But anyway, back to our report!
Since we were in LA, and Mom had to go to a dinner party that she couldn't take us to, and Aurora lives in LA, Mom called Aurora, who stepped in to entertain us while Mom was preoccupied. This was especially exciting because Celeste is not on speaking terms with Aurora or her husband. But that's okay, because the main attraction of the night would be watching How to Train Your Dragon at the famed Arclight theater. Aurora's husband works at one of their locations and was able to get us discounts. But I'm getting ahead of the story.
We met them in (what looked like the) front of the theater (but apparently wasn't), and Aurora and her husband presented us with birthday gifts! Whoa! We got a movie poster of How to Train Your Dragon, and! a film reel of the trailer, valued at $1500! What! But now that the movie's out in theaters, the trailer is worth approximately nothing, so Aurora's husband didn't have any problems stealing it from the theater he works at (the poster was also stolen). Since promotional items aren't much good when the promotions are over, we don't feel guilty about keeping them, but if the film reel is that valuable, we do have to wonder if maybe somebody at Dreamworks wants it back. If so and you're reading this, contact us so we can give it back! (You might want to do that ASAP, as our apartment is very dusty, which I can't imagine would be very good for film reels.)
Incidentally, they told us that he tried to get something Disney, but all that stuff had already been sent back to the lab (I think they said "the lab"...). Anyway, it was very sweet of them, and we were really glad we had brought the copy of Twilight Princess that we had meant to give them for Christmas.
There was still a lot of time before the movie started, so we had dinner at the Arclight first. The concept of a movie theater with a restaurant still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us, but the food was pretty good. It probably would have been better if there was more that we weren't afraid to eat, but such is the lot of a picky eater. I did get a tamale with my chili, and I even tasted it! ...but I didn't like it that much. There are some things that just Should Not be sweet to my mind, and something that looks like a tamale is one of them. I don't know why that is, but it's also why I hate barbecue sauce.
Even after dinner, there was still a ton of time before the movie, so we went across the street to Amoeba, a gigantic music/movie store that has approximately everything. I kind of wish we had checked out their anime section, but we were being extra self-conscious at the time, and instead we stayed in the children's section. I'm not sure why that would be less embarrassing than the anime section, but Celeste, Sarah, and Kimee were following us around, and they seemed pretty interested in that section. Celeste talked us into buying a box set of the Super Mario Brother Super Show (oh, the memories) for $20.
Then it was finally time for the movie! We had mixed feelings going into the movie, for a few reasons. First, we saw the trailer five times (it was before The Princess and the Frog), and by then Athena hated the main character's voice. Plus, a dragon hacking up a half-eaten fish is not the kind of thing that makes me think of a movie as a must-see, I don't care how cool dragons are. Second, we'd only seen two other Dreamworks CGI movies (Shrek and Kung-Fu Panda), and both of them, while being really good concepts and definitely worth watching once, failed to impress us. But on the other hand, we had heard that just about everybody in the world loooooooves How to Train Your Dragon, and we figured there must be a reason for it. And so we weren't against watching it. We still have our little hang-up about how we think Shrek is the cause for a certain abomination that will remain nameless, and how we're Disney fans which means we can't be Dreamworks fans (which, like the Star Wars / Star Trek rivalry, is really just silly anyway), but hey, it was a free movie.
Watching the movie at the Arclight was... pretty much the same as watching it at a regular theater except for two things. First, before the movie, we had a greeter welcome us. When Aurora's husband, who was out making sure his 3D glasses would work, came back and asked how the greeter did, Aurora told him she did a decent job, but she suspected the greeter was new because somebody who looked like a supervisor silently applauded her when she finished. I suspect if the greeter is more experienced, the welcome speech is more entertaining. The second extra fancy thing was the 3D glasses. The lenses are LCD monitors, and there was something about a signal bouncing off the screen and aligning them and stuff... Aurora's husband explained it, but I can't remember it all. But I do remember at one point during the movie I tilted my head back for some reason, and I guess I went too far because the picture went all blurry. It fixed itself when I put my head back in a normal position.
As I watched the movie, I still had some feelings of refusal to like it that needed to be pushed aside, but as the movie went on, that got easier and easier, because it really is a very good movie. In fact, I might even want to see it again in non-3D because we prefer not to have to see the world through tinted windows (and the colors were so much brighter when we took the glasses off!). The action sequences got to be a little long for our short attention spans, but other than that it was great.
And then the credits came up and our world turned upside-down. The movie was directed by one Chris Sanders, who also was one of the people credited with writing it. Why is this significant, you ask? Chris Sanders was the director of Lilo & Stitch! And he's still the voice of Stitch! He's a Disney guy! Or he was, anyway. Now he's a Dreamworks guy! Well that explains why the movie was so good (not the Disney guy thing, the Lilo & Stitch thing; though I like to think the Disney thing helps). But it's still like... weird, I guess. Oh well. Good movie, anyway.
After the movie, Mom came to pick us up and take us to the hotel, and off we went! And we all got ready for bed so we could go to California Adventure the next day.
Aaaand I'm being a lazy reporter and stopping there for today.
Today I'm thankful for surprise birthday gifts from Aurora and her husband, enjoying the movie those gifts represented, the Super Mario Brothers Super Show, experiencing a movie at the Arclight, and still having toffee peanuts left.