Behind the velvet rope

It was my six year wedding anniversary.  My parents took the kids on Sunday and Em and I had a ‘date day’.  Part of this was seeing The Avengers.  Anyone groaning – she picked the movie, I just happily agreed to it.

We decided to go to the new theater in Windermere and chose to do the VIP experience (at a $7 premium over the regular ticket price).

What does the VIP get you?  For starters, it’s 18+, which is nice.  Assigned seating.  In-seat ordering (until movie starts).  VIP Lounge area.  Expanded menu.

We arrived a little early to the theater, so we sat in the VIP Lounge while we waited.  The seating area was really nice and the servers were attentive. We had had lunch before we came to the theater, so we were only really wanting popcorn, but we did glance at the expanded menu.  The food sounded good (and from the items we saw others having, it looked good too) and was pretty reasonably priced for the movie theater.  There was also a variety of alcoholic drinks that also sounded pretty darn tasty.  We were offered water, so we took that while we waited.

When the theater opened, we took our seats and intended on ordering our popcorn and the like from our seat.  Unfortunately, the people taking orders did not seem to want to acknowledge us (or our entire row), so I had to run out to get our snacks and drinks (I missed the previews!).  Em had a Daquiri and I had a frozen raspberry mojito (we HAD to have booze, just because we could!), the drinks were quite good (and again, priced pretty reasonably).

The seats were comfortable.  The seats were grouped in twos with a gap between each group, so you didn’t have to sit too close to a random.  Each seat has a tray for food/drinks.  The sound and the screen were great (I ASSUME that the VIP theaters are equivalent to the AVX).

Alright, so aside from the failure in the in-seat service, I liked what the VIP offered.  It was an experience similar to one that I’ve experienced at the Opera or Concerts (at venues like the Windspear or Jubilee).  The $23 weekend ticket price seems steep, but the reserved seating of the AVX is $18 and that’s something I’m willing to pay to avoid waiting in line for a popular film.  Is the $5 extra for the other stuff worthwhile?  I don’t know.  Maybe.

But, it’s definitely worth going to the VIP theater just to experience it, just once.

Letters to other blogs…

A few weeks ago, @soupytoasterson asked me if I’d be willing to write a bit about Greg Rucka’s novel A Gentleman’s Game for Comics! The Blog’s letter section.  Today, that letter ran, in the feature Um, Actually.  The actual letter is at the end of the section.  I’m not sure it closes with the power of

but, it’s hard to be better than Brad Pitt in Burn After Reading.

My letter discussed how I discovered the novel, some brief thoughts on it, as well as where I was going from here.  In short, I like Rucka’s comics, spy books are cool, and I’m going to read some comics.

What I didn’t talk about in the letter was my historical reluctance to ‘mix media’ with universes that I really enjoyed.  When I was younger, I consumed many, many books in the Star Wars expanded universe.  What I slowly, but surely realized, was that these books were ruining Star Wars for me, so I stopped reading them.  But, from about that point on, I can’t recall a single universe that I followed in one medium, then picked up in another.

It should be noted that in this, I’m not counting books made into movies.  I’m talking about the EXTENSION of a universe, not a RE-IMAGINING of one.

I don’t know what changed in the past year or so, but I’m going to say that because of some of the books in my comics file being so far off of what I’d pick on my own, I’m more willing to give (borderline) looking books a try.  On top of that, there were some damn good Star Wars books (in addition to the stuff I didn’t like), so, why care about the medium in which the story is being told?

If I stuck to my old ‘one medium per universe’ mantra, I’d be missing out on some really awesome looking stories in Queen and Country, a bad-ass origin of the Jedi in Dawn of the Jedi, and of course more background to the Mass Effect universe.  Frankly, that’s an injustice to me, a fan of these series.  Absolutely, there’s stuff I don’t want to explore in other formats (for instance, the Firefly, Battlestar Galactica RPGs), but damn, I’d love a sourcebook for playing as a CTU Agent in the world of 24.

Not all expanded universe material will be good.  I KNOW this.  But, by letting the stuff that I subjectively found uninspiring/uninteresting overrule the stuff that’s amazing, I’m pretty sure that’s letting the bad-guys win.

So readers, I’m going to read/watch/play in the universes I love.  I’m going to follow my favorite characters.  If a storyline doesn’t interest me, I won’t interact with it (I certainly won’t start a petition to change it).