Perfect Stranger

Last week, I was presented the opportunity to attend a screening of the movie, “Perfect Stranger” starring Bruce Willis and Halle Berry. Being a self-proclaimed movie buff, I was predisposed to attend, and since this would be my first time to attend a screening, I was all geeked out about it (geeked – it’s a word, look it up). My friend Phipps couldn’t make it, but I wasn’t about to miss the opportunity to voice MY opinion on a movie, especially one that hasn’t been released yet! So I went by myself.

Normally, I’d be buying a tub of popcorn and a bucket of soda, but I didn’t want to look like a complete pig eating all that food by myself. So I was stuck eating the only thing I had in my purse, Lifesavers. I was as hungry as someone on a WeightWatchers program, but at least my breath was minty fresh! (I’m adopting a new attitude – to look for the silver lining in even the most awful of situations. How am I doing so far?)

The flyer I got was very specific with their instructions for the screening. They wanted us to arrive 45 minutes before the show started and we were instructed to leave behind phones with a camera function on it. So, eager beaver that I was, I arrived an HOUR before the show started and left my phone and digital camera in my car. You can imagine how I suffered withdrawal symptoms from leaving behind those two things that are normally attached to my body. But I managed.

So I get inside the theater and was directed to stand in line behind some velvet ropes. I brought out the flyer and handed it to some guy with a clipboard. Now, a couple of days before the screening, I had called in to let them know I was coming. On the phone, they had asked for my name, my phone number, my age and ethnicity. I told them my ethnicity was “Movie Geek” and they put me under single, white, male, probably living with their mother.

When I handed my flyer to the Clipboard Guy, he didn’t ask for my name. All he did was check off “F” for female, and asked how old I was. Would you believe it took me 3 seconds to reply?? I plum forgot how old I was, I was THAT excited.

They ushered me to the end of the line behind the velvet ropes and I stood behind this guy my age wearing a brown Yankees hat. He smiled, I smiled back. He started fidgeting with his phone that didn’t have a camera function, I just started fidgeting for no good reason. He looked up and smiled at me again.

Talk to him, Beth!

Few minutes passed, and I still fidgeted around trying to think of something to say.

Talk to him about the movie you’re about to see, you dork!

I took a deep breath, turned my attention to him, and smiled, “do you have the time?”

“Yeah, it’s 6:15.”

“Thanks!”

LAME! That was totally lame, Beth! Hang your head in shame!

Eh…who wants to talk to a guy who wears the wrong color Yankee hat anyway?! I didn’t even know they made Yankee hats in that god-awful color.

Anyway, the line moved along until I got to the point where we were inches away from the theater doors. They had a table set up with three very big, burly guys doing a security search of everyone going in. They weren’t kidding about leaving your camera phone behind. Anyone who was stupid enough not to follow instructions, was asked to either go back to their car and leave their phone there, or leave their phone and ID with one of the security guys.

Stupid brown-hat Yankee guy went through security just fine. They turned to me and for some reason, I started to act really guilty. “I don’t have a camera phone. See!??? No phone at all. I didn’t bring anything with me! Look, look at my purse, nothing! See?!?”

Yeah, I’m grace under pressure.

So, one guy, after desperately trying to hold his laughter in check, used this thingy to scan me for anything metal. I almost jumped when that thing beeped.

I didn’t bring my phone, I swear!!!

Turns out, it was one of my rings that set it off, so they let me pass.

*Sigh!*

I walked into the theater to see 15 seats closed off. 15 of the best seats in the house, mind you. So, I walked to the back, picked a seat and got ready to wait. Five minutes into waiting, and I’m bored to death already.

How dorky would I look if I took out my little notebook and started writing?

Very dorky, Beth. Put it away.

At this point, having a conversation with myself was a necessity, seeing how I apparently couldn’t carry conversations with anyone else. Oh, you needn’t worry that these conversations were out loud, I’m not lost to all sense of sanity just yet.

Five minutes to the start of the movie, they suddenly let in a whole group of people and led them to the reserved seats. I swear, a couple of them were the living embodiment of Comic Book Guy. Big, balding, goatee-sporting, blue-t-shirt-wearing critics! It was funny to watch them pile into their seats, acting as if they didn’t want anything to do with this movie. Snobs!

Then they had a lady turn on the mic and tell us how pleased they were that we could make it. I almost wanted to thank her for having me, telling her it was my pleasure to be there, but I knew she’d just thank me for thanking her, then I’d have to thank her for thanking me for…well, you know where this is going.

She warned us that the movie’s not finished, that there might be rough, unfinished scenes where the sound was bad or cut off. Then, she asked us if we could stick around for a few minutes after the end of the movie because they have a little surprise for us.

Oooohh….is Halle Berry here?!? Yeah, cause she’s got nothing better to do than be at a screening in Bumblefuck, New Jersey.

The lights dimmed, I got settled in my chair and watched in horror as I witnessed two hours of my life wasted. I will spare you my movie review, but rest assured, your money would be better spent by buying me movie gift certificates. Or you can just send me the cash, that’s fine too.

After the movie, when the lights were turned on, people started handing out surveys/questionnaires. We were then informed that the ending we just saw is NOT the only ending they had in mind. We were told what the other possible endings were and they instructed us to write what we want the ending to be on the top right-hand corner of the questionnaire. That was their surprise for us. I felt jyped. I want my life back!

The questionnaire had basic questions like, what did you like about the movie (none), what didn’t you like about the movie (everything), did you think the movie was too fast, well-paced or too slow (all of the above), select from the choices below all the words you’d use to describe this movie (they didn’t have crappy, predictable, vomit-inducing, and laughable, so I wrote it in).

They reminded us that this questionnaire is completely anonymous and that we didn’t need to write down our names. Which was annoying, cause I was ready to supply them my full name and phone number, in case they want to discuss where they went wrong with the movie. I would be more than happy to discuss it with them.

Just as I was leaving, they asked us to keep it all a secret, the ending to the story.

HA! Lady, I have FOUR blogs, one of which is dedicated to movie reviews. You expect ME to keep quiet about it?! You invited the wrong person, suckers!

I walked out of the theater ecstatic at how well my evening went. For the first time in my pathetic movie-review writing career, I get to write about a movie that the general public hasn’t seen yet! For the first time, the date on my post will be BEFORE the general release date. I cannot wait to see what the movie critics said about it, to see if they agreed with me or not.

My friend Phipps told me that I’m an “elitist” when it comes to movies. At the time he said it, I was insulted. But now, I’m going to take it as a compliment. This isn’t like dating a guy where your judgment could be impaired by not having enough information about the guy. We’re talking about movies here. Personal preferences are big factors in determing what makes a good movie. I could argue with you that “Bring It On” is the best Kirsten Dunst movie ever, but what would be the point? Your spirit fingers will never be as good as mine. It’d be like arguing that I don’t like your red sportscar because the shade of red is blood red and not rose red. Make sense?

Anyway, I’m still geeking out about the screening! I hope I get to attend another one soon. This thing’s addictive!

Haloscan comments – 6

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~ by Binibining Beth on August 8, 2006.

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