Today we found ourselves with some time off in the afternoon and not much to do, seeing as the weather was not all that great. Brian Carroll and I decided that this would be an excellent opportunity to go and see the new movie “Smoking Aces” that we had seen previews for recently. Brian and I both went to the movies a lot during last year’s camp, and this was our second trip to the theaters in 2007. Our previous trip was to see “The Good Shepherd,” during which we looked at each other four times wondering if the flick was ever going to pick up or go anywhere…it didn’t.
A couple of guys reluctantly passed, except Michael Kammarman, the man in charge of public relations for the national team, as well as a well-rounded world traveler. Michael explained to BC and I that he had stayed in the area for the last four years in a row and had never once been to the movie theater, which is literally across the street from the hotel. I explained that last time around I used to go to the theater in my down time to dominate the shooting games in the theater’s arcade. I would have continued this tradition this year; however, on my first trip of 2007, I realized that they were now charging a whole buck for one play as opposed to the cheap 50-cent games a year ago.
After purchasing our tickets and entering the theater, I headed straight to the concession line. I ordered a medium popcorn, some SweeTarts, a frozen lemonade slushee thing that you eat with a spoon and a large bottled water. The guys laughed at me and questioned my appetite, seeing as we had eaten the team lunch less than an hour before. When I inquired if they were going to get anything, Kammarman pulled out a trustee bottle of water from his jacket pocket. He then proceeded to tell me how he was a big fan of bringing candy and water into the theater in an effort to save money from the overly-priced products. I explained to them that I was all about the movie-going experience. This means you have to wait in lines to get your tickets, you must buy a drink, candy, popcorn and at least one other item, and you must make it to your seats in time to see the previews, because everyone knows that is the best part of the movie-going experience.
I always inquire within my group on whether or not they would see a movie based on the preview. On this day, at the “Smoking Aces” previews, Michael and I only found one movie that we would like to see in the theaters. I want to see “Ghost Rider” because I am a sucker for Marvel/Superhero movies. No one else showed any interest in the Nicolas Cage film. Michael only wanted to see “Ocean’s Thirteen,” while Brian Carroll didn’t appear to be interested in any of the movies they were previewing. On to the feature film.
The movie itself was a great action movie. It had a strong cast of characters as well. The plot involved the FBI trying to protect a snitch that was going to testify against a mob boss. The mob boss put out a million dollar hit on the snitch, who found himself locked up in hotel suite until the FBI could get him out. Interlocking stories unfolded and eventually led to some pretty cool shoot-outs between assassins, security guards, hotel staff and FBI agents. The ending was a little odd and weak in my opinion, but overall I found the movie very entertaining. Brian and Michael didn’t share my enthusiasm for the movie, but all agreed it was better than sitting in the hotel all afternoon. In my ranking system, I decided that I wouldn’t buy it on DVD, but if it came on TV then I would probably watch it one more time - twice tops.
To be honest, the highlight of the movie-going experience didn’t come from the movie itself. There was a couple sitting behind me two seats over in a decently crowded theater. Throughout the movie the gentleman had his Air Force One kicks between the seats and at some points they were right next to my face. It was mildly annoying because he was constantly moving them, but I elected not to say anything.
The most annoying thing that he was doing involved raising and lowering the arm rests next to me using his feet. Deep into the movie I finished all but a little bit of my frozen lemonade, so I put it in the arm rest next to my seat seeing as I didn’t want the last little bit of sticky lemon juice for myself. Not too long after, my foot-happy friend lifted the arm rest with his feet, only to have my lemonade pour out and down onto his lap and hopefully onto his Air Force One’s. I only noticed because he made an awkward noise, to which I then saw his displeasure with me. Now I wish I could say that I was clever enough to figure out that this chain of events was going to happen, but I will admit I didn’t put that thought process together. I think it was just the movie etiquette gods watching over their fellow movie-goers. What is proper movie etiquette you ask? Well I will have to save that for the next movie talk…
- Bobby Boswell