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Where's Jackie Chan's forehead?

At least two loud drunks were hollering rude remarks at the screen from the back of the room, and some chattering Chihuahuaheads were blabbering in all directions. I hate loud talkers at the movies, and I’ve never heard so many at one screening. Welcome to tonight's Jackie Chan double feature at the UC Theater.

When I switched to the other side of the auditorium, someone was eating pizza in front of me, someone else had a cheeseburger behind me, the clashing odors were obnoxious, and both eaters were talking with their mouths full — rudeness in both sound and stink.

I moved again, but there was someone else eating what seemed to be a tuna melt, and with onions, judging from the scent. Most theaters don’t allow customers to bring food, but the UC doesn’t care, so the shows are usually in Odorama. I always bring food to the movies, too, but never hot food. "I am not an animal! I am a human being!"

So I moved to a fourth seat, against the wall, where a dozen empty chairs separated me from the classless crowd’s dinner entrees and colorless commentaries. From this remote vantage point, I tried to enjoy the show.

The first movie, Armour of God (1986), has a plot that makes minimal sense. Chan plays a mercenary treasure hunter, and for comic relief his partner is someone unwilling to fight, but the sidekick isn’t funny or interesting, and the movie sometimes stretches twenty minutes without any action. An action movie without action isn’t much, especially a subtitled action movie without action.

When things start happening, though, it gets good. Highlights include a kung fu duel pitting Chan against four high-heeled high-kicking busty black women, a heart-stopping slow-motion jump from a mountain cliff to a hot air balloon, a Jeep vs motorcycle chase that isn’t at all a movie cliché, and the opening action sequence (viewed through clouds of anchovies and mozzarella) that left me breathless (and gagging).

I’ll recommend the movie, but I can’t recommend seeing it at the UC. Or seeing anything at the UC. I love their calendar of old movies, but it seems most of the time when I come, something ain’t right.

Tonight, in addition to the unruly crowd, the projection was out-of-frame, amputating everyone’s scalps just above the eyeballs. I assumed that the projectionist was reading a good book or something, but maybe it was intentional? When the second reel started, the film was properly framed, and people had hair above them instead of below them — but only for a few seconds. It was quickly maladjusted, and the rest of the movie played with the top few feet of the image at the bottom.

Also, as always, the UC’s screen isn’t able to accommodate a wide-screen movies, or they’re too cheap to buy the right lens for the projector. The image was truncated by a yard on each side, and it was obvious, since even the subtitles were chopped off. Yessir, at the world-famous UC Theater, what they’re world-famous for is not giving a damn.

At intermission, four college kids took seats almost in front of me, and pulled two six-packs of beer from a bag. I left, and caught the next train home. I’ve seen the second feature before, Wheels on Meals, and it’s an excellent comedy, worth seeing again, but not worth enduring at that dump.

Jackie Chan was finally defeated tonight, not in a movie, but by a crowd, with help from a projectionist. 

♦ ♦ ♦

On the BART ride home, I saw a very short man wearing a Giants jacket, which made me giggle. I’m 6’2’’ and weigh 300+ pounds, and I’d like a jacket that says, Dwarfs.

 From Pathetic Life #7
Thursday, December 15, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Pathetic Life 

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