Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Behind the Scenes at Stilton's Place

Today, I'm pulling back the curtains to share what a day of writing Stilton's Place is sometimes like. To begin with, absolutely nothing in the news really spoke to me, so in desperation I decided I'd try to fill space by writing about my first visit to a movie theater in years...


I'm very, very particular about where I sit in a theater. I basically believe there is only one "right" seat in any theater, and if I don't get it I'll be annoyed for the entire movie. So imagine my horror upon discovering that the theater I hadn't gone to in years had converted to recliner seats (which cut seating down by two thirds) AND required you to reserve assigned seats in advance (for an additional fee), unless you're willing to take your chances at the box office in hopes that some lazy bastard with a smart phone hadn't already reserved The Only Good Seat.

I decided to reserve my seats online...but the seating chart made no sense with the resized seats and aisles. So I finally picked some likely looking seats, then tried to reserve them. But no - first I'd have to create an account with the theater chain and give them my name, address, phone number, email, and credit card information. Choosing not to, I then tried to do a "guest check out" using a virtual credit card number (to prevent identity theft)...but the theater website claimed that my credit card provider rejected the transaction.

Fine. Mrs. J and I went to the theater early (for the first showing of the day), and requested our chosen seats at the box office. And they were open! Huzzah! So we hurried into the entirely empty theater and tried to find our seats. We were in row "E" but couldn't find any markings to tell us which row was which. We eventually discovered that the designating letters were subtly woven into the design of the rug and tastefully unlit.  After this squinting discovery, we hurried to our seats in the exact center of the row.

Aaaand, the seats were horrible. WAY too far from the screen. We might as well have been at home watching TV. So we found the seats we really, really wanted and I had to trot my happy ass all the way through the mega-multiplex and outside to the box office again to beg for an exchange. This was granted, and I huffed and puffed my way back to our seats. At which point Mrs. J perfectly reasonably wanted some popcorn and a soda. So off I went to the concession stand, where exactly one person was behind the counter filling the orders - slowly - for a multiplex with 17 freaking auditoriums. I eventually got a medium popcorn ($9) and large coke ($6) and headed back to my seat to reflect on the fact that I was already out $30 for a matinee performance of a movie.

We played with the recliner seats a bit, which required a button control to electronically raise and lower your legs, and tilt your seat backwards so that your eyes would focus naturally on a spot about 10 feet above the top of the movie screen. Mrs. J liked the leg support of the recliner because she has short legs and her feet don't touch the floor when using regular movie seats. I, on the other hand, quickly decided that recliner seats in a movie theater are an offense against God and the natural order of things. So I sat bolt upright the entire time.

To kill time, the theater showed us a variety of commercials in which kids and adults communicated via Rap, followed by "entertainment" tidbits - one of which was "movie trivia." They then showed clips of a recent-ish movie in which Sandra Bullock plays a wealthy white woman who adopts an absolutely giant black teenager and makes his dream of playing football come true. No, really. "You're making his life better," smarmed a woman on screen. "No, he's making my life better," Sandra Bullock replied with the predictability of every sunrise ever. The movie was "The Blind Side" although my guess of "Liberal Wet Dream" didn't seem far off.

Then the trailers began. The first depicted a charming young black couple in a car, going on a date, cute as a couple of buttons. A classic romcom, right? Well, no - they're soon pulled over for a turn signal violation by a racist white cop who pulls his gun on the clean cut young man. A scuffle ensues, the cop gets shot by accident, and the rest of the movie is about two sweet black kids running for their lives from despicable, murderous white policemen. "Wow," thought I, "we really must come back and drop another 30 bucks to see that!" Not.

Next up was a trailer for a movie in which four attractive young women of color (not "The Squad" - we said "attractive," remember?) are bumping, grinding, and doing pole dances in a strip joint as dollar bills are thrown at them. The women then team up to use their sexual skills to skim thousands of dollars from evil white bastard Wall Street types who, after all, are the "real" thieves in this world. The movie is called "Hustlers," and we'll be rushing out to see it right after Hell freezes over.

At long last, the feature film started: Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." The film was "meh" at best, had no discernible story, lacked Tarantino's usually witty dialogue, and had only one good twist which Tarantino stole from one of his own movies. It's not a horrible film, and its technical aspects are good, but its main virtue is being instantly forgettable. I'll give it a "C" because if I rate it lower, I'll feel like even more of a dope for laying out so much money.

