Film geeks scare me – and this coming from a film major. But while I appreciate the art of cinema, I have never been one of those line-up-hours-in-advance-to-catch-the-premiere types. You know who I’m talking about. The geeks who dress up like the characters in the film and painstakingly discuss all they’ve read on the blogosphere, including the director’s previous fires and misfires and always, always, how the film can never ever ever be as good as the graphic novel. Typically, they discuss this over Cheetos, cigarettes and oversized Cokes. And even though for the most part these people are harmless high school dweebs and outcasts who bond over their love of certain films and genres and the fact that their teenage bodies are slowly atrophying while the rest of their peers are fucking and playing sports, I still do not like them. If these shunned pale teens are looking for an outlet, they should go listen to punk music. At least then you get to fuck shit up.
My friend Jim is one of these people. He’ll pretend he’s reformed, but place Jim in the presence of a sci-fi summer epic and he’s reduced to a speed-talking little film twit, overcome with excitement. And The Dark Knight really got him bad.
Poor Jim. Jim had tickets months ago for the first screening of the new film – Heath Ledger’s last project – on triple, omega pixilated IMAX no less, and he wanted to know if I wanted one. I said fine. You can’t help but smile at Jim’s exuberance and I loved Batman Begins, so why not?
I showed up last night at the theater at Colorado and I-25 at around 10:45 p.m. for a 12:01 a.m. screening. Jim had been there in line since 7 p.m., waiting with the geeks on a lawn chair he purchased just for the occasion. By the time I arrived, Jim was in the theater with several of our other friends, seats saved. But while I was allowed into the actual building, I was not allowed to join my group, and instead was told to wait in a very long line. I dutifully sauntered to my position, where slowly I realized a) How much older I was then everyone surrounding me and b) How much cooler. And I don’t pretend to be very cool, either. I go bird-watching, for christ’s sake.
But boy howdy, these were some geeks. Dudes dressed as jokers, nervously stoned little fuckers giggling and wedging Sour Patch Kids between their braces, a dude with a Batman mask who challenged another dude in a Batman mask to a duel with fucking paper towel rolls.
“You’re not the real Batman!” one yelled to the other.
“No, you’re not the real Batman!” the other responded.
I wanted to yell out, “You’re both ruled out; the real Batman has had sex!” but I was stopped in my thoughts by the gaggle of geeky, fat, suburba-trash behind me, a genre of teen I didn’t even know existed before last night.
They were chortling, pushing each other around, occasionally bumping stick-figures out of the line, and then one, the one with the mustache, leaned over to his buddy and whispered possibly the geekiest thing I heard all night.
“Yo,” he said. “Pass me the Bat-flask.”
At this, his buddy produced a flask and handed it to him. Suburba-trash Mustache drank mightily.
But it gets better.
Spotting a little shorty who caught his fancy by the snack bar, Suburba-trash Mustache told his friends to “Watch this,” and he made his way over to holler. The girl finished her purchase and breezed right by him as he coolly pushed his hand through his hair – a la, I was never even going to talk to that girl anyway, total Fonz move – and circled back to his posse.
“I was thinking,” he said, not even addressing his botched mating attempt. “We might have to throw down on some little bitches tonight.”
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While I so badly wanted to see Suburba-trash Mustache throw down on some bitches, Jim called me on the phone and told me I was a fool to wait in line with these people. While Jim was and is one of these people, he is older now, wiser. He came and got me out of line and simply marched me past the rest of the crowd and the doorman – a cool, “He’s with me” my golden ticket – and like that I was in.
But stupid Jim forgot the Bat-flask. – Adam Cayton-Holland
For Scout Foundas's review of The Dark Night, click here.