My mother really wanted them to cut the surprise party stuff and put in MOAR MONSTAR, but then... she would. I'd read reviews that complained about the banality of the conversation in the first twenty minutes, but... dude, I thought that was the point. (How many parties have these people been to lately?) I thought the whole point was, these people are just as banal and chatty and gossipy as we are, and it's a just another normal night for OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! DID YOU SEE IT?! IT'S HUGE!!1!
Speaking of which, you see way more of the monster than I expected. You see it in frequent split-second glimpses; I don't know that you ever really get a really thorough look at it, although some wide aerial shots late in the movie when the gang is in a helicopter come close. (You know what it kind of reminded me of, actually? The cave troll in FOTR. I'm not sure why, exactly--just a sort of -ness about it.) Oh, and by the way, I vote that we name the monster Darwin, because he single... six-handedly removed some very, very stupid people from the gene pool. The stupid didn't bother me, though; panic--and, in Rob's case, obsession, I felt--can make people do stupid things. I thought Michael Stahl-David was very good at getting across this quixotic, mind-altering, mind-obliterating obsession with saving Beth because 1) he loved her and 2) they'd fought the last time he saw her. His friends went along because that's what friends do, you know? That's what friends are supposed to do, you can see them thinking, not grasping the enormity of what was going on around them, because that enormity--Darwin, if you will--is not the kind of thing your brain is prepared to accept. (See also: Marlena wandering the dust-filled street like a zombie after the first attack: "It was... eating... a group of people...") Even when the guns and the missiles are going off three feet away, I can still understand a total inability to process that Something Really Fucking Huge is laying waste to Manhattan. And really, I think you can argue that there was no real "right" thing for the gang to think of doing--stay near Rob's apartment and hole up, when the soldier mentions that the army may lay waste to all of Manhattan and give it up for lost? Cross the bridge and get away from the monster (which doesn't work)? Go underground to get away from the waste-laying (which doesn't work)? Allow the soldiers to evacuate you (which doesn't work either)? Obviously there were people who did get out alive, but there's also a number of not-saving-Beth options which weren't or wouldn't have been any better. What I'm saying is, Our Heroes were stupid, but it's a situational kind of stupid that I can understand. Kind of.
And of course, now I really want to see it again so I can watch for the monster, now that I know when we see him.
2. As for the format of the movie, what I love is that the MySpace citizen-journalist/famewhore generation (of which I'm part, really) makes it completely believable that someone would be fleeing a giant monster, drop a camera, and run back to get it. This movie could not have been made even five years ago, but now--again, it's a brand of stupid that I can totally believe.
3. This was the closest I have ever come in my entire life to getting up, walking up to the back of the theater, and telling someone to SHUT THE FUCK UP. There was a gaggle of young teens--thirteen or fourteen years old, maybe? About a dozen of them--to my upper right, and then another clutch, a bit older, to my left, lower down, and Sister Girl nearly got up to administer a beatdown herself. The group behind us was the worst: "Ewwww, a NUDIE PART!" (there was no actual nudity); "That was a BAD WORD!" ("douchebag"). There was a long silence in the last, oh, fifteen minutes of the movie, which they spent shrieking inanities (this was the point when Sister Girl actually whipped her head around and half got up out of her seat). The reason I didn't get up--I actually was tempted to just turn around and bellow at them--was because I didn't want to look away from the screen, much less go get a manager. And the fact that I hate confrontation and still wanted to actually fuck their shit up should suggest how deeply obnoxious they were, and I didn't even want to do that to the preteen girls giggle-gossiping and texting their way through Order of the Phoenix.
4. You know how people joke about Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons? Hand to God, I actually saw him tonight. He had two buddies with them, all three of them with carefully nurtured stubble, and as they left the theater, I heard him say, "If they had really done the research, they would have known that an EMP [there was an EMP?] would have erased the entire tape."
5. The Star Trek trailer is bullshit. Don't even bother, if that's what you're going for. It's a bunch of guys in goggles soldering the Enterprise together. There's no footage at all, and it lasts about five seconds.
6. I stayed for the after-credits thing, but I have no idea what it was (I mean, I read somewhere what it was supposed to be, but I couldn't actually hear it) because the Lower Leftketeers WOULD NOT SHUT UP. JESUS H. CHRIST, YOU WAITED THROUGH THREE HUNDRED YEARS OF OVERWROUGHT MONSTER OPERA TO SEE THE CREDIT COOKIE, AND THEN YOU TALKED THROUGH IT? "Hey! Run that back!" STAB STAB STAAAAB.