My Special Sneak Peak Preview of ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’

Two days before the official opening of the new Sherlock Holmes movie, Game of Shadows, my wife and I received special free tickets to see a sneak preview at the AMC Theater in Orange, California. My wife somehow manages to get special sneak peak tickets about once or twice a year. In fact, we saw the original Sherlock Holmes movie as a preview last year.

These previews are held mostly to allow local media to see the movie so they can review the movies. And the production company is, of course, hoping those reviews are favorable. They also sometimes give you a survey after the movie that they use to gauge audience reactions. The last time we had to pick up tickets in advance, but this time we just printed up our tickets at home.

Going to a sneak peak preview is kind of like going through security at an airport. They search your bags and purses, make you open your jackets, and run a metal detector over you. They’re trying to prevent someone from sneaking in a video camera. I can’t imagine why but security says that some people try to tape the movie and sell it online. I don’t know who is buying something like that but it appears to be a real concern for the studios.

Once inside you have to find a seat; some of the best ones have been roped off for special VIP’s. This year we were running a little behind and ended up in the Chiropractor section, those front seats where you have to crane your neck so much that you end up needing to go go to a chiropractor. The VIP seats are being saved for special reporters, production company employees, or even actors from the movie itself. But in all the previews I’ve been to I’ve never actually seen them used by VIP’s. About 5 minutes before the movie starts the ropes get taken down and the seats are given to stragglers outside at the end of the line.

When the movie starts and the lights go out the Terminators appear. Actually they’re not maniacal androids from the future, just security guards wearing Night Vision Goggles. No, I am not making this up. There were four security guards from the production company standing there with NVG watching the audience watch the movie. They’re serious about the no-video rule.

We liked the first Sherlock Holmes movie immensely and this one was just as good if not better. I won’t give the ending away but it’s good. When it ended the audience erupted into spontaneous applause. When I told my teenage son this, he said that it was stupid to clap for a movie since there weren’t performers there to receive the applause like a stage show. At seventeen he prefers stage performances to movies; go figure.

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