My city is quickly disappearing. It's last shreds of self identity and integrity are being quickly swallowed up by the consumerist franchise culture that is devouring this country. One of the distinct elements of our town, a drive in theater located by a major intersection, was recently acquired for almost 3 million dollars. Saturday night on October 3rd was the last night the drive in theater was showing movies, so four of my friends and I decided to see a movie before the drive in was no more.
The choices were a bit limited, between "District Nine" (a great film, but I had already seen it and another individual wanted to see it in a normal theater), "Inglourious Basterds" (I refused to see it as I am not a Tarantino fan), "Sorority Row" (why we skipped it needs no explanation), "Surrogates", and "Pandorum". Seeing as how the two of them looked to be pretty bad, I leaned on "Surrogates", as it wasn't getting quite as bad reviews as "Pandorum". We went to the theater with full intention of seeing "Surrogates", but in the confusion of the flood of people saying goodbye to the beloved theater, we found ourselves in line for "Pandorum". There were so many people, that it attracted the local news channels.
The film itself was utterly terrible. The plot was convoluted, the acting was overdone, and the film was trying way to hard to be a mind-fuck, but just became boring. The fight scenes were dry, as they were composed of some very dull and disinterested choreography. The characters were all two dimensional, making the tension utterly fall apart as there were no real people to connect you to the laughably idiotic excuse of a story the film contained. The five hundred plot twists were all comical, and the happy ending stuck out like a sore thumb due to the morbid tone of the rest of the movie. My attention drifted, and whenever I was engaged I was too busy laughing to actually observe the motion picture.
The mutants in the movie were extremely far from scary. They looked like the orcs with a pigmentation problem. Half the film were these ridiculous makeup covered anemic cannibals running and screaming at some very bored and overacting actors. It was a very ugly film, lacking any grace or class, but instead rolled itself in filth. The lighting was for shit, and the dozen plot holes were almost as implausible as the number of glow sticks the main character pulled out of nowhere. I was half expecting the film to turn into a rave at certain scenes. This expectation, however, was more of hope than anything else, as people dancing to techno would have been more interesting to watch than this shit. I give it one and a half star (the extra half coming from one or two interesting visuals), and a very well grounded Some ol' Bullshit.
However, the entire experience was something I will remember. A crisp fall night, with a bright moon highlighting the clouds hanging along the horizon made for a gorgeous sky, which hung over the giant screen my group's truck was parked in front of. The city was quieter than usual, aside from the occasional siren or helicopter flying into the nearby air force base. Cameramen ran amongst the army of vehicles, and the heavy, skunk scent of some anonymous stranger's joint filled the air. People were quiet and respectful, as we all, collectively, cherished and mourned the memory of a 58 year old drive in theater, whose end reflected the once distinct identity of this southwestern city.