As I headed to the theater yesterday, I was trying to remember just when I had last gone to the movies. I don't go very often because nowadays people are so rude. I'm sure everyone has experienced the "smart" man explaining the plot to the "dim" wife who he can't believe is catching the gist of things. Everyone has had their foot trod upon by the woman with the bladder problem. Everyone has heard the cell phone go off and the moron who answers it and carries on a conversation without so much as lowering his voice. Everyone has experienced the giggly group of teenage girls trying to catch the attention of the group of teenage boys.
Who needs it? No movie is enticing enough to tempt me to put up with that kind of atmosphere at $7-10 for the privilege of doing so. I would rather wait for the DVD to be released and enjoy the movie in the comfort of my own easy chair surrounded by the gentle snores of two little dogs sleeping beside me.
But, every so often I decide to take the risk. As I considered, I believe the last movie I went to see was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and I only went because it was being shown in 3-D at the IMAX theater. I had never been to a 3-D movie before. That was at least two years ago.
Upon consideration, I figured I was fairly safe to go see Angels & Demons at the Sunday matinee. It had been at the local theater for a full week, so it should be a small crowd and there were three other movies showing that would be more likely to tempt the teenagers. I had enjoyed The DaVinci Code and I love Tom Hanks, so I decided to take the chance. I got lucky.
I settled down with a bag of popcorn and a big diet Coke and spent the next two hours being nicely entertained. There were grisly parts, but I had read the book and knew what to expect and Ron Howard generally does these kind of scenes with an elegant touch instead of just painting the screen with blood and gore. The auditorium was only about 1/3 filled with folks about my age, who probably also had waited a week in hopes that the crowd would be less annoying.
The only complaint I had was of my own doing. After swigging down a big drink, I got a bad case of chills about 20 minutes before the end and spent the remainder of the show shivering violently. But no way was I going to miss the ending. I had decided not to refresh my memory of the plot by scanning the book beforehand, which was smart. I only remembered the final plot twist a few minutes before it was revealed, so I was able to enjoy the story as it unfolded with only a dim recognition.
It will probably be another two years before I go again, but I have to say that it was a nice change of pace. Nothing like a darkened theater on a Sunday afternoon in the Texas heat. Reminds me of all those Sunday afternoons growing up, when our parents or the parents of friends would drop us at the little theater in Nixon to spend the afternoon watching the latest Disney or western movie. Those were fun times. Before cell phones and when people were still respectful enough to keep quiet and let everyone enjoy the experience.