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Screening the Screening
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My friend Evan got us tickets to see an advanced press screening of Jim Carrey's new movie, Yes Man, last night. You can read Evan's review here. This is my first experience at an actual press screening, though I had some expectations. Through this site and other channels, I've been invited to some exceptional events. And with all of them, I'm treated amazingly. I expected no different at this screening.

The goal of these things is to create the best possible scenario for members of the press to experience a company's products. Usually alcohol is involved. This was a dry theater, and my hesitation as to why I wasn't served a gin and tonic promptly upon entering the theater was made all to clear when I saw the people I would be spending the next hour and a half with. I expected old men in dusty overcoats scribbling in their notepads as the movie progressed. What I got was something else altogether.

I knew something was up when I was handed a cheap beer bottle opener from a local radio station upon entering. This indicated that:
  • a. Beer would be served
  • b. The average attendee would appreciate having a cheap plastic key fob that exclaims to the world, not only is 92.3 K-Rock my favorite radio station, but having a bottle opener on my keychain makes it easier to open beer bottles while I'm driving.
Before the movie started, an event occurred which was not dissimilar to half-time at a Florida Panthers hockey game. It's amazing what people will do for a free T-Shirt. Several of the staff hurled T-Shirts into the audience and into the balcony (of note: this was a large theater and they had great arms to reach the back rows). Suddenly, the theater became a frenzy of teeth and arms. Punches were being thrown. All for a T-Shirt one could create near perfectly in their basement with some puff paint. I thought these people were journalists, not crazed attire junkies looking for their next cotton fix.

When the movie started, (sans previews) I realized that the woman next to me would be providing her own running commentary throughout the film. Though, she wasn't talking about how the cinematography captured the awakening and brightness that Jim found throughout the film, but rather the "Oh damn girl, he di'n't just do that!" variety. I expected her to tire of this after fifteen minutes, though she was obviously encouraged by the roughly 60-70% of the rest of the audience who thought THEY'D provide the same reactions. It suddenly became clear as to why I'm developing a wonderful case of agoraphobia. It's not that I hate some people, it's that I hate all people.

This would be an amazing world if there were no people in it. Think of the freedom you'd have on the highways. You wouldn't get angry when the woman blocking the aisle in the grocery store takes five minutes picking out her favorite type of tampon. And you could watch movies in silence, without the nagging improvised mating calls of the other people in the theater. I'd take someone's Celine Dion ringtone going off repeatedly over this any day.

I'm rather amazed that journalists can act this way. I'm not even sure they were journalists. I ran into one guy leaving the theater and saw what I can only surmise were dried fecal matter on his pants. It was an experience I won't soon forget, especially when I'm in the comforts of my own home, watching a DVD privately whilst spitting on the little people.
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7 Comments

Dude, you'd have to give me a bunch of gin and tonics to see this latest damn formulaic looking Jim Carrey movie. I'd figure wacky audience comedy would be the main reason to see check it out..

said E on December 16, 2008 7:16 PM.

Ahahaha. That wasn't a PRESS screening, it was a PROMOTIONAL screening. I review movies in my city, and have had to suffer through several of those horrible, loud, crowded moron-fests. The studios send out way more passes than there are seats available, so it's always as crowded as Pam Anderson's bra. I don't know how it happens, but the mailing list contains the worst sort of rude, no-manners idiots in the world. Press screenings, on the other hand, are sweet. It's usually only about ten people, and the times I went the manager gave us free popcorn and drinks.
I sympathize. All that, and the movie's previews make it seem kind of sucky.

said dan tacos on December 17, 2008 10:50 AM.

The only press screening I ever went to was for 300. Beautiful preview theater, fantastic print and sound, and mostly quiet journalists. Except the front three rows were reserved, and at the last minute they trooped in about 40 kids, who looked to me like they were high school students from Washington Heights. I guess, testing the movie with a different demographic. Everyone seemed to enjoy it equally though.

said Scaramouch on December 17, 2008 11:22 AM.

Seriously, echo, half-time at a hockey game? I know it's the Panthers, but even they have to play 3 periods...

Otherwise, sounds like you're ready to jump at the next chance...

said Dan on December 17, 2008 1:35 PM.

You crack me up! When are you coming to the Coulson house for dinner? ..you'd better be funny when you get here though! ;)

said CindylovesScara on December 17, 2008 5:17 PM.

Dan - My apologies to hockey fans everywhere. This stems from the one and only professional hockey game I ever attended, which was, in fact, a Florida Panthers game. And I remember them throwing T-Shirts into the crowd. Sad that I didn't remember there wasn't a half time at all.

Cindy - That sort of pressure freaks me out. It takes days and sometimes weeks for me to open up. Even at the YBNBY meet-ups, I'm usually the quiet one in the corner. But the prospect of a free meal may be enough to drag me across the Hudson.

said Echowood on December 17, 2008 5:47 PM.

Echo, what are you doing in the tampon aisle? It's usually baby stuff on one side and women's personal items on the other side...
Unless your signif other (or mom?) asks you to buy her tampons for her....

said sarcastic one on December 17, 2008 8:40 PM.
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