Monday, May 26, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Heap of Ridiculous, Predicable Shit

If you want to read a well-thought-out critique of the worst movie I've seen in a theater since Deep Blue Sea, read Brett's take - it's right on. My take on my movie "experience" is more about what else happened to make a bad movie worse.

Last night, five of my friends and I met at the Denver Pavilions United Artists Theater to watch this summer's most highly anticipated action-adventure blockbuster. We bought our tickets and found seats in the tell-tale empty theater. About 15 minutes into the movie, a strobe light started flashing in the theater. Someone got up and walked out into the lobby to inform the 15-year-old popcorn jockey, and he told her it was a short. She returned and told us the same, and we kept watching the movie for about 5 minutes before the lights came on and theater personnel entered, asking us to evacuate. Once outside, we were informed there was no fire and we could return to our theater to finish watching the movie or receive a refund at the counter.

That wasn't good enough. I stopped a couple of 16-year-old employees and explained that I wanted comp tickets for my entire group because we had been inconvenienced by an alarm that interrupted our movie and we wanted to finish watching our movie. Instead of saying, "of course, we'll take care of that for you right away," the girl said, "well, this was inconvenient for us, too." You know what, I don't care. You work here. My friends and I just paid to come here and our experience was awful. We're the ones about whom you should be worried, my pimple-faced friend. Apparently, she didn't expect that response. Thankfully - for both of us - her manager was standing nearby and I approached her and explained the situation. Being older and wiser, the manager immediately asked me what she could do to "right this wrong," and I explained that I wanted passes for me and my friends. She graciously gave us passes to come again and apologized for the incident. It didn't end there.

Back in our theater, the movie never stopped running. For the first 5 minutes back in our seats, the volume was barely audible and the lights remained on. When the lights were dimmed and the volume re-adjusted, the movie never restarted from the point when we were evacuated. We had just missed 20 minutes of the movie. To make matters worse, I was actually afraid they'd restart the film and we'd have to watch parts of it again. Yes, it was that bad.

When the movie ended, I was still pretty upset. Not only did I feel like I lost 2 hours of my life, but I hadn't even seen the entire movie. I found the manager with whom I'm spoken earlier and explained that even after the evacuation, my experience was terrible and that I was never coming back to this theater again. She again apologized and asked what she could do to get me to come back. I explained that I wanted an additional two passes to the theater for me and my friends. She complied.

Thinking about it, I'll use those three passes to see movies at the Denver Pavilions. But if anything goes even remotely wrong - of if I just happen to choose poorly - I'll never return.

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