Monday, July 18, 2011

Saturday night's "Aliens" 25th Anniversary screening

Wow!!! What an amazing event!!

Last Saturday night's double feature of "The Terminator" and "Aliens" was one of the best times I've had at a screening in some time! With this being the 25th Anniversary screening of James Cameron's masterpiece, we were treated to an incredible looking brand new print of the film courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox. The sold-out crowd was completely in tune with every beat, every iconic moment, every laugh and every memorable line of dialogue. The frosting on the cake, of course, was when it was time to introduce the guests for the evening; Michael Biehn (Hicks), Lance Henriksen (Bishop), Jenette Goldstein (Vasquez), Mark Rolston (Drake) and Ricco Ross (Frost), who all received thunderous applause. Goldstein and Biehn especially. Check out my mini photo set on Flickr by clicking on the image of me with the woman who played Vasquez herself.

The Q&A was VERY lively, definitely coming in as one of the best I've ever been in attendance for! Although it seemed that Michael Biehn had had a couple of drinks beforehand, he and Lance Henriksen were incredibly funny together. Questions from the audience were intelligent, yielding some really cool stories from everyone. When the subject of "Alien 3" was brought up by an audience member as not being a very good follow up to "Aliens", Biehn belted out 'FUCK ALIEN 3!!!' Everyone cheered and applauded wildly. I couldn't have agreed more.

There were a couple of comedic asides like when Henriksen helped Biehn tie his shoe laces, tipping back onto the stage they were sitting on. Jenette Goldstein and Mark Rolston told a great backstory about Vasquez and Drake, envisioning them as prison lifers who were given the choice to either stay behind bars or join the Marines as heavy gunners. Henriksen talked about how he auditioned to be The Terminator. This back when James Cameron envisioned the first movie to have the cyborg blend in a bit more like the T-1000 did in "T2" seven years later.

Afterward fans swarmed the stage area to get autographs and chat with the actors. Rebecca sat back and watched my friend Paul and I take photos with everyone, genuinely appreciating the rarity of being in the company we were in. It was absolutely a night to remember and truly savor. Seriously, it was the best time!

One little glitch though that I feel compelled to mention.

I've made a decision about attending any future screenings of the original "Terminator". Due to a very annoying occurrence that seems to follow this movie every time it shows in LA, I've decided to never again see it with an audience in the theater. Why? I guess you could say it has to do with perspective.

"The Terminator" was released in 1984. Obviously there are aspects of the film which seem dated now. Most notably the clothing, hair, and even artist music you hear on Ginger's walkman, on the car radio as Reese falls asleep and in Tech Noir where Sarah is zeroed in on by the Terminator. Unfortunately, twenty-something 'fans' of this now classic movie seem to treat the film like it's a comedy, laughing at all of these things as well as a series of dialogue lines, some of which baffle me as to where the humor lies.

Here is where the perspective angle comes in. I grew up on movies like this and saw "The Terminator" when it came out in the theater in 1984. These guys were raised on fare like the "Star Wars" prequels and no-brainer, overly visual-effected, pimped out franchise fodder flicks like "Transformers", which they strangely seem to adore, BTW.

1984 movie mentality must be like another planet to them. And yet this is the second time I've watched the movie with this type of crowd, only to find myself frustratingly annoyed at what comes across as a disrespect for something so iconic. They laugh at stuff that isn't meant to be funny and then when some intended humor hits them, they laugh 10 times harder than what was put on screen in the first place.

Our friend Paul and I had a major discussion between movies about how, purely and simply, people suck. We come here to honor and appreciate the movies we hold sacred. But as we try to immerse ourselves in the world James Cameron first created twenty eight years ago, we're suddenly flung back into reality by the constant laughing and snickering. Yes, people do suck. But when they bring their sucking into the movie theater and unknowingly tarnish something I hold so very near and dear, they suck a whole bunch more!

Obviously this is how they greet and appreciate the film. Many of them probably think it's....dare I use the word....'cheesy'? YUCK!!! That's why my enjoyment of "The Terminator" will from now on be confined to the 10th Box Cinema, held forever in a bubble of what it was like to watch this movie in the theater all those years ago.


At July 18, 2011 at 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People laughed and snickered at all the 80s references in The Terminator?? That sucks. I'm sorry that you had to see the old iconic masterpiece with such shit company.

At July 19, 2011 at 12:25 PM, Anonymous Allen said...

"That's why my enjoyment of "The Terminator" will from now on be confined to the 10th Box Cinema, held forever in a bubble of what it was like to watch this movie in the theater all those years ago."

Will you emerge naked from that bubble and ready to tear these twenty-somethings a new one?

I have to say, annoying audiences are one of the big reasons I don't go to the theater as much as I used to. Well, that and a certain 3-year old!
But I hate talkers, loud eaters, seat kickers and all the other impolite jackasses that come along with the crowd.

At July 19, 2011 at 11:40 PM, Blogger LA Filmcutter said...

LOL!!! Yeah, the crowd was not kind, even though they come across as being true fans. Impolite jackasses is right when it comes to people who are just plain rude moviegoers in general.

While we were watching "Harry Potter and the Deathy Hallows Part II" this past Saturday morning, someone's cell phone went off during THE MOST inappropriate moment in the movie! All we heard was "The Entertainer" repeating a few times when suddenly there was an irruption of audience distake. People shouted 'turn it off now' and 'c'mon!' until the device was silenced. RUDE!


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