Movies, my life is apparently nothing but movies

I grabbed “The Brothers Grimm” & “Fun with Dick & Jane” from Netflix early last week. I’d been trying to see The Brothers Grimm for ages – I’d missed it in the cinemas, despite my best efforts, and just hadn’t seen it around or been suitably inclined to find it. So it was rather disappointing to find that it wasn’t all that great, really… the special effects were fine, the acting was pretty reasonable all round, but the sense of humour was rather macabre, and the plot made sense only if you didn’t think at all… I mean, there were just so many unanswered questions and just… holes… vast vacuums and unexplained behaviours and… it was just disappointing. Not a horrible movie, but nowhere near as good as I’d hoped.

So I was pleasantly and conveniently surprised to discover that “Fun with Dick & Jane” was actually pretty darn good. It was just a good light-hearted – but subtly thoughtful – poke at the corporate world & lifestyle. I’m told it’s not as good as the original it’s a remake after, but, the original’s old enough to be carbon dated, so I’m pretty certain it’s that strange use of the word “classic” which is, contrary to appearances, only and solely a synonym for “old”.

And tonight I finally watched Cars. I’ve been meaning to see it, also, for ages – once again, I missed it in the cinemas somehow, and hadn’t gotten around to seeing it ’till now. The trailers hadn’t really struck me as being all that funny, so I wasn’t especially interested in it. But it turned out to be hilarious. Which is good, because what I’ve seen of Ratatouille hasn’t especially piqued my interest, but I’m more willing to go on a little faith now.

The big highlight of my apparently movie-consumed world was going out last night to see the opening screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. I thought it’d be fun to go to the opening session, plus as a Thursday I didn’t really feel like staying up ’till 3am just so I could avoid the crowds.

The movie itself was good… not as good as the first, because it just can’t have the same originality of course, but better than the second. It started off a little weak, and towards the middle seemed to be dangerously close to losing the plot completely – plot spoiler: everyone crosses everyone else like five times, and it makes no sense because there’s no apparent motivation for half of it – but it actually come round in the end and worked out well. Some good fight scenes, although some went off the edge a bit into the realm of just showing off, without appropriate justification, but… ah well. Such are most big-budget movies these days.

The audience were another thing altogether… now, I don’t typically go to opening sessions or even opening weeks, simply because I see no reason to get crowded when I can wait a few days and see it with all of twenty other people. But the ones I have been to, in Australia, have been big and have been organised. Star Wars Episode 3, for example – that was at Northland when I went, and from memory they had several cinemas starting together at midnight, and then virtually every other cinema joining them staggered throughout the night and early morning. People queued up outside, in the lobby and everywhere, for hours, and there were of course people in costumes and whatnot, and it was all pretty good fun – I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed queuing so much.

Contrast that to last night, where they had one cinema starting at 8pm, another at 8:30, and then another two or so later on… and they opened the doors to the cinemas who-knows-how-early; we got there a good half an hour early, and the cinema was nearly fully seated already. There were only four of us, but we could not get four seats together. Pfft.

So there wasn’t much vibe, because people were sitting in the dark, and although I saw a fair few people in costume, it just didn’t have any real pizzaz.

And then there was the audience during the movie… they applauded, they screamed and shouted, they collectively gasped at the most bloody obvious points… the girl beside me in particular was disturbing… she was make all sorts of weird noises throughout the whole thing, which were initially funny because they were just so bizarre, but got tiring pretty quickly.

The biggest applause was saved for the names in the credits at the end. I’m not sure what the point of applauding a white sheet is, but it’s apparently elevated to a national sport with that crowd.

To compound it all, I had to wait out the front for Tom to join us, and he arrived only a few minutes before 8, so we were two of the last people in. So we of course could only find a pair of seats together in the very front row, almost right at the end. We sat there for a little bit, and watched the trailers, but I realised pretty quickly that we were so close, and on such a crap angle, that I couldn’t actually follow what was happening in any of the action scenes of the trailers. So that darkened my outlook a bit… luckily we spotted two empty seats just one row back and a couple across, which we moved to and it surprisingly made a huge difference. They were still crap seats, but after a while my eyes gave up fighting the strain and just went boggly and found some way to function nonetheless.

So, not a bad night all in all, but I won’t do an opening again – not for that demographic, anyway; I don’t need to pay $15 [Australian] to sit off in a dark corner and watch a third of a movie, which is constantly walked over by an overzealous audience.

Lastly, while I’m off on a peeve, I’ll add that I really despise those people who, when asked if the seats next to them are taken, will blatantly lie to your face, simply because they feel that somehow their experience will be immeasurably improved by the existence of vacant seats nearby. #%@!

I’d never really hit that until the flight coming over, which I’m sure I already wrote about. Granted last night was only the second time I really encountered it anyway, but, it drives me nuts. I can take a refusal because they don’t like the look of me, or I smell, or they take poorly to me trying the hypnotic eye trick, but just because they’re such an arse that they won’t share a commons? That’s being a real bastard.

Contrary to apparent tone, I’m actually pretty happy tonight. I’m still laughing at Cars. The scene with the tractor-tipping is just an absolute classic. :D

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