Yes, it was definitely Chase hell, but not for a LOT of people.
I'm 47 years old. I've been to a few movies. I sat in the balcony at the Tampa Theatre and watched as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flew straight at me at that movie's opening. I was there when 4 movies meant a megaplex (though that word hadn't been invented yet.) I remember going to the movies for half a buck.
I saw Smokey the Bandit 1 and 2 open (yeah #3, even though it was in 3-D didn't catch my interest as Burt Reynolds skipped it, may he RIP, but Jerry Reed as the Bandit?)Any way, I've been to some movies. You'd think I'd know a thing or twelve about the movies and I do, I know when to buy and how to use the all-day pass, I know you don't even have to smuggle in water, all you need is a water bottle, but I didn't know that there are a lot of losers who spend all day at the movies on Christmas.
In my 47 years I have never been to a theatre that was as crowded all day long as the theatre was yesterday, and I can speak on this because I was there from 11 - 7. Er, wow, that's 8 hours at the movies, of course I think 1/2 of that was at the Curious Case of Benjamin Button (in the movie the character aged in reverse, I wasn't that lucky, I left that movie much older, hello, do they still edit movies? If you can't say it 3 hours, maybe a rewrite is in order?)
It was wild, every movie was crowded, there were lines to get in. Curiously, the longest lines were to see Sean Penn in Milk. I didn't think that would be a big draw, particularly in a state that overwhelming voting against giving gays any basic rights. Perhaps this movie should have come out of the closet before the November elections where Florida's amendment 2 got stomped like a Nark at a Biker Rally (l love that line.)
So it was crowded which I quickly found out meant I had a choice; either be at my movie before the ticket start time and catch all of those annoying commercials and previews or sit up front.
I was a little late for the start of Doubt, so I slid in to the second row, and couldn't handle it. I remember sitting up front as fun when I was a kid, as an adult it meant motion sickness. I had to slide out of that and into Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories. It was a typical Adam Sandlar movie, stupid, but not in a funny way. I imagine it was ok if you are 10. But if you are 10 you aren't reading this so let me save you some time, he gets the job, knocks out the bad guy, saves the school and gets the girl. Just saved you 90 minutes.
Of course switching from Doubt meant I was off-schedule and ultimately I would only get to 3 movies, but hey, life moves pretty fast when you are at the megaplex and you have to be able to adapt. Which I did.
Next was Frost/Nixon. It was slow, it was historical, I really liked it. Go figure they portrayed Nixon as less than honest. But I certainly learned a thing or three and for a history teacher that's not a bad thing.
The last movie was the ever-long Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was ok. It would have been good as a two-hour movie.
There you have it. It was 7:15 on Christmas Day 2008 before I even saw a person I knew. The first person I said Merry Christmas to was Jon Snader. A nice guy, he's someone my ex-wife used to do aerobics with. This is not how I ever pictured Christmas going. But, then I had a nice if not entirely "comfortable" meal with Ali's family. I made a quick side trip on the way home to drop off a couple of gifts and I was back in time to watch the Santa Clause triple feature (I, II, and III, the Escape Clause.)