Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (R/105 Min.)

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I had to work late tonight and ended up in a mad rush, when I was finally liberated, to get to the theater on time. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was another in a decent-sized list of films that I was anxious to see. I didn’t go this past weekend due to Jazz in June (a girl’s got to have her priorities) and the rest of this week is bound to be crazy busy so this was my only chance to go before it got lost and forgotten in the midst of all the other movies I want to see.

So, I hustled my tuckus and made it to the theater in time to see the trailers (yea!) and then the movie started and then…I was ever so slightly underwhelmed. How very very VERY disappointing. Now, while anxious to see this I do have to admit that I didn’t really think it was going to fare well at the box office. My main reason for wanting to go was a curiosity to see how they were going to turn one of the most well-known and beloved Presidents the US has ever known in to a vengeful, monster-killing machine. Well, he did kill a LOT of monsters.

IMDB had this to say about Abraham…
“Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them. “
Ummm…no. I won’t tell you how this is incorrect. All I can say is that it is. Do the people who allow these summaries on the site even watch the movies before they post them? I’m guessing not. Okay okay, the second sentence is correct. I’ll give them that much.

The acting wasn’t too bad. The scenery was as close to a historical match as I can imagine and the costuming was about as thrilling as you can guess considering the time period in which this is set. You’ve got to agree that clothes back then just weren’t all that exciting. But the fight scenes…Omigosh the fight scenes! I never thought I’d say this about an action/horror movie but the fight scenes really did get old after a while. They choreographed the stuffings out of them. And to make it even worse they added lots of dust and/or smoke so that nothing was very clear though things did jump out at us every once in a while. The worst, in my opinion, was the scene during the horse stampede. Coming in a close second was the train scene. Yes, it was kind of neat but it got to the point at which I thought maybe the vampires had gotten with Abe and Will ahead of time to decide who would come at who and when. I can hear Spike right now. “IT’S NOT REAL!!!” I know this but come on! I don’t ever want the heroes to die but just once can’t the evil villain tell all of his minions to attack all at the same time? Seriously?

I would love to have been tucked away somewhere in the screening room (or whatever it’s called) when the entire film was watched for the first time by the production staff. I want to know if they honestly sat back and said, “Well done, us.” “We are the bomb.com.” I’m thinking they got tired of filming, shrugged their shoulders and said, “Meh! It’s as good as it’s gonna get. The masses are mindless drones. They’ll eat it up.” Maybe they didn’t go to that extent but sometimes I wonder. Especially when I catch the mistakes that were made. What on earth are the editors for? I’d like to know how bad the mistakes were that they did manage to catch. I know I’ve mentioned all this before and I probably will again. I can’t seem to help it.

Another thing I MUST poke fun at is good ol’ Abe’s handling of the ax. We were apparently supposed to be highly impressed with how he spun it around during his training and when he was fighting the vampires. I might be…if I’d never in my life seen a flag corps. For the few of you who don’t know what a flag corps is, go to any high school/college football game and watch the girls/boys on the field during half-time who are not playing instruments. I guarantee a lot of these individuals could give Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln) a run for his money. Just keepin’ it real, folks.

The violence was somewhere along the lines of 300 and Immortals. If blood flew, it had to do so in slow motion. Why get it over quickly when we can make the audience soak it all in, so to speak. This is yet another case of if-the-action-doesn’t-work-let’s-try-to-gross-them-out. If my mom were watching this film it would be mission accomplished but since she is pretty much only in Disney’s demographic the grossness just didn’t cut it. No pun intended. I will admit that the vampires were pretty darn creepy looking. These guys are most definitely not the currently oh-so-loved sparkly vamps. Not by a long shot.

I’m not going to break this down. It’s rated R for a reason. See the paragraph above if you need a reminder. I know people out there are going to completely disagree with my assessment of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and that is totally their prerogative. I didn’t completely hate the movie. There were a few good scenes. I also didn’t feel like it was a complete waste of time. I just don’t think I will ever watch it again. If you liked the vampire-killing fest that was From Dusk Till Dawn then you’ll probably like this.