So, that was my curmudgeonly reintroduction to moviegoing and popular SJW culture. Whee.

And have I mentioned that the reason I even went is that a psychiatric professional had encouraged me to start attending movies as a means of reducing my constant state of anxiety? Spoiler alert: I'm going to stick with therapeutic doses of Clan MacGregor - $30 worth of which would kill a man outright.


After writing all of the above, I decided "who the heck wants to read that much crap about me being a sourpuss and cheapskate with an obsessive-compulsive fixation on theater seats?" After which I tried desperately to find some news item suitable for a cartoon and commentary.

Eventually I found a story in which Joe Biden's brain surgeon (from decades ago) was coming forward to attest that Joe doesn't have brain damage, despite all the  appearances to the contrary...

Yeah... that's lame.  Not really up to the high professional standards people expect from Stilton's Place. So I decided to redouble my efforts and really, really, really find a good idea to write about and...BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK!

Penny (the official dog of Hope n' Change) was yapping like an absolute maniac. Oh, she frequently loses her mind over pedestrians, bicyclists, Amazon deliveries, UPS trucks, and suspicious looking clouds...but this was different and more urgent. Curious, I looked out my office window to check what sort of apocalypse was coming and saw...


Oh. A police cruiser parked in front of my house. Well, I certainly had nothing to fear and should just go back to work. Unless...someone was "swatting" me and had reported that I was a violent maniac with a weapon, and this was just the first cop car on the scene before the guys with flak vests and automatic weapons knocked my door down. And although I love the police, I had just seen a movie trailer that stated rather categorically that they shoot people for all kinds of bad reasons.

But no - it was almost certainly none of my business. I should just ignore the distraction. It was probably just something to do with one of the neighbors. But...what if one of them was a violent maniac with a weapon?!

Try though I might, I couldn't really refocus on writing because it's so damn distracting to have a police cruiser sitting mysteriously at the end of your walkway. Which it did for most of an hour.

Eventually the policeman left, and I learned it was a friendly visit to assist one of my neighbors (who is not a violent maniac). But by then my brain was absolutely shot, which is why you've just had to suffer through my endless bitching about going to a movie, a lame Joe Biden cartoon, and a rambling dialogue about my nascent paranoia.

If only there was some way I could make it up to you. Maybe I can ask a friend for a favor...

Better luck to all of us on Friday!


Bluebird Bob said...

You are VERY funny!! And as the wife has said, it takes a LOT to make this 77 yo laugh! Please keep up the GREAT work!

Mike aka Proof said...

Ms. Ross to the rescue!!

Rossmon said...

Cmon Stilton, I’m a legs guy!

Kay said...

I loved the theater story. I have yet to attend a film with the new reclining seats....I had a smile on my face the whole time.....The last film I saw at a theater was Lord of the Rings, the first one. Thanks again for making me laugh before bedtime. It is like mouthwash to rinse the "flavors" of the day away.

REM1875 said...

I understand joe's brain surgeon actually checked joe's brain for this article since he still has it sitting in a jar of alcohol sitting on his desk untouched since the original surgery.

james daily said...

What an outstanding column. I did not know we shared the same paranoia about movie theaters. My son took me to see John Wick III a couple of months ago which was the first movie theater I had been in since seeing Forest Gump in '94. We got the handicap seats which had lots of room and a wide isle and square in the middle. He paid so I ordered the pizza. (I preferred the Drive In during my hormonal years.)
You're the first person I have seen that has lawn chairs in the front yard.
Poor Biden, he really doesn't know how ignorant he is nor how stupid he sounds.
Now, I am going to read your post again. Great read.

j said...

I LOVED this post - please, when you feel like it, please share more of your personal adventures! Your skill and wit make such enjoyable reading!!! Perfect!!! And btw, I do not generally go to theaters anyway, and the lst one I went to, I took a dear friend and the founder of our animal rescue group- who has sadly since passed away - because she was older than myself and needed a bit of help navigating and getting up from the seats. Well, the movie was the original Deadpool, which was rather funny, and since it was filled with double and single and triple entendres, crude humor and innuendo, it ws rated R.....and my friend and I marvelled at how many idiot parents brought their six to ten year old kids to it!!! People these days. anyway- thanks for sharing this, and please do more in the near future.

Rod said...

