You want to hear a story? Sure you do.
How do you want to see it?
I wanted to see The Hobbit in my preferred theater with friends and a few family members, and my six year old son. We did so last night, it was easy. This theaters is not showing The Hobbit in HFR. There are two options, The Hobbit 2D, The Hobbit 3D. We elected for the 2D experience, it was cheaper and easier to manage for our young son, not to mention my wife and I both prefer 2D.
But… this tale is just beginning.
HFR, IMAX and 3D, Oh My
I also wanted to have something to say about The Hobbit the way it’s director, Peter Jackson intended for The Hobbit to be seen. So, I booked my tickets for my IMAX theater in Nashville (about 45 minutes away from me). Oh, but just booking the tickets was a pain. There were so many options. Did I want to see the film in IMAX 3D, IMAX 2D, HFR 3D, HFR 2D, Standard 3D, or Standard 2D. I wanted the full experience. So, not realizing my mistake, I chose HFR 3D.
Too Many Choices, none of which I want
I woke up this morning realizing that Fandango never asked me which seat I wanted to sit in. I looked at my ticket, nowhere did it say IMAX on it except for the name of the theater (Regal Opry Mills Stadium 20 & IMAX). I called the theater to try to sort this thing out. It turns out that my IMAX theater is not showing The Hobbit in IMAX HFR, on IMAX at standard frame rate. So now I’m faced with a dilemma: I want to see the IMAX showing because I REALLY want to see the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness, but I really want to see this HFR thing so I can have some commentary about that as well. However, I am not willing to go for a third time so I have to choose, what do I want more.
Given the amount of Star Trek news I have posted on the site lately, I’ll bet you can guess which I opted for.
But, another catch: Fandango refuses to take my order. Every time I click the show time I want on Fandango’s website, I am greeted with a message that tells me Fandango cannot process my order at this time and to try again later. I pick up my trusty iPhone, open the Fandango app, and get basically the same error at the same step in the process. I press the home button on my iPhone, click the quaint green icon that is a picture of a curvy bar with two round thingys on either end (I think that’s what telephones use to look like), and dial the up the theater. Regal Opry Mills Stadium 20 & IMAX confirms that they still have seats available for every showing today. Good. The only seats available for the 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM showing are in the front row. Not good. the 7:00 PM showing has a seat roughly right where I would like it, and 2 others that are acceptable, as well as the whole front row (why do they put seats so close to that ginormous screen anyway?). I tell the nice lady I would like that first seat. Oh, sorry, I can tell you what we have available, but we can’t sell tickets of the phone, you’ll have to call Fandango customer service if the site is having trouble.
I dial up Fandango Customer service. Can you try to place the order again? I do so, same error. Can you clear your cookies and try again. Same thing. Can you try again? Hey it worked! What do you know?
Which leads me to the climax of my rant. This is just WAY too complicated. Why do we even need so many options? How about one option, see the stupid movie. As a bit of a technology nerd, I’m going to use a technology illustration. A lot of people complain and whine about the iPhone, it’s lack of options, how they can’t do this or do that (most of it is usually untrue or unnecessary), but you know what, that iPhone of mine just works, and it works well. I don’t have to fiddle with it, worry about malware and garbage, or worry that I’ve installed the wrong thing and now my phone is so slow that it’s unusable and needs to be wiped and formatted and re-installed.
I want the same thing from my movies. No more trying to figure out how best to see it. I just want to see your dumb movie.