This is a report of my pre-movie experience at Wonder Woman last night. This post is not about the movie, and doesn't contain any spoilers.
I parked in the nearby lot under the freeway. It was mostly full; unsurprising for 7:00 on a Friday night. Probably the reason that the space I parked in was empty was that the car in the next space had a wheel mostly in my space. I wish people were more careful about how they park.
Not sure I've ever been inside the Grand Lake Theatre before. It's lovely! And there was a live organist!
We ended up sitting in the second-to-last row, because that was the only place we could find four seats together. But it turned out to be fine; a perfectly good view of the screen, and there were only a couple of lines in the movie that I couldn't hear, probably more due to my gradually deteriorating hearing than to any sound problems.
Speaking of sound: The audience was very noisy during the previews. The house lights stayed on, and the audience didn't seem interested in watching the previews; they just kept talking. There was a preview for Valerian, and one for Atomic Blonde, and maybe that was it? I forget.
I don't think I've ever before been in a theatre where I couldn't hear the “please silence your cell phones” announcement due to the audience still talking loudly. I was concerned that that would continue through the movie, but I needn't have worried; even the two guys next to me stopped talking as soon as the lights went down.
So the lights went down, and there were scenes of male soldiers on a beach, and it fairly quickly became clear to me that the setting was Dunkirk, in WWII, and I was really confused, because I had thought Wonder Woman was set during WWI. And I was kind of annoyed that the opening featured a whole lot of men and no women. (Okay, one woman, possibly a nurse, in a medium shot of the deck of a ship.) And the Dunkirk scenes went on and on, and I was guessing that sooner or later we would see Steve Trevor shot down in a plane, but I couldn't figure out who all these other guys were or why we were getting so much focus on them.
And then, after what I learned this morning was seven minutes of all that, the word “DUNKIRK” appeared on the screen in big letters, and I still thought it was a place-setting title card, and then it became clear that what we had just watched was a seven-minute trailer for a completely unrelated war movie, all about men.
Someone nearby muttered, “Psych!”
And then Wonder Woman began.
And I gotta say:
Dear Grand Lake Theatre: you have a lovely theatre, but that was not really the best possible way to start your movie.
Also: Dear Christopher Nolan: a seven-minute trailer is kind of excessive, and giving no indication at the start that it is a trailer is pretty annoying.