So I drove all the way out to Hollywood to the Arclight Cinemas to meet up with John for a screening of Extreme Ops. John’s cousin, Mark Mullin, is co-credited with the story idea for the film, and although we pretty much knew it wasn’t gonna be a good flick, we figured that since it was free, we might as well go to see it. I should have seen the warning signs: a man asked us if we wanted “free tickets to a screening at the Arclight” as we walked by Amoeba Music. Hmm. There was a line there that was pretty long, filled with all manner of Hollywood urbanites. That is to say, local “commonfolk”. Inside, the Paramount Pictures publicist crossed my name off of a list – a list that appeared to have about 5 other names on it. Uh oh.
Inside the theater, it just got better. There were some folks from local radio station Power 106 FM, and they were gonna give out some freebies. Well, the “Extreme Ops” Chapstick was useful. But then the talent show portion began. He asked for someone to sing a little Frank Sinatra. Figuring I could get something out of it (and since no one else appeared to go up – they probably hadn’t heard of Frank Sinatra), I went up there and sang a little “New York, New York”. It had to have been the worst-sounding Sinatra I’ve ever done – it was awful. I’ve done better, but for some reason I got a little nervous in front of the crowd that I generally would be crossing the street to avoid. However, I got some applause, and as a result, got some prizes: two Extreme Ops ski hats, a Power 106 FM t-shirt, and 2 CDs (a Lil Bow Wow thing, and another crappy album that I’d never open). Yay for me!
The movie began, and I can’t begin to tell you how bad it was. I really can’t. Remember what I wrote about Solaris? Well, I manged to sit through all of it even though I was bored. Here, about 40-minutes in, John leaned over and said, “I’m ready to go whenever you are”. After a few more minutes (an action scene looked like it was gonna happen – but it didn’t) we quietly left. It’s the first time I’ve ever left a press screening in the middle of the film. But I’m sorry – it was just that bad. But the night wasn’t a complete loss – we walked over to Amoeba Music, and I got $4 credit with those two CDs I won. So I applied it and got the Swingers soundtrack (one I didn’t have, but have wanted) for $2.50 (after credit, of course). Not too shabby. At least my lips are not chapped.