• ZJC

Day 300: The Time I Fell Asleep While Watching 300 in IMAX.

When 300 came out, it was like no other movie or story that we had experienced on the big screen. The action, script, directing, videography, and photography were all outstanding. People were shocked that it was based on a true story of 300 Spartan soldiers that stood their ground against thousands. It is an epic tale, to say the least. And many of my friends and I saw it immediately in theaters. But then we decided to see it again in IMAX. We wanted to take a larger than life movie and make it even bigger. I, unfortunately, missed the best parts.


We arrived early in Lansing and went to an Applebees or something. There was time to kill and we all wanted to have a beer or two before the movie. I do remember that I worked that day, but I don’t remember exactly why I was so tired. Maybe it was a lack of food. Maybe I was still hungover. Maybe I just needed a long night’s sleep after staying up too late for two weeks straight. Don’t know. I was young and stupid and didn't listen to my body. But despite my drowsiness, I ordered a tall Oberon anyway. I think I was halfway through the beer when I regretted not ordering food and regretted ordering the beer that was bound to make me even more sleepy.


So, we get to the theater and we are in awe. This was our firsts IMAX experience. The room is enormous and the screen is even bigger. There are hundreds of seats that stretch out like a lake. I expected the picture to be slightly pixelated, but it was crystal clear 1080 HD with a booming Dolby surround sound system.


It was a rookie mistake to not inform my friends how exhausted I felt. I didn’t think for one second that I could actually fall asleep during this amazing movie on the biggest screen in the universe. I was wrong.


The film was outstanding for thirty or so minutes. I made it through the iconic “This is Sparta!” scene when Leonidas boots the messenger into an endless abyss of darkness that would make Nietzsche quiver. I made it all the way until the 300 men are leaving for battle and Leonidas’ wife, Gorgo (didn’t know her name until now), hands him the necklace. The action is about to begin! The movie is about to get crazy on this crazy big screen. And then darkness.


I wake up to the cover of War Pigs blasting and the colorful end credits have begun. There have been very few times in my life that I have been that disappointed in myself. It was heartbreaking for probably the next week. My friends said they tried to wake me up, but I guess they didn’t try very hard (I'm not bitter). Or I was in a deep sleep my body desperately craved. Either way, it sucked to miss out on that experience. It’s just a funny, tragic story now.


I’ve watched 300 many times since that on DVD, but nothing compares to seeing epic movies on the big screen. I guess I’ll just have to wait till the IMAX starts doing nostalgia films. If we ever get movie theaters back. Till then, I’ll just sit too close to my computer screen with extra bass headphones on and watch 300 again.


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