Monday, July 11, 2011

Our Story Thus Far...

  Evil Professor Exodus has repaired the damaged Tectonic Fromambulator, and is threatening the entire continent with catastrophic destruction in the next 10 minutes.  Our heroes, Jim Ed and Scooter, are lost in a maze beneath the Professor's lab, only steps ahead of the giant mutant guard dogs.  Meanwhile, unknown to the President, General Packard has ordered a nuclear air strike on Exodus' fortress, while his daughter Trudy begs him to give Jim Ed and Scooter just a few more minutes to stop the madman...

  Will the Professor carry out his vile plan?  Can Jim Ed and Scooter escape the maze in time?  Who the hell told General Packard he could launch the fleet???  These questions and more will be answered next time, in Chapter 6 of "Cold Hard Revenge of the Moon Men from Mars!!!"

  Ah, serials.  I just watched an old movie serial called "King of the Rocket Men" on Netflix.  It was in 12 parts and the production value was surprisingly good, especially for 1949.  A funny thing, the good guys win of course, but not before Manhattan is utterly destroyed and millions die.  Still, after the destruction they get the bad guy and laugh as they pat each other on the back.  Simpler times!  Apparently the producers had stock footage of tsunami damage to a big city from a movie called "Deluge," and it was just too darn good not to use.

  Anyway, it was fun to watch this, and imagine the kids (and adults) who paid 25 cents each Saturday to see a short newsreel, a 12-minute serial, and a main feature at the local Bijou.  That was back when people were quiet during the show, and never failed to cheer on the hero and applaud the movie when the lights came up.  Oh, and they jeered if the movie stunk, too.  These days you're lucky if people just whisper while they answer their cell phones that they were supposed to turn off.  And even though audiences are still affected by the powerful emotions seen on the screen, they are careful not to show it as they leave the theater.    

  Going to the movies is still a huge treat for me.  I was enthralled by the opening of Star Wars; it began right in the middle of an exciting space battle and never let up til the end, or so it seemed.  That kind of instant immersion was uncommon for the time, and everybody wanted to play light sabers after that movie.  And Alien--how could I forget that the lady next to me left finger bruises in my leg after the alien punched out of John Hurt's chest.  That scene, which was very visceral for the time, still managed to remain a secret to the next audience, much like (I am still grateful) it was with The Sixth Sense.

  Its good that movies are still around, even if I have to sit through commercials and trailers, and pay outrageous prices for snacks.  I don't care at all for 3D, it is quite obviously a rip-off designed to eke out a few more shekels from us for an ineffective gimmick.  I think it will die a merciful death soon enough, even though theaters are retrofitting themselves with the technology. 

  As soon as the local theater re-opens, I am promising myself at least a once a month trip for something.  I will mix it up between comedy and action, and keep my fingers crossed that I'll have another Star Wars moment.  Or maybe two.

1 comment:

AuPair Extraordinaire said...

Ahh, I get it.. we join the story amidst all the action and it won't let up till the end!....Right? Is that what you did there? Well, that's what I'm going with. I was never there, but I do wish people would be quiet during a film and clap at the end if they enjoyed it. How wonderful! And SO glad the twist from Sixth Sense wasn't ruined for me either. One of the best twists everrr.

Waiting on the edge of my seat to hear the next installment of Jim Ed and Scooter's adventure! I hope they make it!