Jul 142003

When we arrived home yesterday around 5:30pm from our usual Sunday afternoon grocery shopping at Central Market, there was a message waiting for us on our answering machine. It was our babysitter. She works at Little City, a coffeehouse on Congress between 9th and 10th. Apparently, a group of customers came in around 4 and asked her if she knew anyone who would want wristbands that would gain them access to the world premiere screening and party for Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over that evening. The Babysitter, having endured multiple viewings of one or the other of the previous two Spy Kids movies and having played Carmen to The Boy’s Juni, knew just who to call. Her message told us that she had already left work, but the wristbands were behind the counter in our name if we got the message and could make it down there. Not wanting to pass up the chance and not knowing what we were going to be able to do with the wristbands or even when everything had started, we abandoned our original plans for dinner for a few quick PBJs, freshened up a bit and headed back out the door for downtown.

We managed to find a decent parking space just north of 10th on Brazos (a block east of Congress). The premiere was showing at the Paramount theater, which is just a few blocks down Congress from Little City. We stopped off to get the wristbands and then headed down Congress, my clean shirt already darkening with sweat from carrying The La in the July Texas heat. For this premiere, as with at least the last Spy Kids movie, they had blocked off Congress from 6th to 10th and turned it into a small carnival. There was a stage with a band playing (didn’t catch the name), several banquet tables, amusement rides and booths with things like face painting, balloon animals, cotton candy, and sno-cones. As we started to put on our white wristbands (there were several other colors as well, but I never did find out the differences), we passes Ann Richards with what I assume were her grandkids. A little farther down the street on the way to the Paramount, we passed Robert Rodriguez. Not sure what our wristbands got us, we found someone who looked official and asked them. It turns out that there were two screenings. One at 4pm, which had some of the cast in attendance along with the media, a red carpet, etc. and then one at 7. We had missed the chance at the 4pm screening, but could probably make it into the 7pm. It was first come-first seated for those with wristbands and there was already a considerable line. We didn’t think we’d have a chance to get in, so we let The Boy get a balloon sword and walked around a bit. When we got back near the theater, it was clear that the line was moving fast and that we would probably have a chance to get in. I walked over to get in line with The La while The Wife waited for The Boy to get his balloon. When The La and I got there, the line was moving so fast that we got into the theater before I could signal to The Wife that they really needed to hurry. It’s still not clear to me, but I think there was a whole other line of people with tickets waiting to see if they could get in once all of the people with wristbands were seated. We waited in the lobby and watched to make sure that The Wife and The Boy could get in. They managed to get in without too much trouble and we found seats about halfway up in the balcony. The Wife went to get drinks and popcorn which was being served by some friends and was free (sweet). We settled in for the movie.

The movie itself was decent. I liked the first two better. Almost the entire movie is set in a video game and the film mainly centers around Juni. Most of the rest of the cast from the previous films are limited to cameos or very brief appearances near the end of the film. They must’ve saved a lot of money not having to shoot locations or pay large salaries to people like Antonio Banderas. Stallone was amusing and seemed to have a good time with the role of the villain, The Toymaker. There were several jokes centered around Ricardo Montalban’s past film and commercial work.

After the movie, I saw Turk Pipkin leaving with what I assume was his son. Most people know him as Janice’s narcoleptic boyfriend in the Sopranos. We passed up an opportunity to get a picture of The Boy with Robert Rodriguez because we didn’t want to hassle him. He was standing near one of his sisters, Patricia Vonne, whom we had met at Mike and Meg’s wedding last year, but we couldn’t catch her eye to get a proper introduction. We also ran into Talitha Newman & Joseph Phillips, Steve Wertheimer & Gaby (Steve makes a small appearance in the movie that we missed), and Bliss & Will Sexton on our way to get some free BBQ and ride some of the carnival rides; once again confirming that you can’t go anywhere in Austin without running into someone you know. The BBQ was catered by County Line, which hosted our rehearsal dinner. Henry was too young to ride his first choice, the bumper cars, so he settled for the flying saucer ride instead. After we had our fill of rides, cotton candy, and ice cream sandwiches, we headed home around 10pm. Did I mention that everything was free? Let me say that again, free.

A huge thanks to The Babysitter for thinking of The Boy and allowing us all to go to the premiere. We owe her. Big. It really made The Boy’s weekend. The only thing that could’ve possibly made it better was if he had been able to meet Daryl Sabara, who I don’t think was in attendance. I also want to say how cool it is that they made the premiere a family affair for many of the kids in Austin instead of some snooty Hollywood thing. I have to assume that it’s Robert Rodriguez’s doing as he seems like a really down-to-earth guy who’s into family. He comes from a large one himself and is well on his way with his own kids. I still remember reading his Los Hooligans comic strip in the Daily Texan as he was a couple of years ahead of me at UT. I think I’ve still got a collection of the strips that he self-published, signed, and sold at one of the local comic shops back in the early 90’s.

Of course, we brought the camera with us, so check out some photos.

 Posted by on July 14, 2003 at 8:00 pm

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