I too enjoyed this narrative very much; but bear in mind I'm up before 4AM because I couldn't sleep. Now maybe I can [grin]. I'm very glad you didn't go to that much trouble & expense to see "Earth Girls Are Easy"; but it's a better movie. PS: Last chapter of this edition is great.

Fred Ciampi said...

Stilt, thanks for reinforcing my decision 28 years ago to never again go to a movie theater. We have a gigantic flat screen television now and power recliners in the living room and watch DVDs and Netfark. And the best part is that I can put the movie on hold while I go pee. Popcorn is only about 50 cents a bucket.

Sorry to hear about your wife's legs being too short. My poor wife's legs were so short ("How short were they?") they didn't even reach the ground. Poor thing, she just floated around all day. So we had them lengthened.

Try to have a good day. Perhaps someone on the left will provide some newsworthy and entertaining fodder.

Bobo the Hobo said...

Hahahahaha! Busty Ross is the best; she’s the perfect end for a Wednesday morning. Stilt, you da best!

Anonymous said...

Carpeted cinemas? No sticky floors? Experience spoilers..

We too have preferred place in a cinema. After paying way too much money I don't want to sit head flung back looking up - that sort of "open wider" position right before your teeth get drilled - nor do I expect to need image stabilized binoculars to see the action.

We've been going less and less. Everything from the dealing with the "I identify as a Houseplant" dolts getting your tickets to the indoctrination propaganda has us turned off about the cinema.

Occasionally we will make an expedition into enemy territory which usually cures of the urge for a year or so.

As I got tired of selecting Netflix or Az-Prime movies to obfuscate their tracking systems - and with the idea that if they are going to serve up internet ads I want the Busty Ross ones not the SJW ones - we've taken to buying actual real physical copies of movies.

I don't think the systems that be can edit the media we watch, they certainly can't "un-license" them like Amazon did some of my online virtual purchases over issues nothing to do with me personally, and I don't think we get tracked as much. Not all are bought new and some are bought with cash. I certainly don't want to be "Red Flagged" because some SJW doesn't like my taste in classic James Bond... or suddenly get leftist literature because the wife wanted to watch a soppy quasi romance set in a Historical/Political turmoil like "Reds."

Returning to the current hollywood flicks most - like nearly all - are dross. Truly great stories are rare, remakes of classics are annoying, and the appendix add-on to movie series who's story if already fully told are offensive.

The tantalization is seldom about the story, but more about home many get shot, when do they get naked & roll in the hay, or what gender really is that character games.

Not a good show.

Jon said...

Hey I sorta almost liked Blind Side. But then again Sandy B. for some unfathomable reasons revs my engines tho old age has throttled me back a couple thousand RPMs.

Doc said...

Truth be told, the search for Biden's Brain was performed by a PROCTOLOGIST, who confirmed his diagnosis of CRANIORECTAL INVERSION!🙄ðŸĪŠðŸ˜œðŸ˜ĩ

Geoff King said...

Just like @Kay above, the last movie I saw in a theatre was the first "Lord of the Rings" at my then girlfriend's insistence.
Being 6'4", theatre seats are cramped and uncomfortable at best. Also, being a smoker, sitting through an entire movie with nicotine withdrawal symptoms or missing part of the movie to leave the theatre for a fix is a waste of the admittance fee. When factoring those items, plus the ridiculous price of concessions, and the irritating background noises of people talking, coughing, laughing, and children crying; I'd rather watch a movie on my smartphone in the woods.

Snark said...

The last theater experience I had was watching "The Martian" - great book and very good movie. Before that it was "Open Range", so we don't go to the shows very often either. It annoys me to PAY to watch bad commercials, get lousy expensive snacks and be offended by trailers that consider me to be an idiot at best. As for Ol' Joe, any brain surgery on him would be performed using a microscope. He might not have senile dementia - but my bet is that he does. He was a puppet for the movers in Delaware and I expect him to still be one for the DC elites if he were to make to the White House, with a "woke" sjw progressive VP who could replace him 6 weeks after the inauguration.
Perhaps movies could be an anxiety relief - just get a bigger screen and watch them at home while enjoying your Clan. That's my preference.

Harvey said...

Blind Side is actually a good movie. It's the story of how Sandra Bullock's character instills Christian values into an otherwise useless ghetto rat, transforming him into a useful human being.

