Friday, May 4, 2012

Going to the Movies

Miguel and I go to the movies a lot in Brussels, mostly because we have a UGC pass. This allows us to pay a set rate each month for as many movies as we care to see, for this, going to the movies here is great. The rest of it, well, you can decide.

Last weekend we went to see American Pie: The Reunion (which was surprisingly good) with friends on a weekend night and I wanted to document some of the ridiculousness. Miguel and I arrived 30 minutes before the movie to get our tickets and get seats. The ticket line was surprisingly ok, but when we got to the actual theater we were blocked from entering by a velvet rope. Now, this is standard procedure, they were cleaning the theater or something, but the staff at the UGC made NO effort to control the crowd. Soon it was packed enough with an unorganized mob that had there been an emergency I don't even want to think about what would have happened. Finally, about 5 minutes before the show was supposed to start  one staff member seems to remember that there are people waiting and lifts the rope, at which point it's a no-holds-barred free for all. People pushing and shoving, rushing around trying to get seats. The crazy part was, the theater wasn't even full in the end!

So the four of us settle into our decent seats for the show. Before the movie started we got one measly trailer that came on first and then the ads. My god the ads. The ads for beverages alone were ridiculous! Two for coke, one for pepsi, one for aquarious and one for fanta (and maybe one for sprite). There were ads for Axe body spray, for various radio stations, car dealerships, etc. For. 20. Minutes. Towards the end of this barrage (during which you have to think, did I actually pay for a ticket??) we get one more trailer. For the movie we are about to see. What is that? As if that's not ridiculous enough, it was advertising it saying it opened on May 2nd, and we were sitting in that theater nearly a week before that date. Oy.

So finally just about an hour after arriving at the theater the movie starts, and already I start to think, uh oh, I have to pee. Of course, I avoided the bathroom before the movie because not only is it pretty smelly, out of toilet paper a lot of the time, only has crappy "automatic" hand dryers (that are basically the equivalent of having someone just breathe on them for about five seconds at a time), no paper towels and no purse hooks (the floor... ew) but I have to pay 35 cents for the privilege. The concept of a "madame pipi" annoys me anyway, but in a theater where even if I don't order a drink I have to sit through five drink ads before the movie even starts and I end up in the same place for at least three hours. COME. ON.

One last complaint to end on (I swear, I'm not bitter). The idiot girl behind me kept kicking my seat. Actually, to be fair, she had her feet on the back of my seat the entire time and would kick it sporadically. This is despite me turning around in my seat and asking her to stop, turning around and glaring, pushing my seat back when she did it and none of that worked. I understand accidentally kicking the seat in front of you while you cross your legs, but this was ridiculous and incredibly inconsiderate.

All of that said, we still go to the movies a lot and it's not always that crazy. As always my ranting is meant more for entertainment that to be a scathing review of Brussels. So... enjoy!