Cold Mountain

To begin this New Year and this project I decided to start it off right, with a movie that has been NOMINATED FOR 8 GOLDEN GLOBES: Cold Mountain.

I have seen the commercials for this film playing on television, the plot revolves around the Civil War and has been NOMINATED FOR 8 GOLDEN GLOBES…including….BEST PICTURE. That’s pretty much what I get from the television commercials. I went to the old reliable Internet Movie Database and searched for Cold Mountain.

The film takes place during the Civil War (woo hoo! The commercials got that part right) and revolves around the love between reluctant Confederate soldier Inman (Jude Law) and Ada (Nicole Kidman). Inman is injured on the battlefield and receives a letter from Ada requesting his return. He risks his life by deserting the Confederate army to return to Cold Mountain and his beloved Ada. During his absence Ada hires Ruby Thewes (Renee Zellweger) to help her on the farm. Sounds like a decent enough film to go see, a Civil War film one at that! Name a good Civil War film you’ve seen recently. And one that’s been NOMINATED FOR 8 GOLDEN GLOBES: BEST ACTOR, BEST ACTRESS,….AND BEST PICTURE.

The venue of choice is one that is nearest but not dearest to me: the Regal Cinema Oceanside 16. It’s located in downtown Oceanside and you’re guaranteed to find runaway teens smoking, homeless people panhandling, and Marines from local Camp Pendleton congregating. It’s pretty slummy and dirty but hey it’s less than a ten minute drive from my home and the beach is only four blocks away. Beggars cannot be choosers, beggars hang out in front of the Regal Cinema Oceanside 16.

I only had one problem: my student ID card from Palomar College. I accidentally left my ID card in my back pocket when it was in the washing machine peeling the “FALL 03” sticker on it. I would have to pay full admission price for a 7:00PM showing. I waited in the huge line (you’re also guaranteed to have a huge line at the Regal Oceanside 16) while a cranky old lady screamed at the clerk to know why The Last Samurai was sold out. She took about ten minutes while she scanned the LCD display behind the ticket counter for whatever was next. I was prepared, if Cold Mountain was sold out I’d pick another film…anyone! I could have picked Mona Lisa Smile showing at 7:10PM or Paycheck at 7:25PM. So Miss Cranky Lady bought a ticket for Cold Mountain which is all I needed was to be in the same movie theatre with this cranky old bat. It was (finally!) my turn to buy my ticket.

Unlike the people in front of me I knew what I wanted to see and at what time. Isn’t that the whole point when buying a ticket? My transaction took less than two minutes. I told him what movie and what time and even presented my Regal Crown Club card which adds up points whenever I buy tickets, the more points you accumulate the more freebies you get. He asked me if I had a student or military ID for discount. OK, here goes nothing. I showed him my student ID card with my thumb over where the FALL 03 sticker should be (underneath my thumb it read SPRNG 02). He bought it! WOOT WOOT! He gave me my ticket, my change, and my Regal Crown Club card back. While stuffing the money back into my wallet I noticed my ticket…it said “FREE” on it. Now anyone who knows me knows that one of my favorite two words in the American lexicon is “FREE” and the word that follows it. I studied my ticket closely. The stub read: “Thursday is Free Small Popcorn Day. Please redeem at snack counter for your FREE SMALL POPCORN”.

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