It’s Friday night and the feeling’s right. You hit the local cinema. You have a decision to make and it’s a big one. Which movie do you see ? This could effect the rest of your life. It might be something you always remember, it could be something you hope to forget by Monday.
You make the call. They tear your ticket. That crisp Rrrrip. In the entire universe, that sound is second only to a Swish. You walk in. The plush burgundy curtains envelope you and are left behind as you march onward, looking for the Perfect seat with laser-like focus. You find her. You sit down. The lights dim as the studio credits roll. The Dreamworks boy fishing, the big WB, the reassuring 20th Century Fox theme, six and a half independent studios, whatever it may be…The weight of the world slides off your shoulders as you await the first frame.
You feel things out. It’s a crowded place, friends, acquaintances, total strangers, total douchebags, anything could happen. This could be a waste but this could be amazing. Do you feel that electricity in the air? (The Dark Knight, Buffalo ’66, Waking Life, The first Lord of the Rings on mushrooms) Or is it stale? Does it feel like impending doom? Do you wish you had stayed home and watched your favorite team get pummeled? (300, Van Helsing, About Schmidt, Doubt) It’s a gamble, as is every relationship. You have to go out on a limb and trust that this will be something special.
Movies. Oh, how I love thee.
If I had to choose between movies and friends, I would have to ask which friends because I most certainly would cut some people loose in order to keep a favorite flick. Cos in a way, aren’t movies your friends too? I would have to say Dumb & Dumber is a friend. In fact, one of my best friends. Lloyd and Harry and I go way back. When I was down and out, they were there. I knew I could trust Lloyd to sell a dead bird (Petey) to a blind kid and i knew I could trust Harry to knock over Lauren Holly with a vicious snowball. And Desperado? When I see Banderas getting knifed by Danny Trejo, I feel conflict that tears me apart. I ache. Real life shit. I want both sides to win so badly. What about Pulp Fiction? Jules Winfield is my motherfucker. I know for a fact I can always count on him to get righteous on me even though it’s gonna end his career. That’s some serious stuff, man. Jules taught me, You stick by your principles. Remember Roy Hobbs? Hobbs and I are tight. Through the course of life, our relationships and friendships are strengthened by familiarity and reliability. And I’m here to say, movies are consistent. They are the rock in my life, and yours too.
Do you ever ask yourself, What would so and so do? And you might be talking about your father. You may be speaking of your best friend, uncle, whoever. I find myself asking What would Maximus do? What would Rocky Balboa do? WHAT WOULD JASON BOURNE DO? WHAT WOULD ARAGORN DO? It depends on the situation but I, like you, often turn to my friends…except my friends are celluloid heroes.
Cue the music. Change location. As this scene begins, you know it’s the climax. This is IT, closure. If the movie’s been good, a lot hinges on this next 5 minutes. 300 seconds could make or break this experience for you. Believe that or as Martin Lawrence would say BELEEDAT or RUNTELDAT. Just like life, women, sports, everything, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes not so much. So, for that last scene, even the tech-savvy world we live in puts away it’s Blackberry and is glued to the screen, hoping for something special, that this will stand up, that this will mean something, that this will at least make them feel good for the night.
Fade to black. End credits. Do you stand up and say to nobody in particular “Daaaaayamn” or do you look your friend right in the eye and say “Damn YOU, you sonufabitch, Damn You to HELL for making me watch Love Actually”
As you shuffle out, you may commit fully and say “Yo, coppin the DVD the DAY IT COMES OUT” (Old School) or you can play it cool and say “Maybe I’ll purchase it for under $4 on Black Friday” (Con Air) Then, there’s the sour times, when you say no, no, a thousand times no. I will not even speak on this thing we just saw, that’s not a MOVIE, that’s not a FILM. That ain’t no MOTION PICTURE. No comment. I will not even dignify that…there are simply no words for that. Spare me my life from this monstrosity! (Batman and Robin)
Then again, sometimes things work out. Serendipity. Not that crap Cusack movie. I’m talking about when you walk into something, not knowing anything, sans expectations and you are rewarded for your faith (Little Miss Sunshine, Election, The Air Up There – Yeah, I said it. Kevin Bacon Shake & Bake! )
Now, I want you to think of how many people you have worked with or been at school with over the years. Hundreds? Thousands? How many do you consider friends? How many have you really spent a solid couple hours with? How many make you feel a full range of emotions? How many could cheer you up on a shit day? My friends Lloyd and Harry can. How many of your friends stand up for integrity and unselfishness? My boy Bruce Wayne does everyday. How many of your friends would go up against insurmountable odds to stand up for their beliefs? My dudes William Wallace and Maximus do that on the daily. My on-screen amigos are always there for me and they often inspire me. And they are automatic with it. I just press play.
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