Movie Walk Out!

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 08:49 am
retsuko: (eels in the photobooth)
There's an interesting essay over on The Onion's A.V. Club page about whether you should be able to ask for a refund from a theater if you don't like the movie. I've never, ever walked out of a movie, although I have received refunds and free tickets from a theater when there were projector problems (in the case of one of the "The Mummy" films, the movie was so bad anyway that the projector breaking down didn't really bother me; in the case of "Doubt", I did notice a strange shadow on the screen throughout the whole film, and was pleased that the manager of the theater was waiting at the exit, freebie tickets in hand and apology at the ready.)

There have certainly been movies that I wanted to walk out of, but didn't do so because I was with someone else. For example, "Event Horizon" was awful and gross, but I was with a friend who didn't seem bothered by the content, so I just waited for it to be over. (After the movie, a guy in front of us was going on and on about how great it had been, and my friend and I walked to our car, silent. After a long while, she said, "I wish I could have seen the movie he saw, because it sounded really cool.") "Mortal Combat 2" was so laughably terrible that I couldn't take seriously at all; it also helped that the theater was filled with drunken frat boys who kept screaming "MORTAL COMBAAAAATTTT!!!" at every conceivable opportunity. The film itself was horrifically stupid, but the viewing atmosphere was fabulous. And the part of me that doesn't like hyper-violence wishes I had walked out of "Kill Bill, Part 1", because, well, I just can't un-see things.

But, in general, I feel like asking for a refund from the theater itself is counter-productive. The staff didn't make the film; they're just showing it to you. You're paying for the opportunity to sit in the theater and watch a movie, not comment on its content. If you want to vote with your dollars, shouldn't you have already done so before walking into a movie? There are plenty of reviews out there that will tell you if the film is your cup of tea, and even though I think the ratings system is deeply flawed, at least it gives you some indication of what you're about to see. But perhaps I am overthinking it. I know that some people just walk into a movie, judging it by its poster and crossing their fingers. Do they get a refund if they don't like the content?

[Poll #1761434]

I try to come up with a straight answer to this and keep going around in circles. Say there was a scene in the movie that you were utterly unprepared for, even after doing research and reading reviews; would that warrant a refund demand? And how soon is said refund demand appropriate--10 minutes into the movie? 20? The end? There's a detail of the social contract here that I'm definitely confused about.

In all honesty, there are other matters that I feel far more inclined to complain about at the theater, most notably the exceedingly overpriced popcorn and candy. And, then, of course, there are the movies that I WISH I could have walked out of, because they were unpleasant ("American Beauty"--how I despise that film) or boring ("Meet Joe Black" = UGH). Anyway, given how rarely I get to theaters now, I hope never to walk out of a movie and plan to do my review-reading homework as diligently as possible.
retsuko: (Time Lady)
Last night, when I was at book group, I found myself looking at the shelf of "show spin-off" style books and wondering how to deal with the content in them. For example, if I bought an "Angel" novel, would I treat the information included within as canon in the Buffy universe? If [ profile] yebisu9 reads the Timothy Zahn "Terminator" prequel, can he expect to see characters/information/plot elements turn up in the forthcoming movie? (And, if they do, was it really an original idea of Zahn's, or something he was paid to include?) And do these works become part of the overall canon mythology of a creative work, if they're not written by the original author(s)? Or are they just glorified, officially sanctioned fanfiction? I'm sure Lee Goldberg would have his own ideas, but I wanted to hear yours.

[Poll #1388685]

For the record, I'm not talking here about "The Story of the Movie!" books here; I'm talking about character-driven novels such as Splinter of the Mind's Eye (an excellent book that I am happy to consider Star Wars canon). Does quality have a part to play in this as well?
retsuko: (plothole?)
OK, picture the situation: you're a poor girl who's grown up with a rich guy, and now as an adult you have feelings for him, but you're not sure what to do. Meanwhile, the King is ill, and you're the only one who has a cure that can help him. The King promises you anything in return and you ask to name your husband, and it's your childhood friend. He reacts badly, says that he thinks of you like a sister, but the King threatens him with banishment if he doesn't say yes. Eventually, your guy says yes, but imposes a whole lot of conditions and then runs off to fight a war, leaving you behind.

[Poll #1238251]

Guess which option Shakespeare's heroine choose? The least practical and most roundabout one of those three: )


This trip to the Globe was preceeded by dinner at the Prado, where I had a chocolate souffle cake so delicious that I actually found myself saying OM NOM NOM NOM aloud. :)
retsuko: (plothole?)
So, yesterday, [ profile] livyanne and I were talking about "Pride and Prejudice" and her annoyance for the Keira Knightly version came up. "What?!" said I. "Meh, Ick, Wishy-washy!" said she. (I paraphrase.) Apparently, Jennifer Ehle fans are more passionate than I thought.

[Poll #1184045]

I don't mind her one way or another--I just wish she'd stop looking like a stick and wearing odd clothes. Appearing in Go Fug Yourself's March Fug Madness Brackets and wearing things like this are not positive career moves, IMHO.

EDIT: For the record, Keira Knightly was in "Pirates of the Carribean" and in the feature-length adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" that came out a few years ago.
retsuko: (spork!)
In preparation for the all-terrible, all-shallow Job Hunt, I've been trying to spruce up my wardrobe. Even with the teaching job in the recent past, I still feel like my closet is mired in what I would choose to identify as "college casual". My biggest source of annoyance is the navy cloth hobo bag I'm using as my purse on a day-to-day basis. I was taught that you weren't supposed to mix black and navy, and invariably, when I come out to grab my purse, I've got black somewhere in my outfit. (I despise switching handbags to suit my outfit--too fussy!) And I started thinking, is this an outmoded fashion rule? And do other people ignore certain fashion rules that I've pretty much written off?

[Poll #1158279]

I don't understand the no-white-shoes-after-Labor-Day rule. Maybe it's because I'm a relaxed Californian who wears bright colors all year 'round, but why put away your snazzy white sandals just because summer's over?
retsuko: (procrastinate!)
The good part about being a student is that occasionally, classes are cancelled, and you feel like you've won the lottery. Hence, all my extra writing and general good cheer today.

Recently, my Mom and I were talking about origami and she mentioned the folded fortune tellers that I made (and she had made, when she was my age) when I was in elementary school. She wanted to know what those were called, and all I could think of was "fortune teller". But then, a moment later, I remembered hearing them called "cootie catchers" by a friend of mine from Iowa, and I wondered if this were a regional thing. So...

[Poll #1133088]

I used to love these things, especially writing my own snarky "fortunes" like, "You will die tomorrow" and "You will marry a snail." And there were the friends who would drive me crazy by taking forever going through the letters/numbers/colors on the inside and outside over and over again... Ah, sweet nostalgia. ^-^;;

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