I also went to the Portland showing. It was a huge line, way more than I expected, and I couldn't believe we would all fit in until we got in the building. It seemed bigger on the inside!
There were some cosplayers, mostly just girls with blue dyed hair though. I sat on the right side, midway down the line of seats. If anyone noticed the girl with the pretty accurate dye and cut hair job along with those headband things for Rei as her cosplay, I was two seat rows behind with my friend and my brother.
The movie was interesting seeing in English finally. I thought for the most part the actors did well, but just as before, they were kind of screwed by the film's complete ignorance of most of them. It seemed like Funimation spelled things out more than the Japanese version, just judging from the UTW fansub though. I have a few gripes/comments about the dub though. Gendou's VA seemed really disconnected and almost indistinguishable sounding from Fuyutsuki weirdly, I suspect he was probably called in for his lines earlier than most of the other VA's given his comments early in 2013 about the state of the dub. Funimation opted to ignore the "networking" part of "networking four eyes". Makes sense, but clearly the meaning, that Mari has mysterious connections in the beaurocracy, is lost in the dub. Asuka seemed like she was a little less harsh and less whiny in the final battle, "just accept your punishment" instead of "just lay down and die", "he hit a girl when she wasn't looking" instead of simply "he hit a girl, bastard".
Kaworu's VA finally got more than three lines per movie. He reminded me of David from Prometheus, calmly assessing situations and such. His comment, that cycles of mass execution are what "the lilin call the human instrumentality project" seemed like a clarification of the original Japanese. Although there might have been more hints towards sequel theory, it still could go either way.
I can reflect the sentiments of some of the other theater goers too. There were a lot of people laughing at inappropriate points. By inappropriate, I mean like when Shinji is begging for someone to explain the situation, Misato tells him "from now on, you will do nothing", then like 7% of the theater chuckles loudly. When Shinji's with Kaworu, okay, whatever, it's juvenile but I can understand people joking about that. But when Gendou just leaves, they laughed. When Shinji is completely broken down and says, "what have I been doing with my life?!" they laughed, albeit less. It was kind of insulting, especcially to all the people there who were seeing it for the first time, like my friend who's since he is dyslexic, cannot watch subtitled movies enjoyably since it takes a while to really focus on reading. I do recall someone saying something like "they're gay!" at some point too. Geez.
The theater fucked up the movie too. A minute after Kaworu died, once Unit 13 started falling, the screen froze. The entire movie just stopped. At least the laughter there was kind of justified, it was really ironically timed, just after the utter climax of despair. It got even more wrong/funny. The next frame that appeared was Mari boob shot. Then the Wunder flying away. A theater official announced that they'll bring it back up soon, then the entire screen went black for about a minute and a half. When it came back, it was just as Kaworu said, "try not to look so sad" and everyone in the theater laughed. That last one was funny just because it was like he was talking to the audience, so it was actually cool people got a laugh out of that, since the situation was semi-tense. Then the movie ended, people left (clearly they don't remember there are previews at the end of these), and the potentially completely inaccurate preview of 4.0/Final
| played. It was an experience.
Definitely one of the more lively theater experiences I had. Even though people were laughing at some pretty fucked up times, you could tell that most of the people there were fans, and passionate, at least in some way, about the movie. I think the audience was a little more respectful at the smaller showing for 2.0 in Portland, but having a much larger theater was kind of cool, almost a convention like feeling.
There were some trinkets/keepsakes the theater gave out, like a little card about the movie, a "Misato's fan service" something or other, and on the way out, some bumper sticker's. It was a cool experience, although for the most part, my opinion that the movie is too little too late has not changed, it was interesting, and my friend could finally see it, allowing me to talk about it. Made me wish that they would have a proper theatrical release in the US, but it just wouldn't work, unless they staggered releases of 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and then Final over the course of a year or something. That would be really cool, but only Ghibli gets proper theater support. Even though I think Anno has probably failed in making the series message more clear, since he has sacrificed so much character development, and wasted far too much screen time due to an unclear mission from the beginning, I still think if Funimation went to the trouble to play one movie every few months, culminating in Final, that would be really cool. I mean, 3.0 was basically Japan's "The Avengers" right? Why doesn't Gainax want that import money? Pacific Rim was saved by overseas reception, why can't they have faith and push for a big release?
Edit: The glitch-up at the Portland showing seemed almost set-up, since it came back at such a funny moment. Almost too perfect.