Freezing was the temperature on the journey toward the preview screening of T3. The line was milling and the people outside the cinemas were floating a full hour prior to the screen time of 19:00. With time in sweaty hand there was a need to find some way to lose the next thirty minutes before Jimmy was expected to show. Walking around the city blocks twice over and crawled to a slow did the trick. Spotting the other half of the "ADMIT TWO" I walked alongside and startled a steaming cup of caffeine. Joining the line the crowd of bodies moved quite smoothly into the carpeted carpets of the cinemas. A lot of people were ahead of us and they were lined up against the wall. We tried to make the break over but an usher named Lindsay held us up and siphoned us into the flank on the other side of the stairs. Dangerous was a case of beer and a beer they did not serve. What was served were a lot of fat blokes and hot chicks. They rivalled each other and easily overtook the many banners of a commercial radio station priding itself on the amount of commercials they run.
Nothing on the preview cards mentioned anything about kicking the air from the floor in an epileptic fit. But there we were, shuffling our shadowed feet past a line of flickering blue and violet lights toward a door guarded by more women. A valid question was raised, "can't I keep the damned pass?" and shot down with "you can pick them up afterwards from the box office." A rather flat answer, no more of a reason and yet a stinking smell of fear from the mooching patrons behind suggested we press on and into the seats without stalling any more than we need to.
The theatre was packed in with heads; bodies lined the plushed out fabrics rank and file. The emptiness was disappearing fast and we floated upward toward the back of the theatre. I spotted a couple of free seats, if not for the fact that they had popcorn sitting on the seats, reserved I thought, and higher we climbed. But then the popcorn boxes were still on the seats and to this I succumbed to the conclusion that we had passed up more stereo friendly seats in from fear of disrupting previous occupants. Choosing a seat near the aisle I started inhaling the popped corn when Jimmy mentioned something about being laced with "happy submissive powder" and reminiscing about a cold bucket of solid scrape friendly oil.
A shoulder length brunette asked if one of the seats marked with a box of popcorn was empty, indeed it was and I made my way over so that she didn't have to clamber over everyone. This led me to the situation of having to work two hands with two boxes of corn. She was without a luck and ended up in a seat with neither free soda or free popcorn. The patrons continued to pile in as I realise my left ear was now solid against a wall of stereo circumcision. Surround sound was not going to usher me into the realm that night.
Just a few more rows behind us was the wall and to that a clankering of sounds of hard plastic seats being unstacked in a fit of despair, no more chairs? We waited some more after the initial wait outside, and then after what seemed like the first carton of popcorn, the lights dimmed and Bianca Dye from the radio station wobbled in atop the shoulders of two guys in white shirts. The whole theatre choked on disappointment with one of the most testicle free renditions of "I'll be back" ever. Bets were made and settled with the inane screech of six times the Terminator.
Finally, the curtains were drawn to screen the free movie the people where here to see, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
Somewhat self-referential, respectful and full of explosions, the Schwarzenegger Terminator is a machine that defies an accurate model specification. In the previous sequel it was known as the T-800 and critics and reviews of T3 turned into T-850, but then Conan says that his model line was in fact T-101. In any event, the Terminatrix (Kristanna Loken) or T-X, knows how to style her hair pretty damn fast after the time-travel jaunt. Things change and the future is not set, and we have it in the balls of spherical time anomaly that look similar too but aren't exactly like what has come before. The explosions and crashes definitely entertained a guy on my left, the oohs and woahs flowed as free as the sweat on my palms, frozen into anticipation of what might explode next.
After a passage of time the lights were back on and the half the people were already gone. I picked up a bottle of coke and twisted it for the cracked seal of carbonation, taking a sip was the next step I wasn't going to make. Directions were scarce yet somehow we managed to walk by the box office. Not leaving without the souvenir preview pass I was dejected on the way home wondering why I left with one stamped at 18:30.
Reviewed on Wednesday, 16 July 2003