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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The death of movie trivia

    Andi Berlinarts columnist
    Andi Berlin
    arts columnist

    Film historians and geeky video store clerks still complain about the death of the drive-in, but now they have something much worse to berate. Possibly the coolest part of the movie-going experience is falling by the wayside, and all we have to replace it are Mountain Dew commercials.

    I walked into the Century El Con Theater last week and was startled to discover the previews had already started.

    “”Strange, I’m only 10 minutes early,”” I thought, and then realized there was something wrong with the sound. I couldn’t really hear what the obnoxious freckled little kid was trying to sell, and even worse, the lights were still on.

    And then, the horror hit me. What happened to the Coca Cola slides? The ones with all those cool movie quotes and quizzes about random celebrities?

    What happened to the local advertisements for pet stores, real estate agents and questionable charter schools? And worst of all, what happened to the movie theater radio station that played Nickelback and bad R&B songs that appear during the credits of Disney movies?

    I felt so cheated. I know everyone hated those boring slides when they had to sit through them for half an hour, but now that they’re gone, I miss them like a dead schoolteacher.

    Maybe they were repetitive, but you’ve got to admit they had a certain charm. First of all, the slides were a local outlet for previously unknown businesses to force their advertisements on the ambivalent public.

    But what made them different from these commercials was that they leveled the playing field. It wasn’t the soda corporations and international banks that got all the attention. It was the underdogs, the silent movers and shakers of free market capitalism, the orthodontists.

    But even more importantly, the slides were great because you could tune them out. When fake skater guys are jumping off cliffs and eating insane amounts of Kit Kats at a near-audible level, it’s almost impossible to carry on a conversation.

    What if, and I admit this has never happened to me, you were on an actual date? Would you want to waste all of that valuable get-to-know-your-bowel-releasing-schedules and reasons-you-cry-at-nighttime just watching television ads? God, no, not for the world.

    But perhaps the most horrific indication of times to come is the message these commercials send the public. “”Just sit back and tune into our Coke commercials in disguise as contests for young filmmakers. Sip your fountain soda and become a droid forever, because the real previews are also twice as long now. Why don’t you just skip the movie altogether?””

    Which leads me to my newest experiment in modern entertainment. Since people apparently prefer clichǸ one-liners and summaries of actual ideas to the real stuff, I’ve devised a more interesting method of writing my columns.

    I’m about to introduce to you folks, the first-ever column preview. All of the humor and lighthearted rompery of the real thing, but shorter and easier to swallow. Here it is, a feel-good triumph of the imagination and one woman’s desire to conquer the world, at a price.

    Cue fat white guy’s really deep voice: Coming September 32, a time to end all times. One girl, one hope, one slightly bitter plate of hummus. It started out innocent, but nothing is what it seems.

    Cue Andi’s feeble attempt to be funny and random: “”And I was like, man, I could get better hummus if I was eating out of Christopher Reeve’s asshole in Tacoma, Wash. Especially if he wasn’t dead and eating garlic that day.””

    Cue poignant Zero 7 song: Dah dah dah, beeple bam, synthesizer, lots of wailing.

    Cue announcer again: She started out on the top of the world, but the people at the top always have the farthest to fall. From the acclaimed writer of “”Cereally, the Boxx isn’t that bad”” and “”Well fuck, I guess I should just kill myself,”” comes a tale of trickery, wisdom and what it takes to make your way in this tricky little world.

    Screen fades to black, quotes appear: “”A guilty pleasure. Knock you off your socks fun,”” Roger Ebert says.

    “”I’d rather step on a nail in Tijuana and have my balls ripped off by a manta ray than be forced to sit through this mess one more time,”” The New York Times says.

    Cue various slow-motion clips of Andi eating, running to the bathroom squeezing her legs and then emerging triumphantly and marching back to the table to finish the plate once and for all: “”Will I ever finish this hummus? Time will only tell. I know what can help in my futile quest that only a slightly masochistic Kate Winslet on Trimspa would attempt. A refreshing soft drink.””

    Announcer: In a world full of questionable food products, never be afraid to “”Do the Dew!””

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