Monday, July 12, 2004

Wherever there's a hang up.... 

To ease my disappointment over missing the library branch grand opening, I decided to take the opportunity Sunday to waste some precious free time and experience another new amenity in South Seattle: the Columbia City Cinema. This theater, the only one between downtown Seattle and Renton, recently opened and I've been meaning to check it out. It's been one of those low priority entries on my to-do list. So I headed down to check out Spider-man II. That movie wasn't automatically on my list, but I had heard a few good reviews here and there.

The theater was great. Keep in mind this is Hamburgerland, where a dinner at Matt's Chili Dogs is to be preferred over one at Anthony's Home Port. So when I mean great, I mean that it was plain and functional. The theater was up on the second floor of an older building. I walked up a red carpeted, wooden bannistered stairwell to the box office--basically a tall desk stuck in the corner of the landing. After paying my $5, I received a generic ticket from a large roll. I then ducked out to kill time at a nearby bookstore. Upon my return I walked past the small concession stand. Since I had bought a book, I exercised fiscal restraint and didn't buy any goodies. I did notice that the popcorn was served in brown paper bags and the sodas in simple waxed paper cups, neither displaying any sort of logo. The auditorium was likewise simple, albeit a bit more modern that the building and furnishings. The simplicity of it all really hit home when the lights dimmed. There was one trailer and then -) BAM! (- the movie started. No little clips advertising the theater chain. No clips announcing the presence of THX, Cinerama, VistaVision, Dynamic Tension, or any other sort of cinematic technology. And NO #$%^& Coca-Cola ads!!!! I knew right there that I loved this theater.

The movie, on the other hand, was kinda lame. The sfx were great, of course. I especially liked the way they animated Doc Ock's mechanical arms. But the story and acting were heavy handed. The dramatic pauses were a little bit too long. The plot twists were quite predictable. I realize that the film is based on a comic book, but come on guys, at least offer some subtlety. I think the worst aspect of it all was that while the film captured Spidey's nebbish-ness, it forgot his humor. Except for the elevator scene, none of the jokes in the film really captured the humor of the original comic. At least I don't think it did. Guess I'll have to go back and reread those early Lee and Ditko tales to make sure.