Best-selling author David Sedaris shares similar sentiments, and his essay, "City of Light in the Dark," makes me want to visit Paris just to take in a few movies.

Is your commentary really groundbreaking? Check out this DIY DVD commentary article. And the accompanying website, DVD Tracks.


More Watchie, Less Talkie!

by Christy

With tickets in hand, we take our place at the back of the line that snakes across the expansive lobby, and down the hallway. At its widest, the line is six, maybe seven people abreast; we should have arrived earlier. The 45-minute wait drags on as I ask, "What time is it?" at least a dozen times and as the crowd continues to crush in all around us. Finally, the line nudges forward and we are switched on and vibrating like the maze of neon lights that are humming and twitching all around us. We are about to see The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on opening night at midnight. Oh yeah!

We were hard-core fans that night. Now, admittedly I have not yet finished the series of books, which really means that I have not yet gotten through the Hobbit after starting it at least three times. But my beau is a Tolkein buff who owns shelf’s worth of books by, about, or pertaining to Tolkein. It is honestly a sight to behold. And since he stood with me for several hours to see U2 in NYC last fall, I was totally in for an opening-night Two Towers experience.

A nice enough couple took the last two seats in our row, and we all settled in for a great ride.

Despite arriving late, or at least later than a hundred plus other dedicated Rings fans, we lucked out on seating since they opened a second theater just as we were approaching the doors. Diverted to a theater billing Maid in Manhattan, which was a little scary, the rest of the rowdy line filled the second theater. Michael and I chose, as is our custom, seats off to the side and out of the fray. A nice enough couple took the last two seats in our row, and we all settled in for a great ride.

Things got a little bumpy though when the gal in the couple started running her own commentary, in out-loud conversational voice to no one in particular. No joke. For those of you who have not seen the movie or won’t, Two Towers starts with a scene from the Fellowship of the Rings (the first of the series that was out last winter). As soon as the repeated scene began, my armrest companion spoke out frankly, "This is from the other movie." And thanks to her, I soon knew just when the new material started because she broadcast that over her personal PA system as well. Her take on Gollum’s dueling personalities was fascinating, and her observation of the weather during the big fight scene was very astute, "Now it’s raining too!"

I love getting lost in a movie; therefore, I don’t want you to take me for a stickler. I don’t expect absolute silence....

Rarely do I see movies where I am not distracted by random chattering and commentary. As a child, I swear I sat enthralled by the stories that unfolded on that giant screen, as I still do. I love getting lost in a movie; therefore, I don’t want you to take me for a stickler. I don’t expect absolute silence once the theater darkens. I love seeing a movie with a reactionary crowd that gasps at the scary parts and laughs like crazy when funny stuff is going on.

And I am known to offer my own little snippets of personal, inside joke material to Michael, but I do so in the most hushed whisper. Then we get to do the big silent, inside joke laugh together. You know, the one where you make the big open-mouthed smile and bob your head up and down but don’t make any noise?

Anyway, I learned during that viewing of the Two Towers how not to handle a noisy row-mate. You don’t influence anyone by shooting daggers at them with your eyes every time they make a dopey observation. Actually, that may have fanned the flame. Oh well, you live, and if you’re lucky you learn, and if you’re really lucky you get to live it all again and implement what you learned. So, last night when we went to have a second viewing of the Two Towers, and three middle-school aged boys decided to fill the cavernous theater with their conversation--a debriefing of what happened that day at school--I politely got up, walked across the aisle, and asked them to cease and desist. "Could you guys be a little quieter until the end of the movie? You’re being pretty loud and we can hear you all the way over there. Thanks very much." I was as pleasant as could be, and the chitchat stopped. Who knows if they were cursing me out under their collective breath for the rest of the film, but at least I couldn’t hear them, and that was all I was after.



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