Back that thing up in here

So! I went to the theater the other day — the celluloid IMAX variety — and in the middle of the movie, just as Jeremy Renner was outlining some epiphanic plot point to friends of Tom Cruise, there was a commotion down at the front of the house, some sort of medical distress involving the aged. Not a heart attack, but a definite episode, maybe low blood sugar or an intestinal flutter, and an old codger had to be evacuated from his seat by a couple of paramedics hoisting a wheelchair.

The whole affair took less than 10 minutes, and at no point did anyone from this gentleman’s party seem to be panicking, nor did the lights come up or the movie stop playing. It was a curiously shameful non-event, in a way, something nobody in the audience acknowledged or reacted to at all, which is how Kitty Genovese happens, or how people pretend that SMASH isn't going to be a disaster for NBC. (It is. I watched that pilot; it's terrible.)

On my way out I felt like I should apologize to someone for continuing to be entertained by the high-tech stylings of Tinseltown while right in front of me the life (potentially) drained out of an actual person, but there was an attendant at the exit handing out re-entry passes that are good through September. “Sorry for the interruption!” she said. Of course there’s a corporate contingency plan for old people dying while watching Tom Cruise dangle from the side of some stupid hotel in Dubai. I don’t know. I’ll use it, I suppose, but now it just feels like blood money.

Related

I'm going to start tracking the number of movies where one character says to another, "We have to go to Dubai." The PR for that country is off the charts.

Unrelated

My beef with this season of Downton Abbey is that all the story beats are the same. There's little to no variation on the basic narrative structure of revelation/contemplation/resignation/serious look/cut. Name one scene that doesn't end with a character either agreeing to silently shoulder some enormous moral burden or exeunting in a huff. On the upside, slap out of it: Cougar Town is coming back!

Also

Where's the revolution that'll stop me from getting stabbed in the eye with a pencil on the subway? The train is moving, pal. It's not time to write!