05 February 2011

What Say You Good People to the Presence of Tyranny Most Foul?

The other night, my consort and I attended the cinema. There is nothing particularly special about this event, since I fancy myself a bit of a film buff. What made this night’s frivolity special was a little anecdote I’ll refer to as my “bold stand against the tyranny of evil men.”

I had just recently left my most delectable fiancé ensconced in the embrace of our enviable seats to make my way out towards the lobby. As I strolled past an alcove in the hallway, my mind preoccupied with lofty musings far too esoteric to deserve voice here; four large lads sporting the uniform of the establishment in which we stood sprang out. These ruffians set upon me before I had even a small chance to react. They pummeled me with truncheons, stomped me with hobnailed boots, and hurled vile insults upon my person. Following two seconds of spirited resistance, I was reduced to a fetal position with arms thrown up to protect my head from further punishment. These brigands then took the opportunity to rifle through my pockets and wallet. Since I have fled back to ivory towers these last four and half years, they only managed to abscond with $6.32. As they faded back into the darkness of the alcove, their whispered threats against summoning the authorities lingered in the air behind them. I made my way back to my seat and my love, shaken but relatively unharmed beyond my pride and a few bruises. The film was a paltry exercise in muddled intentions. It seems Vince Vaughn has yet to decide if he is supposed to be playing a comedic actor, or a mediocre dramatic thespian of no great note.

But wait you cry out, what of the felonious assault upon your person? Who cares about a half baked romantic comedy when there is foul play afoot? Get to the point man! To which I must urge patience gentle reader, all will be revealed in good time. And, as it happens, that time is right about…now.

You see, the story I am recounting for your consideration is obviously fabricated. It is my way of compensating for the mugging that actually took place when I forked over $6.32 for three and a half ounces of M&M’s at the concession concern located in the establishment’s lobby. To be fair, the candy was swaddled in seven ounces of packaging, but I still came away from the transaction feeling a bit wounded. My pride was wounded because I lacked the additional $6.00 to “make it a combo” by adding two cents worth of corn syrup and water to the mix. After all, I had just dropped $22.00 for the admission price, so who amongst you can point the finger of blame for my destitute state? But mostly I was wounded because this episode forced me to blurt out, “I remember when…” And let us agree on this one point rapt listener; uttering that phrase just makes you feel so damn old.

Old enough to recall when a first run movie, a thirty-two ounce pop, and eight ounces of candy lightened your pocket by about $6.00 total. Old enough to remember how the older folks in your film going expedition even complained about that; fondly recalling instead when the whole outing weighed in under a buck, unless you stopped off for burgers and shakes, then you were out $1.25 for the evening. Old enough to recall the awesome arcades attached to grand old film houses. That wily trap was going to set you back another few bucks for showing up three hours early and wearing your fingers out fending off assorted alien invaders. But overall, you, your friends, and your entire community regularly bathed in the entertainment that a local movie house could provide and very few second mortgages were necessary to maintain such an indulgent lifestyle.

But wait you cry out again, for you are in a particularly argumentative mood this evening, what of the film quality? Surely even a relic, as you have revealed yourself to be, cannot fail to acknowledge that the cost of creating today’s masterpieces has risen considerably over the cost of that last “Ator the Conqueror” installment in the early 1980s? At first I am wounded anew by your latest outburst; having clearly failed to win over even your most modest sympathies with my tale of woe. But, then I am forced to admit that the 250,000 Orcs descending on Minis Tirith were in fact, quite a bit more impressive than those past depictions of the same six horsemen galloping across the same desert backdrop, whilst being described by the narrator as “the invading dark hordes.” But I digress.

Being of the educated variety and possessing a keen sense of inquiry, I have come into knowledge that makes me aware of the cost to produce a movie in today’s world. For the question I must put to you fair reader is; what vulgar society would have our film stars trying to fund their addictions and excessively quirky lifestyles on a working person’s salary? Nor can we simply ignore the endless baggage train of camp followers and assorted needy souls, all nipping at the scraps of profit to be devoured from each undertaking.

And so we arrive at the point of my tale and I must admit that it seems not a moment too soon, if the wandering of your attention is a measurement to be trusted. It might surprise even you most learned reader, to find that the humble movie house owner is as much a victim as those of us who venture to partake of his wares. It is these brave purveyors of cinematic magic that must shoulder the brunt of public ire, quell the rioting hordes at the bag checks, and constantly patrol darkened and hostile auditoriums for the presence of three pound bags of contraband; smuggled in from the nearby grocery outlet by people who had but $2.00 to spare for the evening’s repast.

For in all the mountains of currency heaped high around even the most humble productions, there is but one source of profitable income available to the beleaguered cinema owner. This is in fact, that larcenous toll for tickling our tastes with questionable delicacies. Now if you will excuse me good and gentle women and men, I must see to the sewing of interior pockets onto my most favorable cinema attire.


  1. It is getting extremely expensive to frequent a cinema complex I agree with you there my good fellow. That is why I have come to the decision, to wait for some films to arrive at our local library. The problem is I'm still waiting for basically anything released after 1977....

    Cheers A

  2. Answer to the issue- join Fatso DVD rentals.....

  3. AG, LOL...you're going to love "JAWS."

    Jim, DVD's do rock, but there is something about the cinema that is lost at home, no matter how high tech the home theater becomes...

  4. I offer a better solution: Torrents download. If you think of copyright issues, let your old conscience decide.

    Joy always,

  5. so paul, the food was good, but too dear, what was the film like ;)

  6. tbaoo, this particular outing was "The Dilemma." Billed as a comedy, but ultimately just a garbled, wandering, and ultimately sad tale of infidelity and mistrust... Sort of like "The Break Up" which was also with Vince Vaughn... am giving it 2.0 stars out of 5...

  7. Paul, my son just went to see the Dilemma last evening with a group of young ladies. I think he enjoyed being their 'protector' more than he did the movie:)
    Your introductory to this story really had me going! I could feel the beating and the feeling of defeat! What great writing technique.
    Now, on to the cost of going out to see a movie. Ughhh! Absolutely crazy! Although you do lose a little by watching the movie at home, my husband and I have opted to do that instead. We have each other in the comfort of our own living room, and can pause it if we want to stop to make popcorn:)

  8. Mary, thank you for your kind words. You have been most supportive Of my efforts and I appreciate it!

    On DVDs, my fiancé and I also pause them to make..."popcorn"...so THAT is a big advantage over the movie theater...:)

  9. Ha-ha!!!!! You had me going there for a bit! M&M's and the rip off at the concession stand! I bring a large purse filled with drinks and goodies I've purchased elsewhere. . .like a drug store :-) See, another reason to appreciate being a female :-)