Me and My Nine Iron

July 9, 2012

Forget TSE

Filed under: For your pleasure — BJ @ 9:03 pm

Contrary to popular belief, movie screenings are not all early viewings and fun, fun, fun. In addition to the horrendous drive to often Los Angeles, long wait times due to the first-come, first-serve basis (over an hour before the showtime) and sometimes, showing unfinished movies that really take out of the viewing experience, the companies that hold the screenings can really sour the experience as well.

Actually, the only company I’m referring to is The Screening Exchange. In short, they’re a bunch of Nazi power-tripping, incompetent assholes. But let me elaborate. For reasons unbeknownst to anyone, TSE makes it seem like holding willing people in line is a near-insurmountable task. And the contrast is quite clear because none of the other companies have such a difficult time and nearly the manpower, and they still run a smoother movie screening.

But the biggest annoyance is how much they gate-check the shit out of you. While waiting in line, they make you sign a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement (fair enough) and one of their own forms, where you have to fill out all of your contact information (unnecessary, but okay, fine). They then check your I.D. to see that the name matches up with the confidentiality agreement, another person takes a digital picture of every single person in line holding their I.D. (an outrageous and unnecessary violation of privacy, in my opinion; and of course, he’s the creepy guy) and yet another asks you for your age before handing you your admittance pass to ensure they meet an undisclosed quota by year of age.

Never mind that the invitation already narrows the invitees with a qualifying age range (e.g. 15-44) and the first-come, first-serve policy. If there’s only 20 seats left, we’re just going to stop admitting from the front of the line and choose 20 18-year-olds, most of whom came way too late to have a remote shot of getting in, at our own discretion. Absolute bullshit.

I’m familiar with most of the employees as I see the same ones at every screening, and they’re all terribly overstressed by what seems like a fairly easy job. And I blame it all on this one particular asshole who oversees everything and who is the only one I’m referring to when I described TSE as “Nazi power-tripping assholes.” At the Lovelace screening, I merely asked this man if I could sit in one of the dozens of reserved seating that were going to remain empty throughout the movie, and he said something similar to, “If you don’t sit down right now, I’m going to kick you out.” If he wasn’t in the position he was in, I’d have him repeat that phrase without some of his teeth.

At the next screening, I heard him tell an employee, “Why aren’t these people being taken care of?” When she went over to the group he pointed at, he said the exact same thing regarding another group like the prick of a boss you could never please. She was visibly humiliated, and before she could respond, he walked away. Doing absolutely nothing.

Note: I asked for better seats because I was sitting in the front row, which was less than 10 feet from the screen. They need to make it a law that the closest seat to the screen cannot be within 30 feet. Anything within that is not a fucking seat to watch a movie. Who would pay $12 for that ungodly angle and neck-cranker? Absolutely absurd.

Here’s the rest of the terrible month of May:

  • I don’t know when May Day became National Protest Day, but I ran right into the buttcrack of the street closures near Pershing Square, and it took me exactly two hours to get to the End of Watch screening. I could’ve driven 100 miles down to San Diego in that same time.

Very briefly and not just because of this one experience, let me just say that the overuse and exploitation of the 1st Amendment is one of the major downfalls of our country. In fact, I’ve said it before, and I will continue to say it. Allowing people to take over streets, most of whom are admittedly only there to be part of the experience, not only disrupts motorists just trying to get home after a long day at work but sends a wrong signal to the whole notion of democracy. I recognize that protests sometimes lead to changes, but I also believe there’s such a thing as too many rights, and this country lets way too many people run amuck. Make changes through votes, not by bitching and whining like so many Americans do.

  • After I posted a review of a Cloud Atlas screening, I received an email from an attorney representing Warner Bros. telling me to remove the post or face millions in financial damages arising from a loss at the box office I may have cost the movie from my negative review. Re-read that last sentence if you found that possibility as preposterous as I did. I wouldn’t even believe that if my name was Ashton Kutcher.

I obliged, but it did make me think: there’s no way I’m getting this notice had my review been positive. And I love how attorneys throw in a disparaging word here and there because they’re all snide fucking assholes, in this case unnecessarily calling my blog “amateur.” If I’m an “amateur” with no known following, I’m flattered that I’m at the top of your list of blogs to shut down.

Nevertheless, with screenings held by TSE, I’ve made a point to withhold those reviews until an appropriate time.

Nevertheless, fuck TSE.




  1. I’m not going to lie. I did feel a little special.

    Comment by Bryan — July 10, 2012 @ 8:06 am | Reply

  2. You got Cease and Desisted? Shit, that sorta makes you internet famous brah.

    Comment by Ja-Hon Suh — July 10, 2012 @ 1:19 am | Reply

  3. PREACH!

    Comment by dan — July 9, 2012 @ 10:57 pm | Reply

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