Monday, December 17, 2007

A day at the movies

I used to have a whole crew of people who loved action movies. Whenever the latest one would come out I knew exactly who I'd be seeing it with and if I saw it without them it was the greatest sin in the world. But times have changed and my friend base has shifted and all my current friends are into romantic comedies.

So yesterday when I wanted to see I am Legend I had nobody to call. I went by myself. To the Grove. During the Christmas shopping season.

With the big crowd it would have been easy to sneak into a movie, so there was an usher guarding one entrance out of the dozen or however many screens that theater has. The film he was guarding: Alvin and the Chipmunks.

I'm glad I got there early because it ended up being a full house. I found a nice little spot in the corner in the top row, where I was joined by a preteen girl and her mother. The girl felt the need to explain things to her mom the entire movie.

The protagonist is sitting by himself in an open space surrounded by zombie vampires who are quickly closing in on him.

"That's dangerous," the girl told her mother.

The protagonist is eating pasta.

"He's eating pasta," the girl told her mother.

I imagined myself whapping her upside the head with my cane.

"She's hitting me with the cane," the girl would have told her mother.

Overall I really enjoyed the film. I wish the CGI hadn't been so obviously CGI, but I guess they probably tried makeup and it looked like a B horror film. And the product placement is incredibly distracting in the beginning. I support product placement; it helps pay for the film and as long as it's not too distracting it adds to the realism. But when you're paying more attention to the TBS ads in post apocalyptic Times Square than you are to the action on screen, or when you know the main character is obsessed with Barilla pasta sauce even though he can choose from any pasta sauce he wants in all of the grocery store and for some reason still goes for the cheap crap in mass quantities, you know there's too much product placement.

Wow. That was a hell of a sentence.

Other than that, though, it was a terrific film. I spent most of my time feeling sad because Robert Neville is so lonely and everything just seems to keep getting worse as the story goes on. Still, I wish I hadn't gone alone. There was so much suspense in this film I kept gripping my own arm to comfort myself, but I was so nervous I was not much help.

"This is suspenseful," the girl said to her mother.


  1. Haven't seen it yet but I plan to. Looks really good. Glad you like it.

    Theatres need to pipe the movie sound to headphone jacks at every seat so I can bring a set of headphones.

    I love the theatre but for some reason people have no earthly respect for those around them trying to enjoy the movie.

    Happy Holidays.


  2. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Four teenagers sitting behind my wife and I talking at normal volume. We moved. Luckily the theater wasn't sold out. Then, of course, scattered througout the dark auditorium a half dozen people text messaging on their cell phones. It's hard not to notice.
    I liked this movie a lot, but it will become more and more rare that I spend my money for that type of experience. No wonder I enjoy art films so much. They are rarely packed full and the audience actually seems to be there to WATCH the movie.

  3. The CGI zombies were really fake looking, but the crowd scenes and vistas of NY -- while you knew they were CGI -- were very good. Plus, digitally rendering an abandoned Times Square provides plenty of opportunities for product placement.

    For some reason I wanted to see Ave. Q and Wicked again after that scene...

  4. Emily, I'm willing to go to the movies with you IF you agree to buy the popcorn. But I like romantic comdies too -- does that make me a bad person?

    - E.C. Henry from Bonney Lak

  5. Anonymous7:01 PM

    But I like romantic comdies too -- does that make me a bad person?

    If you like "Fools Rush In," "Sweet Home Alabama," and other garbage like that, yes.

    But if you like "The American President," "Arthur," and "Annie Hall," then no.

  6. "You're funny," Susan told Emily.

  7. That explaining-the-movie thing happened near me in a theater once, but it turned out that the explanation-receiver was blind. So it was hard to complain.

  8. I was out of the country when you went to see this, but FYI, you can always call me for an action flick! :-)


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