I did squeeze in a viewing of "Atonement" this afternoon completing my circuit of Oscar's best-picture nominees. I've already started an "Oscar Watch" post about it, but first let me give you the 17 reasons ...
Look, I believe in the whole idea of a big screen and sitting in the dark. I really do. But, when I arrived about 10 minutes before the movie, this is what the screen showed:
1. A spot for the Metropolitan Opera in HD theatrical showings.
2. A promotional featurette about the new "Knight Rider" series.
3. A spot for Travel Channel's bizarre-food series.
4. An ad for a Chase credit card.
5. An ad for the Chevy Malibu.
6. A promotional piece about the making of the "10,000 BC" movie.
7. A spot for the National Guard.
8. An ad for "Lipstick Jungle."
9. A spot for some kind of hair product. (I can't read my scribble.)
10. A Coca-Cola commercial.
There might have been more, since I started making notes only after the list felt interminably long. But there was more. Just about all that was bundled in a "Regal First Look" package. Then came:
11. A promo for a showing of "Spirit of the Marathon."
12. Another go-round with the Metropolitan Opera.
Then there were the trailers:
13. "In Bruges"
14. "Definitely, Maybe" (which, between theater trailers and TV ads, I have seen so freakin' many times that I am sick of the movie)
15. "The Other Boleyn Girl"
16. "The Duchess"
17. "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day"
Now, I also understand the merits of trailers. The bride will often give a thumbs-up (or not) for movies when we see the trailers -- although we have been known to forget the names of the movies by the time we have gotten home.
But the value of even one trailer, let alone five, is diminished by all the stuff that you have to sit through before that. And a movie doesn't feel all that special if it comes with commercials.