January 03, 2011
No wonder King George stuttered!
This morning I read a piece in the Journal about how videogames are changing the economy.
That is certainly true. I see it in the way things are advertised, and even in the way people drive. Some younger drivers seem to think they're in a game which consists of zipping in and out of the smallest spaces possible as quickly as possible between other cars -- prompting me to exclaim "There goes another video game driver!" Whether this is "good" is not up to me.
However, I found myself annoyed by a byproduct of hyperactive media yesterday. I went to see The King's Speech at a local Multiplex theater and while it was a great film I can recommend wholeheartedly, I do not recommend seeing it if the adjoining theater is showing Tron: Legacy, as this one was. Before I get too carried away, let it be noted for the record that I have nothing against Tron or its legacy -- although I learned that it seems to be about video games:
All fine and good, especially if it's good for the economy. But what did not strike me as good was to have my movie nearly ruined by constant, impossible-to-ignore rumblings, vibrations, and literally shakings of the walls emanating from the Tron film. (It introduced a whole new wrinkle to the king's stuttering problem, as I couldn't stop thinking that maybe he was hearing what I heard -- and feeling inhibited by it!)
I don't know whether they're still using Sensurround or whether they have a modified form of it, but trust me, it is very distracting to be watching a quiet drama about a man struggling to overcome a speech impediment and have that interrupted by recurrent, weirdly unsettling noise.
Sure, I could have asked for my money back and left. But I had driven to the theater in the cold and I didn't feel like having to get in an argument with teenie boppers who are only paid by the hour and don't care (much less demanding to speak to a manager on a Sunday), all because acoustics engineers are apparently either unwilling or incapable of preventing this dramatic leakage of unwanted sound.
I have no idea whether I am a lone crank or whether other movie goers are having similar problems. But writing a blog post strikes me as preferable to surrendering to a silent grudge.
Or worse, succumbing to neo-Luddite thinking!
Hell, if Tron's legacy rattled my cage and shook my building while I was trying to make a speech, I might stutter too!
posted by Eric on 01.03.11 at 01:42 PM
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