” which stars Jack Black. After laughing at a few one-liners from the trailer we hopped back in the Amigo and traveled back to where our cars were parked to begin the drive home.
Either it was the captain chair of my truck, the movie theater seat, or the hard concrete stands at the track meet which I sat in for eight hours, but my back was killing me by the time I arrived home. I am guessing it was the concrete that did it. Whatever it was, I may be forced to bed rest for the remainder of this memorial day weekend. Which might not be a bad thing since I was supposed to help a friend move and I hate that stuff.
I think it is time to sign off now, but until next time…Keep watching the skies…