Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"

This morning I attended the 11:20 am screening of “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” at the AMC Empire multiplex at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan.  Now, I give a lot of my movie going dollars to the AMC movie theatre chain because all shows before noon are six dollars at all AMC theatres.  So, since 11:20 am is a full 40 minutes before noon my ticket should have been six dollars, right?  Well, not according to AMC.  You see the 11:20 showing of “Mission: Impossible” was presented in something called ETX, which stands for “Enhanced Theatre Experience” for which AMC charges ten dollars for the pre-noon show.  I asked the ticket seller what kind of “enhanced” experience I was going to get for this 67% mark up.  He explained that the theatre in which “Mission: Impossible” was playing had a very big screen and 150 speakers.

Now, call me unreasonable but I thought a major reason people go to see movies in movie theatres is to see them on a big screen.  A big screen should go with the territory and not involve an “enhanced” charge.  As for the 150 speakers, who needs them?  Since most movies are mixed in Dolby 5.1 which utilizes six speakers, 150 speakers are 144 speakers too many.

I will admit though that the ETX screening of “Mission Impossible” was shown in the Empire’s Theatre 6, which is indeed a huge theatre with a very big screen.  I used earplugs, a “multiplex necessity” these days, to protect my hearing from the 150 speakers which created seat rattling vibrations.

As home video, pay per view and other challenges to the movie going experience bring competition, movie theatres need to be on top of their game and they should not be passing the cost of keeping their business afloat to their loyal customers.  It is bad enough theatres charge extra for presentations in IMAX and 3-D.   By the way, Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, never charges extra when it shows a movie in 3-D.

As for “Mission Impossible” itself, I have to say it was a pretty good film.  The movie dispatches one maguffin after another as Tom Cruise and company try to save the world from a Russian induced Armageddon.  I thought the Cold War was over, but never mind.  “Mission Impossible” has lots of action, suspense, interesting characters and it even goes for some laughs.  Simon Pegg proves to be a comical addition to the MI team, as a computer nebbish eager for the big time of working with Cruise’s Ethan Hunt.  Paula Patton is the team’s dangerous beauty.  Most important, the story more or less made sense, which lately has not been the case with some of the movies I have been reviewing.

In conclusion “Mission: Impossible” is a fun, suspenseful roller coaster ride of a movie, but the AMC chain needs to rethink its pricing policy.

Mission: Impossible, Director Brad Bird, 2011, Paramount Pictures, 133 minutes, PG-13


About unpaidfilmcritic

Up until 2009 Seth Shire spent nearly two decades in the New York film industry as a post production supervisor of feature films. Highlights include working on the films of Martin Scorsese, James Toback and Spike Lee. Since leaving the film industry Seth has expanded into new and varied areas where he has found a great deal of satisfaction. Seth currently teaches in the Sociology Department of CUNY Queens College. His courses include "Mass Media and Popular Culture," "Introduction to Sociology," and "Sociology of Cinema" where he is a very popular teacher. Seth is also the film critic for "Town & Village," a Manhattan weekly newspaper, a position he has held for the past six years. Seth gives back to his community through volunteer teaching at Manhattan's "The Caring Community," a center for senior citizens, where he teaches a very popular course on documentaries called "The Golden Age of the Documentary. In the fall of 2010 Seth taught "Critical Reading and Writing" at Parsons School of Design. He has also taught "Cinema Studies" at the New York Film Academy. Seth lives in Stuyvesant Town, in Manhattan.

Posted on January 7, 2012, in New and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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