There is absolutely no reason to stay through the credits. I did find it amusing that Linkin Park performed one of the songs in the film. What really tickled me was the part in the credits in which it mentioned that all of the characters were fictitious. Now I get that the real Abraham Lincoln was not a vampire hunter but the fact remains that he and Mary Todd were both quite real. Unless our US History books were works of fiction also. For some reason I’m pretty sure they weren’t.

Brave (PG/100 Min.)

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I went last Friday to the midnight showing of Brave.  I thought that since this is an animated film opening at the same time as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter that I could leave the house around 11:30, get to the theater a little before midnight and still have a shot at my favorite seat.  Boy was I wrong.  The joint was packed!  I think I sat in the third row.  So NOT my favorite place to sit. 
Brave is the story of Merida, a Scottish princess who isn’t quite ready to take on the responsibilities of an adult.  Her parents plan a competition among the local clans to see who will win Merida’s hand – and the rest of her – in marriage.  The main problem?  Merida’s not exactly on board with the whole betrothal idea.  She wants to be the master of her own fate.
Having seen the trailers for Brave I was certain this was going to be a girl power movie.  I couldn’t have been further from the truth.  It’s more about the power of family and the special bond between a mother and daughter.  Yeah, her dad was there too but he is more the stereotypical dad to a young woman.  He spoils her rotten.  Almost literally.   At this point my dad would probably ask where her “rotten” is.  That’s just how we roll.  Fortunately for mom we only see each other a few times a year. 
Merida is your typical tomboy.  Her dad taught her to shoot a bow and arrow at an early age.  She is highly independent and acts more like her dad than her mom would like and her mom tries, sometimes in vain, to train that out of her.  She has three ornery brothers (triplets, Heaven help her mother) who she obviously loves.  She is so very much a daddy’s girl and, at the beginning anyway, it seems as if her mother is just an afterthought to her.  Makes me wonder if that’s how things go in my own family.  If so, mom, I do apologize.  You have never been an afterthought to me.  Even at the ripe old age of 29 (what?) there are still nights I wish you’d hop on a plane and come sing me to sleep. 
Elinor is Merida’s mother.  She is a woman trying to raise her daughter in a man’s world.  You can tell she only wants the best for Merida but they so obviously lack the communication needed for her to convey that message.  They are both head strong women who want things the way they want them and nothing else will do.  They just can’t seem to find the middle ground.  It took me a while to warm up to Elinor.  Her reaction to Merida’s “punishment” ultimately brought me around.  Elinor knew she was wrong and was sore at heart because of it.
The other characters are important but I think I’ll stop with just Merida and Elinor as they are the basis of the story.
Let’s talk about the animation, shall we.  To someone who can just barely draw a stick figure I am always in awe of the talent behind an animated film.  I have been drawn (no pun intended) to the point of tears at the beauty some of these wonderful artists display on the big screen.  They are amazing.  In one of the scenes in Brave I would have sworn that it was a real landscape with Merida drawn in.  And Merida herself.  That hair alone must have been the bane of someone’s existence.  The beauty and wonderful curliness of it almost made me rethink chopping off my hair next month.  Almost.  I live in Oklahoma, a location alarmingly close to the temperature of Hades in the summer.  Oklahoma in the summer.  Not Hades.  Though both are equally hot.  I’m guessing.  Having never travelled to Hades.  Welcome to my ramble, ladies and germs.  So, the hair goes and Locks of Love will benefit from my summer discomfort.
Next let’s talk about the music.  I LOVED it!!!  Enough said.
I’m not going to do the usual break-down because this is a Pixar movie.  I will mention that we saw several male behinds in the film and the powers that be seemed a tad juvenile at times in that they were very focused on one of the maid’s cleavage.  It was quite prominent in a few scenes.  I will even go so far as to say that some of the pastries in the film brought to mind the same body part.  I’m guessing most kids won’t notice that aspect so I won’t press the issue.
If you like a good Pixar movie you definitely need to go see this.  The only thing, really, that I found fault with was that some scenes went on way too long and some went by too fast.  The bear in the castle scene could have been much shorter (it stopped being funny after a while) while the climactic fight scene could’ve lasted more than just a minute or two.  Other than that, I loved this movie.  If your child has watched any Disney film they should be okay with Brave.  As mentioned in several other posts, I wish that the intense scenes were somewhat scary to children in that they aren’t numb to bad things happening but I do very much want parents to take their kids to see this.  I’ll give you a heads up to the two most intense scenes in the P.S. in case you’d like to go ahead and distract your kids a bit or at least be prepared for a reaction.  I will NOT tell you what happens in those scenes.  No spoilers here, folks.
I don’t care what your age is I think everyone should go see Brave.  Except Wally because movies like this are apparently not her bag, baby.
P.S.  For those of you who were wondering if John Ratzenberger was included in this latest Pixar production the answer is yes.  Yes he was. 
P.P.S.  The first “intense” scene happens when Merida and her mom are walking in the ruins.  The second happens close to the end of the film in the circle of stones.  The latter is the scene I was complaining earlier was too short.  Yes, I’m contradictory.  Deal with it.
P.P.P.S.  There is a little something after the credits but I didn’t find it particularly amusing.  You might though.  Who knows?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rock of Ages (PG-13/123 Min.)




