I am a huge fan of the Concorde Theater solely because no one ever goes there. However, due to traffic, my friends and I missed the 5:30 p.m. showing of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” the latest film in the action-adventure series, and were forced to reconsider our options. We decided to head over to the Dunes Cinema in Verdun. I was apprehensive because of my past experiences there, but for the sake of being convenient, I decided to go along. My experience at Dunes was not as bad as I expected it to be. It was, in fact, significantly worse.

After standing in the hilariously disorganized ticket and popcorn line we made our way to the theater, conveniently located next to an arcade, where the screams of children reverberated throughout the entire complex. As we shuffled into the screening, we were handed 3D glasses so ridiculous that it looked like we were about to stare directly at a solar eclipse or witness some type of fusion reaction.

Around two or three minutes after the movie started, the lights were still on. Rather than politely make it clear to one of the ushers that there was a problem with the lights, everyone abandoned human decency and just began shouting - demanding really - that the lights be turned off. Their demands were eventually met, at which point I thought we could finally enjoy the movie without any further disruption. Not so much.

Certain movies, not all movies, have a very important element called a plot. The plot is essentially what drives the movie, it allows characters to grow, it allows the story to develop, and it’s what facilitates events in the movie to take place. The audience had no interest in any of this, because as soon as any action sequence ended, they immediately went back to conversing, or texting, or organizing their iTunes library, or doing anything that generally does not need to happen in a theater. There were also several moments of inappropriate clapping throughout the film. Apparently no one informed the audience that not a single member of the cast or crew was present in the theater.

Eventually, the movie was wrapping up, it was the final showdown between the Lizard and Spider-Man and it was clear there were only a few minutes of the film left.

That’s when a crazed bald man began to yell “Abbas, Abbas!” while shining his flashlight into each row of the theater. It was clear the man was looking for a lost child. After drawing no responses from the audience, the old man gave up. Remarkably, that’s when our man Abbas – who turns out to be a teenager – takes it upon himself to run to the back of the theater and get in a fight with the old man just as the movie is coming to an end.

When the lights came back on, I sat in my chair absolutely dumbfounded. I’ve had to pay fifteen dollars to go see a movie in a packed theater on opening day where you sit so close to the screen that by the time you leave the theater and try to find your car you look like Ray Charles playing the piano. People here not only pay half of that, but they also get new releases a full day ahead of everybody else. There’s so much crap that people have to put up with at theaters around the world: expensive ticket prices, huge lines and overpriced popcorn. We have none of that and still manage to take the whole experience for granted, thus avoiding the main purpose of going to the theater in the first place: to watch a movie.

An amazingly awful experience seeing Spider-Man
 

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