Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pre-Revolution: The Advanced Screening Experience

So I have to admit I am something of a novice when it comes to advanced screenings and super special TV events. Sure I did the whole midnight showing thing for Harry Potter the last few films but that was different. But I thought,” hey, I know where the Boston screening of Revolution is going to be (my old stomping grounds) and I’m free that night so why not go”. I got there around 4:30 and boy was it a good thing I did. There wasn’t a line as of yet but you needed an RSVP event pass to get in. All of this had been posted on Facebook a week or so ago. I thought I’d been checking their page often enough for updates but it apparently slipped my notice (which frankly could be just as much Facebook’s fault as mine). Slightly panicked, I managed to acquire a pass and print it at school (thank goodness for a law library that’s open late) thanks to my new buddy in line, Jonathan. He’d been saving my spot (second) while I got food. What a way to start this event. I will admit I’d watched the pilot the morning of for the blog, so you all can expect a recap going up right after the episode airs. But knowing I was going to see it on the big screen with amazing sound made it okay. Besides, with genre stuff, often times it bears watching more than once to get the full effect. And let me tell you, Revolution was no exception. There were definitely things one could miss if they only watched it one time.

All told, there were probably close to 100 people at the event last night. I was kind of surprised at the number. Part of the reason I went early is because NBC advertised it as a free event but it would be first come, first served to get in. Obviously, I’d been planning to cover the event for More TV, Please! so didn’t want to risk my chances of not being able to get in. I also planned to get there quite early because I had no idea how big of an event it would be. I sort of expected it to be like the midnight showing of Harry Potter where the lines are wrapping around the building hours before they even let you in the theater. So it was kind of a more intimate setting with only a partially full theater. I also met some interesting folks while waiting to be let in. There were some diehard Browncoats (you know the type that believe Firefly should be brought back) in line as well as some nice regular genre fans in the theater once we actually sat down.

Once we actually got in and seated, they did a raffle off of four gift certificates to an archery club in the state. I didn’t win but that’s fine by me. I don’t particularly trust myself with pointy objects that go flying through the air. Then they started the film. We got a little welcome from Giancarlo Esposito (Playing Captain Neville) before things really kicked off. I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed the second time around. There were a few points early on that I felt on first watch were a little slow but they didn’t seem quite as dragging the second time. I’m not saying the pacing was perfect but it seemed better than I remembered from the morning. And the sound quality was way better than on my laptop. I knew I’d missed some dialogue in my first go round so I was quite happy to watch again to get everything. It turned out some of the dialogue I’d missed wasn’t really that crucial while one or two lines actually explained character action later on in the episode.

Watching with a crowd is a totally unique experience, and part of why I enjoy going to the movies. It’s fun to see peoples’ reactions to things. I had one guy sitting next to me who I don’t think was overly impr3essed at the start. But most people seemed to really get into it and enjoy the story and the characters. I know the theater was abuzz with excitement when the showing ended. People weren’t happy to have to wait so long for the next installment. Definitely a positive for the show. I only have one concern about Revolution’s future and that is the longevity of the premise and storyline. I think a lot of new show are running into that problem of they have a great premise to start but how long can they really drag it out before things get dull and stupid.

So, while all of the official advanced screenings are over, I’d totally recommend getting some friends together and doing your own advanced screening since NBC has the pilot up on their website as well as Hulu. It is definitely one of the year’s best new genre shows and I can’t wait to continue the journey with these characters.

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