The Ottumwa Courier

August 15, 2013

A relaxing summer movie

Popcorn and a movie can hit the spot

MATT BRINDLEY
Ottumwa Courier

OTTUMWA — Matt and Elaine arrive at the Ottumwa 8 Theatre after dinner at Applebee’s and buying some paint at Sherwin-Williams.

It’s been a stressful week and a relaxing summer movie is on the agenda.

Standing in line, Matt reads through the movie list. “Let’s watch something relaxing. Something to take the go-go work stress away. What have we got?”

Elaine: “World War Z. It’s an American apocalyptic horror movie. Hmm.”

Matt: “World War Z? This whole week was an apocalyptic horror movie. No. We’re not seeing that!”

Elaine: “Alright, alright. How about White House Down? It’s about a capitol policeman getting turned down for his dream job of protecting President Jamie Foxx. He doesn’t want to tell his daughter and so he takes her on a tour of the White House and the place is taken over by a heavily armed paramilitary group. So, with the nation in chaos, he saves the president, his daughter and the country.”

Matt: “That old plot again? Didn’t they attack the White House in Olympus Has Fallen? How many times can they blow Washington, D.C.?

“I told you I wanted to relax tonight. Does the world have to end in every summer movie plot? Next!”

Elaine: “OK, how about Pacific Rim? It’s a sci-fi thriller where Earth is under attack by these colossal monsters. So humanity unites with ...”

Matt: “Next! This is unbelievable!”

Elaine: “How about After Earth? Earth’s gone!”

Matt: “No! You see what’s happening here? You can’t top the Earth ending and every huge-budget movie is trying to top each other. The Earth ending is starting to get kind of boring, don’t you think?”

Elaine: “Yeah, it kind of is, now that you mention it. How about some human interaction?”

Matt: “Of course! Human interaction! People love human interaction!”

Elaine: “I’d heard a lot of these blockbuster movies where the world was ending were bombing and the lower-budget niche movies were getting more bang for their buck.”

Matt: “Look, I just need some popcorn! What else is there?”

Elaine: “Gosh, you’re so picky!”

Out-of-idea sequels

Elaine: “How about one of these sequels? We’ve got Smurfs 2, Despicable Me 2, Planes, it’s the third Cars movie, Grown Ups 2, Red 2, Thor: The Dark World, it’s a Thor sequel, Kick-Ass 2, The Wolverine, it’s a Wolverine sequel, The Hangover: Part III and Fast & Furious 6.”

Matt: “I can’t watch those! I never saw the first ones. I’ll be lost! Remember how confused I was with Home Alone 2.”

Elaine: “Yeah, I think Hollywood has officially run out of original ideas. They’re so out of touch with the rest of the country.”

Matt: “OK, we’re at the front of the line, choose something!”

Elaine: “How about Sack Lunch? This family gets shrunk down and has to live in a sack.”

Matt: “Now you’re talking! Two tickets for Sack Lunch please.”

Ticket lady: “That’ll be $16.02.”

Matt: “Are you serious? ‘Two for $20’ at Applebee’s ended up to be $31, and now movie-priced treats!”

Elaine and Matt shuffle  up to the movie concession stand. After 10 minutes ...

Matt: “One medium popcorn and one Coke please.”

Elaine: “Did you see that CBS story that said  ordering a medium popcorn and soda combo at a typical movie theater chain is equivalent to eating three McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with 12 pats of butter?”

Matt: “Make that a Diet Coke!”

Matt and Elaine search and stumble their way into the dark Sack Lunch theater just in time for the previews of all the other “End of the World” movies.

The preview noise sounds like a war zone: BaaBoom! Shhllaabamm!    Kaboom! “They killed his friend! They framed him! They messed with the wrong guy!” Whaam!! BaBoom! The movie preview voice explains the plot through the explosions.

Matt and Elaine continue trying to have a conversation through it.

The previews keep exploding: BOOM! SHHuuuBANG!

Elaine: “WHAT?”

Matt raises his voice significantly now.

Elaine: “Geez! You don’t have to shout!”

Finally the movie starts. Sack Lunch isn’t all it’s crumpled up to be. Some people are shrunk and they live in a sack.

About 1,500 calories and milligrams of sodium later, a sensory-overloaded, half-deaf Matt and Elaine lumber out of the theater.

Elaine: “But, I just wanted that ‘in-the-theater’ experience!”

Matt: “OK, we’ll invite some strangers over, have some tall people sit in front of us, pour some sticky pop on the floor to step in and turn it up to ‘jet sound.’”

Elaine: “Alright! It’s not the end of the world! Let’s just stop somewhere,  relax and watch a game!”

Matt: “Sounds good.”