Walter Mencken 1 p.m., May 1
Bright British Moviegoers Demand a Refund Because The Artist Has No Dialog
I've been meaning to relocate to London since news hit that the San Diego water supply is began being contaminated by fluoridation, that destroyer of all precious bodily fluids. This latest move on the part of British filmgoers is just the additional impetus needed to kick the crummy dust of Normal Heights off my shoes, pack my duffel-bag, and hop the pond to Jolly Old England.
Odeon and UCI Cinemas Group confirm that they have issued "a small number of refunds" to helpless Liverpool patrons duped into thinking The Artist had talking and color in it. First off, would someone tell Hollywood that it's 2012. What's with this black-and-white nonsense? If I want black-and-white, I'll stay home and watch The Three Stooges on Antenna TV for free.
When I drop $11.50 on a movie, it had better be in color and there had best be sound other than music coming from out the speakers. I want dialog, and none of that funny writing at the bottom of the screen when the actors are foreigners. Talk to me in American, even if you have to hire actors to dub in the words. At least it wasn't in 3D.
Life is cuter in color!
The short-changed patrons also griped about the reduced screen size, and rightfully so. I got up to complain three times about all the excess black on the sides, and as much as the candy counter workers sympathized with my plight, there was no way for them to fit the picture to the screen. Part of me wanted to walk out, but the story of a young star born to make it in pictures was so original that I was compelled to stay.
Another thing worth recommending is a haunting swatch of music that comes in about two-thirds of the way through the picture that is unlike anything I've heard before. It made me dizzy! And Uggie the dog was adorable; much cuter than those parvo-ridden mutts in Hugo or the scene-stealing camera hound in Beginners.
Hollywood had better get their act together, or I swear on a stack of bibles, I'm not leaving my living room. Color, sound, widescreen, a good-looking cast, and a lot of senseless explosions: That's Entertainment!
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