The highways were empty. There was plenty of parking in the parking lot. Downtown looked deserted, it was almost surreal. The movie theatre was empty except for a handful of people. This is how it usually is around Super Bowl Sunday.
I only saw the first half of the game before I went to the afternoon screening of Mystic River. I wish I could have stayed to watch the rest of the game and the much talked about half-time show. But for some reason I wasn’t really into the game this year, nor was I into the over hyped commercials.
I always like the ghost town atmosphere cities have whenever the Super Bowl is on. Last year when the Raiders went against the Buccaneers there was nobody out on the streets except for big Ford F-150 trucks with Raiders flags. As I walked from the parking lot to the ticket booth at the Regal I felt like I was in some post-apocalyptic world.
The afternoon screening of Mystic River was almost empty except for several couples who look like they didn’t care much for the Super Bowl either.
This is the second time around in the movie theatres for Mystic River. It has been nominated for several awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Sean Penn), Best Supporting Actor (Tim Robbins), and Best Director (Clint Eastwood). I remember the first time I saw this film was during the San Diego Firestorms back in 2003. I took my mom to go see it and we were almost choking on the smell of ash in the movie theatre and our eyes were getting watery due to the brown haze that hung in the air. So it was refreshing to see the film finally in a healthy atmosphere and under good air quality.
The film is about a group of childhood friends who reunite under bad circumstances. Sean (Kevin Bacon) is a cop who is investigating the murder of his friend Jimmy’s (Sean Penn) daughter. The main suspect is Dave (Tim Robbins), who as a kid was abducted by child molesters posing as police officers and who came home to his wife (Marcia Gay Harden) with blood on his hands the night of the murder. But did he really kill the girl?
The movie has you guessing from beginning to end and is filled with some of the greatest acting I have ever seen. Clint Eastwood didn’t go for box office names but went for Academy Award winners and nominees who could act for this difficult and emotional film. Penn and Robbins are deserving of their nominations. The film is a good exploration about revenge and taking justice into your own hands. I don’t wish to reveal the ending but it will surprise you.