Lincoln’s LinkedIn profile

Abraham Lincoln

lincolnChief executive @ US of A, March 1861-April 1865

Current: Living statue in downtown D.C., 1914-present (sits for portraits, photos, calendars; works for pennies)

Visit my interactive, here. Follow me on Twitter @Pres_Lincoln or @AbeTheHunter. Find me on Facebook or on a fiver via WheresAbe.com (not to be confused by WheresGeorge.com).

Previous: Splitting fence rails; clerking @ general store; country lawyer; legislator, Illinois General Assembly; U.S. House of Representatives, one term (1847-49)

Education: Reading borrowed books; home-schooled by stepmother; no formal education or higher education

Skills: Telling the truth; living a lie; oration; stand-up; diplomacy; emancipation; proclamations

Connections:

thCarl Sandburg, biographer

dorisDoris Kearns Goodwin, biographer

thJames M. McPherson, biographer

thBill O’Reilly

thDavid Herbert Donald, biographer

thTimur Bekmambetov, director

thCAB37FEGTim Burton, writer/filmmaker

thCAG3FE6XSteven Spielberg, director

thCACO9BS5E.T., confidant, fellow spa regular (for facials)

thCATC098PKristen Stewart

thCAMKMLLD

Oscar?

Activities: Coin collector; bill collector (during government tenure); lobbyist for Americans for Common Cents: www.pennies.org; leads protests against Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny.

Retired activities: Attending the theater

Groups: Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence; PFLAG; National Alliance on Mental Illness; Rainbows International; investor and on board at Lincoln Logs™

Personal quotes: “Four score and seven years ago … etc.”; “Bad promises are better broken than kept”; “Marriage is neither heaven nor hell; it is simply purgatory”; “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

OTHER CONNECTIONS LIKE THIS. DO YOU KNOW …?

thCAA5AAPQDaniel Day-Lewis

thCAV12UJQBenjamin Walker

thCAVTHAOUDennis Weaver

thCAIULDF2Gregory Peck

thCAIQ19KPHenry Fonda

Oscars picks from a patron in a leading supporting role

oscarIgnorance can be bliss when it comes to predicting the Oscars. Sadly, I know too much.

Most Academy members don’t have time to see all 38 Oscar-nominated features in every category, so they watch only those that get mailed to them or for which they’ve been wined, dined and re-wined. This year, though, was unique in that most of the nominees in the running for major awards were still in theaters at the time the contenders were announced, giving voters a chance to easily do their homework via legwork.

Me? Last month, I had seen only two films in the running in any category: “Lincoln” (up for Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role, Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Directing, Cinematography … phew! … where was I? Costume Design, Film Editing, Original Score, Production Design, Sound Mixing and Adapted Screenplay) and “Snow White and the Huntsman” (Costume Design, Visual Effects). I know, quite the pair.

With two days to go, my tally is 23 of 38 features and all 15 shorts (I had seen one of the shortest-ever animated shorts beforehand: Fresh Guacamole, likely during pre-roll for Lincoln).

Still haven’t seen The Hobbit, I refuse to see Ted, and I am not fully qualified to vote in six categories because I haven’t viewed each nominee: Animated Feature Film (Frankenweenie will win though), Documentary Feature, Foreign Language Film (Amour has it), Makeup and Hairstyling (dammit, Hobbit), Production Design (Hobbit-snobbit!), Visual Design (hobbled again by The Hobbit). I shall focus on the shorts in a separate post, as if anyone cares. (I do!)

So, let’s get on with it.

BEST PICTURE

My Prediction: “Argo”

The metadata, media, my mom, Google searches and gang-think all point to Argo becoming only the fourth movie in Oscar history to win best picture without its director also being nominated. This was clearly a case of Hollywood feeling sorry for Ben Affleck and rallying. Don’t get me wrong: I liked the movie. I also confess to starting to doze off just a tad (well, it was the late show and the third movie I had seen that day) but I swear I didn’t miss much, because when I came to, there was that woman with the 1970s yearbook haircut and glasses still looking fretful. What was stellar about this movie: the acting by veteran legends John Goodman — who also stole the show in Flight, up for Denzel Washington, er, best actor — Alan Arkin and Ben himself; nail-biting film editing; and the exquisite costume and production design. It was authentic, gritty and gripping, even if it did rewrite history with a Hollywood ending. And amid all the beatings Zero Dark Thirty is taking for its depiction of torture, Argo provides the counterpoint: Torture=bad, Capture by Iranians=torture, therefore Iranians=really bad. I love how the story of a fake movie was a fake movie within a fake movie. Probably because I’m a journalist and take a hard-line on “facts,” as we know them, I still don’t want it or Zero Dark Thirty to win … and I wasn’t a big fan of The Artist winning last year, either, as it was just another Hollywood valentine. You want a Valentine? Go see Amour on Valentine’s Day, alone, as I did.

