This is continued from Part I. 3. People in a theater behave like complete and total dicks Three fifteen to eighteen-year-olds whispering for ninety minutes that Wolverine is a fag. Five children in their early twenties talking and texting during “Terminator: Salvation” as if they were in the goddamn food court. A posse of meatheads, all closer to thirty than twenty, passing around a fucking flask and standing up to high-five during “The Hangover.” How depressing is it that an entire theater of children wearing uncomfortable 3D glasses to watch “Up” was better behaved than any other movie crowd I’ve dealt with this summer? Why isn’t there more movie theater violence? It has to be something in the popcorn salt, right? Maybe there’s a nerve agent being pumped in with the air-conditioning to keep people docile. There has to be something, otherwise every theater I go to would turn into the fucking Wild Bunch. 4. The movies have been awful Have I mentioned this yet? “Drag Me To Hell” was good… for twenty minutes. I WISH “Terminator: Salvation” had been good for twenty minutes; I spent most of my time hoping the light guy who pissed off Christian Bale would wander onscreen so something interesting might happen. It didn’t help that the “twist” in the film was featured prominently in the trailer. You can also add in the fact that the entire “Terminator” mythology falls apart if you think about it for more than five minutes. Why does Skynet want all humans dead? And if they want all humans dead, why do they spend half of this movie taking human prisoners? To kill them closer to home? And why do the Terminators wear clothes? I’m not talking about the human-looking Terminators; I’m talking the chrome skeleton Terminators. Why clothes? Seriously, there’s a Terminator in this movie wearing a do-rag. Who the fuck are you fooling? Horrible. I haven’t even mentioned “Transformers 2,” “Angels And Demons,” “Night At The Museum 2” or “Land Of The Lost”… mainly because I haven’t seen them, and won’t. I used to force myself to go, even if I was sure the movie was a brick – again, I paid to see “The Happening” last summer – but this was the year I decided that mindless attendance was a lose-lose proposition. Stubborn, old man thinking? Maybe… but better to be a sourpuss than to cough up twenty bucks for the privilege of hating something. Shit, I can hate stuff for free, and I don’t risk earning a night in jail for shoving a cell phone down somebody’s throat. Mind you, I haven’t completely lost my love for the experience of movies; I’ll be there the day “Halloween 2” opens, and I’m excited for “Funny People.” I can’t wait to see “Inglorious Basterds” three or four times, even if the international trailer makes it look like a Three Stooges short. I’m not lying, go watch it; between the Crazy Hitler and the jaunty music I half expected Benny Hill to run out and slap Mike Myers on the head. And this summer hasn’t been a complete disaster; “Up” was fantastic, and “The Hangover” was wall-to-wall funny. I saw two terrific movies at the Los Angeles Film Festival, “It Might Get Loud” and the hysterical “Black Dynamite.” So there were hits among the many, many misses. I speculated this might have something to do with my getting older, and there’s truth to that. When I was growing up, I would lay waste to any junk food you put in front of me. Tacos, pizzas, burgers; you name it, I devoured it, all day long. However, when you get older, you’re supposed to take better care of yourself: exercise, eat right, everything in moderation. Summer movies are the junk food of the industry, and I’m not getting any younger. It probably couldn’t hurt to pass them up for a decent meal now and then.
Read Part I
Mike Schmidt’s podcast “The 40 Year Old Boy” is available in iTunes or via subscription at mikeschmidtcomedy.com/podcast.asp. Mike can also be found at facebook.com/the40yearoldboy, twitter.com/the40yearoldboy and mikeschmidtcomedy.com. For all the plugs Mike has, he should really be more successful.