Before the Show: May 15, 2009
Theater: AMC Loews Uptown 3
Screen: No. 1
Location: Lower Queen Anne
Operating: The Uptown was renovated in the early 1990s but that’s all I have on its history. It’s part of the AMC chain, but it’s an odd link in that chain. It usually plays small, independent films, or mid-range films, but occasionally it’ll show a big feature on opening weekend—as with “Angels & Demons.“ The place never seems crowded. Feels like it's dying. The 4:05, Friday showing of “A&D” had fewer than 16 people in an auditorium built for...300? Which doesn't bode well for either “A&D”’s box office or Uptown Cinema.
Arrived: 3:59 for a 4:05 show.
Ads before scheduled showtime:
- Something about ncm.com and a “red carpet” somethingorother for “Angels & Demons.” It's sad that this even exists.
- That Canon ad, quoting F. Scott Fitzgerald, to say that F. Scott Fitzgerald is no longer relevant in a world that has such great Canon cameras.
- TV ad for the movie “Year One.” Why put TV ads in the AMC Movie Watcher’s Network? Why not just show the “Year One” trailer once the lights go down?
- The History Channel presents snakes, crocodiles, deadly bugs, desperation. “And that’s just the first nine minutes.” Somewhere this appeals to someone.
- “Starfleet Recruiting Center”: Not sure what this is an ad for. “Star Trek”? Guy doesn’t want to get beamed down, keeps talking, gets beamed down, faints. It’s supposed to be funny but I bet three “Star Trek” nerds in a basement could come up with something funnier.
- So “Year One” is a trailer masquerading as an ad; this thing is an ad masquerading as a trailer. Starts out with that familiar logo and the words “This PREVIEW has been approved...” Thus, if you haven’t been paying attention, you pay attention. Oh, previews. An ominous voice intones, “There are some things in life best left forgotten.” Pause. “Your anniversary is not one of them.” Then dude has to rush to get his (incredibly hot) wife an anniversary present before she wakes up. I think it’s about a car but I just remember the wife.
- ABC’s “Wipeout,” which is apparently back for another season. Didn’t even know it’d been there for a first.
- A woman pruning her roses. Pricks finger. Looks around. Tastes the blood. Ad for HBO’s “True Blood” on DVD. Not bad.
- That Sprite ad. They had a good one (last year?) where sweaty guys in an inner city b-ball court dove into the court, which was a pool, to quench themselves. That was clever. This thing is just odd. The setting feels more European, a piazza almost, and here people run and jump into each other and then disappear in a spray that quenches the smiling faces below them. Pretty creepy, really. I can see wanting to jump into a pool. But why would you want to disappear in a spray-like burst of water (or Sprite) that wets your friends below you?
“You have been watching the AMC Movie Watchers Network”
Total: Nine ads in six minutes. And I only had to pay $9.50 for the privilege.Oops, they're not over. There's also the Sprint “chimp” ad, asking us to turn off our cells. Make that 10 ads. And now something about Glen Beck and fathom events. How about unfathomable events? 11 ads.
- “The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3”: I’m a fan of the original, so this hypercharged version, with cars crashing and malevolent, tattooed villains spouting threats, just makes me feel sad and wish for 1973 New York.
- “Julie & Julia”: With Meryl Streep as Julia Child. And Amy Adams as, apparently, the “Sex and the City” girl for whom life isn’t opening up, and so she opens up one of Julia Child's cookbooks. I’ll be interested to see how they meld the two stories but right now it looks fantastic. Particularly since I know so little of Julia Child's story. I guess I assumed she was always, well, Julia Child.
- ”Public Enemies.“ Everyone knows how I feel about Michael Mann so I’m already there. Love the shot of Johnny Depp, as John Dillinger, vaulting over the bank counter, machine gun in hand. Oh, Production Code, how you shudder in your grave.
- The Proposal”: Again. How many times have I seen this thing anyway?
- “My Sister’s Keeper”: “Most babies are accidents. Not me.” Interesting. Abigail Breslin plays a girl who was genetically engineered to keep her sister, ridden with leukemia, alive. But at 13 she rebels. She consults a lawyer. She wants a say in what happens to her body, and what parts are taken from her, even if it means her sister’s death. As a result, the family—with parents Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric—is torn apart. We get scenes of them fighting. Then Abigail's voice over again... “But somehow the very things that tore us apart, brought us together—in ways we could never imagine.” And there they are, hugging, etc. Must be tough to do trailers these days. They’re designed to tell us some aspect of the plot of the movie, which is to say its conflict. But if the conflict is perceived to be a downer, as this one is, as the new Adam Sandler movie is, they have to let us know the resolution to that conflict. So, in his movie, Sandler may not be dying, and Breslin’s stand may bring her family closer together. Which leaves us what in the actual movie? What’s left to watch?
“Please don’t spoil the movie by adding your own soundtrack.”
Movie actually begins: Forgot to check the watch. Apologies.