Suddenly I’m feeling sorry for left-out Lincoln. Wasn’t it supposed to sweep up a month ago?

My Pick: This has been the hardest decision of my week. My favorite movie experiences among the nine nominees were, in order but kinda a five-way tie: Silver Linings Playbook, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour, Life of Pi and Django Unchained— all because I had zero expectations going in and they each surprised and inspired me to the core. I also loved Lincoln, Les Misérables and Zero Dark Thirty, but I can’t overlook their leaden flaws. I have to base my decision on which movie I would get sucked into and watch again and again on cable forgoing all previous plans, or which I would tell my friends they must see, because that’s what a best picture should do. That movie this year would be … I’ll tell you at the end of this post. Nyah, nyah.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

My Prediction & Pick: Daniel Day-Lewis

No-brainer. If he wins, he becomes the first actor to win three Oscars for a leading role. We should bow to him or maybe elect him president for real.

I marveled at Day-Lewis’ walk as Lincoln, but also harbor great affection for Joaquin Phoenix’s deflated Popeye stance as a sailor with no compass in the masterful The Master.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

My Prediction: Christoph Waltz

Loved him, but it’s an unlevel playing field because he felt like an actor in a leading role, and I am irked Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t get the best supporting actor nod or that Jamie Foxx didn’t get nominated for best actor.

My Pick: Robert De Niro

I’m tempted to give it to Alan Arkin for his delivery of just one or two lines — polar opposite of Waltz’s saturation performance — but De Niro is due, proving he’s still got it while redeeming himself for all that Focker nonsense.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

My Prediction & Pick: Jennifer Lawrence

Sorry to be boring. I love Jessica Chastain — she could be the next Meryl Streep — but this was not the role she should have been nominated for. Naomi Watts is Lawrence’s biggest competition, but there was so much about just being dazed, and you can’t discount her boost from hairstyling and makeup design. Emmanuelle Riva, yay, but her co-star, the pigeon … I mean Jean-Louis Trintignant, should have been nominated as well in that case. And I love kids, but Quvenzhané’s acting is a credit to director Benh Zeitlin.

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

My Prediction: Anne Hathaway

My Pick: Helen Hunt

Sorry, Sally Field. I’ll miss your acceptance speech. Really, really, I will. I know you gained weight for to play Lincoln’s “loony” wife and all (and I loved how you didn’t make her too loony because, heck, I could relate), but Helen Hunt got totally naked in an artful way. Yes, she does that little smirk, and it’s a crutch, but you do the open-mouth exasperated thing. And I did love Anne Hathaway to death, but she loses points for all those talk shows. Did I mention I’m anti-marketing?

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

My Prediction: “Frankenweenie”

Still need to see two, but they all pretty much follow the same formula: Misfit kid gets comeuppance by defeating villains/solving puzzle and saving the day!

CINEMATOGRAPHY

My Prediction: “Anna Karenina”

My Pick: “Life of Pi”

Just to vent here. The cameras were well-choreographed in Anna Karenina, every frame composed like a painting, but I felt I was watching a flip-book story board and got a wee bit dizzy. If it hadn’t been for Keira Knightley and Jude Law’s flesh-and-blood performances I would have died of distraction. The actors and set pieces seemed part of the director’s dollhouse. And who does Joe Wright think he is, Fellini? I know Fellini and, Joe, you are no Fellini.

COSTUME DESIGN

My Prediction & Pick: “Mirror Mirror”

I am going out on a limb here, but the duds in Mirror Mirror dazzled without encumbering character. Whimsical, but not victims of whimsy. On the other hand, I could lobby for Lincoln as a sentimental favorite, his non-cliche stovepipe hat and all. Winning this early-in-the-proceedings Oscar could be a sign of a complete sweep at the end.

Truly, I’d welcome either of the Snow White flicks winning, just please, Oscar gods, don’t give it to Anna Karenina. Those costumes, while fancy-pants, looked as if they’d barely been worn, except maybe once for fittings then the actors were told they couldn’t play in them or get them mussed up.

