Thursday, May 19, 2005

Great expectations

I saw two movies in the last two days. Sin City on Tuesday, Revenge of the Sith on Wednesday night. Sin City I couldn't be more disappointed with, Star Wars III I couldn't be less disappointed with. One was filled with cliché after cliché, and the other had dumb line after dumb line. Oh wait, the other one had dumb line after dumb line too.

Sin City has been out for months now but it seemed like one of those "gotta see it on the big screen" flicks due to the neato-comic-book-style painting treatment visually. High expectations abounded. So I went to the AMC Van Ness 14 or 1000 or whatever it's called and checked out a matinee. About 6 people were in the theater and maybe that had something to do with it, but it felt as vapid and empty as the theater. How many times can you show the hero getting pounded and never dying? I can just hear Robert Rodriguez in his casting sessions: "Hey, we need a guy who can get beat up a lot and keeps living. Brad Pitt? Too expensive. I saw Bruce Willis do that in Die Hards 1, 2, 3, and 4. Get him, and cheap!" Dumb. Gratuitous violence and nudity, and thankfully none of Bruce Willis. Actually yes, there was too much of Bruce's naked flesh on the screen. Next.

Revenge of the Sith just opened to throngs of geeky viewers frothing at the mouth. Yes, I stood in line outside the AMC Van Ness 14 or 1000 or whatever it's called for about an hour (that's not super geeky, right?) in the drizzle to see it on opening night. We got flashed and mooned by a bunch of women in a hotel shuttle while we waited in line. After getting inside the theater, we were able to see the true geeky-ness of San Francisco Star Wars fans, which wasn't much. Yawn. Not a lot of people dressed up as Chewbacca or a Stormtrooper, but there were lots and lots of light sabers. A couple of guys went up to the front of the theater and staged a light saber battle in front of the screen. One guy was way too good with that thing for me not to believe he practices with it on a daily basis. The other guy got skewered and then some other kid came up and bum rushed his ass. The "bum-rusher" kid was way too agitated and we started to wonder when security would escort him out of there kicking and screaming. And crying for missing opening night of Star Wars.

The movie started and everybody cheered and you know the rest. I mean, how suspenseful can it be when you already know what's happening in the next three movies? Still, It was enjoyable to the point of not feeling like 2 1/2 hours had passed. And because my expectations were much lower than that of Sin City's, the movie was pretty great. After all the futuristic gadgets and flying machines on the screen, the crowd moped out to broken escalators all the way down. Use the force next time.

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