Scribbled down on February 17th, 2010 by she
Posted in Art, Vittles & Beer, Friends & Family, Frothing At The Bit

I have a funky eyeball. There’s no better way to explain it without getting into complicated ophthalmological terms that I barely understand. However, what it boils down to is that I’m pretty blind without my glasses, suffer spells of optical induced vertigo and can’t “see” 3D.

So of course last night I went to Avatar in 3D with the hubs and a friend.

I don’t know what I was expecting. In past trips to 3D movies, only small-ish elements were done in 3D so I could watch 90% of movies while missing out on very little. Drew really wanted to see the movie in 3D at the IMAX and we’d been asked to go with a friend.

That certainly wasn’t the case in Avatar. With the 3D glasses on, everything was one giant blur. My eyes never managed to focus on anything. Not too much of a surprise there. I took the 3D glasses off at about the 15 minute mark. My regular glasses followed minutes later. Seeing nothing but fuzz was giving me a headache.

So, there I was. Sitting in a seat a few rows before the IMAX screen completely unable to view the visual spectacle that is Avatar. I could have made due with that if it had had an engaging story that caught my attention. But it didn’t. The story is unoriginal and extremely dull in large stretches. Thus, I spent the next 2+ hours fidgeting in my seat. Watching all those around me sit enthralled. Listening to the Ooh-ing and Aah-ing while I counted ceiling tiles. Sleep eluded me because the theatre sound was too loud.

It was a miserable way to spend an evening. I didn’t want to leave the theatre because I’d have to disturb other’s view and everyone around me seemed amazed. Granted, when we left none of the talk about the movie was about the storyline. I think it’s well and truly acknowledged that the storyline sucks donkey’s balls is awful.

The entire visit to the IMAX left a bad taste in my mouth. I bought our tickets online. The system only provided an option to choose number of tickets. I thought they were quite expensive compared to what I’d normally pay for a movie ticket – $16.95 – but figured IMAX is probably a more expensive experience overall. Boy was I wrong. When the tickets were placed on screen to print, I discovered the ticket price was only $11.75 and change and the remaining $5.20 was for a pop and popcorn. Let me repeat the really annoying part here:

I was FORCED to buy snacks from the venue. NO option to decline. NO option to get a refund on your ticket once purchased and NO advance notice that the ticket price listed included non-optional snacks.

Even more unbelievable is that the food vouchers were date stamped so we couldn’t give them to friends who might be going to the movies on a different day unless they could attend within 10 days.

Drew hates popcorn and I’m dieting so I didn’t want it. Even if I wasn’t dieting, I certainly wouldn’t have eaten 2 bags of the stuff. The venue refused to allow Drew to exchange the popcorn vouchers for a bag of candy instead. We were handed two bags of unwanted popcorn and left to rot. While we ended up giving it to our friend T at the end of the night (she’s bring it to work today) the whole forced snacking really left a bad taste in my mouth both before and after the movie.

What I’ve learned is that I’ll never buy tickets online to this venue again. In fact, it’s damn unlikely I’ll ever spend a cent of my money at the Scotiabank Theatre in the West Edmonton Mall again.  I would have happily sucked up not enjoying the movie. That happens all the time. People’s tastes are different. No big deal. But the forced purchase of snacks, that just roils my stomach and gets my ire up.

Yeah, I’ve already submitted a written complaint about the online ticket purchase process. Not much else I can do other than boycott the theatre. And warn poor gimpy people like me; if you’re visually impaired you may be bored out of your ever lovin’ gourd if you bother to watch Avatar.

Like I was.

UPPERDATE: It’s been a week and the theatre company hasn’t bothered to even acknowledge my complaint. Fabulous business practices you have going there…

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3 Responses to “Avatar”

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your negative experience going to go see the movie. I would have probably asked for a refund on my ticket, or at least an exchange for tickets instead of sitting through the movie (you’re very kind for sticking around on other people’s behalf!). 17$ for a ticket is no joke- I’d want to get my money’s worth!

    And the forcing to buy snacks, yes pretty effed up. I’m in complete agreement!

  2. Drew even said ahead of the event that he hadn’t planned to go with you as an event because of the “eyeball” thing, but, I know, hubby’s back home, pick a venue to make him happy, etc…

    Of course, I’m sure the movie wasn’t any better without the “goggles” (‘cause they do nothing!) but it’s the thought that counts.

    I too waited and didn’t go see it on our Florida excursion and took the wife to see it in Ottawa after we got back from training with the 1st AASF, and it was everything I expected it to be.

    Sure the effects and graphics were good, and the liberal Gaia-man-exploiting-the-planet message was used to its full leftist effect, but regardless, I still couldn’t help but think all the way through it on how this movie was just an ensemble of very many stories already written, but not produced.

    To bad about the eye, really it isn’t fair. I’ve seen and have been to many 3-D movies on TV and in Theatres since the intermittent revivals from the late 70’s and beyond, and this one was the best. Even my wife, who warned about experiencing headaches after 15 min in the past during prior versions was reaching out in the air at imaginary particulate, and fully enjoyed the entire event.

    Kudos for taking Drew out, I’m sure he enjoyed it, and I’m also sure he took no joy in your inability to exploit the same from the event.

    Meanwhile, we’ve just watched the first season of SGU, and in space, no one can hear you decry the lousy 3-D (or scream [the] pages).

  3. I agree on every front. And one doesn’t have to have gimpy eyes to be entirely underwhelmed. The movie itself was… m’eh (I did NOT see it in 3D because I actually care about story over effects). Every time I tell someone it was just an “okay” movie I am berated. Whatever.

    The forced-snacks I found out about this summer in a different theatre and went ballistic (I, too, hate popcorn). Told them I was allergic and still got charged. RIP OFF. Good thing I have a big purse, and take my own snacks to the cheap theatres. LOL

    BUT you were a trooper to go and sit through it with hubs (hopefully that is some kind of brownie point in your favour). ;o)

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