Saturday, January 7, 2012

Now Showing...

Last night, we all went as a family to Marina Mall to see the new Mission Impossible 4.  If you haven't seen it, check it out.  Part of the movie was filmed here in the UAE, and there have been several news articles in the paper here about it this past year.  The UAE, and especially the emirate of Dubai are very proud to see their Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, on the big screen and on the movie promo posters.

No, this post isn't about Tom Cruise, or Mission Impossible 4.  It's about the movie going experience here.  Yes, even going to the movies is different here.  For starters, at the ticket counter you have to decide if you want to watch the movie with the average folks like my family in the regular theater, or if you want to pay the big bucks and watch it in a gold theater.  The gold theater option allows you to watch the movie in big fully reclining leather seats with waiters that will serve you food while you watch the movie.  The next thing, and this is the part that drives me nuts, you have to pick your seat like you're going to a concert.  That's right, there is no way to know if you are picking a seat by someone annoying or worse, odiferous....I'm not being mean here, just honest.  I'll have to cover the smelly part in another post.   Going back to assigned seating, you better make sure you are in your assigned seat.  There is actually an usher in the theater to assure that everyone is sitting where they are supposed to be.

The concession stand is a bit odd as well, although at first glance it looks similar to what you would find in the states.  Here most theaters serve up popcorn with flavors like spicy and caramel, but liquid butter is almost impossible to find.  So far, we have only found one theater that had it, and that was Marina.  Last night, to my husband's dismay they no longer had it.  They did have that nasty shake on butter powder....YUM.....NOT!  We opted for the caramel instead.  Besides weird popcorn flavors, you can also get Arabic bread with Nutella as a movie treat.  I'm sure this goes over well with most of the Europeans, but to the Americans like myself it is odd.  Don't get me wrong, I like Nutella.  I've just never had a craving for it at the movies.

Once you are in your assigned seat and ready to watch the movie, you would think this is when it should be no different than any movie in the states or elsewhere...Ohhhhh nooooo, not here.  If you choose a later showing that is usually close to being sold out on a weekend, you are in for a treat.  Prepare yourself for cell phones ringing loud during the movie and people talking.  Again, this is another reason that the whole assigned seat thing can really stink.  If you get stuck beside the guy with the annoying ring tone that he allows to go on for a minute before answering, then proceeds with a lengthy conversation to his buddy it can be not only distracting, but really annoying.  With the exception of last night, this is why we normally choose early showings that tend to have less people and less distractions.

I should also mention that movie titles aren't always the same here.  A good example of this would be the movie Puss in Boots.  Here and in other places in the Gulf region it was called Cat in Boots.  We didn't go see this one, because something about Antonio Banderas saying "I am Boots" seemed weird to me.  It probably would have made me laugh a little too loud, and then I would have become one of those annoying viewers that we try to avoid.

Well folks, now you are prepared if you ever decide to take in a film here in the UAE.  Remember, go for the early showing and bring your butter with you.

"I am Boots."

MI4 poster, note the Burj Khalifa in the background.

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