UPDATE at 5:17 p.m.: Credits just rolled on Mirror Mirror, and I learned it was dedicated to Eiko Ishioka, its own costume designer, who died Jan. 21 —less than two weeks after nominations were announced. This category just got interesting. I have no doubt now she will win posthumously. It’s the kind of story Hollywood eats up. If she doesn’t win, I will eat my stovepipe hat.

DIRECTING

My Prediction: Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln”

Kudos for also directing screenwriter Tony Kushner, no small feat.

My Pick: David O. Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook”

Could be an upset! Would also revel in either Ang Lee or Benh Zeitlin getting a steal.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

My Prediction & Pick: “The Invisible War”

Only one I’ve seen so far, but will have seen four by the time the Red Carpet is unrolled. Still, I can’t imagine any subject being more timely, rally-cry important or outrage-inducing than institutionalized rape in the military.

FILM EDITING

My Prediction: “Argo”

My Pick: “Silver Linings Playbook”

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

My Prediction & Pick: “Amour”

How could it not win if it’s also nominated for Best Picture? “A Separation” (2011) all over again. (That Iranian brilliance was nominated for screenplay and best foreign film, not quite the same deal, but once a foreign film is elevated, it typically prevails.)

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

My Prediction: “Life of Pi”

Hypnotic, but relentless. Still, it’s nice to indulge in something on the total opposite spectrum from John Williams.

My Pick: “Skyfall”

Loved how the new sound melded into the old Bond theme. In general, the music kept my adrenaline going throughout.

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

My Prediction: Skyfall from “Skyfall”

I think Adele’s performance seals it, and the way the song grooved with the titles was old-fashioned solid gold.

My Pick: Suddenly from “Les Miz”

Aside from the heart-stopping opening and Anne Hathaway’s scene, this song was the moment Les Miz earned my unbridled attention and affection. Stage revivalists should take note.

SOUND EDITING

My Prediction: “Skyfall”

The Oscar almost always goes to action-genre movies. My, Skyfall is doing better than I thought it would.

My Pick: “Django Unchained”

The gunfire and squelchy body parts were indeed impressive if over-the-top — expert sound work is what sold it all and made us squeamish. Also loved all the table-settings/dinner sounds. God, I love this movie. It needs some extra recognition. Maybe best picture?

SOUND MIXING

My Prediction & Pick: “Les Misérables”

C’mon, you gotta hand it to ’em, that wasn’t easy!

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

My Prediction: Tony Kushner for “Lincoln”

Well, duh. And I get the feeling he is STILL revising the screenplay.

My Pick: David Magee for “Life of Pi

… or David O. Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook”

I honestly can’t decide. Perhaps I should read both books first. Anyone out there who has who cares to weigh in? “Life of Pi” dealt in the art of storytelling, and Magee proved the consummate artist. And kudos to Russell. I mean — the man was a wizard on “Silver Linings,” it was his baby and, in the grand scheme of things, the perfect contemporary Hollywood creation, a Cinderella story examining “crazy in love” against the madness of modern times.

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

My Prediction: “Zero Dark Thirty”

I think we have to acknowledge the renewed sense of patriotism and pride people felt attending this movie. In terms of writing, yes, it was too long, but I felt it was because the researchers were throwing their sources a bone. Plus, in terms of writing, there was a nice, subtle “twist,” whether fiction or fact, to help explain why Osama bin Laden was shot on sight. Made me feel better about things, anyway.

My Pick: “Moonrise Kingdom”

This quirky, “camp” movie about misfits, puppy love and khaki scouts is a timely salute in a year when the Boy Scouts finally decided to slacken its anti-gay stance and allow local troops to set their own policies on inclusion.

AND NOW, THE ENVELOPE PLEASE … MY PICK FOR BEST PICTURE:

I am kinda embarrassed to say. I guess I simply wasn’t up for a historical treatise or compromised journalism this year. I wanted something more holistic. So I’m leaning, at the moment, to choosing between Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook. Or maybe Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Again I’m feeling sorry for Lincoln. Maybe I should see that one again.

I may need one more day to puzzle this out. Let me deal with the shorts first, and I’ll get back to you on that best picture thing.

Oscar movie date night: Double-dip features

the-oscars_320Finally wrapped up my screening of all nine Best Picture nominees for this year’s Oscars − aptly, “Amour” was a Valentine’s Day morning delight.

