Archive for April, 2012

We have two local theaters in Jacksonville that are independently owned, have one screen, and serve food and beer.  One of these theaters reopened within the last 6 months, and since then they have been playing this David & Goliath routine on Facebook.  They’ve bashed the local multiplexes as carrying “boring movies” and most recently referred to 3D as “more or less a gimmick.”

I have a problem with this. First, let me address the “boring movies” accusation.  I understand that some people have the opinion that all mainstream movies are trash and only art-house movies are real films. Whatever. Recently, tho, this theater picked up Jeff, Who Lives At Home. This was a good choice for them; however, I saw it a few weeks ago at one of the local multiplexes while this smaller theater was running The Hunger Games for about 3 weeks.

Today, said smaller theater was promoting the upcoming release of The Avengers and mentioned that they were carrying it in 2D.  That’s fine. I’m sure that some people prefer to watch it in 2D, but that doesn’t mean you have to bash 3D as a gimmick.  Sure, in the 80s it was a gimmick and an excuse to throw things at the camera. If you’ve seen a 3D movie in the past 5 years, then you know it’s not so much a gimmick anymore as it is a technique. Movie makers aren’t throwing as much stuff at the camera. Sometimes the 3D simply adds depth to the movie, and you actually forget that it’s in 3D even though you’re wearing the glasses. I think the only reason to refer to 3D as a gimmick is to be petty.

My advice to the smaller theaters is that they should play to their strengths.  I think it would be tough to argue that the multiplexes don’t have better sound and picture and bigger screens. Since you can’t logically win that argument, carry the movies that the bigger theaters aren’t carrying. Have special events (which they have been bringing in some independent film makers to show off their short films). With that and the food and alcohol offerings, you’re doing things that the bigger theaters aren’t.  You’ve got plenty to brag about without attacking the big guys.

It’s become a bit of  a “tradition” for me to eat at a particular Hooters on Tuesday nights since it is right around the corner from where a few of us get together to play our weekly poker game. Last night, one of my friends happened to join me.  While we were eating (well, I was eating; my friend was just drinking some beer), this guy comes up and introduces himself. Then this interaction happened:

Me: I’d shake your hand, but mine are a little messy right now from eating wings.

Guy: That’s okay. I’ve met you before. You’re up here like every week aren’t you?

Me: Oh yeah. Um, Ok.

He then proceeds to blah blah blah about a black jack game they do on Tuesdays, and me and my friend explain that we’re leaving after dinner to attend our own poker game, which is why I have declined his invites in the past. He then walks away to invite another group, which is when me and my friend Rob had this conversation:

Me: Dude, I almost told him that if you’re not wearing orange shorts and a white top, I’m not gonna remember you.

Rob: One of the keys to success is remembering the names of the people you meet.

Me: I’m not looking to succeed. I just want to get by.

Rob: That’s sad.

And then we both laughed.

To whom it should concern:

This afternoon I attended the 4:35pm showing of The Raid: Redemption in theater 9 at AMC Regency 24 in Jacksonville, FL.  First, I’d like to thank you for carrying this limited release film. I’m sure you won’t sell as many tickets to it as you will some of the bigger movies, so I appreciate that you carry it in your theater for those of us who wanted to see it without having to wait till it came to video.

Unfortunately, there was some sort of problem with the projector. After the trailers and during the PSA by The Lorax, the screen went black even though we continued to hear audio. Unfortunately, this continued into the movie. Fortunately, when I went out to alert someone of the problem, there was someone nearby with a walkie talkie. Satisfied at having reported the problem, we all sat patiently, listening to the movie but not seeing it (or understanding what we heard since it was subtitled).

After about 5 minutes or so the problem was rectified; however, the movie continued playing.  A gentleman then left the audience to see if we could get the movie started from the beginning. When the gentleman came back into the theater, he advised us that he was told you could not rewind the movie because it was on 35mm film.  After the movie, someone was there to give us free passes and apologize for the situation.

To me, a free pass does not make up for this. It’s a nice gesture, but without rewinding the movie, you’ve robbed me of the full experience. What am I supposed to do? Should I go into the next showing and wait for the first 5 to 10 minutes of the movie and then leave because I’ve seen the rest? Should I use my free pass to see the movie again in its entirety? I’ve already sat through 95% of the movie. As much as I wouldn’t mind seeing it again, there are other movies that I want to see, and if I spend another 2 hours just to make up for the 5 or 10 minutes that I missed of this movie, then that takes away from time I could spend watching another movie.

