Dozing off always part of movie madness

If I hadn’t gotten lost on the way to the entry exam, the people at Mensa might have made me a member.

I did try a second time, but I got a flat tire on the way and I have no idea how to use the jack in the trunk. Otherwise, I’d be in Mensa. Believe me.

I’m sure you can’t get in Mensa if you don’t understand movies. At home, while Mary Ellen and I watch a flick, she sits on the couch answering emails, and solving complicated Sudoku puzzles. But she still manages to understand exactly what is going on. I am perpetually confused and continually request that my wife stop the DVR and so I can ask if those are those the good guys or the bad guys?

Mary Ellen has so little faith in my ability to follow a plot that she sometimes stops the recording herself, and asks, “OK, do you realize what just happened?” I find this insulting, demeaning and emasculating, but it sure does help me understand the movie.

I don’t want my wife to think I am not watching carefully, so if I doze off and suddenly wake up, I begin laughing to show her I am paying attention. That proved to be a mistake when I fell asleep during “Blazing Saddles” and didn’t realize Mary Ellen had switched to a Civil War documentary.

Part of the problem is that filmmakers always look for ways to perplex the viewer in an attempt to make a movie more artsy. Instead of that silly rating system, let’s pass some sensible bipartisan legislation that deals with the following criminal acts by movie-makers:

  • Flashbacks. If there is going to be a flashback in a movie, there should be a big sign in the theater lobby that says: Flashback at 7:37 p.m. and 8:42 p.m. Sometimes I sit through a whole movie confused, until my wife says, “Dick, that was a flashback.” OK, now that I know that, I want my moneyback.
  • Dream sequences. This is when a character either dreams or imagines something on the screen. In the old days when a person was having a dream, you got this campy music and the picture swirled and dissolved to show the actor had fallen asleep. I guess special effects are hard to do nowadays.
  • Prequels and sequels. Years ago while watching the first “Star Wars” movie, my son informed me that they made the second episode first. “On purpose?” I asked. “You’d think with 500 people on the production set, someone would say, “Hey, wait a second, we forgot to do Part I!”
  • Actors who look alike. How many movies have you seen where there are several characters with similar hair, mustaches, and body types? And there are often several attractive blondes you can’t tell apart. (Wait, that’s Fox News). All that stuff confuses me. At church, we wear name tags. If it’s good enough for Unitarians, it’s good enough for Universal Pictures.

I still go to the movie theater with my wife. I don’t mind paying $1 to get in, 25 cents for a bag of popcorn and 10 cents for a Coke.

By the way, that was a flashback.

Television personality Dick Wolfsie writes this weekly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to