It was vulgar. The acting was less than great. The dancing was worse (some of it anyway). Tom Cruise was in it. Even worse…Russell Brand was in it. The plot was an after-thought. It was a 123 minute cheese fest. I loved it!

I went to the pre-screening of Rock of Ages tonight. I was really really REALLY hoping to get free passes to this movie. Why? Two reasons. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it and Tom Cruise is in it. I try really hard not to pay money for a Tom Cruise movie. Harsh, I know. But true. I was actually surprised at the number of people at the screening. As most of you Okies already know, The Thunder played tonight and whooped up on the Heat. Wahoo! But I digress. Every seat in the theater was filled despite athletic activities in OKC.

Quick summary: Set in 1987. Girl moves to LA to become a famous singer. She meets a guy and they fall in love. During this love fest, a skeezy rock star performs at the club where the boy and girl work. HE meets a girl. Skeezy rock star’s manager is a jerk. The mayor’s wife is out to get the skeezy rock star and lots and lots of 80’s music is played.

I strongly believe that 80s music is the best music ever. Why? Possibly because I’m of that generation. We 5-year-olds liked to rock! Back then I was a hair band freak. Okay, I’ll admit it. I still am. I never dressed like they did - mainly because my mom would never have allowed it - but in my heart I had big hair, loud make-up and wore clothes that seemed to be missing pieces. I remember going to musicals (for lack of a better word) back in the 80s and acting like a giddy little school girl when the opening credits started. Actually, I was like that for a lot of movies back then. John Hughes was my hero. This movie totally brought that all back to me. If I counted correctly, there were 31 songs total. THIRTY-ONE SONGS!!! And it was MY music! For some reason I always think of a certain guy I went to high school with when I think of hair bands. He was one of the few boys I didn’t have a crush on in high school which is odd because, one, I was boy crazy and, if I remember correctly, he was a really nice guy and not difficult to look at. I think it was possibly the fact that he had better hair than I did. Sorry, man. Jealousy is a witch.

I seem to be going off on tangents today. I will attempt to stay focused but I can’t promise anything. I was going to list the songs in the main part of my post but wondered if some of you might want to be surprised SO I’m listing them all in what will probably be one of several P.S.’s at the end. Kudos to whoever chose the music. The soundtrack will be mine. Oh yes. And speaking of the soundtrack…If you took away all of the “acting” I still would have liked Rock of Ages just because of the music. I was all ready to scoff at most of the singing. Who could do it better than the originals? Well, nobody, but it was a valiant effort. Despite my feelings towards Mr. Cruise, I really don’t think he did a bad job. It could have been better but who am I to judge? Oh. That’s right. I’m me. And it’s what I do best. You’re welcome. He just didn’t quite have the hair band lead singer sound that I’ve grown to know and love. Was he the worst singer? I really don’t think so. Julianne? I’m sorry. It’s not you. It’s me. Okay, it’s a little you. I’ve just never cared for squeaky, little girl singing voices. I can’t help it. You had to have heard Mary J. Blige singing at some point during the filming. Now that’s more like it.

