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(Photo: © Jasin Boland/Universal)

Judging from last night's press screening and sneak preview for The Bourne Ultimatum at the Guild 45, that spy thriller has

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The Peanut Ultimatum

Matt Damon survives legume assault!

bourne.bmp

(Photo: © Jasin Boland/Universal)

Judging from last night's press screening and sneak preview for The Bourne Ultimatum at the Guild 45, that spy thriller has huge buzz behind it and should be a massive summer hit. It also helps that this trilogy-ender is so much better than the tepid Spider-Man 3 and bloated Pirates of the Caribbean III. (See our glowing review by Nathan Lee.) The line was around the block to the Guild 45's east theater--that's the older, larger one without stadium seating; the one that, frankly, has terrible sight lines, looks awfully threadbare, and smells funny. (Didn't the roof catch on fire three summers back as the result of a nearby apartment blaze? Water damage, perhaps.) Not that anyone was complaining, despite fans patiently enduring a wait exceeding an hour (for some) out in the heat. Meanwhile, for once, we pampered journalists and critics were even more cooped up and uncomfortable--penned in the lobby (even hotter than outside), because the prior showing of Rescue Dawn ran long. (Just like the Vietnam War, come to think of it.)

Usually we elitist members of the MSM are ushered in early to claim all the best seats. But this was a "mixed" screening, and one should never complain about judging a movie with the instant feedback of an appreciative live audience--instead of a cavernous hall with a half-dozen mirthless fellow journos. Everyone settled down nicely to enjoy the show, with only a few empty seats. And everyone seemed to dig the movie, which met my sole criterion for a good summer flick: more and better ways to smash up cars, which Bourne supplies in spades. Only amid the sound of crunching metal, breaking bones, beeping computers (Bourne 3 is very heavy on computers and electronic surveillance), gunshots, and explosions, I kept hearing this weird organic crunching sound next to me. When the lights went up after two satisfying hours of espionage and payback, I saw why.

The dude sitting next to me had eaten and shelled about 10 pounds of peanuts, and left the casings in a huge pile on the floor. (Along with all his other garbage--classy!) So, yes, this is a summer movie you definitely want to see. But this is not the way, or the theater, in which you want to see it. This Friday's options include the Metro, Meridian, Oak Tree, Columbia City, Factoria, Majestic Bay, Kirkland Parkplace, and Lincoln Square. And in none of those cinemas, I hope, do they sell peanuts by the pound. Yes to Bourne, no to peanuts.

 
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