Wednesday, September 28, 2005

So, yesterday, I went to the Serenity preview. I'll discuss the movie later, but now let's talk about the line to get into the movie. Line blogs rule.

I had been informed via email to arrive at the theater "AT LEAST 45 minutes" before the show. This sounded a bit extreme to me considering that San Francisco is filled with hipster slackers and slugabeds, but I knew my seat wasn't guaranteed, so I followed the directions dutifully. I picked up Pablo and we got to the theater nearly an hour and a quarter before show time.

The line was pretty damn long. There were easily a couple hundred people ahead of us. I guess even slugabeds can make it to a movie theater by 6:00pm.

The crowd was easily identifiable as Serenity fans. I saw lots of poorly groomed facial hair, Joss Whedon t-shirts, faces buried in comic books, and asses that said, "I love the couch!". There was even one guy in blue gloves acting out a bit part as a villian from the Firefly series. Ahhhh, I felt at home.

Pablo and I stood out in the cold for almost an hour before the line began to move. When we were about 20 people from the ticket-taker a theater employee made an announcement. My heart sank.

"The Serenity preview is now sold out. There are no more seats. This is NOT the fault of the theater. If you stay in line you can get a free pass to another movie and a Serenity poster."

GAH! I'd been standing in a cold line for an hour, excited, with my email printout patiently waiting in my back pocket. Now, I just felt like a lame sellout blogger. Also, I was pissed. I growled at Pablo and continued standing in line, determined to get something, anything, for my efforts. A few minutes later there was another announcement.

"We are now out of free passes. Thank you all for coming. We do still have some posters."

GAAAAAAH! Horrible. I growled at Pablo again and stayed in the line, eventually reaching the poster person. I thrust my email invitation at him, to which he said, "Oh, I can't give you a poster for those. You'll have to stand over there and speak to that other lady. She's in charge of those."

I blinked at him a few times, unwilling to accept that now I was going to have to jump through more hoops just to get my lame-ass poster. I stood there for a few more moments and then thrust my email at him again. He finally shrugged, took my email, and handed me the poster, which I immediately tore up.

BLAM! TAKE THAT! Oooooh! What a burn on you, Serenity-preview-affiliated-person-and-corporations! I walked away, leaving my shredded poster on top of the nearest trash can. Damn, I'm a bad-ass, Sinead O'Conner style!

I strutted over to the parking machine with Pablo and inserted my parking garage ticket to see what the damage was. $7.00. I was going to have to pay $7.00 for the privilege of standing in line for an hour. I bristled at the thought. Pablo suggested that perhaps we could get our ticket validated, so we wandered back into the fray.

As we passed through the crowd, I heard a woman say, "Ok now, bloggers, get out your printed emails."

Whaaa? But they... But I...

I popped over in front of the woman and asked if there were still seats available. She explained that there were a few seats, but they were reserved for bloggers who had brought the printed email. "That's me!" I said, "but I gave my email to the other guy for a poster." She said I should go get my email back.

I rushed over to the poster guy.

"Hey," I meekly said, "Can I have my email back"

He gave me a classic you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me expression and said, "No way!"

"Oh, come on. Please?"

"No! You ripped up that poster in front of me! That's totally rude! You're not getting in." He then strode over to the woman in charge, pointed at Pablo and me, and said, "Don't let those two guys in!"

Well, well, well. Isn't that a kick in the teeth? The guy I cut off on the freeway never shoves it in my face. That one kid that I teased, who was more of a social outcast than me in high school, he never retaliated. Now, poster guy makes me own up to my dickheadedness? That's not supposed to happen! How is that fair?

I had two choices before me. Either be resolute, confident that I had been jerked around, regardless of my reaction, and walk away proudly. Or, grovel and ask for my email back.

Surprise surprise, I chose the latter.

Poster guy and I spent the next few minutes launching dueling "Ok, hear me out" volleys. I expressed how my poster-ripping was a reasonable emotional reaction, and he countered by explaining that my actions were inappropriate and seemingly directed at him. We went around in circles for a bit, until the in-charge lady came by and told us to calm down. She said there were 2 crummy seats left in the front row. I looked over at poster guy imploringly, but he wouldn't budge.

I exhorted. I whined. I gestured appealingly.

Somehow, something cracked. Poster guy threw up his hands in disgust, and finally motioned for Pablo and I to be let in.

VICTORY! The sweet smell of compromised principles propelled Pablo and I into the theater where we found decent seats in the 2nd row. Ahhhhhhh.

Naturally after all that standing around, and whining, I had to pee. I trotted out to the bathroom, took my place at one of the two urinals and started my dirty business. Almost immediately another man entered the room and stood before the adjacent urinal. It was poster guy.

"Hey," he started, "I didn't mean to be a dick back there."

"Oh, it's ok. I did mean to be a dick and you called me on it! Usually I get away with that crap."

Poster guy gave me a grudging smile and told me to enjoy the film. I briefly considered kissing him, but that has a strange way of being misconstrued in this town, so I washed up and returned to the theater, just as the movie was beginning.

I saw poster guy one more time. After the movie, as Pablo and I left the theater, we passed each other in the hallway. We exchanged brief 'Hey's, but no kisses.

And that's my line story.

So, how was the movie, you ask? Bit of a letdown after all that line excitement, but still pretty darn good. Without spoiling anything, here's my mini-review.

I wouldn't recommend it to folks who have no tolerance for action movies, but if you find an occasional one you enjoy, then you might enjoy this too.

For any Firefly fan, it's a must-see. It was a joy seeing those characters again, and they were as smartly written as ever. Joss Whedon spun his usual web of action and character-driven humor, which was a pleasure to watch. Also, the characters and the ship looked good on the big screen.

The ending wrapped things up a little too neatly, but Whedon took some a couple of risks along the way, so I'll cut him some slack.

I hope he finds a way to continue this story. And I hope to be (a little) less of a dick and a whore in the future.


Anonymous said...

It was a damned fine and exciting evening, both before and during the movie.


Mike said...

Pablo, thanks man. I was glad to have you there. Without your calming influence, perhaps I would have pissed on the guys poster after tearing it up. That's just rude.

Leesa said...

Wow, a Whore yesterday and a Dick today...tsk tsk.
Having a bad week?? :)

Mike said...

Mostly just an offensive one. Or maybe an offending one.

chess h said...

The world is a much better place for having whores in it. Keep up the good work!

Mike said...

Chess, thanks. As it turns out, almost all my posts this week were about whores. If I were a smarter man, I'd know what that all means.

Manduca said...

"And I hope to be (a little) less of a dick and a whore in the future."

You have a lovely turn of phrase there. Glad you got in! There were empty seats in Burbank. Was it because there aren't enough whorish people here? No, because there are fewer interesting people here. Good thing I'm not bitter.

Mike said...


It's not too late to leave So Cal for a real city like SF. Come on up, the weather is fine!

(note, fine weather only available one month per year)