I know I usually talk about the acting at this juncture but since there wasn’t really a lot and what there was wasn’t great I’ll just skip it. Oh wait! I do need to mention one actor. Catherine Zeta-Jones. I’m not sure why but she’s always come across to me as sort of a snob. As if buttah wouldn’t melt… I know she’s been in a few comedies/dramedies but I never could get the “I’m so much better than you” vibe out of my head. Rock of Ages kicked it out of there. I do get that what they were all doing was acting but Catherine, oh my goodness Catherine. Most of the stuff she had to do was way over the top cheddar. I just don’t believe you can dance or act like she did and not have a sense of humor. You just can’t. I like her so much more because it was so bad.

Let me begin the break-down by saying that I don’t think children or young teenagers should be allowed to see this movie. For two reasons. First! It really is crude, lude and socially unacceptable. Do you really want to have to discuss Tom Cruise’s devil’s head-shaped codpiece with your children? I didn’t think so. Second! They don’t know the music. And if they do…they never lived it. It was never a part of their daily existence. Point in case, the two girls who sat next to me. Some of the lyrics were spoken, not sung, and it was funny. They didn’t get it. And there was no rockin’ out at all. They could have been listening to Lawrence Welk and had about the same reaction. Heresy! Who is Lawrence Welk, you ask? Ummm…I have no idea. Moving on.

Sex/Nudity – No nudity. A couple of sex with clothes on scenes. I won’t call it by the oh-so-quaint term that seems to be floating around now but you know what I’m talking about. And if you don’t, yea for you! Having said that, please don’t think, “Oh! Just a couple of THOSE scenes. No big.” Just because there wasn’t a lot of sex doesn’t mean it wasn’t alluded to. And Mr. Cruise’s character seemed to have a strong affinity for women’s upper parts. And I’m not talkin’ about their eyebrows.

Cussing – Yes.

Drinking/Drugs – I didn’t see any drugs but there was lots and lots and lots and did I mention LOTS of drinking. To start with, the main venue is a bar. To finish with, apparently rockers drink. True story.

Violence – Nope.

Uncomfortable scenes – Don’t even get me started. The kissing alone was repulsive. I’m pretty sure that’s what they were going for though.

If you like 80s music as much as I like 80s music you will, more than likely, like this movie. I do have a challenge for you. During the “We Built This City/We’re Not Gonna Take It" (yeah, I told you a couple of songs) scene several rockers are shown. I recognized one (Sebastian Bach) immediately. Another one I knew I knew but couldn’t figure it out for sure. I’m ashamed to admit he is/was the lead singer of one of my well-liked, if not favorite, bands. I have no idea if they’re still together. The challenge is for you to list all of the “rockers” shown in the scene. That got quotes because I definitely wouldn’t consider the female a rocker. According to the credits there were 7 (including Sebastian). What do you win if you get them all correct? The knowledge that you know way more about the people behind the music than I do. Well done, you!

Back to the recommendations. I would strongly suggest that PT not see this movie until she’s over 18. Why 18? Because it’s the age of consent and her mom can no longer control what she watches. I don’t know that I could ever watch it with her no matter her age. When we saw Battleship together she commented on how inappropriate the beach scene was. If you haven’t seen it (I’ll post on it. I promise.), there’s a scene in which the girl is stretched across the boy. They’re both clothed but not by much. PT saw some of the kids who walked in to the theater after we did and felt, quite strongly, that this particular scene was NOT for them. My point is, that beach scene doesn’t even hold a candle to some of the goings on in Rock of Ages. Just tellin’ it like it is.

So. If you like 80s music and can stand the profanity you’ll like Rock of Ages. If you like 80s music and would rather do without the profanity, buy the soundtrack. If you don’t like 80s music but you do like profanity, cover your ears when you start to hear guitars. If you like neither 80s music NOR profanity why are you still reading this? This movie is so obviously not for you.

