Main | Thursday, May 13, 2004

The Goy From Oz

Friday night I saw Van Helsing . Normally, I wouldn't see this sort of movie. I have a pretty strict set of rules that I've developed to guide my movie viewing, but my roommate really wanted to go.

Him: 'Please?'

Me: 'Ugh!'

Him: 'C'mon!!!'

Me: 'You must be on crack.'

Him: 'I'll pay and I'll get us snacks!'

Me: 'Hmmm......'

Not accustomed to going to wildly popular movies, in Manhattan, on their opening nights, I learned a few things.

First of all, almost all tickets are now apparently purchased online. The moment I acquiesced, my roommate lept to the computer and brought up Fangando.com.

The movie was apparently playing on 27 of the 40 (or however many) screens at the Union Square Regal Cinemas, and started about every 9 minutes. It was 9pm on Thursday, and already every showtime for the next day's Van Helsing was sold out, up until 11pm.

I had sincere doubts that I would be able to stay awake thru any movie that started that late, even one that I was certain contained lots of screaming and bloodshed and explosions.

When we got to the theatre the next night, the box office was deserted, just a few bored looking ticket sellers talking amongst themselves . I was very pleased, thinking for a moment that maybe all those sold-out performances had been a computer glitch. But not so fast! Around the lobby corner was a long bank of self-serve ticket machines, all with a mob of teenagers in front of them. That's where you picked up your online purchases. Made me wonder how the heck any enforcement of movie ratings can take place, when any kid with an ATM card can waltz up and order up tickets to whatever NC-17 porn fest he likes.

Once the machine issued our flimsy, thermal ticket slips, we were ordered by theatre staff into a series of lines. Line one: for waiting to have your tickets taken. Then another line to wait for huge exiting crowds on the esclators. The escalators were then reversed and we proceeded up FOUR levels to be put in another holding line, this one to enter the upper lobby, where we could see the entrances to various theatres. The electronic marquees over each entrance read: 'Van Helsing F', Van Helsing B', etc'. We were 'Van Helsing C'.

Once we were admitted into the upper lobby, we were held in yet another line, outside of our showing of Van Helsing. Man, this was a lot of work.

We finally took our seats, in the last row, in the BALCONY - no less. The movie DID contain lots of screaming, lots of bloodshed, and was about 70% explosions, by my guess.

My favorite bit of dialogue:

-'NO! Wait! Don't kill him! He's my BROTHER!'

-'But, he's a WEREWOLF!!'

-'(sobbing)...'Don't you believe in....FORGIVENESS?'

I have to admit, that I did sorta enjoy Van Helsing. Not a lot, but way more than I thought I would. I'm just a little intriuged by Hugh Jackman. One more blind item in Page Six in the Post, and he'll be officially outed.




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