Saturday, January 19, 2008

Violence & Old Folks

Our favorite theater is the local Laemmle, which features an assortment of big budget H-wood flicks alongside of art-house and foreign fare.

If you don't restrict yourself to JUST blockbusters, you have a way better chance of seeing an actually good movie on any given outing.

Plus, you can buy a debit card and cut the price of tickets down to--I think it's as low as $4 if you go before dark on Mon-Thu. And the popcorn is Orville, the butter is real(!), and the staff are intelligent and alert (if, granted, not Disney-happy).

It's sort of the Trader Joe's of theater chains.

And like TJ's, the combination of quality, variety and price attracts seniors like an Early Bird Special at The Sizzler.

This has result in various moments of irritation and/or hilarity. Irritation because old people, like teenagers, tend to not know (or perhaps care) that there are other people in the world. Hilarity because they're not shy about broadcasting their misapprehensions to the world.

The French film Caché starts with a video playback, which is then rewound and replayed. Several old people complained loudly that they'd already seen that part.

One employee told me that she had been grilled after Children of Men by some old folks wanting to know when it had happened and why hadn't they heard. (Children of Men is a post-apocalyptic thriller.)

Recently, I asked if they were going to get Sweeney Todd, and I was told by the manager that she suspected not--that it would be too violent for the seniors. I had not realized--though it makes perfect sense when I reflect upon it--that they tailored their offerings around, essentially, seniors demands and complaints.

She then proceeded to tell me of all the complaints they had received over The Departed, because it was a gangster movie and the old folks hadn't realized it. OK, maybe you missed the part where it was directed by Martin Scorcese. But they ALSO got the SAME complaints over American Gangster. Now, wait a minute, that's hardly fair.

After putting off Todd because it would be too bloody, though, she said they were demanding There Will Be Blood.


I'm sure the title is meant metaphorically.

This reminds me of an elderly relative who insisted upon seeing The Astronaut's Wife, because of course it would be a lovely film about the space program, not, say, a movie about a face-sucking alien.

Watch the previews, people. And then, uh, remember them.

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