South Dakota is a curse. To bring up a young child in this state, with no means of self-entertainment, is to sentence them to substance abuse. What is the number one reason kids drink in the lower Dakota? There is nothing else to do. What is the solution to this problem?
Movies. That’s right; movies rock! There are few ways for a deliciously sober couple to pass the time together. Sure, there’s public nudity, vandalism, using grade-school kids and puppies for target practice, teaching old ladies to drive incorrectly, and (the worst) loitering, but these don’t do it for us anymore.
To keep us out of jail, we watch movies. That’s what we did this weekend. After a rousing and interesting time spent in Sioux Falls (sarcasm – don’t ask), we attended “Our Lady of Guadalupe” parish for Mass. This was interesting since the mass was Bilingual. That means, Tony, that it was in two different languages. In this case, it was Spanish and English. After the mass, the priest and deacon stood at the back, greeting us, calling us gringos, and pushing us out the front door. What a refreshing mass.
Then we made for the movie. The theatre of choice in Sioux Falls is the Century. There are other theatres in the area. There are almost other theatres on that street (for gosh’s sake). You are guaranteed quite the selection of movie goings if you love pop-driven, crap-filled, suck-flicks. I am more of a discerning movie goer, hence my choice.
Once inside, I stroll with confidence up to the teller. The prepubescent crowds part as I make my way forward. I walk up to a slightly large, slightly sweaty, squeaky-voiced man named “Justin.”
“Two for ‘The Butterfly Effect‘, please.”
“Alright, cash only and I’ll need to see some i.d.”
Do I look 17 or something? I know the movie is ‘R’ rated, but I have three days of stubble on my face and a bottle of gin in my hand and this guys says, “i.d., please.” Well, ok. I can do that, I guess. I’ve never had to deal with i.d. before at the movies, but I can do this. I pull out my wallet.
“Is credit card okay?”
“Cash only, sir.”
It takes a minute for it to click. I stop short of asking if he takes check book. Oh. He doesn’t take anything but cash. I have no cash on me. He needs cash, and I don’t have it. If only there was some sort of machine that would just give me money, maybe from my account, and put it into my hand. If only someone would give me the name of such a machine, and its location within the movie theatre, then I would be able to buy my ticket. If only someone with a squeaky voice would tell me over and over where to find my answer.
“ATM is across the room, sir.”
After a lot of swearing and knocking over some preteen boys who were trying to find “sk8r” in the dictionary, I got my money and, making sure to use a different teller, bought the two tickets. The total was $14.30. That is not TOO bad, but lord knows I’m cheap enough to complain all the way to the candy counter.
Since neither Megan nor I had eaten, we thought it was a good idea to get some food. Bad idea. They charge for looking at the candy. Then they charge you for how long it takes to fill your bag up. Then they charge you by how much you got. The charge is per atom. After getting a large soda and some candy, the total for the food was $14.30. My jaw dropped. I could not believe it. The candy was just as expensive as the movie. Either that, or all the registers are broken and all they do is output “$14.30”. I hope, for their sake, that that is not true.
Movies today are not like movies of yesterday. I mean, sure, a lot of things are similar. It still takes a small city of greedy, art-school dropouts to produce a fine motion picture. One thing that is different is the pYou used to go to a movie and enjoy one or two movie trailors. Now you can enjoy a movie’s worth of movie trailors. It’s like going to be entertained for 2 1/2 hours and getting entertained for 5 instead.
Trailors themselves are different. They all follow the same formula. There must be a repository (not suppository) somewhere that has a folder for each genre/sub-genre: the horror / based-on-a-true-story / period movie, the cop-being-chased-by-a-mysterious-killer / whodunit / supernatural movie, the time-travel / science-gone-wrong / super-killing-virus / monster movie, etc. Each folder has a sheet of paper with cut-and-paste dialogue, ideas for shots to include, and the number of times that clichï¿½d old formula has been used.
What I hate more than that is when a movie has a priview that features an actor or actress from that movie in it. We didn’t have that happen with Butterfly but we did in Return of the King. It really messes with your when you go to a movie, knowing that Aragorn will become the new king of Gondor, and then you see him with a southern accent in a movie called Hidalgo. What is Hidalgo? Some stupid flick about racing a horse across the desert. *yawn* Thank you for ruining my movie experience, Viggo.
Typically, after showing these two categories of trailors, they go on to service announcements. These are not the same as those service announcements they put on before the movie. No no no, these aren’t as interesting as “Please turn off your cellphone” or “Please chain dogs up outside of the theater”. These are tolerable service announcements. Usually they put something up on screen that looks like a PowerPoint slide with a cellphone clip art, or a doggy, and the text in big letters.
The trend for major movie producers is to put in “Don’t Pirate Movies” ads after all the cool, fun trailors. If you haven’t heard of this, then you are missing out.
They always start with a person. This person starts to wax intellectually about movies. Then that person tells you that they are involved in the movie business. The first one I saw featured a stunt man. The second one I saw featured a set painter. After this person tells you about the greatness of what they have to do, etc., they go to black. Upon the black background are written white letters that say, “Don’t Pirate Movies.”
This is the dumbest ad campaign ever. Do you think movie pirates give a damn about a stunt guy who thinks “pirating movies hurts” him? I’m not the only one to rant about this horrible, waste-of-eyesight movie pre-addendum.
If I could make one, I would be standing in front of a TV holding some choice (I’ve never used that adjective) DVDs in my hand. I would maybe be wearing a t-shirt that says Sith vs. Jedi or Hogwarts Quidditch. Then, my eyes welling up in tears, I would say:
I am Miles Rausch. I am a movie watcher. When a movie is really good, and all the stuff is happening on the screen, then I feel good. I like when there is action or drama or comedy or artististry or movism in a film. When a person pirates movies, they don’t hurt the producers. I think the producers don’t care, but you hurt me. I don’t like to get hurt.
Then I would let you watch The Butterfly Effect as I cry myself to black.