My wife dragged me to RUMOR HAS IT tonight. It’s the first time in ages I’ve seen a movie on a Friday night (usually I see bargain matinees or, during the holidays, get in free with my WGA card). Now I know why the movie business is in trouble.
Let’s talk about the theatre experience first. The movie tickets were $20. The popcorn and drink were $10 (we shared). That’s $30. You can rent a DVD for $3 or buy one for $18…or wait until it shows up on HBO or Showtime. I was gouged and I didn’t like it. But hey, you can’t beat the movie-going experience…the big screen, the stadium theatre, and the great sound. Like hell.
My local stadium theatre is one of the crown jewels of the Regal chain. The theatre was packed. The film was scratched (and it’s only been out a week) and the screen was stained. The woman next to me passed gas, coughed, and sneezed her way through the entire movie. The couple in front of me wouldn’t shut-the-fuck-up, even though I asked them politely, and then not so politely, to please shut-the-fuck-up.
Let’s talk about the movie. I can’t remember seeing a movie with so many matching errors. Nothing matched from master to coverage. His hand are around the cup in the master, not in the closeup. She’s got her arms crossed under her chest in the coverage, not in the master. The couple is sitting behind them in the master, not in the coverage. We’re over Shirley MacLaine’s shoulder and she’s talking but her mouth isn’t moving. AHHHHHH! Perhaps I wouldn’t have noticed the unbelievable number of continuity and other matching gaffs if the movie wasn’t so dull. Shirley MacLaine was wonderful, and over-the-top, and cartoonish — but whenever she wasn’t on screen, the movie died.
I couldn’t wait to leave the theatre… and get away from the flatulent germ bag next to me, the loudmouth couple in front of me, and the over-priced popcorn and coke and the movie itself. Why pay $30 for that experience? Buying or renting a DVD, making my own bowl of popcorn, and buying my own coke, sitting in the comfort of my own home, suddenly seems like paradise.
Now before you write me off as a curmudgeon, I like going to movies. Or I did. But more and more often, the experience is like the one I had tonight.