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Aziz Ansari and the Digital IMAX Scam

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 13, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 13, 2009 |

The biggest topic in the movie world right now is not Star Trek or any other movie. The biggest topic of discussion right now is the Digital IMAX scam. Asiz Ansari — who was awesome in “‘Scrubs” and pretty much the only reason to watch “Parks and Recreation” — prompted the discussion. Over in Twitterland, he’s kind of a big deal, although stirred up some other controversy a few weeks ago when he and some other folks decided to live-Twitter Crank High Voltage in the movie theater (a dickish thing to do, if you ask me). He wrote about his experience with the Digital IMAX scam over on his blog, and he managed to be his typically amusing self while getting his point across. Read it — it’d gold:

At the AMC theatre this was my experience at guest services:

Aziz: Yes, I’d like my $5 back. I paid $5 extra for an IMAX screen and that’s not nearly as big as what I have known IMAX to be.
Guest Services: I can’t sir. Its IMAX quality picture and sound.
Aziz: But the screen isn’t big, that’s the whole reason I pay $5 more for IMAX.
Guest Services: Well sir, you watched the whole movie, you could have come out and we could have given you tickets to a different one.
Aziz: Why would I do that? I’d leave Star Trek, the movie I wanted to see and you’d give me a ticket for Ghosts of Girlfriends Past? Oh yeah that’s fair! No, you need to give me the $5 back, its the principle of it. Can I see a manager?

Manager: Sir, we can’t refund the money, you saw the whole film.
Aziz: I don’t want $15, I just want $5 cause AMC lied about IMAX.
Manager: Sir, I can give you popcorn and a drink.
Aziz: I don’t want to go home and drink a nasty soda and eat nasty ass popcorn. I want my $5 back. Its not about the money, its the principle of the matter, ITS NOT IMAX.
Manager: Sorry, I can’t do anything.
Aziz: You know what Twitter is? I have 25,000 followers, I’m tell 25,000 people you run fake IMAX’s and that they should boycott AMC.
Manager: I don’t really care sir.
Aziz: Yeah, I wouldn’t care either if I worked here, but you know you are in the wrong! You should give me $5!!
Manager: Ok here’s two free passes.

UPDATE: In addition to this terrible tragedy, there are also terrible things going on in Darfur. Please Google around for more info on how to help there.

Here in Portland, we just got our first IMAX theater last week, so I haven’t actually seen anything on a Digital IMAX. The difference is in size, as Aziz demonstrated:


So, the question is: If the sound and quality are all equal, does size matter (Agent Bedhead says no)? If you’re paying an extra $5, are you paying for the size or the IMAX quality?

I’ll let you all discuss amongst yourselves. I don’t have a dog in this hunt. I’m old fashioned — I still prefer to overpay to see bad movies at a regular movie theater. Ninety percent of what I see is absolute shit, so I certainly don’t need to see a 72 foot pile of it.

But speaking of Twitter: If you’re on it, y’all should follow us. I’m thinking about moving a variation of Eloquent Eloquence over to Twitter, and posting the best comments throughout the week over there (or at least the ones under 140 characters). We gotta keep up with the kids, you know.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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