Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews’ Category

War, Inc. Interruptus

Monday, May 19th, 2008

In a parallel universe, Monday night’s New York Film Academy screening of John Cusack’s War, Inc. was great, as was the Rachel Maddow-moderated Q & A that followed the screening. Back on earth, however, the screening didn’t go quite so well.  In fact … it barely went at all.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  A few days ago, when my anti-war limericks won me a War, Inc. screening ticket, I thought, “How cool!”  And it probably would have been cool, had the attendees gotten to see (and hear) more than a few minutes of the film.

I knew there was trouble almost as soon as the movie started. Both the picture and the sound seemed to come from a copy so worn out, it should have been tossed a good decade before the movie was even conceived.

And that was the good part.

Several minutes into the showing we lost all the sound, during what looked to be a very key scene.  And no amount of shouting from the audience could arouse the projectionist from his apparent stupor.

As the movie kept soundlessly going, several of us left the screening room to look for the projectionist or someone else to yell at.  Did I mention that nobody seemed to be in charge?

Finally someone located the projectionist, who unapologetically claimed that he’d only left the room for two minutes. 

Liar, liar! Projector on fire!

The obnoxious fellow (presumably a film student) finally got the thing going again, but refused to rewind.  No matter, though, because almost immediately he lost the sound again, and again, and again.

At this point, an audience riot seemed inevitable.  Okay, maybe not a riot — we’re liberals, after all.  Still,  we’re talking two or three hundred seriously miffed people.

Since I wasn’t exactly missing anything,  I stepped out of the room for a moment to make a phone call.  And on my return I heard someone yell that the screening was over and everyone had to leave. 

Another attendee told me that during my brief absence the projectionist had claimed that an irate audience member had assaulted him.  Let’s just say that  Mr. “I Was Only Gone Two Minutes” isn’t exactly a credible witness. 

And so we all straggled out, angry, frustrated, and disappointed. And based on what little I saw of War, Inc. probably sadder about missing Rachel Maddow than about missing the actual movie.

Which reminds me, I wonder if anyone told Rachel and screen writers Mark Leyner and Jeremy Pikser to not bother showing up for the Q & A.

Like I said, nobody seemed to be in charge. [tags]War, Inc., New York Film Screening, Rachel Maddow, John Cusack, Angry Liberal Mob, Mark Leyner, Jeremy Pikser, Joan Cusack, Marisa Tomei, Hilary Duff, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley[/tags]