2005/12/26

Whither the Intermission

OK, I'm not here to discuss King Kong. Though I saw Kong on Christmas Eve and reviewed it here, I want to hit a closely related topic: Whatever happened to the movie intermission?

Used to be, when a BIG movie made it to the silver screen, there would be an intermission to allow you to grab some fresh popcorn, stretch your legs, and most importantly, take a leak. Jackson's Kong is a bladder clenching 3 hours and 15 minutes long. That's 195 minutes, boys and girls, and it's a long haul if you haven't managed to hit the head in the 5 minutes before the picture starts, deprived yourself of liquids for the duration, and managed to slip in a little nap before curtain time. (Read fashiongirl's tips for surviving such an ordeal here.)

Comparing Kong to some other famous films of similar duration...Spartacus, Kubrick and Douglas' gladiatorial epic from 1960s, clocks in at 196 minutes. And what do we find? Yup...an intermission, complete with bombastic music and 15 minutes of pee time. How about David Lean's Dr. Zhivago? 197 minutes, slightly better music, and an intermission with pretty scenery.

So what should this tell us? Probably that Hollywood feels pretty threatened by the notion of an intermission. Maybe they're afraid that once we're out of the theatre we'll conclude, "This movie blows! I'm going home." Seems pretty short-sighted to me because the next time I see a 190 minute film advertised, I'm probably gonna give some serious consideration to just getting it from Netflix. At least at home the popcorn is fresh, the bathroom is 5 steps from the couch, and most importantly I control the remote.

3 Comments:

Ah, yes, the 'Pause for the Cause' is always available at home! I'm kinda surprised to hear Kong doesn't have an intermission. Having an intermission gives a certain amount of class to a flick. And how much can they be enjoying the second half when the whole audience has to take a pee? Maybe Jackson figured he'd just scare it outta ya.
I love Netflix...no doubt they are one step away from downloading directly to tivo boxes - no need to deal with the USPS at all once that hits.

As to Kong, I haven't seen it. And, I am thinking, it never really was a great story to begin with, why would they bother remaking it in the first place as it has been over done as it is.
NO Intermission????OMG I would die...I need that break to go get More Peanut MM's and coke...I am a DVD person...my son and I have only gone to one movie in a year- Batman- the Snacks were more than the Matinee movie- I would rather just stay home- rent DVD's and eat popcorn- HIT PAUSE whenever I want...and spill coke, eat MM"S and grilled cheese etc etc..No crying babies, no arguing spouses, No deaf old people saying" What did he say???" and no sticky seats.....okay I am done ranting,...

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