I couldn’t help myself. I had to slip into the AMC Lincoln Plaza earlier tonight to check out the 9:30 pm Moneyball show and see how it looked. What I saw would break Bennett Miller‘s heart, and definitely Wally Pfister‘s. The general darkness of the image was appalling, horrific. The foot lambert level must have been 9 or 10 instead of the proper 14. And the sound was definitely lower than the sound levels for the trailers.
I had tears in my eyes. Miller and Pfister have worked so hard and so well, and then the AMC guys come along and fuck it all up for the customers. People all around me had paid $13 bills each to see a version of Moneyball that definitely blew chunks on a presentation level, and they didn’t even know how bad it was. But I did. I couldn’t take it after 20 minutes or so.
This wasn’t an accident or the projectionist slacking off, trust me. I’ve suffered through sub-par Lincoln Square presentations before and this shit is POLICY. These guys are institutionally committed to diminishing the visual and audio levels of movies that would look and sound a hell of a lot better if they were projected properly.
Team Lincoln Square doesn’t mess around with their IMAX presentations — those are fine. But they’re definitely degrading the audio-visual content in regular theatres. As far as I’m concerned they are the sworn enemy of quality projection.
And I’m a formerly licensed projectionist and I know from light and sound levels so don’t tell me. As Burt Lancaster said to Mickey Saughnessy in From Here to Eternity, “I ain’t tellin’ you — you’re tellin’ me.”