P.S. Nothing after the credits. The only reason to stay is for the music and that’s reason enough for me.

P.P.S. Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand have forever ruined “Can’t Fight This Feeling” for me. For.Ever.! And Russell Brand made me think of Freddie Mercury when he sang. Agree? Disagree?

P.P.P.S. You can’t even begin to understand how hard it was for me to not yell out during “I Wanna Rock”. “Tell me not to play well all I gotta say to when you tell me not to play I say no! NO! No-no no-no no!”

P.P.P.P.S. I did mention there might be a few P.S.’s. As promised, here is the list of songs. As in order as I could possibly get them. And I’m very proud of me for knowing most of them after just a few notes. Yea, me! Paradise City, Sister Christian/(Just Like)Livin' in Paradise/Nothin’ But a Good Time (sung as a medley), I Remember You (but I don’t remember this song in the movie. I had to go by the credits on this one), Jukebox Hero/I Love Rock and Roll (another medley), Hit Me With Your Best Shot, the opening riff of Oh, Sherrie, Waiting for a Girl Like You, Don’t Stop Believin’, Talk Dirty to Me, More Than Words/Heaven (yet another medley), Rock of Ages (and I don’t mean the hymn), Wanted Dead or Alive, I Want to Know What Love Is, I Wanna Rock, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Harden My Heart/Shadows of the Night (yup…you guessed it. Medley), Here I Go Again, Can’t Fight This Feeling, Any Way You Want It, Undercover Love (so did not know this one), Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Rock You Like a Hurricane (I don’t remember this one in the movie either but the credits don’t lie. Right?), We Built This City/We’re Not Gonna Take It (the last medley. I promise.), No One Like You, Come On Feel the Noize. Why more people weren’t rockin’ out I will never understand. This needs to be watched at our next reunion. Except that some of us may hurt ourselves trying to bang our heads. Bring Ben-Gay and muscle relaxers, k?


Monday, June 11, 2012

Warrior (PG-13/140 Min.)

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I am so far behind on my posts. I apologize. I’ve apparently found the time to watch the movies but not the time to share them with you. This week will be my catch up (not Ketchup) week. I know you’re thrilled. And why wouldn’t you be?

I don’t know how but I completely missed this movie on the big screen. I’d even been waiting for it and it slipped right by me. I’m not even sure how good it did at the theater. I’m guessing not very since it wasn’t out long at all. I rented it on Netflix (I so heart Netflix) and now I want to own it.

For those of you who missed seeing it, Warrior is the story of two brothers who compete in Sparta, a competition designed to prove who is the best MMA (Mixed Martial Arts, for those of you who don’t know) fighter in the world. One brother is fighting to save his home. The other is fighting to be able to provide for the family of his fallen Marine brother-in-arms.

To say this movie started out slow is the understatement of the century. I never wanted to stop the DVD player but I was wishing they’d hurry things up a bit. Once the fighting starts though, Ooo boy! the pace definitely picks up. These guys don’t get the chance to heal the way I assume fighters usually do after each bout. This is a single elimination tourney spread out over two nights. There are 16 fighters so the last two in the cage will have fought four bouts in a little over 24 hours. Ouch! And then some!

Joel Edgerton plays the part of Brendan Conlon, a physics teacher whose house is about to be foreclosed upon. He’s determined that he, his wife and their two girls will be able to keep their home. I thought Joel did a great job as Brendan. He obviously loves the members of his family…all of them…even though he has a hard time trusting some of them. If you’ve seen this movie do you have any idea what caused the rift between Brendan and his dad because either they never told or I totally missed it. His dad did something really bad but I never caught the back story.

Tom Hardy plays the part of Tommy Riordan/Conlon. What? They couldn’t find American actors for this film? Joel is Australian and Tom is British. I don’t really mind though. They were both very easy to watch. But back to the movie. Tommy hates his dad because of how he treated his mom but makes him his trainer anyway because he’s good at it. Tom did a LOT of brooding in Warrior. I wish he’d been able to actually act more. Not that what he did was awful. I especially liked the hotel scene between him and his dad.

