This is the second week I've joined an outing (so to speak) of the East Bay Movie Bears group. This week it was at that jewel of the Lake Merritt area, the Grand Lake Theater, the fabulous 1920s theater which not only sports a top line Dolby Digital sound system in the main auditorium, but which precedes weekend evening perfomances with live organ music instead of commericals or inane slideshows. It's organ music, trailers, and then on with the show! The only downside is the seats, which my behind swears on a stack of bibles are the original 1920's vintage. Oy, my tuckus!
I'd guess 20-25 guys showed up. Some really nice ones. Looking forward to making friends with a few.
The evenement de cinema du jour was the new film Batman Begins.
$poiler$ ahead...don't read if you want to be surprised. As superhero movies go, it was -- pardon the pun -- superior. Realistic isn't a word that accomodates a story wherein a man dresses like a bat to fight crime, but unlike the stylized and/or cartoonish interpretations of previous films, this one treated the subject matter with just the right level of seriousness and resisted the temptation to teeter into nudge nudge wink winking at the audience.
Numerous small flaws, but not nits worth picking. Only big thumbs downs for me were the choppy fight scenes (too many fast cuts) and the over-the top car chase that had the ugly new BatmoHumvee driving on and leaping across rooftops. Hello, anyone think a tenement roof could support the weight of a tank?! Papa Wayne spank!
Afterwards the group wandered a half block up Grand Avenue to a The Alley Club, a neighborhood piano bar who decor is titular. The booths are separated by what appear to be wooden fences, and the bar is under its own shingled roof. It's littered and peppered with busines cards stapled to every conceivable and inconceivable surface. Look close...some of those cards are from at least the 60s if not earlier. Goofy!
We arrive too late for dinner, but that doesn't deter many. The majority stay, have a few drinks, and quite a few sing along badly with the songs played by Ron Dibble at the piano...your's truly included. Most songs are half remembered and many of those there can only remember the choruses. Oddly, a high percentage know all the words to "Cabaret". How stereotypical of us, and me!
Oops, I think I just outed myself again... but then, life is a Cararet, old chum. And I love a Cabaret!