Sunday, November 11, 2007

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" singalong

Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is usually re-released in some theatres every year around Halloween for a short run since it makes sense considering the subject matter of the film. Last year, they issued a 3-D version of the film, which incorporates the 3-D effect in a realistic manner as opposed to the gimmicky effects that were prevalent in the 3-D movies of the 70s or so. It doesn't make a huge difference in the film but rather just adds to the overall effect of the film. We had seen the film last year and liked it, and while I like "Nightmare" ok, it's not a particular favorite of mine, so we hadn't planned on seeing the re-release of the 3-D version this year.

The El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood is a gorgeous refurbished movie house that belongs to Disney and where Disney shows most of their major new films as well as other periodic special engagement runs of older films. The 3-D version of "Nightmare" was again coming back to the El Capitan, and a friend noticed that the 11:30pm screening every night would be a singalong version of the film and suggested that might be fun. So, a few of us arranged to go to the 11:30pm showing this past Friday night.

Knowing that it would be a long day since it was a work day, and with the late screening time and my propensity for falling asleep in movie theatres, I decided to head off that particular problem at the pass. After getting home and having a quick dinner, I also had a short nap so I was refreshed enough so that I managed to sit through the entire film without really being tired at all. That was nice.

As one might expect, it wasn't very crowded for that screening. We go to the El Capitan often enough that we have our favorite seats, in the balcony. The El Capitan has some reserved seats, deemed VIP, which for a higher-priced ticket includes a bucket of popcorn (usually in a themed plastic bucket) and a drink. The popcorn and drink are nice, but we get the VIP seats mainly for the reserved seats, which eliminates any wait time, especially for the times when we're attending an evening show on opening day of a new film.

While I've seen "Nightmare" a few times before, it's not one where I know the words very well. Most of the songs (except for maybe "This is Halloween" and "Kidnap the Sandy Claws") aren't particularly sing-songy, and I've not been one to listen to the soundtrack on my own. They basically turned on the open-captioning during the singing parts, so it was nice to be able to read everything they were saying/singing since I haven't always been able to follow previously. When Jack sings about being the Pumpkin King, I don't recall having focussed on him saying that because he's dead, he can take off his head, and recite Shakespearean quotations.

And it had only been maybe a year ago or so that I'd really listened to the words of "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" and heard for the first time the lyrics "chop him up in bits". Wow, that's much more extreme than throwing him in a box or whatever else they suggest doing to him. Nasty little kids are Lock, Shock and Barrel.

The combination of having the song lyrics and the refresher nap made me much more aware of every aspect of the story, and it is very well crafted, and I had a great time at the showing.

The El Capitan Theatre - why doesn't everyone go there?

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