Richard dropped me off at the box office and went to park the car. Through the glass enclosure, I requested two seniors, sliding my $20 under the glass. The young girl attendant, hair swinging in her pony tail passed me back $4 with a big smile. She turned back to her text book, marking it furiously with a yellow highlighter. I noticed her fingernails were painted a smokey blue color which matched her eye shadow.
Why do they have the ticket process set up with that awkward slit to pass money and tickets through? I doubt they ever have more cash on hand than say a 7-11 store.
I waited in the foyer listening to the popcorn popper aka money machine, almost swooning from the smell of exploding corn and deconstructing butter. The snack counter reputedly takes in more money than the box office in a typical theatre but there's no security there. I started to go for the popcorn when Richard came in and the spell was broken.
Inside Theatre1, it was darker than a coal mine. I could not see my hand in front of my face and in the dark I teeter around (no visual references for ground zero) and frequently lose my balance. Richard propped me up and nudged me along, half-pushing me into a aisle seat at the back. It was a temporary seat until our eyes adjusted to the light - but wonder of wonders, as we acclimated we realized the theatre was pretty full. From the back we could see the silhouettes of heads hovering above all the good seats on the aisle. We stayed put.
Our timing was off; we were way too early. We try to avoid the dreaded coming attractions during which the sound is deafening (unless you're already deaf) and the walls shake. Three films are coming: basically all the same fantasy action things - 80% special effects/animation. Raptor-like monsters shrieking and screaming swoop down on scantily clad women; rows and rows of armored creatures swing swords and clubs. Yawn. Also upcoming is Fifty Shades of Grey which pretty much describes the Fallbrook early bird film audience. Another yawn...the two characters appear (to me) to have zero perceptible chemistry. As you couldn't scrape up a teaspoon of either estrogen or testosterone from that theatre audience, the snippets of heavy breathing and moaning were falling on deaf ears. At last, on comes Gone Girl and OMG I can't hear any of the dialogue. Gone sound! The principal characters meet in New York at a trendy party. The sound mix was horrible and background noise obscured the speech, just like in real life! I wasn't the only one squirming around straining to hear. Sound was bad through the whole thing; Richard, with 100% of his hearing intact, agreed.
Nevertheless the film was entertaining and because the author also wrote the screen play it was true to the story. My guess is that most of the audience had read the book and most of us knew what was going to happen. On film, the violence is more, well, violent. Smack of slaps, smash of heads and gushing blood for various reasons; all this is easier to read (for me) than to watch. The abandoned shopping center, so spooky in the book, hardly makes an appearance in the film and when it does, you'd be hard pressed to figure out what it is. No problem, except for those fond of dystopian visuals, because the main character is spooky and crazy enough to keep everyone engaged. Rosamund Pike is perfectly cast.
Two films kept crossing my mind for similarities - Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (no surprise, same director) for the fearless female character and Rosemary's Baby, except in this film it's Ben Affleck's baby.