Friday, July 10, 2009

Let's go to the movies!

I haven't been to a movie theater since I moved down here, and even before that it had probably been a month or two- so in total, nearly a year since I had seen a film on the big screen, until last night.

Even since seeing the first trailer for "Bruno" a couple of months back, I have been telling my roommate that we would see it at midnight. And I'm not a midnight movie person. I'm not a big fan of the "epic series" films such as "Lord of the Rings" or "Batman," but have been dragged kicking and screaming to these debuts on numerous occasions. I fell asleep during the 3D Harry Potter and at least two of the "LotR" films. I despised "The Dark Knight" though the overall experience of the night (hosting an hour and a half long rock-paper-scissors tournament in the theater prior to the previews after drinks with a group of a couple dozen friends) was fun and well worth the nine dollars paid for admittance. But the idea of having to be the first to see a film just seems absurd to me.

So this is where you call me a hypocrite. While my roommate was out of town, I did find a coworker who shared my interest in "Bruno." We looked online and saw that both theaters in the area were having midnight showings.

Unlike in the suburbs, where one must buy tickets days in advance, get to the theater at least two hours before the show and stand in lines filled with ridiculous fanatics dressed in costume, I figured we could get away with showing up at 11:15, buy tickets and get decent seats with time to spare.

Well, we walked into the Savoy 16 theater and stood at the box office counter for five minutes as a crowd of 20 or so people gathered behind us. The employees were cleaning the concession stand, which didn't even appear to be open and completely ignored us. Finally I walked up to the nearest worker, figuring the show was sold out.

"We have no midnight show. Sorry."

Damn you lying internets!

So, as we walked out, severely disappointed, I had to be the bearer of bad news to the remainder of moviegoers hoping to see "Bruno." They also had been misinformed by the web.

We called Carmike Theater in Champaign as we crossed our fingers and drove North. They indeed did have a midnight showing, and tickets were still available! We paid $5.75 for a seat(!) and had time to stop at concessions for a beverage, walked into the theater at 12:00 on the dot, and had our pick of adjacent seats.

Champaign continues to amaze me. Life down here is so much easier in so many aspects.

Anyhow, the movie was ridiculous, in a good way. Not quite "Borat" but never a dull moment in 83 minutes of film. Sasha Baron Cohen is a genius and I hope he continues to shock the world with this kind of stuff. It's not the same old, same old, which half of what makes it work.

Amongst the crowd, composed almost entirely of 17-25 year olds there was not one obnoxious person. Sure, the younger ones talked the the previews (consisting of flop comedies and a Megan Fox horror flick), but once the words "Feature Presentation" came on the screen you could hear crickets...

For about five seconds, until "Hi, I'm Bruno..." and the audience simultaneously burst into laughter.

The whole experience was great. And despite the lackluster coming attractions, I realized that there are plenty of movies worth paying at least $5.75 for in the near future.

Call me what you will, but a)Zoey Deschannel is HOT (and an awesome actress/singer/songwriter) and b)"500 Day of Summer" looks to break the barrier of what the past ten years have defined as "romantic comedy." Of course, there have been a few diamonds in the rough: "Garden State," "Love Actually" and "Eternal Sunshine," but the genre itself has become a joke in recent years.

I'm just pumped about seeing movies again. I have been renting/downloading/catching old classics on cable lately but there really is nothing like the movie going experience. Thank god there are finally films worthy of a "date night" rather than something that begins with "Not Another" or ends with "3," "4" or "5."