When someone attempts to lure me to a foreign film about a widowed Tunisian seamstress and her path to self-discovery, I gotta admit my first thought is, "I wonder if I can still catch a bargain Scooby-Doo?"
I know this is bad. You don't have to tell me that Scooby-Doo is crap, genius—I know that Scooby-Doo is crap. And, I swear, I have the utmost respect for widowed Tunisian seamstresses; I can't even imagine what it's like trying to sew after your husband dies. I'm sure the Tunisian widow's journey is going to affect the way I look at the world, and that I'll come out of it ecstatic that my mind and soul have been enriched, and that I'll be happy to have something to talk about with the kind of Seattle homosexuals who act superior about the wonders of Tunisian cinema mere hours before they remove their shirts to celebrate the latest eight-minute remix by some anorexic diva from Norway. But when push comes to shove, and it's hot, and I feel like a dog needing a good roll in some Hollywood dung, the Tunisian widow ain't comin' through for me.
This is all by way of bemoaning the fact that the price of matinees at newly purchased Pacific Place Cinemas went up a couple of bucks to $7 after megacorporation AMC came to town a few months ago with its acute understanding of the appeal of celluloid dung. Nobody said a word, and now, with so much dung for our perusal, we're really feeling it. How can this happen?
"We determined there were some locations where pricing adjustments were appropriate," says AMC's PR flack, who was forwarded the call when a Pacific Place Cinemas lackey understandably begged off questions regarding the price issue. "We make our decisions theater by theater and market by market."
Apparently, a no doubt completely agendaless study of national ticket prices occurs twice a year: just before the lucrative summer season begins, coincidentally, and just prior to the release of the popular holiday offerings. So what, you ask, determines the price increase?
"Whether an increase is warranted is determined by . . . you know . . . there are a number of factors that we consider. . . . "
We're not even going to go into the $9 you're going to pay for that night screening of K-19: The Widowmaker, or that before your brush with Harrison Ford's Russian accent, you're getting car commercials, U.S. Marines propaganda, and a soft drink promo. And don't give me your lecture about the price of movie tickets in New York: Give me a reliable public transportation system, a decent nightlife, and more diners open past 10, and maybe we'll allow some Big Apple comparisons.
I won't take being used like this anymore. They're charging me $7 now to degrade myself with Men in Black II and that guy for Fandango.com? I am so sneaking into Lilo & Stitch afterward.