Sunday, February 24, 2013

See You at the Movies

Tonight, finally, is the Academy Awards. The night when all the speculation ends. We had the elections, the Super Bowl, and now the Academy Awards. What will the so-called television news shows talk about after they’ve rehashed tonight’s red carpet and who’s wearing whom? Oh, yes, there is sequestration.
The Movies. I do enjoy going to the movies. The screen is big enough to completely fill my field of vision. The sounds surround me. The scent of popcorn saturates everything, including my clothes and hair. The lights go down and I am ready to be transported.
Well, after all the trailers and television show adverts, not to mention the local dry cleaners and pharmacies. Then there are the admonitions to silence our cell phones and prohibitions against texting. The requests that we properly dispose of our trash and the entreaties to not talk. But even public television indulges in ads and requests for donations. I guess it’s the sign of the times and a reminder that somebody has to pay for all this. (No, I didn’t forget about the price we just paid for tickets and refreshments. But, never mind, never mind.)
I have seen three of the nine Academy Award nominees: Lincoln, Life of Pi, and Les Miserables. All were done very well. Need I add that the books were better? But then books, by their very nature, have more time to do it better and bigger and in more dimensions than 3.
“But that’s not what I come here to talk about. I come to talk about the draft.” Oh, dear. That’s another song and another time.
What I did come here to talk about is the last time I went to the movies. A couple of weeks ago.
We went to see the re-release of Top Gun in 3D. I love this movie. It’s the nearest I’ll ever come to taking off and landing on an aircraft carrier. Next to lift off from Cape Canaveral, that has got to be the greatest rush possible.
The lights in the theater dimmed and I was ready to be transported along with a small crowd of perfect strangers.
The word perfect  turns out to be an imperfect adjective as applied to that particular audience.
Some man entered with his four-year-old in tow. A vocal, unhappy, four-year-old, easily frightened by 3D special effects. Then a group of noisy 20-somethings, male and female, took seats in the back.
I don’t know which was worse. The frightened child and his insensitive father. Or the young adults who thought they were sitting in their own living room and could spout intellectually limited witticisms during the love scenes.
Someday, when I’m rich and famous, I’ll buy out the theater and invite the public free-of-charge. I will set guards at the entrance to allow only people who are old enough to enjoy the movie—without regard to actual age—to enter.
I’ll have a nice cappuccino and sit in the middle, right up front. And I’ll be transported along with an audience of perfect strangers.