Movie-Going Fun Times

In a supremely poor act of scheduling today, our local movie theatre did not open the doors to this afternoon’s showing of Get Smart  until 15 minutes after the listed show time, leaving a crowded foyer of formerly excited movie-going patrons to become increasingly tense and claustrophobic and irritated with staff.

The murmuring began about 5 minutes before the movie was supposed to begin, and grew into muttering and nervous giggles at 5 minutes past scheduled time, until, at 15 minutes past, when we had originally thought we would be sitting inside with our popcorn and choctops and Diet Cokes, there was a feeling of growing crowd-crushing hysteria and, somewhat edgy, supposition as to what could be holding them up.

At first people thought that the staff were simply incredibly stupid and had forgotten to open the door – there seemed to be no logic in letting hordes of people congregate outside when we could all be out of their way and comfortably seated. As time went on though, it was obvious that this could not be the case, and so we concluded that some dolt had been unable to figure out when the previous movie would end and schedule the next screening accordingly.

Finally the exit door opened, people streamed out and we were allowed to go in. Fortunately, from this time on things got (mostly) better. We were able to settle into good seats – in the middle, towards the front, with foot-rests and no-one in front of us (yay!) – and wait.

As the lights were going down a lady scrambled over and sat in the seat next to me. My tension level immediately rose a notch. Theatre showings are rarely full here, so you mostly don’t have sit next to anyone but the people you’ve gone with. Consequently, the people that one fights with for the arm-rest tend to be friends/family, so when a stranger sits next to one, one hardly knows what ‘correct procedure’ is…

Being very much a ‘movie-enjoyer’, and quite detail-oriented, and, let’s face it, pretty selfish, I like to be comfortable and have everything ‘just so’ when I sit down to watch a movie (I’m SO fun!). It’s bad enough to have to figure out which bit of the arm-rest belongs to HL and which bit is mine, so, when my other neighbour is somebody I’ve never seen before, but whom I have to sit next to for the next two hours, I find the whole social conundrum of ‘polite, polite, we’re both so polite, which bit’s yours?, sorry, I just bumped you, is my arm too close for comfort?, ‘scuse me, but your arm seems to be taking up three-quarters of the space’ a bit tricky.

We played ‘push forward to claim territory’ and ‘pull back to maintain polite social conventionalities’ for a few minutes until we both seemed to find comfortable ground and were able to settle into the movie-going experience, phew.

One of the previews at first seemed to be a joke, a spoof, but after watching for a little bit, I finally concluded that they were serious. The new attempt at producing more income from the Star Wars empire appears to be a poorly animated movie/tv series The Clone Wars. This, to me, looks like nothing more than a pathetic grab at a few more dollars from a dwindling and increasingly grumpy fan-base. *disgusted grimace*

I’m trying to withhold judgement, but it looks so bad I don’t even think I could watch it to find out. What a way to continue to spit on the already-tarnished (probably irrevocably) reputation of a beloved and originally ground-breaking phenomenon. *sigh* (Though I reserve the right to apologise and change my mind if it turns out to be better than the ad indicates it will be.)

FINALLY we got to the actual movie. I laughed very hard. It was much, much better than I thought it would be. The writing was more sophisticated than I had anticipated, and the humour was just the right amount of obvious ‘see-it-coming’ punchlines, ‘ball-crushing, smack-into-a-wall’ slapstick, genuinely humorous ‘tickle-your-funnybone’ comedy, and ‘wink-to-the-audience’ homage to the original.

Max was cleverer and much more competent than he was in the tv series, and 99 wasn’t quite as overtly adoring of him, but, on the whole, it was a very adept rendering of an updated, 21st century version of a much-loved, cliché-producing tv institution.

We left the theatre (as crowded as it was when we were waiting – knock-on effect I guess) and I felt like skipping to the car with a very light heart. aahh…happy, fun movie-goingness…it’s a ‘good thing’


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