Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 10 2003

The weather was great on Saturday, crystal clear v…

The weather was great on Saturday, crystal clear views all the way out to Danshui even from Xindian. I should have gone hiking in the mountains but instead I went over to the Sandcastle for chatting and guitar-tuning. Sandy told me of a musical get-together he and some friends were holding in the mountains that night, but due to the wedding the next day I declined. Maybe some other time.

Oh, the wedding: I had to get up at 6 am yesterday. Kirk and I were attending the wedding at our friend Victor’s wedding. Kirk was the best man and I was taking video. Victor’s helped both of us with our computers countless times, so we owe him, and of course the food was free. The wonderful weather had vanished, leaving dull cold drizzle in its place. We went out to the equally dull suburb of Zhonghe to follow the happy couple around as they drove from the new house to the bride’s house and back again, doing the whole traditional ceremony thing, which included the obligatory bride-stepping-over-a-small-fire on her way into the new house, among other things. Then that night they had the banquet at a restaurant on Xinyi Road. My head was killing me so I popped over to Watson’s to get some Panadol, but by the time I got back they were halfway though their vows. Oh well. Luckily they had another guy doing video as well. I told Victor I’m not much of a wedding videographer, but he said it didn’t matter as I was just getting supplemental material. What I got was mostly his crazy little brother galavanting around the ballroom telling bawdy jokes and getting really drunk. Everyone was getting really drunk, actually. Kirk was red-faced blitzed by the end of the evening, and we went out for coffee and awful hot chocolate with Harry and James afterwards to try to sober up a little before stumbling home.

I went to see Matrix: Revolutions Friday afternoon and actually didn’t mind it too much due to my super-low expectations after Part II. It wasn’t nearly in the same league as the first movie, but…well, read this deconstuction if you really, really want to hear about it. It probably won’t end up in my DVD collection, but neither was it a complete waste of money or time. I wish I knew exactly when the extended version of The Two Towers, scheduled for release on the 18th in the states, is coming out in Taiwan; I’d really like to see it before I go see The Return of the King at the theater.

But which theater? I usually go to The Estrogen Mall, aka Breeze Center, theaters, but it seems that they’re following the Taiwanese tradition of Slipping Service lately. They didn’t shut off the house lights until well into the League of Extraordinary Gentleman. When I went to see the last Matrix movie, they had aimed the projector so high that it cut off everyone’s forehead and even some people’s eyes, while the subtitles were just below the center of the screen, much higher than they are usually placed. I rushed out into the lobby to ask someone about it, but not a single attendant was there; it was completely empty. Afterwards, when I complained to the manager, she brushed me off saying “If it was really that bad, people would be complaining.”

“I’m complaining.” I said. She gave me a look that suggested that when she said ‘people’, she wasn’t talking about the likes of me.

“It’s just the way it was filmed,” she said, exhibiting wonderful creativity in coming up excuses for not doing her job. I know I may lack a certain amount of filmmaking credentials, but I do know a bit about framing, and I know the film wasn’t framed that way. Even the previews were shown correctly. It was obviously a projection or cutting error in Taiwan. Since it was the last Matrix movie, I let it go, but I would be royally pissed if they did that to Return of the King. I would walk out of the theater loudly demanding my money back so I could go see it at another theater. And, of course, nobody would notice. That’s the way it always happens, be it at a restaurant that previously had good food and service, or a theater, or any other commercial establishment. Give it a few months, and the people who run it will lose interest, the staff will become surly and rude (which I can appreciate personally, but these are people who want me to pay them for shit), the quality will fall, and people will rush off to the next new thing to spend their money there, while the owners of the previous place wonder what happened. Ah, progress.

posted by Poagao at 7:29 am  

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