And I agree with Jon that Sandra is easy on the eyes.

Anonymous said...

Saved the best for last.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Anonymous: You mean "saved the Bust for last", don't you?

All those in favor of Friday's strip being nothing but Busty skinnydipping raise...well, your hands will do. ;-)

Personally, I don't go to movies that much anymore, since I have three widescreen monitors and all sorts of fun entertainment available online... some of it even family friendly!

Anonymous said...

Wow, for a moment I thought I was reading the ramblings from Sheldon's Place with the voice of Jim Parsons in my head. (smirk)

TrickyRicky said...

Wonderful column today Stilton. Your description of the movie theater experience is priceless. The last current movie we saw on the big screen was Gran Torino. We do love to see the TCM restored movies on the big screen. Just this year we saw the 80th anniversary release of The Wizard of Oz. What a thrill. Also Ben Hur, which was great but very long and overacted as per usual with Charlton Heston. Next up is Lawrence of Arabia, which should be spectacular on the big screen, although the spousal unit has no wish to sit through another long epic.

As coincidence would have it my wife is taking our neighbor to see The Art of Racing in the Rain today while I am at work. The book was fantastic, if you are a dog lover please don't miss it. Since the movie version of favorite books in usually a let down, I am hoping for the best with this one.

Busty made my day. I'll leave it at that.

Maoz said...

Stilt, don't worry about nascent paranoia. As the saying goes, "Even paranoids have enemies!" 😁

Bill from Wood-Ridge said...

As if we needed another reason to not go to the movies, including,

the people who make and star in the movies hate us and hate the country
fat people and their fat kids eating $200 worth of terrible food
people on cell phones
No staff in the movie theaters
everything costs a fortune
most of the movies stink

Other then that, all systems go!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Bluebird Bob- Thanks for the kind words. I wasn't sure if people would enjoy today's post or just want to throw rocks at me.

@Mike aka Proof- Hey, I know when to call in the big guns. So to speak.

@Rossmon- I'll keep that in mind and encourage Ms. Ross to do more headstands.

@Kay- Glad you enjoyed my neuroses (grin). I showed a bit more flexibility when going to our local dollar theater, but I recently learned - to my horror - that it's closed for remodeling and being turned into another one of these expensive recliner theaters. Bah, humbug!

@REM1875- Even worse, the jar was left over from a serving of Gerber's baby food.

@james daily- Oxymoronically, it's because I love seeing movies onscreen that I can't tolerate imperfections in the experience. Including people who talk or fiddle with their phones. Some years ago, Mrs. J attended a movie and the gal in front of her just wouldn't shut up. My wife gently touched her shoulder and asked her to be quiet. The woman made a scene and threatened to call the cops because she'd been "assaulted." What a world.

And yes, we have lawn chairs out front. We find that they deliver an exciting 3D panoramic surround-sound entertainment experience that doesn't cost jack sh*t.

@j- I'm really glad you enjoyed this! And trust me, I could have bellyached even more: you know what I don't want when buying a $9 bag of popcorn? I don't want to be asked if I belong to the freaking loyalty club! When I was a boy (as we oldsters like to say) you'd just BUY a damn box of popcorn and that was the whole transaction.

And wow- kids in the Deadpool audience?! I guess I'm not surprised, but I reserve the right to be depressed.

@Rod- I still need to track down "Earth Girls Are Easy," if only to see Jeff Goldblum as some sort of odd, horny, feathered alien.

@Fred Ciampi- The whole peeing thing is indeed a challenge in a world without pause buttons. Mrs. J complimented me on my ability to run to the bathroom during scenes in which Tarantino just let some old song play out. Although in hindsight, I could have missed any scene (other than in the last five minutes) without missing any plot points.

And for the record, Mrs. J has lovely legs which are absolutely right for her height - but a lot of seats designed for larger people leave her tootsies dangling in mid-air.

@Bobo the Hobo- Busty gave me a good "hey, look over there!" distraction while I ran for the exit.

@Anonymous- Great comments! You really need to add a name to your posts (just click the Name/URL button, then enter anything you want). I couldn't agree more about the crap content of too many movies now, the endless sequels and remakes, and the substitution of sex, violence, and CGI for actual acting and storytelling. Which is why my one indispensable cable channel is Turner Classic Movies. When Hollywood couldn't use today's cheap sensationalistic tricks, they actually had to make movies interesting with smart dialogue, good acting and (oh yeah!) a plot.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Jon- Politics aside, Sandra Bullock is still pretty attractive. Although her film "Miss Congenialty" was one of the only movies I've ever walked out on.

