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As the Rat Says….It’s Summer Baby May 15, 2008

Posted by doctorolove in Movies, Pop Culture Rants.
2 comments

Summer’s here. And though the time may be right for dancing in the streets (I hear they’re dancing in Chicago, and amidst the debris, down in New Orleans), it also signals that time of year when the fat teat of Hollywood opens its’ lactation period and spills upon us the glorious milk that is the summer blockbuster. Ever since Steven Spielberg showed us (or rather didn’t show us) a giant shark trolling off the coast of New England like R. Kelly at a Hanna Montana concert, summer movies have been part of the fabric of pop culture. Maybe it was the splendor, maybe it was the sun drenched women, maybe it was the theme music (Which eerily sounds like the hum of a 1968 Frigidaire) maybe, just maybe it was Richard Dreyfuss when he had hair and didn’t sound like he was trying to impersonate the Great Gildersleeve in every film, but Jaws did something to Hollywood and to the moviegoer.

Save for teachers, students and the small percentage of America who makes their living from snowboarding, nobody has their summers off anymore. Which means that the blockbuster is your escape from the monotony that is the real world (and I’m talking about the actual real world and not your special time with strangers who have stopped being polite).

Now I am not going to give you a laundry list of the films that are coming out this summer. There are a number of fine publications which have done that already and we all need to keep Roger Ebert’s heart working by reading what films he’s excited for this summer. And unless you are living under a rock, with the Rock or glued to your couch watching Rock of Love reruns, you know what’s coming out. You’ve seen the trailers, the posters and probably even eaten an Iron Man extra value meal (now fortified with extra iron…). No, I am here to discuss the proper ritual one must undergo to watch the blockbuster. These are not your ordinary films and usual candor must be thrown out the window. The art house films you see in December Theater jockeying for awards season and giving us a chance to watch Jack Black get serious so he can win an Oscar are a different breed. Hollywood has spent billions on making sure the robots, aliens and explosions look so real you swear they exist. And we as a people owe it to them to give Hollywood the same respect they gave us (Save for them releasing The Hottie and The Nottie…Hollywood was going through some stuff and was really drunk that weekend…it’s sorry…didn’t you get the Facebook message?) With ticket prices roughly now on par with a Toyota Previa, it’s important you make the most of your moviegoing experience.

First, go in the afternoon. Most theatres have AC nowadays which will provide cooling for your skin. Plus, most obnoxious kids are still home sleeping. Plus that mosquito noise is usually blaring the day. It will also leave you your nights free for knitting, a rousing game of Risk with the autistic kid from next door or a good old fashioned evening of pissing on people’s doorknobs. Plus prices are often cheaper in the afternoon. These are called matinees, which I believe comes from the French word for “Cheap Bastard.”

Next, don’t try to sneak in your own snacks. Sure, we’ve all done it, but think of the candy magnates. Without the inflated marked up price gouging, they couldn’t routinely offer you deals at your local deli, like 99 cent Nutrageouses or they would have to shut down their candy research center that gives us things like Mint M&M’s. And the soda companies would have to shut down many of their local bottling plants, meaning that your Coke will have to travel further to get to you and will often taste like malted battery acid or Fresca. Besides, who wants to feel like they are dropping off a shiv or file at Sing Sing.? Every pimply faced ticket ripper or ex-con who refills the popcorn grease will be eyeing you. Sure they have no idea you are smuggling in enough Smarties to feed Uganda for a year, but your guilty conscience will weigh on you. Each time you crinkle a wrapper and pop open the Pringles, you will be worried that ushers will be dropping from the ceiling on tethers like Navy Seals and remove you from the theatre. And the blockbuster demands a clear head, less you start seeing the plot holes big enough for John Goodman to tumble through.

Watch the promos. Don’t arrive with seconds to spare where you have to break Carl Lewis’ 800 meter dash world record just to make it before the credits begin. Get there early, settle in and watch the promos. Heck, even watch the pre show ads and absurdly easy movie trivia they show before the show. It will make you feel smarter and prouder of your education. And you’ll be satisfied to know that you know where Jim Carrey went to college. The promos also set the mood. They whet the appetite of things to come, the amuse bouche of films if you will (and you did cause you just read it.) Plus, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a preview not suited for all audiences and you may get some boob or an F-word or a shot of Morgan Freeman’s ass (which is known as a “Preview a trios” in the rare event that those three amazing instances all occur in one promo.)

Turn off your phone. Unless you are about to have a child, are a doctor or a member of some sort of undercover body guard force, you do not to be contacted for two hours. Your bar is not going to call you with a peach Schnapps emergency or the office isn’t going to burn down cause Jan from Accounting can’t find the White Out. This is Hollywood’s alone time with you. Savor it. Go with it and Escape (and yes, Hollywood does like pina coladas.)

Now, always sit in the center. The combination of the AC, the speakers and that weird BO from the guy in the projection booth all meet somewhere in the theatre center like some vortex of amazingness. It is there you will truly immerse yourself in the movie experience. That and there’s usually less gum on the seats in the center. The Vortex of Awesome will not allow gum. That and Republicans, just FYI Middle America.

Now, watch the film. DO not speak to friends and say things like “Did you see that?” Did they get there before you did? Are you watching the film with Andrea Bocelli? Of course they did and so did everyone else. And never shout out predictions of the ending, no matter how Shyamalanian the film may be. You will be wrong. Everybody is. If the movie’s ending was that easy to figure out, it would star Ashton Kutscher. Take in the sights, the sounds, the bon mots, and the implausible ability of everybody to survive life threatening injuries. It’s Hollywood.

To cap off the film, leave the theatre immediately and let the oppressive heat smack you in the face. Watch out, the sun will hurt your eyes like radioactive Visine. You will probably look like you just woke up from a nasty hangover to everyone outside, so bring sunglasses. If you do not own sunglasses, feel free to bring a visor or some stem cells to jam into your eyes giving you super human retinas. Call your friends. Tell them how awesome the movie was. If they have already seen it, call them a douche or any combination of the word douche and anything (I’m partial to “douche sweater” myself.) If they have not seen, rub it in. Mock their inability to pay 12 bucks for a movie. Laugh at their blockbusterless existence. Then ask to borrow five bucks.

Follow the above steps and you will enjoy your summer experience. Keep in mind though; you can alter these steps to fit you, provided you stick to the basic tenet. The only exception is if you live in South central and are going to see any film starring a member of Murder Inc. Then bring a flak jacket.

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