Before the Show at Regal Meridian No. 10
Theater: Regal Meridian
Location: Downtown Seattle
Seated: 4:40 for a 4:50 showing.
Most of the slides before the show were some variation of self-advertising: “Make an appointment with a PRIVATE SCREENING”; “Corporate movie tickets”; “Regal Gift Cards.” Plus the usual pleas to “ADVERTISE HERE.” Subtext: “So we DON'T.” There were also the usual movie-star quotes (“I gravitate toward gravitas” —Morgan Freeman) and trivia about just-opened, soon-to-be-forgotten movies (Question: “This actress was more than just a 'friend' in 'Love Happens'”). To top it off, they piped in music by bands like “Someone Say Something” and “Sugarland.” By the time the lights dimmed, you wanted to kill yourself.
Then we got the real ads on the movie screen:
- Morgan Freeman's voice telling us “VISA Debit is the safe, secure way to pay online.” Gravitas!
- Ford (“the thrust of a... the thirst of a...”). Someone's English major degree finally paid off.
- The “Crash” TV show: “If you're not using someone then someone's using you.” Jesus, right?
- The new “Jay Leno” show. Idiots say the darnedest things.
- Coke Zero w/NASCAR.
- The blowing up Mt. Rushmore/Sprint/Turn off your cell ad. Ha ha, blowing up national monuments is funny again. So glad.
- “Old Dogs”: From the director of “Wild Hogs.” They changed three letters in the title and added Robin Williams. This Thanksgiving? Seriously? Walt Becker gets Thanksgiving while Martin Scorsese gets pushed back to February.
- “Shutter Island”: Or does he? This thing is still being advertised as October. Mistake? BTW: Love Ben Kingsley's line reading here: “It's as if she vanished, straight through the walls.” It's officious, clinical and creepy.
- “Couples Retreat”: This is the movie that feels like February or March instead of October. Maybe the counter-programming will work, though. It's a good cast (the Double-V, as my friend Adam says), and if reviews are halfway decent I might go. “Now we've got a party.”
- “A Christmas Carol”: Disney, ImageMovers, and Walt Disney (again), and Robert Zemeckis, invite you to...waste your money. I think they mention Charles Dickens' name in their somewhere. Is it just me, or does the animation look stiff? The story feels slapsticky and comedic, too. The feeling the book gives you—that you're trapped by your circumstances, your personality, your history—is removed even before Scrooge's epiphany removes it. And the tagline? “What if you were given a second chance to get your life right?” Second chance? Every moment is a first chance. That's the whole point. Bah, humbug.