@Doc- Well, that would explain Joe's verbal diarrhea.

@Geoff King- In fairness, the "Lord of the Rings" movies deserved the big screen experience. And speaking of smartphones, sorta kinda, I have a pair of Oculus Go virtual reality goggles in which you can watch movies in a theater with seats and it's surprisingly immersive. Granted, the screen resolution for the actual movies isn't great - but the feeling of watching a movie on a big screen in a theater is surprisingly convincing. Bonus: no one else is in the theater!

@Snark- I really liked "The Martian," although I saw it on TV. As for Joe, I really do think he's not firing on all cylinders. And I agree that there are probably plans to quickly get rid of him if elected, so the radical liberal VP can take over. President Stacey Abrams, anyone?

@Harvey- See, the way you describe "The Blind Side" makes me want to actually see it. The clips we were exposed to simply made it look like standard Hollywood self-gratification at being "good massas."

@Anonymous- Always a good strategy, right?

@M. Mitchell Marmel- If I can talk Busty into skinnydipping, would you be interested in buying any of the bottled water from the pool?

@Anonymous- It's not impossible that I might be a little Asperger-y like Sheldon. Although I snicker when I say "Ass Burgers."

@TrickyRicky- I think Lawrence of Arabia was the first movie I ever saw that had an intermission. A mercy that some of today's films could benefit from! And I'm so-so about seeing "The Art of Racing in the Rain," as movies (or books) about dogs can reach into my chest and tear my heart out. I weep openly at "Lady and the Tramp" - and I'm not kidding.

@Maoz- Exactly!

@Bill from Wood-Ridge- Congratulations on saying in 100 words what took me a thousand!

John the Econ said...

Actually, Mrs. Econ & I are similar in regards to the seating arrangements at the theater, especially considering that a date night at the movies now costs more than a day at Disneyland only a few decades ago.

At our previous environs nearly a decade ago, we got one of those wonderful theaters where you could reserve your seat that reclined and it felt like you were 10 feet away from the next patron. You could also order food from your seat. Pricey, but a pleasant experience.

We recently got such a theater at our present environs. Great, except now there are rarely any movies that we're willing to drop the better part of $50 for an evening out to see. Heck, we have trouble finding anything online or at the Redbox that we're willing to spend the time, much less $2 to see.

It astounds us the billions of dollars spent and the sheer volume of content that Hollywood spews forth that is of absolutely no interest to us.

Alfonso Bedoya said...

The last time I visited a movie theater was when "The Untouchables" had been just introduced. Before the film was shown, the lights went up and some kids walked up and down the aisles to IIRC collect for some looney liberal cause. I grabbed my wife's hand, walked up to the manager's office and demanded my money back. The manager had no problem with the refund.

I have not entered a movie theater since, and I doubt that I have missed anything. No screaming kiddies to contend with, no having to put up with such distractions as people talking to each other, noisy popcorn munchers, uncomfortable seats, overpriced snacks, etc., plus having to face the feeling of being cheated for movies that have become nothing more than leftist propaganda. Frankly, I'd rather stay home to watch movies that I can blow off the TV monitor anytime I wish at the push of a remote control button.

Now, if there were a movie about Busty in a bathing suit...........

Susan Fineman said...

I'm envisioning this post being borrowed for a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode!

jayjay said...

Hilarious! I feel your pain. I had about the same experience when I took my grandson to see "The Lion King" Two bottles of water, a medium popcorn and pretzels = $27.00. Fortunately. we had our choice of theater seats.

Sortahwitte said...

My last experience in a movie theater was back in the 90s. I wanted to see Con Air and my wife Sioux said "knock yourself out". She absolutely detests Nicholas Cage. I had just finished up my string of nights, so I went to the matinee. I flipped out my firefighter ID and was admitted free. I picked my favorite seat and eventually they ran out of ads and previews. The movie started. I looked around. I was the only person in the theater. I was alone and in the dark. They ran the movie just for me. I had a great time. I tried out almost every seat. I found a new favorite seat, even. I'm so glad it was free. Otherwise I would have pissed and moaned about what a cheesy, over-acted flick it was.

