The Submarine Trip

One of the myriad reasons I wanted to work at the Cinecave once I realized The Bookstore was going down down down (in a burning pit of fire) was that there are far fewer places to use an employee discount at the Cinecave. One look at my apartment will tell anyone that I might have a hoarding problem (a book hoarding problem, to be specific, and yes, I do in fact quite openly laugh at people who suggest I use Bookswap or a Kindle), and it’s kind of hard to hoard at a place that doesn’t actually sell anything you could take home.

It’s also hard to use an employee discount that doesn’t exist. Things at the Cinecave are either free for employees, or the same price as guests pay. In the free category are movie admissions, and as much soda and popcorn as an employee can eat. In the no discount at all category is everything else.

And so I thought this a welcome trade-off. I would stop buying so many books, and more money would reach my meager savings account. This has a.) not been quite the success I’d hoped it would be (there is a Barnes & Noble just down the street, after all) and b.) I rarely go see the movies we’re playing.

Yes, I realize a. has little to do with b.

It’s not that I don’t like seeing movies at the Cinecave, because I do. Cell phones rarely ring because virtually everyone receives no signal. Teenagers are an exception to the rule, rather than the reverse. Most people come to see movies and not gibber-gabber during the film so the auditoriums are lacking in audience participation (unless you come to the midnight Rocky Horror Picture Show or The Room screenings).

Mostly it’s that going to the Cinecave is a huge time commitment. On nights I don’t work, I’d kind of rather be somewhere else. I see bits and pieces of films as I do auditorium checks when I’m working as an usher, and I say quite frequently “I want to see that!” but I rarely actually make the effort to go. Yesterday, because it was doom and gloom during the morning, I decided I would make the trek downtown after leaving my day job and catch a double show: The Trip at 5:00, and Submarine at 7:15.

The Trip was originally a six-episode series on BBC (which I did not know until I cheated and read the Wikipedia entry about two minutes ago). It was edited into the film I saw, which was quite hilarious but suffered from that problem where they put all of the really funny stuff into the trailers. “We leave at 9:30!” “-ish!” The Trip is a quasi-sequel to A Cock & Bull Story (which I saw back in 2006), with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing fictionalized versions of themselves. Although the trailer leaves people thinking it’s a comedy, it’s actually about Coogan’s character (um, himself) trying to come to grips with his professional future while contemplating Brydon’s — married, a new dad — professional and personal contentment.

Submarine is a British film directed by Richard Ayoade, who if you’re a fan of British programming, you might know as Maurice Moss from The IT Crowd. About a young boy named Oliver who is trying to lose his virginity and reconcile his parents as their marriage crumbles, this could’ve been a stupid American Pie rip-off, but fortunately, it’s British and a tad off-ball and really kind of charming. It actually reminded me a lot of The Royal Tenenbaums for some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on. Oddly, I’m pretty sure the opening “letter from the director” indicates that the story was based on Ayoade’s childhood, when in fact, it’s based on a novel by Joe Dunthorne. Or maybe I just read it too fast while drinking my Dogfish Head beer (which I paid full price for).