Madness is often just a moment. A fleeting second where you abandon everything you know to be true and you do something you’ll more than likely regret. Whether you do regret it is often as transient as the initial urge itself. One moment it’s the worst idea in the world, the next it’s the best decision you’ve ever made.
Only time really tells if it was worth it or not.
At one minute to midnight on Tuesday the 21st of April I sat in Vue cinema in Liffey Valley for the start of a Marvel marathon the likes of which I doubt I’ll see again soon. This would be the beginning of a twenty-two hour stint that would go through, in chronological order, all the initial movies that have encompassed the Avengers before finally culminating in Age of Ultron, bar The Incredible Hulk and Guardians of the Galaxy.
I know, I know. Even looking at this now you can’t comprehend how you would make it through the whole thing either awake or alive. Even more so for me. I’m the kind of person that’s usually asleep before 10.30pm on any given night and I even fell asleep on the bus out to the cinema. The idea of staying awake for this long in a warm (slightly stinky towards the end) dark room was almost laughable. The reality of it was something else entirely.
This is still my brain four days later
The first four movies were the hardest to stay conscious during. I don’t necessarily believe it was because they were bad but simply because they ran through the night and even in the perpetual dimness of Screen 2 my brain knew it was the designated sleepy time. At one point during Thor I think I hallucinated William (who wasn’t there) asking me if I’d like a hotdog, and I replied out loud to no-one “Oh my God that would be amazing”. I did in fact get that hotdog. Diet and pre-made lunches be damned (it was that kind of night). This was the first of a few hallucinations which saw me freak out over an imaginary rabbit running across the floor and various people calling me on my completely powered down phone. There was also a case where I was hit by a swinging door going back to my seat but the whistling when I breathe through my nose would indicate that did, in fact, happen.
As it was bound to do at some point, my mind gave out finally in the early hours of the morning and I realize now I maybe only watched about thirty minutes of Captain America. I will say that this was the only time in the days viewing where I stumbled. When the fog lifted I was awake, I was as alive as I’d ever been and I was utterly convinced that I was going to make it to the very end. Screen 2 was now my home away from home and the people in it were my comrades in arms. All bleary eyed, sugar fueled, utterly exhausted and hungry for more.
Sleep was our enemy, and oddly enough, the closer we got to Age of Ultron the more our enemy faltered.
About halfway through Winter Soldier it truly hit me; the excitement.
Before this whole adventure began the only thing that honestly terrified me was that by the time it got to the main event I would be so tired I wouldn’t even be able to stay awake for it forget about even enjoying it, but it wasn’t the case. As the movies rolled passed, one by one, you found yourself becoming more and more hyped.
When it finally did start there was an atmosphere unlike any movie premiere I’ve ever experienced. We’d fought to be there. I don’t want to say suffered, but yeah, we were cramped, half blind,exhausted and in desperate need of showers. And like anything you fight for when it does finally come round you’re exhilarated. Nothing is going to ruin it for you. Not even losing my 3D glasses and having to run through the halls looking for a replacement pair could change that. Thank you to the Vue employee who seemed to understand the only two words “Ultron….glasses” that I could blurt out and pretty much saved my night.
Ultron had finally arrived and I’ll leave you to Anthony’s review if you truly want to know why I danced out of that cinema afterward. I’d made it. My fears of not enjoying it because of the sleep deprivation never manifested themselves. If anything, the lead up to it made it all the sweeter.
On top of all that, when do you get the chance to see so many awesome movies on the big screen for the second time, years later? If you get the chance for something like this I would say go for it.
Forget your fears about making it. You can survive it. It won’t diminish your enjoyment of the movie and it is one hell of an experience.
One word of advice? Avoid the front seats when booking tickets. Your eyes will thank you.