Jared Felkins' Column: Losing touch with reality at the movies

“No matter what they're charging to get in, it's worth more to get out.”
May 5, 2013

“No matter what they're charging to get in, it's worth more to get out.”
― Roger Ebert

My wonderful Mary surprised our 11-year-old son, Bryant, and I with tickets to the movies Thursday night.

Given the circumstances our children had the day off from school Friday – obviously due to the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend – it was both a wonderful opportunity to provide some escape from the daily grind and a chance to spend some quality time with 60 percent of the family.

So we got a babysitter for the girls, and off we went for the premier of “Iron Man 3.” The Marvel comics movies of late have become something in which Bryant and I share common interest.

Mary didn’t just spring for any old tickets. As we headed east toward the movie theatre, it became apparent were in for a real treat – the latest Marvel installment, “Iron Man 3,” in IMAX 3D.

Despite my overwhelming concern we might need a small loan or at least federal grant to afford this outing, I stayed true to my instincts and chose to bask in the ignorance of what those tickets cost.

The fact is, it’s not often a family of five can enjoy the extravagance of such a movie experience on a meager newspaperman’s salary. That, coupled with the movie in choice’s content, compelled us to leave two-fifth of the family at home.

In retrospect, four hours with a babysitter may have left us holding the economic short straw as opposed to allowing the girls to go and take in the latest animated flick of the day.

Either way, it meant splitting up the family. And it appears we made the right decision to forego the girls’ participation on this outing.

Still clinging to my ignorance of the costs involved, it was an outstanding movie with some great twists. And the experience of watching it on a four-story wall with surround sound and three-dimensional effects that put you right in the action made it all the better.

When you go, make sure to check out the final scene following the credits as has come to be tradition in the Marvel movies. It’s worth the wait.

As we took our seats in the stadium that was the IMAX theater Thursday night, Mary opted to take orders and grab snacks – dinner for me – before the movie started. Instead of a drink carrier, a forklift might have been more appropriate for the incredible size options. The popcorn reminded me of the ball pit at Chucky Cheese’s. And she ordered the medium.

I shudder to wonder whether an attendant would arrive at your seat with a kiddie pool filled with your beverage of choice and extra-long straw had she opted for the large.

It’s a theory Jimmy Buffett ponders in his lesser-known hit, “Fruitcakes,” and I tend to agree with him as I reminisce about the gentleman next to me trying to fish out that last Junior Mint from the 5-pound box he bought.

So maybe I’m out of touch when it comes to going to the movies. Maybe I’ve become comfortable with kicking back in my recliner to watch the latest offering on Netflix or Hulu Plus or at the Redbox kiosk.

I’m not too sure even that argument holds water because the reclining seat at the IMAX 3D movie may have been more comfortable than my worn-out recliner.

Then again, with the money we spent Thursday night, I could have bought a new recliner, along with a kiddie pool and Jimmy Buffett’s new disc, for that matter.

But as we drove back west toward reality Thursday night, the car was filled with memorable movie moments and actual conversation. We discussed theories on who the next hero-bad guy combination would be and which parts were the scariest.

So as much as we spent – and I still don’t want to know – I think the experience may be worth more than anything. In fact, I’ll even consider it an investment in family.

At least that’s what I’m telling the IRS next year when I file my taxes.

Jared Felkins is The Democrat’s director of content. Email him at jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com or follow him on Twitter @paperboyfelkins.

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