Mr. E to Me

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NOVEMBER 7, 2008 12:39PM

Why I Like the Movies

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My sweetie and I really like watching movies at the theatre. When you fully consider the adventure that awaits, the measly $20-25 bucks you shell out (more if you pay online) to take you and your sweetie out to the movies these days is a real bargain.

The adventure begins with that long rope line at the door. Its fun to get pressed in with complete strangers and weave your way in and out like cattle to the slaughter working your way up to the pimply-faced kid with the glazed look and speech impediment. Usually I just smile a lot, sign the little ticket and laugh at all their little hand gestures. You know they're so helpful and friendly.

When you make it past the counter you get another treat as you stand in the line to buy your munchies. For me its always difficult to decide between the little $10 bag of popcorn or the $5 dollar bag of peanut M&M's. Either way I usually wash it down with a $5 dollar cup of sicky-syrupy Coca-Cola. My sweetie likes getting the bottled water for $4 dollars. She says "its decadent and thrilling to pay so much." Frankly, I don't know how they're able to do it without going out of business-- if you went anywhere else you'd have to pay at least $6.50, maybe less.

When we finally get our tickets and munchies though, that's when the real fun begins-- negotiating the lobby. Its quite a trick to make it to the other side without getting jostled or run-over by all of the other folks. On Fridays and Saturday nights they have all the really experienced players out on the floor who know all the moves. It can be quite a challenge, but the real rush is when you get to that "Ticket-Taker" boss. Boy that guy is tough. He's got his mumbling down to an art. That's where so many players get tripped-up, trying to figure out if he said five doors down on the left or nine doors down on the right.

Either way you can get plenty of good exercise walking down that enormous hallway that just goes on forever and ever and ever. One time this old couple came up to us and asked if we knew the way out. They said they'd gotten lost in there and had been wandering around for a long time. Ha ha ha. We knew that was a trick so we sent them down to the mid-level mezzanine! My sweetie and I got a good laugh out of that one.

Your first break comes when you finally find your theatre and make your way up the steps, past those cans they put out for target practice, over the couple inevitably making-out in the third row, to your seats. And the experience is always heightened, for me at least, by the forty-five minutes of real-estate slides and mind-numbing commercials. They do such a good job of getting you into the mood to watch the show. I especially like the ones that advertise all those fantastic programs you could have watched if you'd stayed home.

I don't know who thought it up, but kudos to whomever it is that always manages to put the flatulent fat guy in front of us and the ceaselessly talking couple behind us. They're always an excellent choice to distract us from the row of wiggly, whining kids with the constant coughs two rows up. How exciting it is to sit there and experience the delightfully aromatic and aurally invigorating atmosphere while we wait and wonder what mysterious illness we'll surely develop this week. My sweetie and I love the mystery-- last time it was Malaria. This time my sweetie is hoping for Denge Fever while I'm holding out for Whooping Cough.

Then comes the best part-- my favorite part-- of the whole experience when they turn down the lights and switch from the really sharp projector showing the slides and commercials to the other projector they have for the movie-- the one with the soft, fuzzy look that makes you have to squint to get it into focus. And they lower down the sound too, which is always a relief. You know right before, while they're still running the commercials its always just blaring. Its good that they can turn it down for the show. We wouldn't want to miss any of those witty comments from the audience or let the movie distract us from those gabby teenagers or the crying baby. Maybe next time we'll get really lucky and someone will be talking on their cell phone! One can only dream...

The movies they show these days are pretty good too. They're not like those old movies that were so... you know-- unpredictable. I used to get so freaked-out by them. You never knew what was going to happen next-- sometimes those old movies would have me sitting on the edge of my seat and clenching my knuckles. And you had to pay attention every moment! But not anymore. Whew! Nowadays things are much easier. You might think you couldn't possibly figure out the plot or guess what's going to happen next... but with today's movies-- you really can! Its so relieving though knowing what's going to happen next. It really frees your mind to wander without having to worry about missing anything important.

I like the way they make the blockbusters these days-- I'm such a guy... I like my action big, my adventure swashbuckling, my ladies buxom, and my plots-- ummm-- well, with all that other stuff you don't really need plots so much-- they just tend to get in the way. I find it really fascinating the way they can keep pumping out all those movies, one right after another, over and over, with the same effects, the same lines, the same actors, and the same plot devices-- you'd think that would sometimes be tempted to throw in something new. My sweetie says she'd maybe like to see something different, but I say you just can't get enough of those sequels!

