Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Fire!" isn't the only thing you can't shout in a crowded theater.

So, my wife and I went to see The Desolation of Smaug last weekend. Granted, it's been probably almost 15 years since I last read The Hobbit, but there were still quite a few things in the film that I just don't remember being in the book. Like Legolas. Or the incessant oh-my-Jesus-fuck-the-seemingly-awesome-magical-ring-is-actually-Sauron's-fucking-Horcrux foreshadowing. Or the guy who threatened to come back and kill everyone in the theater over an argument about whether or not he should shut off his motherfucking cell phone because the goddamn movie was starting and they'd already played at least two different "you will be asked to leave" warnings during the half hour of previews during which he certainly could have taken care of whatever the fuck it was that was more important than being considerate to the 200-300 other people who paid nearly as much per hour as my first job did to see the film.

In this extremely limited edition of the film, the first scene begins at the sign of the Prancing Pony, where a man's voice is heard shouting "SHUT THE FUCK UP, BITCH!" A woman's voice responds "THERE WAS JUST A FUCKING COMMERCIAL!" "NOBODY TELLS ME WHAT TO FUCKIN' DO, BITCH," he screams.

Moments later, about ten people at the front of the theater all stand up in unison and grab onto him, and possibly her as well. Someone near the exit runs down the stairs and out the door toward the lobby. He begins threatening to hurt and/or kill her, then expands his threat to "I'LL COME BACK HERE AND SHOOT EVERYONE IN THIS FUCKING THEATER!" I immediately note the following: a) it is entirely possible that he is actually armed; b) he is standing maybe ten feet from the nearest exit, and getting to the other exit would require running (or, rather, crawling on the floor for protection) all the way to the other side of the theater; and c) the only potential weapons I've got on me are my phone and a fountain pen.

Unfortunately, Bulwer-Lytton never made any comparison to the might of guns, and I doubted I could throw either object with the same speed and force as a bullet. As it turned out, there was no need—management quickly arrived on the scene and escorted him out (possibly her as well—I couldn't really tell), and then it was all preposterous action scenes and half-assed attempts to clone everything that worked in the Lord of the Rings films.

POST-CREDITS SPOILER: Waiting outside the theater doors were an actual police officer, who was meant to imply either that this douchecanoe had been arrested, or that everything was Safe and Under Control, and a theater manager, who handed out what totaled probably $2000 or so in "sorry for the disruption/vague threat against your life" passes. Also, Clark Gregg found a gigantic hammer in the middle of the desert.

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