Something I noticed about this field’s crop is that they can be paired off thematically. So if you, like me, had a bunch left to see before the Feb. 24 deadline, here is my proposed clumping.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

&

Life of Pi

Animal love.

The movies go marching two by two, so bring on the animals — and the water and questionable boats. Both of these coming-of-age films are visual masterpieces, one from Bollywood, the other the bayou. “Beasts” follows a young girl’s survivalist spirit amid powerful forces of nature, namely floods and flawed humans, although there is no judgment here, only acceptance and shimmering love. The work is primal, pungent poetry, and if you don’t cry puddles — well, I won’t judge. In “Pi,” a lone teen survivor of a shipwreck discovers his manhood via primal fear on the high seas — but the focus is on spirituality and faith, storytelling and myth. In each of these Big Picture pictures, a colorful tale is wildly manipulated, heavily accented narration is riveting, pain gets painted over by emotion-drenched cinematography, and our intrepid protagonists go by funky nicknames: Hushpuppy and Pi. I’d suggest seeing “Beasts” first, as it catches you off guard and leaves you breathless, but is still a mere entree to the more lush (if you can imagine) “Pi,” with its cohesive and slightly more uplifting script — plus, its animals aren’t CGI-generated. The opening titles alone — touring an exotic zoo in 3-D David Attenborough mode — are worth the ticket, as is a goofy meerkat scene and sublime sea shots. For two movies featuring no Hollywood stars, these leave you starry-eyed.

Django Unchained

&

Lincoln

For those not into bondage, an anti-slavery pair.

Attention, even Civil War re-enactors: You need to see “Django” first, to summon proper outrage over slavery, before “Lincoln” tackles the seed of a solution. As campy as Quentin Tarantino’s gory frolic is — no question he was influenced by Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles” — there is a moment in which he lays out stark horrors like a plantation owner’s best china. It’s not during any of those exploding-body-parts parts, but at Candieland when Laura Cayouette as Leo DiCaprio’s “beloved sister” Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly, delicate in her corseted finery and doting on petticoated youngsters, contrasts with a naked and tortured Kerry Washington, a serial runaway slave who is lifted from a living grave to be primped as a drop-in guest’s sex toy. It’s akin to seeing fresh-faced German children playing in the commandant’s yard on the other side of the wall at Auschwitz. Powerful stuff, even if some of Tarantino’s touches border on sophomoric, anachronistic and iMovie-ish. Contrast the near lawlessness of his Wild West and ridiculously high body count to the marbled “law”ful pillars of Washington and a lawyerly drama, all climaxing with one famous murder, only alluded to. The shadowy, internal, parched tones of “Lincoln” prove a departure for typically vivid filmmaker Steven Spielberg, and while he turns the mechanics of lobbying into a spy thriller, it gets a little mopey and droopy at the end. My two cents: “Lincoln” is either overhyped or overdone this year. Granted, the acting chops in both movies prove jaw-dropping. But freed slave Django is every bit as heroic as the Great Emancipator. And given neither Jamie Foxx nor DiCaprio was nominated, Christoph Waltz and Daniel Day-Lewis should win their races uncontested.

Argo

&

Zero Dark Thirty

Undercover heroes.

Speaking of history, two suspense-packed docudramas for which we all know the endings go head to head, newsreel to reel. They each retrace special-ops daring-do’s under much-maligned Democratic administrations. But government is not what’s glorified — rather, two headstrong, non-political CIA agents, played biting-lip coolly by Ben Affleck and Jessica Chastain, get their due. Grainy footage helps legitimize “Argo,” and its excellent editing plus authentic costume and production design make it the better film. It also helps resurrect Jimmy Carter’s legacy, a bit. “Zero Dark Thirty,” while closer to the audience’s heart and memory (how can a dusty Iranian hostage crisis compete with 9/11 villains?) seemed timed as part of a campaign to cement Barack Obama’s legacy. It was billed as part journalism, but someone should have found a better editor. Some of the dramatization, of course, can neither be confirmed nor denied. Just odd how everything covert has become overt this year. I’d watch chronologically: 1970s then 20-aughts to tens.

Silver Linings Playbook

&

Amour

Crazy in love.

