Saturday, March 13, 2010

The laughs come hard in Auld Lang Syne (and Santa Monica Blvd.)

I needed something to do and rambling about movies seemed like a good time-killer, something else to do while I was broke and unemployed. But since last month, I've been working, and while it's supercool to have some money in my pocket again, the downside is that I have far less free time than before. There's just about enough time to watch movies and drink, but little to no time for writing this shit down. So I think the way I'm going to do it from now on I'm going to group together a bunch of movies I watched every couple of weeks or so, devote a couple paragraphs each to them or something and post 'em up like some Reader's Digest or The Week type of bullshit. I don't know, I'm just saying. Who knows, maybe I'll fuck up and be back on the unemployment line and then things will be like before, but until then, there'll be fewer posts. That's okay, because no one's holding their breath over these things to begin with.

Here's just a few things that have been going on with me movie-wise:

I worked on a Top 100 list a couple of weeks back, which was pretty easy to write since I just wrote down every movie I really dug, and I'd be finished with it by now except I stopped at about 97 movies and haven't gone back to it since. But I'm sure I'll return and put 3 more flicks on it and post it up.

While I would've loved to have caught the Corey Haim tribute screening of Lucas at the New Beverly, I had plans to catch The Big Lebowski at the Nuart, and that was an interesting evening right there, let me tell you. I met with my friend and his lady friend, and while my friend and I have seen Lebowski multiple times (this was 5th time watching it on the big screen -- 1st in '98 at an Edwards, 2nd in '07 at the Pasadena Rialto, 3rd in '07 at the Nuart, 4th in '08 at the Egyptian), this was his lady friend's first viewing. My buddy was worried that the screening would get too crazy with people quoting lines and stuff, worried that it would ruin it for his lady friend. I told him he shouldn't be worried, because the last time I saw this at the Nuart in '07, Marc Heuck, the guy who runs this shit, he seemed to be more annoyed than usual, introducing the screening by pretty much telling people not to be jackasses during it.

Later at that '07 screening, I went and bought a diet Coke and he seemed really flustered while working behind the counter. Having made an ass of myself at the Aero Theatre by buying snacks and trying to pay with a credit card (turns out they were Cash Only), I asked him if they accepted Visa here. Dude looked at me like he wanted to Highlander my ass if he had the proper surgically-sharp implement to do it with, for asking the dumbest of the dumb questions. I felt bad, because I know how it is to  have a bad day at work. Doesn't everyone?

Some time later, I read a post from him on some message board where he talked about a movie that was recently screened at the Nuart that apparently played to the audience from hell. Homeboy had such a bad night dealing with drunk motherfuckers, high motherfuckers, vomiting motherfuckers, and various other motherfuckers and their motherfuckery, that he went home that night and took his DVD of the movie in question and threw that shit away, like some guilty by association kinda shit. He wouldn't even identify what flick it was, because to call the movie by its name would be to give it power or something. Anyway, there's a good chance it may have been this movie -- or Suspiria, or Fight Club or Office Space, cause I think those were the other midnight movies that played in April, and he said all this shit went down in April.

So flash forward to last night; I had a couple pint cans of Bud before the movie and went to buy my ticket. The girl at the ticket booth had a stuffed crocodile or something to keep her company. She was cute. She also was annoyed by the "frat boys" who were fratting it up a few feet away. If I had the powers of Bruce Lee or Charles Bronson, I might have had a chance with her. So I meet my pals in line and later I noticed fuckin' Troy from Community chatting up a group of people in front. Apparently, he had just come out of a Q&A for a movie he made called Mystery Team, which I'm sure will be funny when I rent it on DVD a few months from now. We go inside and the theater's packed, the crowd down to have a good time. The movie begins and people laugh, as people do when a comedy succeeds at its goal. But a couple of rows down, on the left side, there was this girl who was giving out the most annoying, call-attention-to-itself laugh imaginable. This would be all well and good, because we all have different laughs. But this chick was obviously on something and not even laughing in sync with the audience. She wasn't even paying attention to the movie, she was texting on her phone in between her HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!'s. You know who she was? She was fuckin' De Niro in Cape Fear. She was laughing and acting EXACTLY like that motherfucker, minus the cigar:

I have to stress how not part of the experience this chick was. You can see the people around her looking annoyed, shuffling uncomfortably. It was the kind of laugh that overpowers yours and sucks out whatever enjoyment you were getting. It was the fakest sounding, loudest laugh. The people in front of her got up and left. Other people would stare at her or look at each other in disbelief. And like I mentioned earlier, the worst part was that it wasn't even genuine. There were other people in the audience with very loud distinct laughs, and yet they didn't bother me, because you can tell they were with the movie, and they didn't laugh like that at Every Single Moment, even the ones that weren't funny -- in between her incessant texting, of course.

