Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seeing double

(Note: For today's posting, I tried to figure out something equal to the "arc of history" we experienced today, and have been experiencing ever since President Barack Obama began running for the nation's highest office. But I couldn't figure anything out, and I just wrote a posting pegged off the news yesterday, so I decided just to go for the weekend's leftovers -- which happens to be something very frivolous indeed.)

I mentioned that I had seen four movies on Saturday, but I didn't tell you how I did it. ("Duh. You did it with your eyes, Vancetastic. You loaded DVDs in the player and you pressed play and you sat on your ass. Big deal.")

Actually, you can't watch four movies in a day if you're sitting at home for all of them. Well, you can, but you'll feel like a turd imprinted on the couch cushions, no matter how many times you shower. So if you're planning to do this, you need to see at least one movie in the theater, just to switch things up. As it happens, I saw two movies in the theater on Saturday -- back to back, on the price of a single admission.

That's right, I saw one, and then snuck into the second. I'm not ashamed to admit it. How else is a person who has to see a lot of movies supposed to keep the costs down? I will admit that I was a little ashamed in this case, because of the theater's tremendously low matinee price: $5. And this isn't just for second-run stuff: my self-customized double feature actually consisted of the critically acclaimed pairing of Let the Right One In and Wendy and Lucy.

However, you could almost argue that I didn't know it wasn't a double feature. Not only were the two movies playing on the same screen, with a half-hour gap in between, but the poster next to the screening room doors had been custom framed so that both of the movies appeared in it, as though it were a fully authorized double feature.

I was a little worried that I'd be busted in this scenario, since I had to clear out between movies in order for them to clean the theater. Normally, when I'm doing this in a big multiplex, I just go straight for the other theater and no one is the wiser. Turns out, all you have to do is go sit on the toilet reading a magazine for 15-20 minutes. Yeah, you should probably pull your pants down to fool the other bathroom patrons, but you don't actually have to poop.

Where was I?

I've done enough of these over the years that it would not surprise you -- at least, those of you who know me -- to learn that I have been keeping a list of all the illegal double features I've ever seen. It probably also would not surprise you that I like to examine this list for its greater significance -- or at least, to find funny reasons to revisit these random pairings of movies in a blog posting. Because they are random, aren't they? Not only did they have to be in the same theater at the same time, but the second one had to have a reasonably convenient starting time relative to the end of the first. More than a half-hour of downtime and it just kills the value of it.

So without further ado, a selection of some of my most memorable combinations of movies seen as double features ...

First illegal double feature seen: Total Recall, Betsy's Wedding (August 1990). (Thanks, Don.)

Highest quality of both films: Flirting With Disaster, Fargo (March 1996).

Lowest quality of both films: Date Movie, Final Destination 3 (February 2006).

Viewing alphabetically: Lilo & Stitch, Like Mike (July 2002). I have a list of all 2676 movies I've ever seen -- a much longer topic for another time -- and there still hasn't been a movie to come between the consecutive alphabetical pairing of these two.

Most different from each other: Gosford Park, Kung Pow: Enter the Fist (January 2002). Honorable mention: The Limey, Three to Tango (October 1999).

Most similar to each other: Fun With Dick and Jane, The Ringer (December 2005). They were both retarded, ha ha.

Sounds like something a tribal chief would say: Big Fish, Cold Mountain (January 2004).

Most creatures per capita: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Star Trek: Nemesis (January 2003).

Most similar titles: The 25th Hour, The Hours (January 2003).

Most cartoonish fighting: Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Kung Fu Panda (July 2008).

Most future best picture nominees: Million Dollar Baby, Finding Neverland (January 2005).

Fewest future best picture nominees: The Aristocrats, The Dukes of Hazzard (August 2005).

Thanks for indulging me. I hope it gave you a laugh. Hey, I told you it would be frivolous.

Oh, and if this is your first introduction to the fact that I'm a freak, well, I'm sorry for the shock you must be feeling.

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