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Thoughts About Everything But the Movie

The automatic ticketing machines at Regal ask too many questions.

The standup cardboard ad for The Seeker makes me growl and grimace every time I see it. That is a travesty. You thought the tidied up The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was bad? Try reading Susan Cooper's amazing Dark Is Rising series and then stomaching this horrendous preview.

Mmm, pretzel. Now if they just had pretzel bites.

I'm more than a little uncomfortable with the multiple army/Marines/etc. recruitment ads before the movies these day. Everything is exciting! And inspirational! And looks just like the movies!

Speaking of pre-movie ads, I'm OK with the First Look, especially when I get to see scenes from Heroes that make me go all goosebumpy: Claire saying, "Oh, WOW"; Mohinder talking about the future of the heroes using language that, oddly, reminds me of Al Gore talking about global warming; new heroes!; Sylar, clearly alive and well, at least until he runs off to play Spock; not a lot of Peter Petrelli but he is simply not dead. Though he does appear to have a haircut. I disapprove. Bring back faux-Conor Oberst Peter!

Please, for the love of ... something ... no more ancient Denzel Washington ad for the Boys and Girls Club, and no more of that bizarre ad that equates listening to the little voice inside you that wants you to change the world with, er, turning off your cell phones. It distresses me that people are so thoughtless that there are no less than three reminders to turn off your cell phones. And pagers. Lots of those around.

Previews: Um, Steve Carrell? In a sort of feelgood family movie? Oh ... kay. Also, Greg Kinnear getting dumped by Selma Blair. At least that one involves Alexa Davalos, better known to some of us as the electrified Gwen on Angel. This Sydney White thing looks just awful. Isn't that the same mean blonde from Bratz? Please let me see the preview for Elizabeth: The Golden Age again. No? Sigh.

About here is where someone sat down next to me. Let me back up a few steps: this theater was more than mostly empty. There were about 20 people, most of whom were sitting together in small clumps, giggling and munching popcorn. To my mind, there's a couple of rules to follow when sitting in a mostly-empty theater:

1. Do not sit directly in front of or behind someone else when there's plenty of room to avoid doing so.
2. DO NOT SIT NEXT TO SOMEONE YOU DO NOT KNOW. EVER.

EVER.

I'd never had this happen before. I was sitting in a nice spot, right in the middle, five or six rows from the mid-theater walkway, with loads of seats all around. A woman came in and started down my row. I got ready to pull my legs in so she could pass, but no; she sat right next to me. She seemed nice enough, maybe my mother's age, and she didn't say a word.

It was a little awkward. Ten years ago I might have found an excuse to move, but now ... I didn't want to seem horribly rude (obviously I wasn't so worried about it as to not post here, though). I thought maybe she didn't like to sit alone, even if that meant sitting near strangers. I thought maybe she didn't want to ask me to move, but wanted to sit close to the middle without going all the way around. I made up justifications for why she'd sit right in the one seat next to me, out of all the available seats in the theater.

I was just glad I'd finished chomping my pretzel, honestly.

Oh, the movie? It was OK.