Nick Nolte plays their dad, Paddy Conlon. I’m not a huge Nick Nolte fan but I found myself feeling really sorry and cheering for his character. I so wanted him to come out on top. I was deeply disappointed in him during the hotel scene. I also wanted the whole family back together again. Did that happen? No idea. It never really says but in my mind it did.

Jennifer Morrison plays Brendan’s wife, Tess. She is fiercely protective of her family. Even to the point of turning her back on her husband because she can’t stand to see him hurt. Huh? How can she be protective and turn her back at the same time? Hey! Don’t judge! She had already done her stint in the hospital after Brendan had been badly beaten (this is only mentioned in the movie, not seen, so I’m not really ruining anything for you). It’s not like she was a military wife whose husband sacrifices life and limb sometimes daily in support of her and their country. No, she’s a fighter’s wife whose husband chooses to literally fight to earn money. She’s willing to lose their home if it means assuring his safety. I think I’m okay with that. My favorite scene with her is when she gets Brendan’s text. She didn’t really send him off on his own. She was there all along.

And now it’s time for the breakdown.

Sex/Nudity – None. Unless you count half-dressed men duking it out in a cage. The closest it gets other than that is Tess in a tank top and unders. Oh…and the scantily clad ring girls.

Drinking/Drugs – Yes to drinking. Alcoholism is an underlying theme throughout the film. And I guess yes to drugs but only in that Paddy makes Tommy hand some over.

Cussing – Yes. Quite a bit but they limit the big ones.

Violence – Well…yes. It’s a movie about MMA. There’s a bit of blood though not as much as I thought there’d be. No gore though. I did get to hear the sound of something in a fighter’s arm tearing or breaking. Eeeewwwww! I thought the same was going to happen to another fighter’s knee. It came close enough to obviously hurt.

If you like fight movies you should check this out. If you like feel-good sport movies it does eventually get around to that. I will admit that I was pretty certain one of the brothers was going to go all tender hearted and throw the fight. I am totally telling you now that this does not happen. I would also like to say that this has one of my new favorite movie endings ever. Not the all-time favorite but it’s definitely on the list.

Parents, I would suggest watching this before you let your kids see it. It did earn its PG-13 rating with the fight scenes alone. I happen to like MMA so the fights didn’t bother me as much as they might have otherwise. I do think that real MMA seems a lot bloodier but I could be wrong. It’s happened before. I think.

P.S. The DVD didn’t have anything after the credits. So there.

P.P.S. Not only was I wrong about a brother throwing the fight, I was also wrong about which brother got to fight the Russian fighter, Koba, a big hunk of a guy played by Kurt Angle. Either movie producers are getting smarter about not giving things away early in the movie (or not making them obvious in the trailers) or I'm losing my touch. I'm going with the former.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

AMC Crossroads Mall 16 (A Rant: Just a Warning)

I understand this post will not win my blog any new fans and may lose it the few it does have but I felt it needed to be said. Here goes. What on earth makes people think that it’s okay to bring their ENTIRE family, including the baby, to a movie and allow two of their obviously under 10 years old daughters to sit apart from them? Even better…what makes them think it’s okay that said daughters run up and down the stairs to ask them questions and change seats then ask more questions and change seats again? Even better…what makes them think that it’s okay that the baby keeps crying during the film? The answer? It’s not that they think it’s okay. They obviously just don’t care. These people paid money for the entire family (7 members if you include the baby) to see a movie and two of them weren’t even watching it. Maybe they figured it was cheaper than hiring a sitter?

As mentioned in several other posts, I don’t have children so I can’t possibly know what these people may be going through. I’m judging solely by how I was raised and how I’ve seen other couples/single parents raise their children. Had my sister and I been this disruptive we would have been told to stop. Had we persisted, I’m willing to bet one of two things would have happened. We would have been taken outside and given a thorough talking to OR we would have been removed from this special outing altogether. That would have been the worst possible punishment for me. I’ve always loved going to the movies. I could “escape” for a couple of hours in to an entirely different world. Become the characters and join them on their crusades. I use the word escape lightly as I had nothing to escape from but I hope you understand what I mean. It’s always interesting to see how other people live even if it happens to be in outer space or the Dark Forest. And, by the way, I don’t believe my parents ever let us sit apart from them. I’m also pretty sure that we, or I anyway, wouldn’t have wanted to. Strangers have always made me nervous.