We now get most of our movies at the local library. They have classics from the 20s up to the present. Although they seem to be acquiring too many tv series on dvd for my taste. I will occasionally purchase a movie I want to see again, such as the Martian. It still chaps my ass to support hollywierd in any way, shape or form.

Fred Ciampi said...

Speaking of DVDs, I usually get mine at garage sales and the like. This way hollyweird gets none of my hard earned cash. I have enough DVDs to span the gap if I get bored with reruns of NCIS. If I see that a conservative actor (such as Gary Sinise) is promoting a cause I will donate to it in his name.

Colby Muenster said...

I used to love to go to the movies, but the high prices, and tripe that Hoolywad usually turns out have made me mostly stay away for years. I still will go to big production sci fi's like Star Wars, or Star Trek, and went to all the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings films. I also used to always go to Marvel movies until I found out how much most of the Avengers actors hate me.

Then there's the idiots who can't live for 90 minutes without their phones, the loud, unsupervised kids, the sticky floors, the $15 popcorn, dickweeds who think they need to provide commentary....

Yup, my 55" hi def TV, a cold beer, and home made popcorn (using Stilton's recipe!) are much more enjoyable, and a helluva lot more affordable!

I too thought The Martian was a really good movie, but I'm a sci fi nerd.

The Blind Side.... I read where Michael Oher hates that movie. He claims it hurt his NFL career. Seeing as how he just got cut AGAIN (by the Panthers this time), maybe he's right.

Uncle Joe (aka Walter)... I know I've certainly lost some cognizance and memory at the ripe old age of 67. Joe is what. 90 something? The Dems will vote for him no matter what simply because he's not Trump, and he worked for their messiah. The DNC will pick a good socialist (oxy moron) for his VP, and God forbid he beats Trump, he may as well just take a suitcase to the White House; he won't be there long.

Next time, please put Busty at the top of your post if you're going to write about other things as well. With her being the final entry, I kept forgetting what the earlier stuff was. Had to re-read it 17 times!

Shelly said...

I guess I'm the contrarian here. I love going to the movies and usually go at least twice a month, sometimes more. I loved Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and went back to see it again. My daughter is in the Cinemark movie club and gets great deals and free tickets. She handles all the transactions and buys. You don't have to go early to score the seats you want and can arrive just before the movie starts. Row E is our favorite and I love the comfy recliners. I'm not proud of it but I sneak in my own food, not because I don't want the expensive stuff, but none of it comports with Weight Watchers. But I did enjoy your story, Stilt!

Anonymous said...

Stilton, my wife and I used to go to a movie theater once a week. We stopped for these reasons; 1. Counting the ticket costs and the mileage cost of driving to the theater and back, it was costing us $30. 2. I can't hear crap, so I need closed captioning. 3. We had to be there, when they wanted us to be there. 4. We didn't want to give the jack holes in Hollywood help with the box office numbers. So, we subscribe to Netflix streaming and Amazon Prime, the total weekly cost of which is less per month than going to one movie a week. (We used to subscribe to Netflix DVD, too, but the b's increased the cost too often, and it wasn't worth it.) So, you're a smart guy. Why are you behaving like a sucker and actually going to the movies, now?

Old Cannonballs said...

Okay Stilt, I think it's time to roll out the "Stand Up For Busty Ross" T-shirt. Be a great fundraiser for some worthy cause!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- Poor theatrical offerings is probably the biggest impediment Mrs. J and I face when considering movies. Remakes, sequels, superheroes, CGI...a pox on all of it. Ironically, "quality" films which rely on acting, directing, and script are a lot cheaper for studios to make...but the "suits" want guarantees of butts in theater seats, and they're not comfortable making that bed based on a movie that is "smart." No- tits and car crashes is the ticket these days. (An aside: decades ago I was briefly offered the chance to write a screenplay for a throwaway movie. $5,000 and the only requirement was "tits and car crashes." The deal fell through, but that would have been a fun project!

@Alfonso Bedoya- I think the fundraising efforts were usually for St. Jude's children's hospital, which ain't a bad cause as causes go. Still, rather than make us watch a commercial and then have ushers pass the bucket, the theater should just have a display in the lobby where you can donate if you want.

As far as a movie about Busty in a bathing suit, I'll see what I can do. No promises.

