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Okay … I’ve run out of comic book-sounding subheadings to tell my tale, but I WENT TO THE FUCKING MOVIES TODAY! If that’s not something to celebrate, I don’t know what is. The last time I saw a movie in a theater was Feb. 8, 2020, and it was the so-so, not so bad, not so hot Birds of Prey.
Now before you start lecturing me about this foolhardy decision, I must tell you that I am fully vaccinated, including my two-week safety zone (I got my second jab, as the dear Brits call it, on March 1). And yes, I was masked up, but yes, I also had snacks. And yes, I forgot that there are certain things I dislike about going to the movies, like people, People, and PEOPLE. (There’s never anyone getting up and walking in front of the screen when I watch a movie at home.)
I wasn’t at my theater of choice (ArcLight La Jolla). I went to the AMC 12 at La Jolla Village instead. They have those cushy leather recliners (which I can take or leave … too cushy and I fall asleep, especially if the movie sucks), but they installed them in such a way that they’re not on separate risers, just a slanted floor. So it makes it difficult to see over the people in front of you if they’re present (thankfully, they weren’t). And the food I purchased in advance was mediocre (pretzel bites) and I decided to splurge and have a rare Diet Coke, but they couldn’t quite get the machine to work, since it was empty. (Note to AMC employees: Maybe it’s a good idea to CHECK THINGS LIKE THAT BEFORE YOU OPEN?)
The movie was Nobody, starring Bob Odenkirk, better known as Saul Goodman of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fame, and it is my favorite genre, the one I like to call “mindless action movie.” I can’t decide if Nobody is a parody of action films … it certainly seems that way with some of the music they used and the way it’s cut. But there is a ton of mindless action and it’s great to see Odenkirk channel his inner Keanu Reeves and go full John Wick on a bunch of Russian bad guys. (Also it’s nice to see Russians return as a top choice for bad guys, which they certainly deserve.) Odenkirk plays Hutch Mansell, a simple guy with a beautiful wife, two lovely kids, an irascible father in a nursing home (played by the always wonderful Christopher Lloyd), a house in suburbia and a nondescript business. His house is burgled one night and he stands by helplessly, alienating his son and looking like a cowardly putz. But Hutch has a secret … he has a particular set of skills, skills he has acquired over a very long career. And when he uses those skills again, ostensibly to try and get back his pre-teen daughter’s kitty-cat bracelet, he unleashes the beast within.
Nobody has some great action scenes (car chases included) and Odenkirk certainly rises to the occasion. I had a hard time “believing” Liam Neeson in the Taken movies (imaginatively titled Taken, Taken 2, and Taken 3), especially when he was forced to run and those aged knees didn’t want to go along. Odenkirk seems younger than his actual age (58) and is not the out-of-shape guy that one imagines Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman to be. He’s believable in the stunts and seems to do a lot of them.
But I’m burying the lead here … I WENT TO A FUCKING MOVIE TODAY! Being able to do that is just an amazing feat as far as I’m concerned. I hope I can do it again soon and maybe finally see the oft-delayed Black Widow or (gasp!) No Time to Die, which has become more of a pandemic mantra than the title of the 25th James Bond film. Life is coming back, I hope, and just in time for spring.
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