The sound at the TCL Chinese during last night’s Interstellar screening was so bassy and woofer-throbby and aimed at my rib cage that I couldn’t hear half the dialogue. My ears felt left out, not to mention the part of my brain that enjoys hearing words and sentences and…you know, understanding what’s up and putting it all together. And don’t say it’s just me because five or six others were saying the same thing in the lobby after the show. I for one was particularly flummmoxed by Matthew McConaughey‘s dialogue due to his shitkicker accent on top of everything else. I’d hear a word or sometimes a phrase now and then, and sometimes an actual whole sentence or two. But there was no winning. I realized that early on. The atmospheric rumbles and impact sounds and vibrating whomps are top-of-the-line, but too many sound systems in too many state-of-the-art theatres are calibrated so that the shake-rattle-and-roll stuff rules above all. This is the way it unfortunately is today, and for me is frankly another reason to think twice about going to the megaplex. People expect to hear sound so strong and pulverizing that their bones vibrate and their inner organs detach and collapse in a heap. Has anyone in the Los Angeles area been to that 4D Motion FX theatre in Oxnard? This is what a lot of people want these days. The problem is that vibrating rib cages are at war with being able to hear simple speech. I could hear a lot of what’s being said last night — don’t get me wrong. But enough dialogue was obscured or murky enough for the experience to be a general pain in the ass. You know when I’ll be able to understand all of Interstellar? Without having to lean forward and cup my ears or make faces? When I watch it next summer on Bluray with my own home system with my personally calibrated sound bar and woofer.