Yesterday, I put myself to the ultimate test: the Marvel Movie Marathon. Sitting in a 250-seat theater in Los Angeles, I endured 17 hours of movie madness. I knew this was going to be a phenomenal undertaking that would push me to my movie-watching limits, which was one of the main reasons I did it. Well, that and I got to watch The Avengers again. Here are five things I learned during my marathon experience, which began on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. and concluded just before 3 a.m. on Friday.
No matter how much food you bring, it won't be enough. Even if you ration it out to an exact science, you will eventually end up visiting the concession stand on several occasions. And hey, sugar is your best friend in this case so enjoy the free refills, hit the restroom between breaks and try not to think about all the crap you're eating. Yes, you will gain some weight from this endeavor, but the sheer experience is an exercise in indulgence, so who cares if you put away a few boxes of M&Ms?
Your dreams afterward will be filled with the characters from the movies. In my case, after finally hitting the sheets at 4 a.m., there were three episodes; Thor being completely confused as Chris Evans appears as Captain America and The Human Torch from The Fantastic Four, Hulk completely destroying my backyard and replying in grunts when I scolded him and Black Widow… ahem… Black… next.
It becomes a communal and spiritual experience. No, you won't be singing Kumbaya or reciting lyrics to Asgardian battle hymns, but considering you're spending almost an entire day sitting around the same people, they kind of become your pals for the day. Toward the latter part of the marathon, I was feeding off the energy in the room. The random applauses for characters and catch phrases helped make the hours fly by. That being said…
Some part of your body will be sore the next day, be it your neck, back or legs. No amount of stretching in between movies will save you. I don't care if you're a yoga instructor by day and pilates trainer by night, your body will ache.
Seven hours of 3D movies sounds like a recipe for unholy eye strain and a massive headache. In reality, it wasn't that bad. Sure I was hurting toward the latter part of Captain America, but that was more my back than my eyes. After all, I did have Peggy Carter to stare at for two hours. And once Avengers began, the buzz I got from watching the film with passionate fans was an incredible experience. Having already seen the film a month earlier at a press screening, it was kind of fun to sit back and listen to the audience reactions as their beloved superheroes appeared on screen.
I don't know if I could ever do this again. Maybe when Avengers 2 comes out, Marvel will run another mega-marathon with Iron Man, Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2 and cap it with Avengers 2. Maybe by then, they'll incorporate Spider-Man and Wolverine into the team. If they do, I'll be the guy with a bucket of M&Ms gleefully chuckling as Tony Stark and Wolverine whiplash each other with snappy dialogue and Spidey pranks Hulk with a giant spider web. Never say never.