Some of you may have already guessed that these girls were sitting right down the row from me. I did consider moving but I noticed that they were bothering everyone else in the theater too so it was a moot point. I got their attention at one point and shook my head (threatening, I know) to get them to quit talking. The older of the two looked back at me, smiled and went back to talking. Finally the giggling and the shoe dropping began. I knew at this point that no matter how good was the movie I was watching, I would never become immersed. I had paid to listen to two little girls NOT watch a movie while their parents did nothing.

So. I did what I absolutely hate to do. I went to talk to a manager. I wish I had paid attention to the guy’s name but I ended up talking to a member of the “Management Team”. I asked for a manager and he asked what the problem was. I bit my tongue to keep from saying something along the lines of, “The problem is I would like to speak to a manager,” but apparently the irritated look on my face had him responding, “I’m a member of the management team.” Oh well. As long as you’re on the team. I did tell him that I would say nice things about him on my blog so here goes. He did go in and chat with the family. At least he said he did. I didn’t follow him in. He said that the girls moved down with their parents and that if they caused any further disruption I could let him know and the entire family would be removed. Great! Except for a couple of things. I went to see this movie at the AMC Crossroads. What’s the big deal about that? Despite my constant defense of it not being a dangerous area in which to see a movie late at night, it’s not exactly in the best part of town. Why do I keep going there? Because it’s less than 2 miles from my house and I’ve never SEEN anything bad happen there. Knock on wood. Second, in my experience with families like this I’ve found that a lot of parents who allow their children to act this way will become outraged if someone dares to call them on it. Their sweet, precious babies couldn’t possibly be bothering anyone else if they weren’t bothering them. As I was the only person who exited the theater before a member of the Management Team came and chatted with this little group it was going to be quite obvious who sent him in the first place.

Let me give you a little tip, Management Team. You should probably let the person go back in to the theater for a while before you go in and not allow them to follow in your wake. Otherwise you might as well be carrying a neon sign saying, “This person just tattled on you!!!” The chances of these girls calming down in the five or ten minutes he could have waited were slim to none as they had not quieted down at all in the first hour. Because I wasn’t quite in the mood for feeling the wrath of these “poor, misunderstood” parents, I asked for a pass to a later show. He said he’d get that for me. He took my ticket up to the booth and asked the ticket person to exchange it. She took my credit card to refund my $6.50 and swiped it again to charge me $8.50 because of the time of the other show. The member of the Management Team just stood back and was going to let her do it. I think I said something along the lines of, “Ummm…” because he finally stepped forward and had her only charge me the $6.50. At this point I gave him a card showing my blog information and let him know I’d be mentioning my experience. This is also when I informed him that I’d be saying nice things about him and how he took care of everything. I apologize to him since, in my ire, I’ve gone off on several tangents instead of just leaving it at, “he got them to calm down and got me a new ticket.”

Some of you may be asking why I had him talk to the family if I was just going to leave. That wasn’t my initial plan but because of the afore-mentioned reason I didn’t feel I could stay. AND!!! Had I not seen other people turning their heads to look for the cause of the disturbance I might have let it go. Doubtful, but who knows? These girls were continuously clomping up and down the stairs past at least ten rows of people to get to and from their parents. This wasn’t one of my typical Crossroads experiences in that I was one of maybe 4 or 5 people in the theater. This showing had a good attendance. I hope, for everyone else’s sake, that the girls did finally calm down.

