Saturday, January 19, 2008

There Will Be Blogging

Last weekend, we went to see "There Will Be Blood." Which has already won an assload of awards, and will likely win a whole lot more before all is said and done. Did I like it? Meh. The acting was out-freaking-standing, to be sure. There were some strange choices though--particularly the weird, climactic anti-climax. But what bothered me most about the film itself was the score. It, too, is getting crazy good reviews and critical acclaim, but to all of that I say "whatever." It was weird, and loud, and super dischordant--like a monkey playing a violin and a cello at the same time. And most of all, it seemed like it was meant to accompany a different movie. It would ratchet up to the point where I was certain something pivotal was about to happen, and then...nothing. They'd drink some goat's milk. Or go to sleep. Leaving me confused.

But what we saw is not nearly as important as how we saw it, or how much of it. Our choices were few, and we ended up at Cinema Arts in Fairfax, which, commendably, focuses on small, independent films. Less commendable is seeing only 8/9ths of the movie, because the clever theater designers chose not to bother staggering the non-stadium seats, instead placing each one directly behind the one in front of it so that unless you had the foresight to round up a theater full of midgets, I'm sorry--little people, some of the movie will be the head of the person in front of you.

That would probably be plenty to piss me off. But then there was the forced recline. Generally, when I sit down in the theater, my first job is to distribute the contraband. This is made difficult when your chair and seatback form a 120-degree angle that doesn't respond to even the most valiant efforts to sit upright. Several times I wanted to apologize to the person behind me, above whose lap my head hovered. Later, after the film concluded, I got somewhat carried away while demonstrating to my companions why I thought the seats were problematic, and ended up scaring two old people trying to watch the credits. Oops.

All of this was iced by the theater manager, whose practice it is to come in before the previews to tell you weird stuff you don't really need to know and then walks around topping off people's popcorn (without asking.) I focused on not making eye contact. Which is one of the many good reasons to go to the movies in the first place--no human interaction. It's the same reason I use self-checkout. For my money, it didn't add a whole lot good to the experience.

In summary: "There Will Be Blood"=Meh; Stadium Seating=Woo hoo; Sitting directly behind the person in front of you=Blurgh; Monkeys Playing String Instruments=Cute!; Theater Management in the Style of Chatty Patty=None for me, thanks.

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