Jul 18, 2008

a few spoiler free observations from batman

So yeah... I did the crazy fan thing and went to go see BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT tonight. Or should I say this morning? I just got back and I'm not quite sure what day it actually is.

I had this theory - the movie starts at midnight, so I should leave my house around 10pm. I know this time slot means different things in different areas of the country... some regions would require you to be there no more than a half hour early, while others would require a day.

Keep in mind, this isn't to buy tickets. Tickets are bought in advance.

This is so you can get a good seat. The perfect seat. The perfect, perfect seat.

While that's happening, you get to meet interesting people in line. People who may believe that Batman should wear eyeglasses (as pictured here). This is always a risk, because (as I mentioned) you're there a long time and so people start talking.

I suppose I should mention that up until tonight I'd seen no ads or previews for this movie on purpose. In my opinion, most previews (not to mention Happy Meal ads and Wal-Mart toy aisles) ruin the movie experience these days because you can tell the plot before you see the movie. I like my movies (especially epic movies) to be mysterious, and since I usually figure things out in advance from previews this is troublesome.

For instance, when the preview for the Sixth Sense came out some years ago, I leaned over to my wife and said, "Bruce Willis is a ghost, too." I never did see the movie, but I hear I was right. And that's my point - I didn't need to see the movie.

This one, though, I wanted to see. And so when I got there and there was this little guy (not a kid, and not a midget... just a little guy, and the only reason I mention that is because he had a weird sort of Red Bull inspired energy that sort of made me a bit worried, but he was a little guy, so I wasn't that worried).

Anyway, the little guy started talking with me and my neighbor while we waiting for four other guys to join us. "Say, did you hear that Gambit is going to be in the Wolverine movie?"

And I thought, "Dang it! This guy reads sci-fi magazines/web sites and knows stuff. He's going to spoil the movie for me." So I started talking with my neighbor about gasoline, because let's face it... everyone wants to talk about gasoline and how much they can't stand talking about gasoline. Anyway, the little guy interrupted, "I don't mean to interrupt you guys," even though he did, "but I saw one of those new spark cars out on the road this week."

I suppose I should know what a spark car is. Is that one of those new toys you shake back and forth really hard and then release? I don't know... I really don't know. All I knew was that I wasn't talking about Batman and that was good. But I realized the more I talked with this guy the more we might eventually talk about Batman. So I kept talking as though I was following him, even though I wasn't.

"Right," I said. "Spark cars. What kind?"

And he went on a bit about that, and then realized he was in the wrong line because his theater's line was on the other side of the theater.

About this time, my line had formed well.

I later found out that there was only one theater pre-sold before 11pm, but by midnight four theaters were sold out with 1100-1200 people in attendance. All of them wanting to get a good seat. The perfect seat. The perfect, perfect seat.

Maybe that's why the cops showed up.

I went over to one of the cop cars (I believe there were four, and a motorcyle cop, which always makes me think about Erik Estrada or the melty-metal guy from Terminator 2) and spoke with the policeman. He was in tough policeman mode - the kind where they all sort of speak the same. You know what I mean, right? You ask them a question and they sort of put their chin down on a slightly titled angle so that as they speak to you in a very swaggery, monotone voice their eyes sort of look up at you as if to say, "You just try something buddy." Actually, there eyes do that while there sort of looking around you at the same time, like there's a person behind you that they're trying to see while they sort of look at you at the same time.

I don't mean to imply that all cops do this. Only all of the ones I've spoken with. And maybe every one of the rest that I haven't spoken with, too.

But not all of them. Just those.

Anyway, I said to the cop (as he looked back at me with his chin downward and his eyes raised), "Are you guys here all night?"

The cop replied - actually, first he looked behind me at the imaginary little guy (not the one I mentioned earlier, but a different one who wasn't real at all, but the cop kept checking) - and then he replied, "Yeeeeeaaaahhhhhh... not..... really.... just.... just for now...."

By the way, for every dot you see in that sentence, that's how many times he checked for the imaginary little guy behind me (who I still don't think was there, but good grief, maybe he was and I just didn't know it, because by this point he was starting to convince me).

So I said, "You know, there's a good chance that if things go crazy tonight that you'll have to break up a fight involving Batman."

Pause. Wait for it, wait for it.

He smiled. That meant he lifted his head up for a moment and became a human. "Yeah," he said, glancing at his partner, "that would be cool."

So then the doors opened, and we all sort of walked in fast-yet-respectable-yet-sort-of-more-fast-than-respectable, not getting out of line, not running, but eager to erect and imaginary force field so that if anyone tried to pass us they would be met with the fury of nothing.

And then once in the theater, pure chaos to rush for a good seat. The perfect seat. The perfect, perfect seat.

I ran one way, and my buddy Colin ran another, and we got middle-middle-middle. You should know that this means the middle of the room, the middle aisle, and the middle chair of that aisle. I may have one too many middles accounted for, but either way I got a good seat. The perfect seat. The perfect, perfect seat.

Only... my party of 6 was a bit lopsided. This meant that I could hog the perfect, perfect seat or I could ask, "Should we move down one?" The guy on the end said, "Yeah." So we did.

So then I didn't have the perfect, perfect seat any more. I had the seat next to the perfect, perfect seat... that my buddy Rick now sat in.

Which, now I think, is cooler than the perfect, perfect seat. I mean, anyone can sit in the perfect, perfect seat... but then you'll get up and have to leave it to go to the bathroom or get some extra high fructose corn syrup nacho sauce.

But when you're in the seat next to the perfect, perfect seat it means you're trustworthy enough that when your buddy gets up you're asked, "Hey, can you save my seat? My good seat? My perfect seat? My perfect, perfect seat?"

And that's a pretty good feeling.


Anyway, I mentioned in my subject line that I'd have a few spoiler free observations from the movie. Sorry I haven't mentioned any yet.

I'll think of one... let's see...

Oh yeah, seeing a movie spoiler free is like a simple metaphor for virginity. Sure, you can see all the previews and read the script online or watch a pirated version somewhere on YouTube.

Because you "can."

But when you're spoiler free, you get to feel like a kid and all sort of innocent when the experience happens.

And I think that's the way the Creator of the Story intended it to be.

But be careful, because just when you think you're safe they show you the coming attraction for the very movie you're about to see just before the movie. Which they absurdly did tonight, and so I had to run out of the theater quickly with my hands over my ears, saying, "LA LA LA LA LA LA."

But it was all good, because my buddy Rick kept watch on my almost good seat.

My almost perfect seat.

My almost perfect, perfect seat.

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