In light of the release of The Dark Knight Rises and all the sleep I’m about to lose from attending its midnight showing, I’d like to share with you fine folks a love letter to the big screen. From me. Hi.
Going to the movie theaters is one of my favorite things to do in this world. It’s probably ranked higher than consuming water, but not as high as eating. The way people feel towards Christmas morning, opening presents, being off school/work – that is how I feel when I buy a ticket to a movie I’ve been reading about for months, sometimes even years (yes, I’m one of those types). But a midnight showing for a movie that’s been years in the making? That’s like a chocolate covered Jesus serving me breakfast in bed on Christmas morning as we both gleefully watch Elf and trade off giving back massages. It’s THAT good. Just to give you a little perspective.
My obsession with movies began after I had a pretty heavy duty back surgery in October 2003. Recovering from such an ordeal doesn’t give a person much else to do other than getting comfortable in front of a television screen. So I started to watch movies, a lot of them. Many of them I’d always wanted to see but never got the chance (such as, Mary Poppins). Then I started paying more attention to commercials for movies and thinking, okay I’ve really got to see this shit on a bigger screen. My friend Jackie had already broken me into the idea that seeing a movie multiple times in the theaters is really the way to go, so once I figured, “Well, now I’ve got the time,” it was my moment to fall in love with the big screen. Many, many times.
One of the greatest midnight showings I’ve attended was Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The nerds came out in droves, in droves. Not only that, they came out in tents and card tables and lawn chairs and capes and elven ears and hobbit feet and thousands of dollars worth of costume. And there I was, in jeans and a stupid normal shirt. Dammit. I never got the memo that there was a way to do this shit right. Because if you’re going to attend a midnight showing, you’ve already trespassed onto crazy grounds. Might as well sport some paraphernalia while riding the cray-cray train. And I was ready to own up.
Jess, one of my best friends, and I have been working long and hard on perfecting our midnight showing experience. From handmade shirts to drive by theater line checks, we pretty much know what’s up. So much that I’m thinking about putting it on my resume – we’re that good. Plus she tends to get really angry at people and isn’t afraid to push aside a child so we can get our perfect seats. It’s a really good time.
(Ask me about the time we drove down to Hollywood to attend the Tropic Thunder LA premiere in our Robert Downey, Jr. camouflage shirts, foam finger, and army bandanas and met Jason Bateman and shook hands with RDJ, himself. (Seriously, ask me – I loooooove telling that story.))
We tend – ha! sorry, I meant we ALWAYS plan our summers around movie openings. Which are worth the midnight showing? Which must be seen opening day? Which might be early Oscar contenders? What movies can we wait a while to see since the crowd is probably going to be a horrendous amount of teenagers? This isn’t just art, people, it’s science.
And today is a special one, ladies and gents. Today marks the opening ceremonies for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. I fully expect some of the best people watching I’ve ever encountered at a midnight showing to occur tonight, and I couldn’t be more excited. The Dark Knight did not disappoint, we saw the worst Batman costume ever (black spandex onesie and bat ears and a very serious demeanor) and one of the greatest Joker costumes (omg he totally sat by us, too!). Not to mention all the comic geek talk about whose powers are better than whose and how there’s always SOMEONE dressed in a rival comic book character just looking to throw down some harsh words from a safe distance away (think Star Trek at a Star Wars premiere).
But not only that, it’s a feeling reminiscent of that night years ago when Return of the King came out and I experienced one of the most powerful moments of my movie loving life. That feeling of unexpected unity, of all these strangers coming together for one purpose – to be entertained as hell. You can compare it to a sporting event, where everyone is wearing jerseys and rooting for the same team and hugging total strangers, but it’s cool and normal because we just won the game! There’s a certain electricity you can feel when everyone is packed tight in a massive theater waiting for years of anticipation to finally draw its curtain. And when the lights go dim, there’s a fucking roar of excitement. It’s contagious and you can’t stop the goosebumps. Or that fat, shit-eating grin that spreads across your face when you realize, HOLY SHIT I’M GOING TO CRAP MY PANTS AND NOW I’M SCREAMING TOO.
Cannot. Fucking. Wait.