Spider-Man: Homecoming and that … er … um … smell…

Let’s get a few things straight.  I enjoyed the Spider-Man trilogy with Tobey Maguire as the webslinger.  I kinda was okay with the Amazing Spider-Man double feature with Andrew Garfield in the suit.  They both had their strengths and they both had their weaknesses, to be sure.

And last night, I watched the reboot of the Spider-Man movie series, this time with Tom Holland playing a high school version of the titular Marvel super-hero.  It was fun, it was exciting, it had plenty of those Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-ins and connections – several MCU characters appear in and are referenced in this picture.  And I’m okay with that as well, it’s nice to know that Spider-Man is now part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even though the Spider-Man movie rights are technically held by Sony and lended out to Disney/Marvel on an as-needed basis.  Sort of like that old Hollywood movie star / studio contract deal.  I totally get it.

And as I said, the film was very enjoyable and fun to watch … because I was trying my damndest to focus on the film and not on other things.

Even though these Marvel Cinematic Universe pictures technically open on a Friday, there are always Thursday “early bird” viewings, and I carefully perused the screening times for Spider-Man: Homecoming until I found one that was early enough for me and unlikely to be crowded.

One trip to East Greenbush later, and I purchased my ticket for the 7pm showing.  And after numerous up-sell attempts by the concession stand – no I don’t want to upgrade my small popcorn to a medium, no I don’t want to upgrade my medium diet cola to a large, no I don’t want to donate my change to charity, no I don’t want to buy any additional candy or chips or hot dogs, no I didn’t realize that your favorite film was Glengarry Glen Ross – I entered Theater 7 of the Regal Cinemas East Greenbush movieplex.

Decent crowd on opening night – it wasn’t Star Wars packed, but I would have to search for a decent seat.  Found one – center seat, somewhat close to the screen.  Okay, time for the 35 minutes of pre-screen advertisements and Fathom Events one-night-only blurbs, then another 25 minutes of previews – ugh, they’re remaking Jumanji as a “kids trapped in the video game” movie … ugh, there’s a sequel to that godawful daddy-step-daddy movie with Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell … ugh, that Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets looks hella lame…

And just when the movie itself was about to commence …

“Are those seats empty?”

Two people, last minute ticket-buyers.  And yep, they took the seats to my left.  No problem, better they arrived now than ten minutes into the film.

Guy sits down next to me.  And it was at that moment that I realized …

Dude was a smoker.

No, he wasn’t a buff, chill dude …

He smelled of nicotine.  Maybe two packs a day, I would estimate.

And he was right next to me.  In the theater.

Okay, I grimaced to myself.  It’s a movie, I can handle this, it’s not like he’s on his cell phone chattering throughout the picture… mmm, delicious popcorn, your buttery smell will take my mind off Mr. Marlboro…

And then… I realized…

Dude must spend a lot of time smoking.

So much so, in fact … that he probably hasn’t bathed in some time.

Maybe a week or so.

Yep.  Body sweat and cigarettes.

No way to move out of my seat.  I’m stuck here for at least two hours.

I can handle this.  For the entire film, as much as I could possibly stand, I kept my popcorn bag near my face, hoping that the butter and salt would overpower the Grand Moff Tarkin-level foul stench to my left.

It was tough, trust me.  I haven’t felt this nauseous watching a film since I was in college and sat through a screening of John Waters’ Polyester.  You know, the one with the scratch-and-sniff cards that were part of the movie?  Yeah, that one.

In the end, though, I made it through the film.  Of course, Ronnie Renuzit made sure to sit through the closing credits – yes, there are two post-credit scenes – so I couldn’t leave until the film was completely over.  And believe me, I made it out of the cineplex with the speed of a frightened Tokyo resident upon hearing Godzilla is in town.

All in all, Spider-Man: Homecoming was a good film, and a nice piece in the Marvel Cinematic Universe schedule.  That being said, though … next time I’ll find a way to get to another theater, maybe Colonie Center or Crossgates or even the drive-in.

That, or I need to pack some serious air fresheners in my travel gear.  You know, similar to handing someone a piece of chewing gum as a subtle hint that they should cover up their bad breath?

I may need to bring a couple of Airwicks … just in case that guy shows up at another screening.