Of course no theater experience would be complete without the ten-minute wait in line for the rest room. Just think of it-- ten whole minutes to stand there and revel in the sights and smells-- I love the scent of pine-scented urinal cake. It reminds me of being out in the woods somewhere-- like maybe New Jersey. And its always fun to wonder exactly what the puddle is I'm standing while I wait.

So seriously, when you put it all together and consider the whole experience-- going to the movies is ridiculously cheap, totally exciting, and you can take your whole family-- what a fun-filled adventure! I know when I'm sitting at home with my sweetie on our big comfortable couch and our own 72-inch screen with the 7.1 surround sound and adjustable lighting and the six-pack of movies we get from Netflix for $30 bucks, it just doesn't seem the same. Without all the giggling teenagers, the flatulent fat guy, the coughing kids, the mystery illnesses, the crying baby, or the overpriced snacks-- it all seems so... reasonable. And what's the fun in that?

So when you add it all up and consider all the great features, I truly believe the choice is self-evident. Only a cretinous moron-- or a top movie executive-- could possibly miss the obvious. I certainly don't know what's right for the rest of America, but I can sure say for certain that this correspondent knows value when he sees it. So folks, let's all give it a second thought and reconsider going out to the movies. You may not know it but its hard work being sleazy!

I'll see you at the movies!

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Thought I'd take a quick minute to reply to your post (my sweetie and I are on our way to a matinee!). We must live in a very different part of the country -- and of course, I live in a small town -- so our theaters are smaller, and all but the most decrepit can make it to the further screens. Of course, the screens themselves are not much bigger than a bed sheet, but to make up for it, the aisle is directly in the middle, so no one gets the best seats and no one feels cheated.

But to make up for the miniature nature of the theaters, our smallest drink size is "bucket." And besides the mind-numbing commercials (useful, considering what's coming), we get a minimum of 25 minutes of mini-movies disguised as trailers, so we've already had a full helping of entertainment before the feature even starts!

I guess our neighborhood has been hit by the Coming Economic Collapse sooner than yours, since there are no crowds, ever. But of course, we're watching exactly the same movies that you are, at exactly the same time. So that's fun, being part of the American Experience that way.

And you're absolutely right about the predictability of those movies! As I keep telling my more high-minded (and boring, I might add) friends: try reading a collection of Native tales from any culture. Raven did this, Coyote did that, Monkey is always in trouble -- one sequel after another, you know the outcome before you start. Very calming in these troubled times.

And even though I'm a girl, I always look forward to the huge wall of flame that our hero successfully runs away from. Yay!

Well, we're off to see "Battle in Seattle." Rotten reviews, but since I have the same experience at movies with good reviews, it doesn't make much difference. And in this case, it's set in a city near where I live, so it'll be like ... almost true!

Thanks for sharing, by the way.
Actually, "Battle in Seattle" is a pretty good movie! Aside from the cognitive dissonance of seeing Ray Liotta play the mayor (a more non-Liotta man I cannot imagine), I enjoyed it quite a bit. Excellent job for a first time writer/director.
72" screen?!?! are you exaggerating a little there? a year ago someone would be lucky to buy a 50" screen for $2k
yeah, if you have a massive fortune to spend on your own home entertainment system [which apparently you do, you glossed over that little detail], then sure, screw it all.
@kestralwing

(Chuckling) Enjoyed your comment-- perhaps I should just slide over and let you write for awhile! :)
@vzn -- "72" screen?!?! are you exaggerating a little there? a year ago someone would be lucky to buy a 50" screen for $2k"

Really? I got my first 56 inch screen three or four years ago for around $1500 bucks. The 72 inch was about $2500 a year or so ago. You won't get those prices at the big box stores though. You'll have to comb the net and the discounters like newegg or tigerdirect. The deals are out there. You just have to be persistent, do your homework, read the small print-- be careful what you're buying (look for the word 'Refurbished'-- I avoid it, you might have a different opinion), etc-- be patient and check the sites regularly. You'll eventually find the deal you need.
Wow, when did this get an EP ???

Bummer, I totally missed it!