Winter is movie time, not only because of the weather but because the best flicks surface just in time for the Oscars in February. We Americans, including voting members of the academy, have not only short attention spans, but our memory banks are overloaded. Who recalls a movie that premiered last March? Not me.
Consequently, movie makers in pursuit of that coveted gold statue, and accompanying status it represents, often release their films at the end of the year. Now don’t get me wrong; that’s not to say there aren’t some duds in the mix. But overall, I’d say end of the year movies don’t disappoint.
Let me rephrase that: You may not be disappointed with the movie but there’s a good chance another movie-goer will leave you wondering why you didn’t simply wait to stream it into the comfort of your living room. I swear, almost every time I go to the movies lately I ask myself that question.
Once, Mandy and I were thrilled to discover we were the only ones in the audience one afternoon. So we sat smack in the middle, retrieved the cans of soda and red vines we sneaked in, then marveled at our good fortune while the previews rolled. That’s when the seemingly tallest man in California sat down directly in front of us. No joke. In fact, I said to him, “You’ve got to be kidding.” He wasn’t, so Mandy and I moved.
Recently Pam and I saw a movie where maybe 20 people attended. Entering late, an elderly couple came down our row, whereupon the gentleman, after nearly falling over me, sat directly beside me. Yep, 230 open seats, yet he plops down practically in my lap. I felt like saying, “Seriously?” But I refrained.
The gentleman and his wife proceeded to open a bag of popcorn they also sneaked in and a huge box of candy. And for the next 45 minutes, I wished I was deaf in my right ear as the gentleman loudly chomped on his popcorn, followed by the box of candy. When he was finally done eating, his wife offered him more popcorn. My prayers were answered when he declined.That’s about when a woman to the front of us had a coughing fit. Must’ve had bronchitis because she literally couldn’t stop. But did she leave the theater? I think you know the answer to that. Luckily I’m good at reading lips since I couldn’t hear a portion of the movie.
Then just last week Pam, Sheila and I went to a theater with comfy reclining seats and were once again thrilled that only 3 others attended: 2 ladies in one row and a young man in another. We settled in a couple rows behind him. About 30 minutes into the film, the talking started. No, not the two ladies. And shame on you for assuming that.
This guy enjoyed a running conversation with the screen. Possibly high on something that induces chattiness and likely mentally unstable, he sported clunky boots, a long coat with a hoodie underneath and carried a cane he continually thrust at the screen while interjecting his running commentary.
One of the two ladies eventually approached him, asking him to please be quiet. He replied, “Fuck off.” A bit later I asked the same and he said, “I’m sorry.” He stopped talking for only a few blissful minutes, then continued on for another 2 hours. Long story short, management gave us all refunds.
The moral of my story: never go to the movies with me.