Now, having said all that, WHAT ON EARTH WERE THOSE GIRLS DOING AT THAT MOVIE IN THE FIRST PLACE?!!! I went to see Snow White and The Huntsman. Don’t even try to tell me that the parents thought it was going to be like the somewhat innocent cartoon that most of us saw as children. The movie is rated PG-13! Relatively soon after the Evil Queen becomes the Evil Queen we get to see her plucking the insides out of birds. And it’s a close-up of those insides. I’m assuming they were the birds’ hearts and I’m also assuming that she ate them. Why am I assuming? Because it was gross and I had to cover my eyes. Sad but true. There was other violence as well but that was the grossest thing I saw before I walked out. Did these girls really need to see that? I would say they probably missed it entirely but it was one of the very few moments during which they were quiet. Enjoy your kids’ nightmares folks. I hope they keep you up for at least a night or two. If they’re up and restless so should you be.

Well, it appears that I should just about be finished with this but since I’m already frustrated and a couple more things happened during this oh-so-lovely movie experience, I’m going to continue. Let’s begin with the ticket booth, shall we? If you decide to go to the AMC Crossroads Mall 16 and you’ve never been before I’ll let you in on a little secret. You need to get there early. If you are running late it’s going to get worse. It’s rare that I get another ticket person and on those rare occasions I breathe a sigh of relief. If you get the woman I usually do plan on standing in line for a while. If you happen to be at the front of the line, grit your teeth and muddle through. You see, this person hasn’t quite mastered the art of small talk. She is loud. She is crass. And she doesn’t care that you didn’t come there to see her. The last two times I’ve gotten her as my ticket person I got to hear all about what her daughter thought of the movie I was there to see. If I’m wearing one of my silly T-shirts, of which I have many, I get to hear all about that too. Lesson learned. Plain T-shirts only at the AMC Crossroads Mall 16. Because of her desire to chat I have to either be completely rude and just walk away in the middle of whatever she’s saying or do that thing in which you slowly step away and hope she gets the hint. Unfortunately, on several occasions, she’s held on to my tickets until she’s finished with what she’s saying. I get that she’s a talker and probably enjoys human interaction but, once again, I didn’t go there to chat.

Walk with me to the concession stand, will you? I will say that it’s not often that I have any kind of problem here but I picked just the right line this time. There was a man and, again I’m assuming, his son in front of me and in the middle of getting them their order the concessionaire went to do something else that was totally unrelated to helping them. Then it was my turn. I ordered my White Cherry Icee, because a movie isn’t a movie without a White Cherry Icee and he filled my order in a timely manner. He didn’t tell me how much it was but, of course, they have the little digital reading so I got out my money and my AMC Rewards card and held them out to him. This didn’t take long as I thought I already knew how much it would be. Yes, I like Icees THAT much! So, I’m standing there and not making eye contact (because, once again, he’s a stranger) and quickly noticed that he had left me hanging. I looked up and saw that his back was to me and he was chatting with his co-workers. When he finally turned around, he told me the amount and then saw the money and took it. He swiped my Rewards card and then laid it down in the gooey film that typically covers a concession counter. I took this moment to let him know that he was out of straws. His response was, “Again? I’ll put more in in a minute but you can go get one at another line.” Yes. Yes, I can. Thank you for pointing that out because otherwise I would have just stood in your line and waited for you to finish your conversation and refill the straw dispenser. That’s how invaluable my time is." I had gotten to the theater in plenty of time to see the trailers (I LOVE TRAILERS! Even if they do tend to give away too much of the movie) but by the time I had gained my seat I had missed some. No idea how many. Could’ve been just one.

And speaking of seats…if you like your seats to have cushioned armrests, stay away from the top row of this theater. I’m guessing former patrons have decided it would be fun to remove the cushions and just leave bare metal. Did this happen recently? Nope. It’s been like this for a couple years now. And not only in theater 8. It’s like that in several of them. Maybe the Management Team is thinking that since they never have a sold out movie then they don’t need to fix it as the patrons can move their patooties to other seats. True. True. But why should we have to? Take some pride and fix the problem!

Having said all this and having given my card to the member of the Management Team may have caused all this to not really matter anymore as they may not allow me back in to their theater. Considering their typical attendance though that may not be a good move on their part. I’m just sayin…