Thursday, March 10, 2011

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Drama at the Theater (Part 1: I Am Number Four)

That's a decently clever post title right there. I mean, not amazing, but like, 4:45 on a Thursday while at work clever, right? Whatever. I saw two movies in the last week and while that seems simple enough, anyone who thinks, "What is he going to post about? How could that possibly go wrong?" hasn't been paying attention.

First up was the sci-fi action movie "I Am Number Four," which my buddy and I went to see because we wanted to see an action movie, it has Timothy Olyphant from "Justified" in it, and we were intrigued by the massive disparity on between the audience's rating of 91% and the critics' rating of 36%. I guess if you went in planning on seeing a shitty sci-fi action movie, you probably rated it higher than if you just saw "The King's Speech" and this was just the next on your list.

Needless to say, people are dumb and it wasn't very good. We walked into the theater and felt like the title was actually referring to how many people were in the audience. My friend was number three. I was number four. I didn't bring a note pad or anything so I could do a Witz Flix running commentary, but I regretted it pretty immediately. About five minutes into the movie, the lead character is swimming in the ocean of Australia with some girl and his leg starts to glow and burn painfully. Instead of saying something like, "What is that? Did you get stung by a jelly fish??" the girl simply screams, "He's a freak!!!" and runs away. You can't coach hate.


They're forced to move to a quiet town in the Midwest, ironically named "Paradise." It's at that moment that I realized "I Am Number Four" is actually "Twilight" that's supposed to appeal guys. It's about an attractive, blond haired, muscular dude from outer space who comes to a small off-the-map town and falls for the local hot chick, but they never actually are able to seal the deal.

Despite looking like he came out of an Abercrombie catalogue, the main character is treated like an outcast at school and his guardian (Timothy Olyphant) tells him to, "Just blend in." Just blend in? He's a six foot, good looking, super ripped up dude who's clearly in his early to mid-twenties. Alien bullshit aside, this kid ain't blending in.

("Hi, I'm just a normal 17 year old kid. I'm certainly not an alien who looks human and is way too old to be in high school and it's DEFINITELY not weird that I'm trying to have sex with you.")

The part my friend and I couldn't accept, however, was at the end when the guy's regular looking dog suddenly turns into a giant alien dog, fights off other alien beasts to save him and then collapses on the floor, seemingly to die. The main characters eventually (SPOILER ALERT) kill all the bad guys, and then they just wander off into the sunrise. My friend and I both had the same reaction: "WHAT ABOUT YOUR DOG!? How about a quick check to see what happened to man's best friend and maybe to give it a proper burial if need be? How about a quick look-see for your fucking SPACE DOG, which just SAVED YOUR GODDAMN LIFE? Oh, I guess not." In the last scene of the movie, the dog comes hobbling back to the group on three legs and everyone's just like, "Oh hey, there's that space dog-- cool." This is why aliens don't deserve nice things.

Having said all that, the movie was alright to watch if you took it with a grain of salt, or all of the snacks that we snuck in. When did movies give up on enforcing the no outside food or drink policy? They used to pat me down or eye every bulge that might have been a pack of Combos when I was a kid (which, when I type it like that, sounds fairly molesty), but I can now walk into a theater with a jacket CLEARLY filled with a foot long sandwich and a bag of chips and nobody cares anymore. This has to be up there with Women's Suffrage, the Civil Rights Movement, and Gay Marriage for the top social advances in the last 100 years.

This time, I snuck in some almonds and those Cadbury Mini-Eggs with the hard candy shell and the delicious velvety chocolate inside. Everything was going well until about the 70 minute mark, when I nonchalantly tossed a mini-egg into my mouth. It missed my teeth, missed my tongue, and landed snugly halfway down my throat. I coughed; it didn't budge. I coughed again, a little more seriously; nope. I tried to breath and found that I couldn't.

Thoughts ran through my mind: "Oh my god, I don't know how to administer the Heimlich to myself...," along with, "I wonder if my friend knows the Heimlich," and, "I don't want to make a scene in the middle of this movie theater because of a Cadbury Mini-Egg." And then: "Holy shit. Am I gonna fucking die in a movie theater while watching 'I Am Number Four'?? Oh shit oh shit oh shit!"

A story suddenly popped into my head-- the story of my freshman year roommate in college, who was choking on a lifesaver candy and suddenly remembered that there was a hole in the middle: "I just stopped freaking out and breathed normally, dude!" he had told me. What hadn't I tried? I swallowed and the egg moved. I swallowed again and I felt it find its way down to my stomach. I had a few crazy thoughts, like, "But I didn't crack the shell! Can my stomach digest an uncracked mini-egg?" but was otherwise alright. As far as anyone could tell, all that had happened was another minute of "I Am Number Four."

"I almost just died," I whispered to my friend.
"What?" he asked, turning his attention to me and leaning in.
"Choking on a mini-egg; I almost just died." This time he heard me.
"What the fuck is the matter with you?" he replied and turned back to the movie.
"I am number four," I whispered jokingly, but there was an explosion, and he didn't hear a word.

(it would have been a worthy death)

I Bet the Second Alien Got ENDLESS "Number Two" Jokes,