Frankly, I don’t believe you when you tell me that 35mm cannot be rewound. After all, how do you prepare for the next showing of the same movie?  This isn’t the first time there’s been a problem at a theater, but I’m pretty sure that anytime other than this, the theater was able to restart the movie from the beginning.

Let’s pretend for a second that what you say is true and the movie really could not be rewound. I understand that you probably have most of your projection booths automated to cut down on costs, but if you have a booth that you know if something goes wrong it cannot be fixed, shouldn’t you have someone monitor at least that booth? With your other movies that can be rewound, it’s not as big of a deal. Oops, we had a problem. Let’s start over. Nothing has been missed. If you have a situation where you allegedly cannot start over, then shouldn’t you monitor that more closely?

There is also the matter of the door to theater 9. Once it is opened, it doesn’t close on its own. I’ve learned that I cannot trust theater staff to close the door when the movie starts, so I generally close it myself whenever I walk in.  Unfortunately, I was not the last person to arrive. Once the trailers started, I had to get up and close it again because the hallway noise was distracting. Then someone else showed up and didn’t realize the door wouldn’t close by itself. Finally, after the last guy went to request the movie to be restarted, I got up again because he also didn’t realize that the door wouldn’t close. I’d suggest keeping some WD-40 on hand for when your doors start to stick.

I write this letter of complaint not to ask for anything. There’s nothing you can give me that will make up for the poor experience unless you’ve somehow discovered time travel. I may watch this movie again someday and see it in its entirety, but until then, I’ll just be left wondering how it begins.

You also don’t have to worry about losing my business.  Even if I was furious enough to stop going to your theater, the AMC Stubs program keeps me coming back.

Additionally, I know that problems like this don’t happen often. Most of the time things go smoothly.  I know this because I’m at the theater once or twice most weekends. 99% of the time you do a fine job.  I just felt compelled to tell someone about this situation, though, because it was just such a bad experience.  A problem is one thing, but a problem that you don’t truly fix is another.  Yes, they got the picture back, but that simply rectified the issue. Fixing it would have meant restoring our movie-going experience by allowing us to see the movie as it was meant to be seen, from beginning to end.


Today was the charitable One Day Without Shoes event. Their purpose is to raise awareness of children that don’t have shoes. I think the intention is great, but the idea is poorly conceived. Encouraging people to walk around barefooted is not wise.  Shoes protect our feet. I don’t think that stubbing your toe or stepping on a piece of broken glass on the sidewalk does anything to help children.  And lets say that someone asks you why you’re not wearing shoes. You tell them why. Does that mean they go track down a poor barefoot child and give them a pair of shoes?  I doubt it.

I don’t know. Maybe it works. I just think it’s a poorly conceived idea.  There has to be a better way to spread the message.  In my opinion, this is the worst gimmick since “Movember.”

Happy Zombie Jesus Day

Posted: April 8, 2012 in Random
Tags: , , ,

Happy Zombie Jesus Day

You probably think that I’m being disrespectful/sacrilegious, depending upon your personal beliefs. Honestly, I don’t think I’m being any more disrespectful than those people that go to church once a year. (I actually overheard someone mention recently that they were going to make Easter their one time for the year.)  What’s the point?  Who are you trying to kid?  Are you just going so that you can show off some new clothes you bought?  If that’s all, then take a picture and post it on Facebook.  Or make plans to meet some friends for lunch. Last time I checked, church was not intended to be a fashion show.

I wonder if people think they’re going to get into heaven because they’re reasonably good and attend church on holidays. If you believe in the resurrection of Christ and aren’t celebrating it every day, then I don’t understand what celebrating it once a year is going to do for your soul.

Anyways, thanks to the internet, a couple of a years ago I discovered “Zombie Jesus Day.”  Why has this not occurred to me before?  It’s pretty funny if you think about it.  Not that Jesus ate flesh… well, there was that whole thing where he compared bread to his flesh and wine to his blood.  The point is that Jesus died and then later got up and walked around… which is what zombies do. They don’t stay dead.  If a person dies then comes back to life, he’s considered undead and is either a vampire or a zombie.  Vampire Jesus doesn’t have quite the ring to it that Zombie Jesus does.

If you want the full story of Zombie Jesus Day, then visit