@Susan Fineman- Your comment made me laugh because it's so accurate. I'm very much like a (slightly) less annoying Larry David. Little things can annoy or puzzle me more than they should. From now on when I find myself in those situations, I'm going to imagine the happy, bouncy "Curb your enthusiasm" music playing under my actual life!

@jayjay- I can't even imagine how families can afford to do movies anymore. Or can they?

@Sortahwitte- Wow, sweet deal! If I could get in free, I'd probably be much less of a pain in the ass about where I sit. And like you, I hit up our local library for DVDs - and in fact, just got home from said Library 5 minutes ago. I got "Mission Impossible: Fallout," "Bad Times at the El Royale," and "The Happytime Murders." Don't know if any of them are any good, but the price was right!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Fred Ciampi- The garage sale route is a good way to go to build a library. And Gary Sinise is one of the celebs to whom I'll always send money. I respect him immensely.

@Colby Muenster- I wish the political opinions of actors wouldn't affect my appreciation of their work, but it does. The trailer for "The JOKER" looks cool, but just catching a glimpse of Robert de Niro chaps my rear end.

Regarding Biden, I genuinely don't know if he's losing marbles or has always been this much of an idiot. But he can't be counted out. Google steers as many as 16 million votes (uh, interference in our elections?), the New York Times has already ordered their reporters to make Trump's racism the ongoing narrative for the next two years, and if Joe can get a charismatic commie as a VP candidate he could take the race. And God help us all!

@Shelly- It's because I love seeing movies and theaters that I'm such a fussbudget about the experience. I'm actually considering a Cinemark membership because it eliminates the fees for online reservations, comps you one free ticket a month (pretty much paying for your membership), and knocks 20% off the concession prices. Of course, I'll only do that if it looks like there's going to be a spate of good movies coming out.

@Anonymous- We're on the same page on virtually every point you make. So why AM I being a sucker and going to movies now? Well, I wasn't kidding about my shrink encouraging me to get out of my house to do ANYthing more often, and going to a movie seemed like a low-impact place to start. It's all part of an overall strategy to reduce my stress levels, as they're related to my ongoing "Stilton's Palsy" which causes me to have body jerks when I'm under duress.

Apart from that, there's still nothing that beats seeing a big film on a big screen...and it's hard for me to give that up.

@Old Cannonballs- DAMN! I wish I'd thought of that (or that you'd suggested it) back in July!

Shelly said...

@Stilton: And they have reduced prices for us old geezers!

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@M. Mitchell Marmel- If I can talk Busty into skinnydipping, would you be interested in buying any of the bottled water from the pool?

I'll take a sixpack! And a DVD! :D

TrickyRicky said...

@Stilton- I am also a softie when it comes to dog stories. I LOVE The Art of Racing in the Rain and highly recommend it, but I guarantee you will be in tears at the bottom of the first page. After that, it is so worth the read. The good news wife reports that the movie version is excellent, true to the book and very well done. I can't wait to see it, all of the modern theater BS notwithstanding. Cheers!

DougM said...

Best Ms Ross joke in a long time.

mamafrog said...

I think I have your dog's brother, with the added plus of barking at any male who walks past my bedroom door. And I'm not being pervy I mean my oldest son with whom I live and his room is past mine in the hall way. The dog goes berserk every time, but doesn't do anything like this when I'm not home, of course. He's basically an idiot, the dog not the son, lol. He barks at the stray cat that gets on the porch occasionally, the neighbor's motorcycle, the kids walking quietly down the street, the wind in the trees, etc. Though I think the cat does it on purpose and talks smack to him through the closed door. As far as movies, my youngest son has paid for me to go with them to movies in theaters like that. I really hate to think what it's costing even though I enjoy the movies. The worst part is I'm really short and those seats are not comfortable for me, I have to sit crosswise in them! I will say when we have done dinner and a movie in the theater the food is very good, and it's funny watching someone getting drunk!

Anonymous said...

