This is one of the reasons people stay home and not go to the movies.
Tuesday night, my wife and I went to Regal’s United Artists multiplex in downtown Berkeley. We enjoyed the movie, Knives Out, but we had to sit through a whole lot of garbage to see it. [I made a correction in this paragraph.]
We arrived about 7:00 for a 7:30 show. We got good, comfortable seats. But soon after we arrived, the pre-show came on. With the audio cranked up way too loud, an unbelievably upbeat young woman introduced us to pieces of “content” that was really just advertising.
Finally, 7:30 came around, the pre-show ended, and we were ready for a few trailers, followed by the picture. But no. There were more commercials to be screened. Twice we were told about the wonders of the Regal discount card. We sat through animated M&Ms. At least twice, the commercials tricked us into thinking that we were seeing a trailer.
Eventually, they finally showed us the real trailers. Don’t get me wrong; I like trailers before the movie. But four is about the maximum before they become annoying. I didn’t count, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw ten of them.
All bad things come to an end, and so did the far-too-many trailers. Ready for the movie? Nope. We had to see a few more commercials, including another one for that Regal discount card.
The movie finally started at 8:00 – half an hour after the official curtain time.
The good news: we really liked the movie.
Knives Out is an old-fashioned murder mystery set mostly in a big mansion – an Agatha Christie adaptation except that it’s funny. It’s not an out-and-out comedy, but writer/director Rian Johnson provided enough laughs to lighten the story and remind us not to take it too seriously. Daniel Craig plays the brilliant detective (well, occasionally brilliant), speaking in a not-quite believable southern accent. Like either version of Murder on the Orient Express, it’s filled with well-known movie stars. The cast includes Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer, and Frank Oz. Even M. Emmet Walsh turns up in a cameo. The lesser-known Ana de Armas carries the film.
I give Knives Out a B+. I give the Regal’s pre-show an F.