Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Another midnight in December

Tonight I will again be seeing a new Star Wars movie a good 24 to 36 hours before anyone in the U.S., reminding me of one of the rare times it is a cinematic benefit to live in Australia.

But I almost left this one to chance.

Let me explain.

I'm plenty excited to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story -- I've steadfastly avoided all of the trailers -- but I might not have prioritized it within its first 48 hours except that I'll be discussing it on a podcast Friday night. As "Friday night" in this case actually means "Friday around dinnertime," that left me exactly two time slots in which to potentially see it: Thursday at midnight (i.e. "Wednesday night"), and Thursday after work.

The difference between the two options is $32.20.

Which is not insignificant, considering that we're planning a trip to the U.S. (only a week from now!) and every penny counts.

If I waited to watch it on Thursday after work, I could get in free with my critics card. I'd have to choose one of the theaters by my work, and also hope that they weren't sold out, rather than one of the Hoyts theaters with the bigger screens. (Hoyts only honors the critic card on Mondays and Wednesdays, and I don't think I can convince them that tonight's 12:01 a.m. showing counts as a Wednesday.) But it would probably be doable.

But what if it weren't? What if all showings are sold out? If I left it to chance, there was at least some possibility that I'd miss my reasonable opportunities to view it before the podcast. And with only a few days before my trip and holidays being a busy time anyway, it wouldn't work to reschedule the podcast. I'd have to do something like take Friday off work in order to see it in time. (Another extreme no-no at one of my job's busiest times of the year.)

So why not commit $32.20 for the IMAX 3D screening tonight ($31 with a $1.20 booking fee), both guaranteeing myself a viewing time and allowing me to immerse myself in the most confronting version of the movie possible?

So that's what I'm going to do.

It was my wife who ultimately convinced me. She reasoned that by never spending more than my $75 annual membership fee for the Australian Film Critics Association, which allows me to see all of my movies in the theater for free, I've earned a splurge on Rogue One. That was pretty big of her, because she's really conscious of how we're spending our money right now with the trip coming up. But she knows it's important to me, and that you can only see a new Star Wars movie for the first time once. (Though I will be getting a chance to do that like once a year, from now until, I don't know, 2032.)

Now that that's done, my primary concern is staying awake.

I've been up past midnight watching movies each of the past two nights, a bit foolishly on Monday but out of necessity last night, when I completed my four-hour viewing of Erich von Stroheim's Greed. (Separate post forthcoming.) A pretty bad schedule leading in to a night when I will be up until 3 a.m.

Thursday at work will be rough, but I'll manage. I always do.

And don't worry, The Audient will remain a safe space for Star Wars spoilers until you get to see the movie yourself. Though I had a discussion online yesterday with friends about whether spoilers will even be a thing with this movie. It's a prequel, and we don't know anything about the characters, so casual mentions of what may or may not happen to them will a) probably not be something we have to try very hard to avoid exposing ourselves to, in part because b) people probably won't be making these casual mentions anyway.

Plus, I take seriously the spoiler avoidance responsibilities bestowed on me by my occasionally advantageous time zone.

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