For better or worse, in sickness or in health. “Amour,” an Austrian film in French with English subtitles set in the romantic cauldron of Paris, has got the ” ’til death do us part” part down. Old people and pigeons, right? Wrong. This opus, about a piano teacher in frail health whose patient husband rises to the challenge of diapering and spoon-feeding her, testifies to love’s greatest test. The irony is all we see of Paris is through veiled windows; their suspended-animation love never leaves the flat. Arresting in that there is no score, not during titles or credits — the only music are piano strains integral to the flow. The silence at times is deafening. Compare that to the boisterous “Silver Linings Playbook,” a twisted Cinderella story that evokes both “Garden State” and “Pulp Fiction” (for me) and follows love’s glorious gestation, in all of its noisy, messy madness. Again, I’d watch chronologically: new love, then vintage love.

Les Misérables

A love-hate relationship.

One might pair this Frenchie-themed flick with “Amour” or even one of the historical treatises … but “Les Miz” is its own monster, more of a revolutionary third wheel, and needs to be seen by itself so you can either retch or rave, unrestricted. I personally found the movie version more palatable than the stage version, even rapturous. But, as they say, all’s fair in love and war, and vive la différence, if you find any.

I should get out more

WhIMG_0991ile blogging, I missed the future.

For the past year or so, I’d avoided Merrifield, what neighbors have termed “the armpit” of Fairfax, NoVA, because of all the construction and congestion between Dunn Loring metro and the Beltway entrance at Route 50. Not to mention the old Lee Highway cineplex known for random shootings and zero cup holders. So when Hubba-Hubby suggested we check out the Angelika Film Center & Cafe, which opened Sept. 21, for our traditional Thanksgiving-holiday release, I was skeptical. Reserved seating? And if I want to move away from annoying people who narrate previews? What then?

IMG_0993Turning down Strawberry Lane, which used to be just “the stoplight at the Silver Diner,” a four-story Target sprung up like a rose-tinted Emerald City, anchoring the new Mosaic District.

So many upscale shops — Artisan Confections, which I used to have to GPS to Clarendon for its sculpted-painted non-preservative chocolates; Dawn Price Baby (if you have to ask, you can’t afford it, but it specializes in items for those under age 6); Anthropologie (no apology for the prices or raping of the Earth); Paper Source (stiffer than Papyrus and billed as a “Launch Pad for Creativity”); Freshbikes; fresher MOM’s Organic Market; South Moon Under; Ginger; sweetgreen; Amethyst; Ah Love Oil & Vinegar — it all sparkled and smelled like Christmas. Even the FREE parking garage hinted of potpourri.

IMG_0985We knew we couldn’t afford either the Sea Pearl seafood restaurant — murky from the outside, it was the kind of place that served museum-ready morsels — and I wasn’t up for the Vietnamese Four Sisters deal recommended by our hair stylist, even if it does advertise gluten-free and MSG-free dishes (translation: TRENDY, TRENDY, TRENDY!). So we went back to the old Merrifield oasis of Sweetwater, Chevy’s and Chicago UNO, knowing we’d be splurging on the space-age theater experience later.

What I didn’t know was Chicago UNO had also blasted into the future, possibly fueled by neighboring competition. At each table was a mini-iPad-looking device called a Ziosk, which not only offered free USA TODAY headlines (I could peruse the stories I’d edited the night before and check for typos, a fun-enough game). But for just 99 cents, we could dabble in games like Scrabble and Clever Frog. I thought that was all REALLY cool until I realized news and games are available for free on our smartphones.The bonus of the Ziosk is you can communicate with the wait staff — order drinks, side dishes and dessert on the touchscreen — and, niftiest of all, it is a swipe machine where you can PAY YOUR BILL and get a receipt without having to wait. I have been waiting all my life for such an opportunity, because it seems the wait staff always scoots right when you want to.

But on to Angelika. I don’t care how much people rave about this place … at $13, my reserved chair had better be clean at least (foreshadowing … suspense).

We arrived an hour early, just like at an airport, and it’s a good thing or we would have missed our flight.

Greeting us at the door. Somehow saw a contradiction between the winged-helmet logo and the hellish lines of lethargy.

The layout was counterintuitive — the DMV has a more pleasant reception area. We waited in this mass of people pressed up against the front doors only to learn there were just two clerks at the end of it, sandwiched like bank tellers between high-ceilinged artwork and chandeliers. (There was wood paneling even on the sidewalk OUTDOORS.) Directed to the electronic seating chart, we saw there were only six seats remaining for the 7:30 p.m. showing of “Lincoln.” Three in the front row, far-left aisle, two in the front row far-right aisle, and one lone spot somewhere in the middle. We chose and pointed to two in the front-row left side, because we figured at least then we’d an empty space on either side where we wouldn’t have to wrestle for the arm rest or do the cup holder pas de deux with a stranger. (This is why we rarely leave our 60-inch LED TV home-screening room with the Wall-E double-wide recliners.)

