Friday, April 4, 2014

Windows of opportunity

Four-and-a-half years ago, I wrote a post on this blog called "Where's my Pompeii movie?"

Two weeks ago, that movie came out (in the country where I live, at least).

Two weeks after that, it's playing only in Chadstone.


I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't know it, but I don't know it either, and I actually live in this country. Turns out, it's about 70 miles north of Melbourne. I don't know what that is in kilometers.

So much for seeing that one in the theater.

Sure, I'd heard that it probably wasn't all that great, something I could have likely predicted considering that it's directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, the lesser Paul Anderson, who has to his credit such classics as Mortal Kombat, Event Horizon, Alien vs. Predator, and three of the five Resident Evils. It was never likely that he'd have made the Pompeii movie I wanted.

Still, my sheer desire to see a volcano destroy an ancient city on film, using the latest and greatest in visual effects, had me certain I would make a cinematic pilgrimage to see Pompeii when it was released.

Unfortunately, when it was released was only a week after I started my new job. Only two weeks after that, it's only playing in ... Chadstone.

Seems kind of a shame, because the last time I had a good opportunity to go to the theater, there was really nothing out I wanted to see. That's how I ended up seeing a Liam Neeson movie on Tuesday, March 11th. It was a Liam Neeson movie I ended up kind of liking, but just two weeks later it would have been sixth or seventh on my list of priorities.

Now that I'm finally getting my next chance to go to the movies, nearly a month later this Monday or Tuesday night (I've got my choice), the list is much longer. I can (and might) see anything among the following: Noah, The Lego Movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Nymphomaniac, Volumes 1 and 2, which are playing together in a four-hour block (for only a single admission price?) at Cinema Nova. (Okay, that last one is not a realistic contender, despite my definite interest in seeing it.) By next Thursday you can add The Grand Budapest Hotel to that list.

The thing is, what I would have seen, in all likelihood, was Pompeii, simply because I'll still have a couple more weeks to see those other movies. I guess I sensed on some level that Pompeii might be moving quickly, and I needed to catch it now or never.

I guess it's never. Because I ain't going to Chadstone. Even if I did have a car, with the outrageous price of petrol (yes, I said petrol) in Australia, no one would even consider driving 70 miles just to see a movie. Especially not a Paul W.S. Anderson movie.

Of course, "never" is not really never. I will definitely see this movie on video. Where the only possible thing it could have going for it -- a city being laid to waste in glorious, 21st century FX -- will be small and ineffectual.

So where is my Pompeii movie?

It's in Chadstone, on the other side of a window of opportunity that has now closed.


Travis McClain said...

That sucks. If it's any consolation, it isn't playing anywhere in Louisville, either. Fandango says it's in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Lexington, KY, all of which are about an hour away from me, which makes me think of Clooney remarking in O Brother, Where Art Thou?:

"Well, ain't this place a geographical oddity, two weeks from everywhere!"

Oh, and say what you want about the rest of Paul W.S. Anderson's filmography, but you leave Event Horizon alone. That movie freaked me the hell out in '97 and I haven't forgotten it.

Vancetastic said...

I think it opened earlier in the U.S., which means it's had longer to dwindle down to just a few theaters. And to be honest, I was only looking at the chain (Hoyts) where I can get a discount on Tuesdays. It may be playing elsewhere, but paying $17 or $19 to see a movie (especially this movie) is the equivalent of that petrol-hogging drive to Chadstone.

Perfect O Brother reference.

You know, I remember thinking there were indeed some good things about Event Horizon, even though I found it ridiculous overall. So I can't leave it alone, but I can say that I still respect you.