I started thinking of my buddy's lady friend, and how with her luck, she was in fact having her first time ruined. I can sense my buddy was growing more and more annoyed. And hell, even I was getting annoyed. This bitch had managed to fuck up my buzz, she laughed me into fuckin' sobriety, so even I couldn't ignore this shit no longer. Something had to be done. But what? What was I supposed to do? Was I supposed to go to the manager and complain that someone is laughing too hard at a goddamn comedy? It's a weird position to be in and a weird situation to try to explain to someone. Even now, I feel like a real asshole writing this down, but ladies and gentlemen, You Had To Be There. Then what else? Politely ask her to calm down? We live in a world where people get shanked with meat thermometers for merely asking for some common goddamn courtesy. The animals have won, and the rest of us can only pray to whatever god we believe in/don't believe in that we can pay our money and maybe, just maybe get a decent theatrical experience.

The only thing I could think of was this: if this girl (who I would guess to be somewhere in the 18-25 range) was going to make things uncomfortable for us, I was going to make things uncomfortable for her. Perhaps I should stand up above her and just stare? Or counter her laughs with my own Max Cady-style guffaws? No, I decided upon something else -- something that I feel ashamed about and yet, I feel it had to be done. It had to be done. I had some peanut M&M's on me (thanks to my friend) and after one of her HAWHAWHAWHAWWOOOOOHAWHAWHAWHAWWOOOOO's, I grabbed one of those delicious chocolate & peanut ovals...and fuckin' launched that motherfucker directly to her motherfucking head. Immediately I got back into innocent position, watching the movie and didn't pay attention to her reaction. I didn't even think I hit her. But evidently, I did, because a minute later she and her friend got up and left...and returned with the goddamn manager. Yup. I'm the bad guy. I'm the asshole. And for the record, I don't normally do this sort of thing.

She pointed in our general direction and told the manager (at least I think he was the manager) that "it came from within 10 feet, I'm sure" and he nodded and looked around. I understand that he was doing his job, these chicks probably went and complained and most likely asked for their money back, and he went down to at least look like he could do something about it. But I'm sure even he knew there wasn't much he could do, save for shutting down the movie and turning the house lights on. Dude would've had to have seen me holding the smoking M&M bag in my hand to even consider kicking a motherfucker out, and even then, it's pretty hard to accuse a dude who happens to be eating candy. They then left, and the theater was left to the genuinely mirthful, the people who laughed because it was funny, not because it was funny to laugh. I'm not proud of this, even though my buddy and his lady friend thanked me for it, but I felt I had to pull the dick move for the good of the audience -- not to mention my goddamned sanity.

As we walked out, I saw the manager/employee dude whose name was Witney, standing near the concession counter. I felt compelled to confess and hopefully get him to see it my way after explaining the situation. Also, I hated the idea that this dude would think that two girls had their night ruined by some asshole out to get them -- which is exactly what happened, but still they had it coming. We all have it coming, kid. But I knew that shit wouldn't go down that way. I like the Nuart and would like to continue to go there and to tell him would be to get my ass reprimanded and kicked the fuck out forever -- at least that's my worst case scenario fear. So instead, I kept walking and lit up an American Spirit. Instead, I decide to post it all down on a blog that I'm sure wouldn't take a genius to figure out who I am and fuck my shit up. Because I'm a stupid, stupid asshole. Have a good weekend, everybody!

UPDATE: I realize that this is unfortunately not the first time I did something like this. There was also a brief altercation when things couldn't get civil between me and a dude at the Regency Fairfax. But that was in '07. I'm getting better about this sort of thing, plus I was sober that time and far more irritable.