One of the benefits of being in the Screen Actorâ€™s Guild during awards season is that you get to go to free screenings. Sometimes you get to go to screenings before they even open. Thatâ€™s pretty cool---until lately. Lately the studios have been afraid that people are stealing their movies. Some people are stealing their movies. Not me.
Tonight I went to a screening of â€œThe Good Shepherdâ€ and before they would let me in, they wanted to take my camera phone. Are you kidding me?
â€œThe Good Shepherdâ€ is a movie about the start of the CIA. I think these guys have been watching their movie too many times. They thought my camera phone was a threat to Universal Pictures security.
â€œName?â€ said a security guard.
â€œTripp. James Tripp.â€
â€œDo you have a camera phone?â€
â€œI have a phone,â€ I said in an even voice, â€œand thereâ€™s something on the phone that looks like a camera. I forget what M said it was. Oh, never mind. Heâ€™s not in this movie. Donâ€™t you trust me? I would never steal anything from your movie.â€
â€œHow do I know if I can even trust you?â€ said the security guard. â€œI donâ€™t even trust me.â€
I understood. I didnâ€™t go to the screening. I kept my phone with what looked like a camera on it. I backed away slowly. I didnâ€™t make any sudden moves. I guess I wonâ€™t see â€œThe Good Shepherdâ€ this awards season. If they send me a screener, maybe Iâ€™ll watch it, but I probably wonâ€™t.
Last night I went to a screening at the same theater of â€œThe Pursuit of Happyness.â€ Security in the employ of Sony Pictures were pursuing me. There were two guys up front, one on either side, and they were looking back through the audience with nightscopes. They let me bring my phone in and I had it on vibrate. During the movie, my phone went off, but I was afraid to look at it to see who was calling. I got the distinct impression that if I had gone for my phone, security would have swarmed. â€œItâ€™s that guy from tomorrow!â€ one of them would have said. â€œHeâ€™s going for his phone! Heâ€™s got a camera on his phone! At least it looks like a camera.â€
A couple of years ago, I got frisked at a free screening of â€œFreaky Friday.â€ That was freaky. There was a Q&A afterwards with Jamie Lee Curtis. She still looked hot. I wondered if she got frisked. I thought about that just before I fell asleep that night. Maybe Iâ€™ll think about that tonight. I wonder if she got to bring her cell phone on the set. That would be a really good time to steal the movie.
â€œThe Good Shepherdâ€ is only the second movie directed by Robert De Niro and I missed my chance to see it. Too bad. I liked his first movie, â€œA Bronx Tale.â€ In it, the character played by that actor who was on â€œThe Sopranosâ€â€¦I think heâ€™s in jail nowâ€¦I think his partner killed someone in the commission of a robbery or maybe he didâ€¦Anyway, heâ€™s at least an accessoryâ€¦Thereâ€™s no way he got into that screening tonightâ€¦Anyway, his character paraphrases NiccolÃ² Machiavelli in "The Prince" when he asks, â€œIs it better to be loved or feared?â€
The character played by Chaz Palminteri said something likeâ€¦although it wasnâ€™t this exactlyâ€¦It was something like this...If it was this exactly, I would probably be violating some copyright law...I would not want to do that...The character that Chaz Palminteri was playing said something like, â€œI would rather be feared.â€
WORLD - CULTURE
Copyright © 2010 James Tripp
I Will Never See "The Good Shepherd"
Copyright © 2010 James Tripp
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