Thursday, November 11, 2010

Race Across The Sky: FAIL

I made the arduous river-crossing into Boston last night and headed over to the Fenway theater for what would ultimately be a futile attempt to see Race Across The Sky 2010.

Race Across The Sky Part Two...this time it's different. Sort of...OK, fine...not really. It's pretty much the same except Lance didn't do it...which sucks, we know. Wait! Come back. Please?

I rode my bike in the rain to the subway, got totally soaked, then sat next to a woman on the train who stared at my soggy crotch, probably thinking I'd wet my pants. I wanted to explain to her that, for once in my life I hadn't really wet my pants, that it was just water. But I couldn't pull myself together and stop bawling long enough to do so. I'm always happy to ride the train too, it's such an ideal place to catch the plague. So when I got to Fenway, I was already 100% stoked and ready to watch another movie about what, to me, seems like the worst mountain bike race on the planet short of La Ruta. More on that in a minute.

Things started off well enough, Dave Towle was up there on screen hosting a panel discussion with JHK, Levi, Rebecca Rusch, Dave Wiens, and some other dudes in front of a live audience. I guess the deal was that, last week, when RATS (hey, that's the appropriate acronym) 2010 premiered, this panel discussion was actually live...that's my understanding anyway. (I'm good at understanding things too. It only took me five viewings to figure out the plot of Anchorman.) Problem with the "live" business was that the movie was coming to the theater via satellite and it got disrupted somehow, leaving the 50 people in the theater staring at a blank screen, listening to broken audio...or nothing.

50 people...I found out that RATS 2010 (I'm just going to keep saying it now, like a two-year-old that just learned the word "cucka.") was premiering last week, just a few hours before the show time. On any other night I would have jumped on it, because I would have been sitting at home like my loser-self, waiting for something to do, but no! On that night I had plans to go (by my loser-self) to the premiere of Life Cycles.

The only two mountain bike film premieres, in theaters, all year-long, that I know of...and they're on the same feckin' night. Who plans these things? It was like the Gallipoli of mountain bike movie premiere planning.

And, apparently these sort of aforementioned technical problems don't just arise when the film is live, because the same crap happened again. Did I say "staring at a blank screen, listening to broken audio...or nothing" back there? Because we weren't listening to nothing; we were listening to the incessant whining of several of the other theater goers, a couple of whom were shell-shocked veterans of the previous week's fiasco. You'd think the theater manager has turned off their heat and hot water and told them that they could only send text messages that were 140 characters long.

What is it with the direct messages on Twitter? I have a hard enough time making any sense at all in 140 characters, and generally all I'm trying to do is share a link to some stupid thing I've written or come up with a slightly disturbing and (hopefully) funny one-liner. My Twitter direct messages look something like this:


My apologies for conveying to the internet the one horribly offensive
act you committed this week that you did not want publisi—
It doesn't really work for me.


The service the RATS 2010 folks are using to convey their film to theaters is called Fathom and apparently it's kind of total shit. This fact is driven home when the picture freezes and what you end up looking at is not all that dissimilar from what you see when you pause your DVR at home.
These days, when you're paying $12 or more to see a movie, the suspension of disbelief must be maintained...the suspension of disbelief that you are not watching a slightly-larger-than-normal-television.

After about the third time the film stalled, I decided to take the free pass and the refund of my admission that the flustered manager had been offering for a while. I think some of the other patrons held out for compensatory and punitive damages. The manager did tell me, as we walked out, that they had successfully shown a LIVE Bon Jovi concert using the same service that had failed so miserably for RATS 2010. I told him that, even though we had only seen a cumulative fifteen minutes of this film, that it was still more of a success than showing an ENTIRE Bon Jovi concert. He didn't get it.

I debated with Natasha and Chris for a while as to whether we should take the free passes and head to a showing of Red, but we opted for the guaranteed good time of Beer instead. Probably a wise choice given we could only come up with three Bruce Willis movies, between the three of us, that didn't suck...that's one per person...and one of those was The Fifth Element.

At one point, over beers, Chris asked me if I'd ever done Leadville or if I'd ever do it. "No and no fucking way" I replied. "It's a stupid, overrated, hyped-up, out-and-back, gravel road race, with zero singletrack, all above 10,000 feet, that you have to enter a lottery to get into. There are plenty of hundred milers out there that don't suck that you can actually get into."

"Wow, you're kind of a dick" Chris thought to himself.

If I were as witty in person as I allegedly am in print, I would have gone on to say:

"People who think Leadville is awesome are like the Tea Baggers of the mountain bike racing world, they think that if they keep saying something that isn't true over and over again, long enough, it will become true — "Leadville is the BEST!" "Global warming is a HOAX!" "Leadville is AWESOME!" "Obama is a MUSLIM-SOCIALIST-FASCIST!"

Wow, I am a dick.

"You're not pirating this are you?"

"Yup, do you realize the street value of videos of blank screens taken with point and shoot cameras?"


20PoundSkull said...

You probably didn't miss much with that movie, a few of us saw it last year and were underwhelmed...unless you're into the giving Lance a back-rub (edited for a PG rating) the whole time.

dougyfresh said...

twitter sucks.

I didn't get it and therefore stopped typing months ago.

sounds like a movie screening fail. wait until someone has it on DVD and then watch it. that is, if we chose to. I do not chose to.

I know people claim it is a difficult event due to the elevation but that is just that. 'a difficult event due to the elevation' No where in my statement are claims to a 'mountain bike race'. I really don't think it is. Why would I want to go race my bike 100miles on dirt and paved roads with some trail somewhere in between? Why would I want to fight my way into registration? Oh yeah, we did this in the VT50 year after year. At least the VT50 has a good percentage of trail. Then again, I don't like that event either and I've actually competed in that event and done well.

I'll take M. Mac's events on the other side of the mountain range anyway.

dougyfresh said...

you know what you should have done on a wednesday night like most good mountain bikers? went on a wednesday night mountain bike ride. i had a blast last night riding on wet oak leaves.

thanks for the laugh this morning. i needed it. now I can go sit in the office for 12hrs while big brother slaves me to the grind.

we have to ride one weekend soon. you, andy, will, gtl, myself, etc...

Big T said...

me: "Thom Parsons is FUNNNYYYY!!!"
JenO: "Dude, Thom Parsons is ALWAYS funny. He and Miriam must have such a good time, cuz she is so funny too".

I still want to recall that moment when the theater officials were being delusional in their stating that the movie would come back momentarily and you looked at me with disappointment and said something really close to this: "I kind of came to terms with watching RED instead and now don't want this to come on".

Chris said...

Thom, you forgot the part where RATS 2009 was shown FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY IN THEATERS, like, 15 weeks in a row, and people still flocked to it. And how RATS 2010 has now had *two* "ONE NIGHT ONLY IN THEATERS" experiences. Would you go watch it again if Bruce Willis races Leadville?

zencycle said...

5th element?


Blind Date
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Death Becomes her
Pulp fiction
12 Monkeys
Sixth Sense
Sin City

thrasher said...

reCome on! Diehard anyone?

As for RATS... LAME!! There is no reason to do it unless you're a road rider and want to do the EASIEST 100 mile race. It's not really a mountain bike race. I mean, don't races have to have singletrack in order to be called mountain bike races?

Do the CB 100 if you want a real 100 miler!