Not only was the trash pit in the narrow gangway to the theater overflowing, there were popcorn crumbs, a half-empty supergulp cup, a bag of kernels and crinkled-up napkins invading our reserved seats, plus trash strewn on the floor directing us there. It was disgusting. After we cleaned up, we realized the mammoth screen in front of us was gonna kill our necks, the chair-backs being so low they didn’t provide neck support. But we figured, what the heck, it was a new experience, and we wanted to see the movie.

Then two people came along and said we were in their seats. WHAT? These are reserved seats! They had to bring a psuedo-usher in to contest it. We checked our stubs, and sure enough the clerk had sold us the wrong side — not what we’d requested. But the young couple, seeing we were settled in (and unaware we had done custodial work to claim custody), agreed to take the seats on the right-hand side, seeing as how the view was equally bad. They went over, sat down and within a minute got up and left. I guess they’d already had enough. Ten minutes later, a different couple took their resold seats.

The clerk had told us it’s “50-50” in terms of folks buying tickets online vs. at the door. But what a silly system. If you buy online, you have to visit the second-floor concierge to trade in your printed receipts for real tickets — I guess that’s to eliminate no-shows and resell unclaimed seats. Who does that? Anyway, the second floor is also where you get into a snaking line for concessions (strangely diagonal and a waste of space, of which there is little to spare; the couple in front of us spent their ample time redesigning the flow). At the top of the escalator, we were confused. One tiny usher whom we could barely see through the crowd was calling for people to come to her line, so we moved, only to learn we had just left the concession line in favor of the concierge and had to begin again from the escalator.

The huddle of masses waiting for concessions, the concierge and the slim gangway to the theaters. Upper deck is the lounge. I felt we were on a cruise ship with not enough life rafts.

Waiting in that concession line, where, again, only two surly clerks were working (did the management give everyone the holiday weekend off, forgetting that Thanksgiving weekend at the movies is busier than Black Friday at Walmart?), seemed endless, especially looking at the mouth-watering menu that included something called “The Junk” — basically every kind of junk food you can imagine drizzled in chocolate, like what giggly girls at a slumber party dream up. The $10 price tag, though, dissuaded me. There was also a $44 bottle of wine we declined, and a four-bottle bucket of beer, which was a better price than $8 gourmet-draft singles. I wanted just water, but they had no normal bottled water — just “smart” water and flavored junk. So I purchased a cup and was directed to the space-station dispensers, which were also out of soda.

Took me a minute to figure out the touch-sensitive machines, but at least there were free refills.

One thing I’ll say for Angelika: They don’t bow to showing ads or those stupid TV-show preview reels before the actual previews, but that’s probably because they don’t need the money given the exorbitant cost of everything else. They were showing some kind of public-interest documentary, though, with the sound practically on mute — the giant 40-foot-tall heads were whispering. My husband’s understatement: “Gee, I hope the sound improves.”

I dashed to the bathroom, and though spiffily decorated, it was another trash pit, so I snapped a photo. In general, I apologize for the bad quality of photos, because I hadn’t intended to write a review — I was motivated only by the sour experience.

What a waste of potential.

The narrow door into theater No. 1 had room only for one-way traffic of typical obese-American width.

Just as the old Lincoln-assassination punch line goes: “Yes, but Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play?” … I will say I loved the movie. Still, at one point, given its subject matter and knowing how it would end, I realized we were sitting in the seats that would have been closest to the emergency exit used by the Joker assassin in the Aurora, Colo., Batman movie massacre. Looking in the direction he might have emerged, I realized there was no emergency exit. I felt a vague panic, recalling there had been no on-screen instructions on finding emergency exits, and I could see none — just that narrow, claustrophobic gangway entrance, which couldn’t accommodate two-way traffic, let alone a one-way panic.

No doubt our visit was a fluke, considering all the positive comments I’ve heard about this place (although one friend said on an attempt to see “Argo” there were “projector issues” and they gave up and left). Before declaring “never again,” I will probably go back and see a non-popular movie at a non-peak price … find the emergency exits, maybe indulge in a before-noon brew (coffee, not beer) and taste-test The Junk. Comfort food, surely, is the best way to survive the stress of a hellish Angelika adventure and lure me from the comforts of my home.

Or from Cinema Arts — how we love you.