Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Night at the Movies

I admit it, I read the Twilight series, and actually enjoyed them.  Yes, I'm a guy.  No, I am not gay.  So once they started coming out with the movies I of course had to see them.  The first one was so ridiculously low budget that the special effects made me laugh and I felt uncomfortable watching some of the scenes, like I was watching a bootleg version of the rehearsal.  Thanks to a rabid following and large profit, the second movie got a huge budget increase, with exponentially better special effects, a better director, and the same bad actors, which led to a much better movie. 

Unfortunately for me, Heather hates scary movies and would not go with me to see the second movie, and let me know she would not go to see any of the others either.  Yes, I know that Twilight is a love story with some action thrown in, not a horror story, but try to convince Heather of that and let me know where it gets you.  Last year I was fortunate to be able to watch New Moon with a posse of Twilight-loving friends, but this year that was not an option.  It looked like I would be watching Eclipse as a rental at home.

Then at the 11th hour an opportunity opened up to watch it at the theater.  A couple of friends of mine recently moved to town, and Jenny was just getting into the series.  She burned through the books in no time and watched the first couple of movies at home in time to catch the third one at the dollar theater, so I asked if I could tag along with her and Matt, who I'm also good friends with.  We decided to go to a late showing so the kids would be in bed, leaving Heather less to have to do (she agreed to watch the kids so the rest of us could enjoy the movie.  Okay, in reality probably so Jenny and I could enjoy the movie, and Matt could tolerate it.  It's hard for Matt to enjoy a movie that doesn't contain one or more of the following elements: spaceships, laser weapons, and time travel).

Fortunately we left early, as we hit a major traffic snarl.  It turned out they were doing a sobriety check-point.  It also turns out the city can function with a few dozen of its police officers hanging out on the side of the road.  I couldn't help but wonder if a crime spree was occurring somewhere on the other side of town.  At least they were getting all the drunks off the road.  At least the ones who were driving at 9:00 at night.

The officer I talked to was friendly enough.  We engaged in some small talk so he could check my speech for slurring, my pupils for dilation, and my breath for the smell of alcohol.  Then he asked where we were going.  I told him "to the movies" and he asked which one.  As often happens when I'm unexpectedly asked to retrieve a trivial piece of information unexpectedly, such as "what movie are you headed to see?" or "what is your phone number?" or "what did you eat for lunch today?"  I drew a blank.  Luckily Jenny piped up from the back of the car: "Eclipse".  Yes, Eclipse, that was the name of the third book.  The officer, not knowing if it was me or Matt who was with Jenny didn't know who to look at with pity for being the third wheel, so he just directed us to drive on.

We made it to the movie in time, although there was a bit of a line for the tickets.  Jenny headed to the bathroom, and Matt and I stood in line for the tickets.  Apparently the lady on the opposite side of the circular counter called out that she didn't have a line and could help someone back there.  Matt, being the good friend he is, promptly went back and got his tickets, without letting me in on what she had said.  I wondered where he was going, and my question was answered a couple minutes later when he stepped out from around the corner with two tickets in hand and a goofy grin on his face.  So I deserted my place in the non-moving line and went to the back counter for my ticket.

When my turn came I handed the lady 2 dollars, obviously only enough to cover one ticket at the $1.50 price, and asked for a ticket to Eclipse.  She responded with "Just one?".  Yes, lady, just one!  I'm with two friends, I'm not by myself, honestly.  Don't judge me!  It's not my fault my wife thinks all vampires are scary!  I got my one ticket and joined Matt and Jenny.  We hung out for a while waiting for them to let us in, got pretty good seats in front of the smallest movie screen you'll ever see (but still much bigger than my TV) and enjoyed a couple of hours of an imaginary world where vampires and humans fall in love, and werewolves can't find enough t-shirts to remain fully clothed for more than a few minutes at a time.  I think even Matt enjoyed himself, although I'm not sure if it was because he got to see the bad vampires getting their heads knocked off, or the cherry slurpee he got from concessions.