Herald and Journal, July 27, 1998

Please, pass the ear plugs


Last night I had a terrible choice to make.

Hmmmm. Let's see. Should we go see "The Mask of Zorro," with Antonio Banderas or "Lethal Weapon 4" with Mel Gibson. "Mask of Zorro" or "Lethal Weapon 4." "Mask of Zorro" or "Lethal Weapon 4." Believe me, it was a difficult choice.

Who am I kidding? The real choice was Antonio Banderas or Mel Gibson. That is a difficult choice! Antonio or Mel, Antonio or Mel?

We went to see "Lethal Weapon 4." Tom and I had seen the previous three Lethal Weapon movies, so we thought we would check out number 4.

Of course, this one had the same basic plot. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover were out to thwart the villains, sling some wisecracks, save the day, and do it all without getting critically injured.

Now, if they could only do all those things without repeatedly using the f-word, the movie would be even better.

I don't want to sound like a prude or anything, but that kind of dialog gets tiresome in a big hurry.

Of course, I have heard swear words before. I admit I used a few when cow #35 kicked the teat dip cup out of my hand and the teat dip flew into my eyes. As I recall, it was the iodine kind. As I ran into the milkhouse to wash out my burning eyeballs, I let fly a few choice words of my own.

These action-adventure movies aren't really my thing, but Tom enjoys them. Sometimes, they can be amusing. The team of Gibson and Glover has a chemistry that makes the movies fun.

Last week, we went to see "Armageddon," with Bruce Willis. Now, Bruce Willis is not my kind of guy. Tom doesn't usually like his movies either. You might think it strange that two people would go to see a movie with a main character that neither one likes. Tom will usually go to a movie if the action looks interesting. I usually go to see if Bruce has learned to act yet.

I was surprised to find that I actually liked "Armageddon." In fact, I liked it better than "Lethal Weapon 4." No, Bruce Willis has not suddenly become a good actor, but I liked him in this movie. He fit the part of the rowdy well-driller.

The special effects were terrific, even if some of the plot twists were preposterous. The main drawback of the movie was the sound. There were a lot of collisions and explosions going off throughout most of the movie. It got so loud at times that I covered my ears.

After I left the theater, my ears were still ringing. If this is the coming trend, I shudder to think what the sound will be like in a few years.

After a while, they will have to issue ear plugs at the door to people who want to retain their hearing. Those who sit through a three-hour movie at full volume will be given hearing aids as they leave.

There will be one advantage though. In a few years, if I start to lose my hearing, I can blame it on the fact that I went to too many movies.

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