Watching the Goblet of Fire

Following up on my last blog entry related to films dubbed in Spanish, I wanted to talk about the experience I had last week when I went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at a local movie theatre in Tijuana.

First of all, I'm a fan, so I had been waiting for this movie for some time now. I was trying to read the whole book before I saw the movie, but I just didn't have the time and I only got to "The Yule Ball." I have to say, the movie is amazing, I loved everything about it, and I can't wait for the next one.

The movie was great, but I had a horrible experience at the movie theatre. You see, there is a ridiculous trend going on in Mexico with more and more movies being shown in theatres only in their Spanish dub version instead of the subtitled version. This is really annoying because I prefer to see this kind of movies in English. Where I live, the best and closest option to see a movie is Cinemastar, but it's not a big movie theater chain in México, and lately, some of this year's most popular movies (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Corpse Bride, among others) have only been shown dubbed in Spanish. For those who don't know, when a Spanish dub is not made correctly, it can suck really, really hard. Well, Goblet of Fire was only shown dubbed in Spanish in my favorite theatre, so I had to look else.

I only had 2 other options: Cinepolis (which I avoid due to really bad customer service) (just my opinion here), and Cinemark. Both are big chains in Mexico and both where showing Goblet of Fire in your choice of subtitled or dubbed versions. Well, I picked Cinemark, and I really regret it. The movie and the soundtrack where scratched, throughout the whole movie! You could see 2 vertical stripes and a screechy sound whenever the score was played. I still can't believe that the movie was in such bad condition on opening day.

I wrote to the managers of both Cinemastar and Cinemark. I didn't get an answer from Cinemark, but the manager at Cinemastar kindly replied to my message and said that he agrees that the movie-going public should always have the choice of both dubbed and subtitled versions, but that, unfortunately, they depend on what the distributors in Mexico City send them. What this means is that, in Mexico, we live in a stupid centralized system. Think of Coruscant as the Capital and the rest of the country as the Outer Rim Territories. But, what the distributors don't understand is that whatever they like to see in Mexico City (or if they prefer dubbed versions) doesn't necessarily apply to the rest of the country, much less a border town like Tijuana.

So, I'm running out of choices to go to the movies in my town. I guess I'll just go to San Diego to watch my next must-see movie in a digital projection theatre.

In summary: Harry Potter Year 4. Great movie. Bad movie theatre experience.