Hello Movie Theaters!
But really this post is about watching movies in Korea…which is great. There are so many parts of this culture that frustrate and befuddle me but the movie theaters here are better than any I’ve been to anywhere else.
First off, while I hardly consider myself a film connoiseur of any kind, I am a person who takes the move going experience very seriously. I get there super early or not at all and no one can get in the way of that. In Korea, it’s pretty much unnecessary because you can book seats ahead of time. They just show you the layout and which seats are taken and you’re free to book and go about your non-movie related business til five or so minutes before the show starts.
And that’s because you want snacks. And boy do they have snacks.
The normal tray of nachos, box of buttered popcorn and soft drinks are here but in Korea (and it seems all over Asia) they like to switch up the flavors every once and awhile. Since I’ve been here, I’ve encountered “sweet” or caramel, cheddar, garlic, onion, green tea, and cinnamon popcorn at the theaters (and there’s never a premium to pay on these awesome flavors either) What’s more, they’ll let you mix your favorite flavors in a bucket. And the offbeat flavors extend to the drinks – blueberry/pomegranate/blue green tea and peach tea come and go. They’ve thought of everything – it’s all so wonderfully delicious.
The courtesy even extends to the theater itself where the audience tends to behave better than the one at Columbia Mall back home (a situation so bad, I refuse to see movies there anymore).
There is one thing that’s a little strange. I tend to see American movies or movies in all English and Korean subtitles. It certainly seems like a lot of work for Koreans to go through but whatever. I’m fully aware that my country’s most profitable export is entertainment so I kinda figured the subtitle people would be on point with the translations. But maybe not. I saw Inglorious Basterds and Green Lantern here and was a little weirded out when Matt and I and some random other foreigner in the audience were the only ones laughing at the jokes. Or maybe the Koreans were laughing on the inside.
All that to get to the real issue : Green Lantern was terrible but I hope it was at least made somewhat decent with the subtitles. I heard it. I can’t unhear it.