29 May 2008

At the Movies

Earlier today I got my first taste of what it's like to go see a movie in Japan. Takeshi and I both had an interest in seeing the next Chronicles of Narnia movie, "Prince Caspian".

So we made our way to the theaters which are located in the nearby mall in town. The theaters there are under the name, Warner Mycal Cinemas. The scene before the film where you are informed of the various rules and features of the cinemas, is carried out by many characters from the Warner Bros. cartoons i.e. Bugs Bunny, Roadrunner, and Tweety Bird. It was very funny to find out what the character's voices would turn out being like in Japanese instead of English. They pretty much were about the same with only a few minor differences. I am convinced that someone in the cinema distribution "system" in Japan is hellbent on making it terribly inconvenient for the people here to ever see movies. Especially since my ticket alone today cost about $17.00 U.S.

All those times of griping at home when a ticket would be as much as $9 seems a little silly, now. If you ever see a movie here, you better be sure it's good as much as you can before you see it. Any Adam Sandler, Will Ferrel, or Ben Stiller movie is not worth $17. The interior lobby of the cinema was pretty much what you'd expect to see in any U.S. cinema. We bought a medium iced tea and some nachos, which came to about $8.40 U.S.

With seeing any foreign movie here one has the option of seeing the dubbed version of the film, or the subbed version of the film, in separate theaters, at different times. We of course chose to see the subbed version of the film, because if it was dubbed with Japanese voice actors, I would be totally clueless for the entire film.

The majority of the theater was empty, with only a handful of other people there. Ads flashed upon the screen before the movie started. Rules of the theater also appeared on screen beforehand, and one in particular informed us that "Trash-cans are at the entrances to dispose of your rubbish." I thought this was very funny since they didn't say "trash", but "rubbish". Maybe it was just me...

The music the theater played while waiting for the movie to start was a bit different to, because they were playing this
opera-ish/classical/Armageddon-chorus music, which gave the theater a very dramatic and somewhat dark personality. A lot different from the country music I was used to hearing at way too many theaters in the States. They were probably playing such depressing sounding music because it was a reminder of how much money you just gave them to see the movie. And you were hoping like hell you wouldn't regret it.

Overall, the movie was very good, and a bit better than the first movie, even. After a while I didn't even register the Japanese subtitles on the bottom of the screen, since my eyes followed the movie instead. Hopefully I can find the DVD over here for a reasonable price, and the option to take off the subtitles.

Going to see an American movie today gave me a taste of the U.S. again, and for a moment, when we were walking out, I almost believed we were back in the States. Hmm.

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