Sunday, July 01, 2007

Live Free or Die Hard

Wednesday I saw Live Free or Die Hard. The movie itself was pretty good. I’m not always a huge fan of the action flick, but a Die Hard movie is always good to me. I mean, I know there are action movies all over the place out there. Jackie Chan, Steven Seagal, etc, just don’t do it for me. Die Hard is like the end all and be all of action movies. So paying to see a new one was a no-brainer. When you think about it, John McClaine was Jack Bauer before there was Jack Bauer.

But I don’t want to focus on the movie. I want to focus on the theater in which I saw the movie.

The film was scheduled to start at 1pm at Carmike Cinemas 10, found behind Tanglewood Mall. I arrive at 12:57, just in time, right? Wrong. I was actually about 10 minutes early. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I start complaining, I want to explain why I chose to visit this cinema.

You see, the Carmike Cinemas 10 has gone through some serious upgrades. They show all their movies on digital projectors. It’s like watching a movie in HD. No more film. No more changing reels. It’s all very 21st Century. That’s one reason. The only other reason for me is because it’s slightly cheaper than the more popular 16 theater multiplex at Valley View.

Back to the complaints. The movie started late. I could understand this if it happened occasionally. But I also watched the new Pirates movie there a few weeks back. It started about 20 minutes late. Maybe these were the only two times this tardiness has occurred, but it seems to be a strange coincidence that both happened when I was there.

My next disappointment came immediately after the show started. What do you expect once the lights go down? Opening credits? NO! You expect to see previews. Well, Wednesday, there were none. There weren’t even commercials or public service announcements telling you where the exits were in case of fire. No dancing popcorn telling you to go to the lobby to get a little fatter.

I realize that the admission price isn’t meant to cover previews, it’s meant to pay for the movie itself. But you know what, I like to know what’s coming soon. I want to know where my next $8.00 is going. It just makes sense to show previews. Show the folks what’s coming in the future so you can keep them coming back for more.

Next is the big one. About halfway through the picture, the picture went black. At first I thought this was a clever ploy by the filmmakers. But for 5 minutes all we saw was a blank screen. But, oddly enough, we still heard people yelling and things exploding. Finally, everything shut off all together. Then the lights came back on. Then we, the movie patrons, began complaining to management.

Some lady came in and apologized saying they were working on the problem (apparently caused by a storm). After waiting in a nearly deserted matinee for 15 minutes, the movie finally started back up. I’m still not sure what really happened during that 5 minutes of only sound. All I know is suddenly, everyone but John and the kid were dead, and the building was demolished. That always seems to happen.

Now, I should probably make the wild claim that I’ll never go back there again. I’ve done it with other places. But those hi-def movies are pretty freakin’ sweet. But if I had Wednesday to do all over again, I’d probably complain a little more. Just enough to get a free pass to my next movie.

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