Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Special Screening: The Return of the King
Last night was the third and final night of the three week special screening of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and of course Erika and I were there. There wasn’t quite as much commotion as there was last week; although it did feel like we were watching the movie in a hospital ward rather than a theater. There were two people a couple of rows behind us that were coughing as though they had been infected with the Spanish flu. I think the old man had some popcorn go down the wrong way and that’s what set off his coughing, but the girl sounded like she was sick. It was less than pleasant and more than distracting. I coughed on purpose just for good measure, which gave me and Erika a chuckle.
Both Erika and I had had bad days and to be honest I really wasn’t in the mood to go, but I wanted to be a trooper and finish up what I had set out to do and I also didn’t want to leave Erika hanging. There were three people in front of me to get my ticket (Erika had already gotten hers) but only one person was paying for all three, and it seemed to take forever. Then, when we went inside, the concession stand line was long and so I went and got our seats while Erika got her treats. Randall and Janice were MIA this week because they are on business travel in Washington. When Erika got to the seats, I went down and got my treats and then we settled in for a long night of movie watching. Return of the King is definitely the longest of the three extended versions at four hours and 10 minutes.
After I sat down, a rather large gentleman sat down on the row in front of us and bless him, I really don’t know how he fit into the seat or how he was even remotely comfortable. As you may know, if you have been to H18, the seats are a bit snug so I really can’t imagine that the man was comfortable. About 30 minutes or so into the movie this same man whipped out his bright, bright phone to silence it (I think) but while it was out he checked this app and that app and I almost threw some popcorn and told him to put it away. Before I could do that, he did put it away and there wasn’t any other trouble out of him the rest of the night; at least not that I can remember. His daughter, however, slurped her soda through her straw rather loudly.
Apparently it was come late to the movies night and Erika and I didn’t get the memo because it seems like there were about 20 or so people who drug in after the film started and of course walked up and down the stairs trying to find seats. A couple of men (including popcorn cougher man) stood on the aisle watching the movie for at least a couple of minutes and I almost hollered, “Find a seat, man!” but I refrained.
Also during the movie we had another theater mishap. It wasn’t the lights in the film room this time, but some lady over the intercom. I don’t know what was up with that. H18 is always full of surprises. I mean, there was that time I caught that couple having sex in the bathroom after all.
The movie was just as wonderful as we knew it would be. The theater seemed more crowded this week so I don’t know if more people had heard about the showing or if Return of the King is just the favorite of that many more people. After watching last’s night’s showing, I still think The Two Towers might be my favorite. Gosh, I just don’t know. There are a lot of great scenes in Return of the King too. My favorite, ever since I first saw the films is when the beacons are lit. It gives me such a sense of hope. I tear up and get chills every time. I also like it when the Witch-king of Angmar sets loose his army at Minas Morgul – the sound there has always impressed me – that is until H18. For some reason the sound at H18 just isn’t great (maybe because it’s an old theater) and does not do this scene justice. The best I ever saw it was in Nashville on the IMAX screen – the sound there was amazing. Anyway, I of course also love the speech Aragorn gives prior to the battle at the Black Gates. Ah, the battle scenes – I love them. Sometimes I think I was meant to be a boy because I sure do love a good battle scene.
The movie ended about 10 minutes after 11:00 and I was ready to hit the bed. I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow last night. I did have to take three bathroom breaks last night – two of which were 20 minutes apart. That’s what happens when you get the medium Diet Coke. I didn’t bring a contraband Diet Coke because I had a coupon for a free soda at the concession stand.
It was a great night at the movies and it put me in a better mood than I was in prior to it starting; and, in case you were wondering, Frodo took that ring all the way to the fiery pits of Mount Doom. He does it every time. What a trooper!