Years ago I knew a guy who used to run projectors (back when they actually used film) at various movie theaters in my home town, and he told me where The Best Seat(s) were. You will get the optimum visual and auditory experience if you sit in a row 2/3 of the way back from the screen, and one or two seats to the right or left of the center. If you sit closer to the screen, your eyes won't be able to take in the entire scene without having to "scan", so you might miss something. If you sit in exactly the center seat, you may not hear everything properly as the sound from the speakers may form a "null point" as the sound waves from left and right cancel each other out.
Our family used to sit in those seats whenever we went to see a movie, back when the kids were small. I think the last thing we saw on the big screen was "Inside Out". Now that the kids are grown, we mostly stay home and watch movies on Vudu. You pay $3 - $7 (depending on the movie) for the whole family to watch, and you can pause for popcorn and potty breaks whenever you want. So all four of us see a movie for less than the cost of one ticket at the theater. I call that a win.

MAX Redline said...

Haven't set foot in a "cinema" in at least 20 years, and probably never will again.

Unknown said...

I just want to say good luck, we're all counting on you.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

Surely you can't be serious!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Shelly- Oh, trust me...we got the senior discount. I think our tickets were $6.25 each (before tax) instead of $6.50 or something. THAT sure takes the sting out of old age, am I right?!

@M. Mitchell Marmel- They're on the way in a plain brown box.

@TrickyRicky- Wait, I'll be in tears at the bottom of the first page?! That sure sounds like the literary equivalent of a self-inflicted wound. Mind you, I believe you when you say it's worth the read, but...but...I don't want to get hurt.

@DougM- Thank you, sir! Of course, it was Busty that did the heavy lifting.

@mamafrog- I have to laugh at your description of your pooch's protective habits. Pretty much all dogs are a bit nuts, but it's part of their charm. Plus, who among us can cast the first stone?

By the way, if your youngest son wants to pay for ME to come along on your movie jaunts, I'd probably be less of a pain in the butt. Bonus - you can watch ME get drunk!

@Anonymous- I won't lie to you, your scientific explanation of why it's a good idea to sit slightly off-center in a theater has just changed everything I thought I knew about the world. And yes, sound waves CAN cancel each other out (which is the whole idea behind sound-eliminating headphones. Regarding distance from the screen, I believe that you should sit where the screen fills your vision but not so much that you have to turn your head to see anything. Which is usually more like 2/5 of the way back.

@MAX Redline- You ain't missing diddly.

@Unknown- I can't write a witty response. We're on instruments up here.

@M. Mitchell Marmel-

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Stilton: A RUNABOUT! 😈

mamafrog said...

I too have been buying DVD's of movies I like. If I check one out of the library I want to see, and enjoy it, then I hunt it down (same with books anymore, not gonna waste that much money on something I might not like). I even buy them at thrift stores if they look to be in good shape, and they are cheap enough to toss if they aren't. I have a large collection now. My son uses a Fire stick but I don't like Amazon's policy of removing things you have bought so... I still have CD's of music I like, and we won't talk about the hubby and mine's records. Though since his death I let the kids have the ones they liked better than me. I don't know if the son would want to pay for your tickets to Oklahoma to watch movies lol. He's already kind enough to pay for mine, and food!

mamafrog said...

Oh, forgot something, if any of you are Terry Prachett fans, there are three live action movies that are well worth watching. To me they were funny but I'm warped.

JD said...

Actually, I quite liked "The Blind side", it really is a conservative movie, surprised to say.
I made my adult kids watch "My Cousin Vinney" and my daughter made her new husband watch it. "Renaissance Man" is excellent as well. An excellent redemption movie is "The Family Man" starring Nicholas Cage. Trust me, your wife will like it! "Undercover Blues" is nonsensical and hilarious! I liked these enough that I bought them! Please get them at the library, watch them and give me your thoughts! I especially want to know if the wife liked The family man.

mamafrog said...

Hey Anonymous, I remember that really confused me about the PNW when we moved up there!! None of our houses had AC and as a rule we just opened windows and stuck a fan in them. Bad part was crappy rentals many times were missing screens so it was a problem. Very few days when I wished for AC and it always cooled back off at night so we could sleep. Even on the other side of the mountains, Grand Coulee, the summer lasted about a month, could get in the hundreds, but evening was definitely cool enough to sleep.

Unknown said...

Oh Stilton... the movie theater is dead. Besides the utter ridiculousness of the experience, seating, the cost, the ads for all the OTHER leftist propagandic releases, a movie theater today can COST YOU YOUR LIFE, because... they are gun free zones. I haven't been to the movie theater in 4 years, and my life is just fine for it. Plus, although I canceled Netflix when they hired that incompetent anti-American Kenyan, I still have Hulu, and at home I can have a whisky while watching a movie :)