I've always been a big fan of the movies. I usually catch the flicks over at the local Hollywood Googolplex over on the Loop, where I'm greeted with "Here's your ticket stub, an aerial map of the building, and some bread crumbs...good luck, and Godspeed."
So before I take off on my Martin & Lewis & Clark expedition, I always try and stop for refreshments before I go into the theater, so I don't risk winding up in somebody's lap while making a Milk Dud run. "Excuse me...pardon me...I need through...sorry...excuse me...could you move your clown-sized feet, ma'am...thank you...sorry..pardon me."
I always like to check out the concession stand, look into the interest rate on a bag of popcorn and a coke. You know, a lot of places have gone to giving out free refills on their large popcorns and drinks. This is a promotion that totally escapes me. Unless you're going to include a bedpan and a catheter, a theater-sized large is too much fluid for one human being anyway, unless that being is seven foot tall and weighs three hundred pounds. And just for future reference, when that guy checks into the theater, I'm always the guy sitting behind him.
A beverage with a diving board is not meant for one person, even with a silo of popcorn on the side. Now if I'm taking the Von Trapp family to a matinee, maybe then I shell out the big bucks for the bottomless beverage. Until then, leave the Eternal-Super-Big-Gulp Cup behind the counter, where you can soak your mop in it.
Once I have the beverage and snack of choice, I hustle into the theater to find a nice seat. I find if you get there early enough, you can get a great seat up until the movie starts. That's when some big fat obnoxious family dressed like they're camping out at Talladega invariably comes in and plops down right next to you, with no respect for the "one-seat neutral zone" rule. Remember kids, if you don't camp out on that armrest and establish a precedent early, you could be stuck hanging out one side of the seat like a drunken fratboy.
Some theaters have gone to stadium seating, where the seating is angled to make sure everybody can see. I applaud this idea. However, this does nothing to shut the people in front of you up, does it? For future reference, we don't care if someone on the screen reminds you of your cousin Lester in Logansport, I've just spent a week's pay on this blockbuster, and you can't follow the flick if you miss the dialogue between the explosions.
Of course, seeing a lot of movies means that I see a lot of what Hollywood think people want to see. I think men and women are obviously very different in many ways, the theater is a perfect little example of the miniature Bosnia-Hertzogovina that the different sexes fire mortars into every day.
Women's favorite movies? Gone With the Wind, Titanic, Pretty Woman, The Bridges of Madison County.
Guys' favorite movies? The Godfather, Braveheart, Star Wars, anything with Clint Eastwood except the Bridges Of Madison County.
Notice a trend? Women have to have somebody fall in love. Guys have to have somebody killed.
What do women want from their movies? Just like with life, I have no idea. They seem to have a pretty sharp double-edged sword they watch flicks with. Julia Roberts is okay as a hooker in Pretty Women, but men aren't really encouraged to suggest prostitute films on the first date.
What do men want from the movies? I think it's a simple formula, really.
- To begin with, you need a gunfight car-chase ending in explosions before the opening credits have rolled.
- A fight between two normal looking guys who somehow both turn out to be special ops black belt martial arts masters.
- A disposable sidekick who gets killed by the bad guy in the first half of the movie to make our hero really, really, violently, emotionally, briefly angry.
- Good guys who can shoot better than John Wayne, and bad guys that shoot worse than Charles Nelson Reilly.
- A heroine in trouble, who doesn't like our hero, but will sleep with him anyway.
- And finally, heroes that are cool, but not threatening. Guys like to see Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Robert Redford...old guys, basically.