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Marley & Me ~ This would not have been my choice to see on a movie night but it was The Bride’s choice, so we saw it. I was pleasantly surprised. Based on John Grogan’s book of his newspaper columns that follows his life, with his wife, his family, his career and his dog. I’m a sucker for writer movies so I was sucked right in. For a change Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston, notoriously not my favorite actors turn in believable and entertaining performances, as do the twenty-odd stunt dogs that portray Marley. Very sweet, lots of fun and well worth seeing.

Yep, great movie, if only we didn’t have to see it at the AMC Loews Cherry Hill 24. This was one of the worst theatre experiences I have ever had. Yes, even worse than when I saw Spider-Man 3 in London – of course in that case there was inexcusable behavior both in the seats and on the screen.

We saw Marley & Me this past Friday night, and the movie has been out for several weeks, and the theatre was hardly packed – possibly thirty or so people in a room that could easily hold a hundred or so. We arrived during the previews, and although we did not see the announcements about talking, smoking, cellphones, etc., I’m quite sure they were still shown. They are always shown.

First off, people, mostly unchaperoned kids between ten and twenty, talking non-stop throughout the film. The audience, in front of us at least, was a sea of cellphone lights, as if we were at a Styx concert and Dennis DeYoung was belting out “Babe.” And yes, I know I’m dating myself there, and that in my day we would have used lighters, but I’m sure you get the point. There was more texting and talking going on in this theatre than at the mall food court.

Then there was the matter of the constantly shifting audience. I really think The Bride and I were the only ones in that theatre who paid to see Marley & Me. People, I say people, but again they were unsupervised kids, kept coming and going, sitting and watching a little bit of the film –usually talking or texting the whole time- and then leaving again. Where are the parents? Or is AMC the new babysitter?

After the movie we complained and were given a full refund plus free passes by a rather flustered and timid young manager. We were not alone in our refunds, but the other angry couple was surprisingly from yet another movie. We were told that employees do actually patrol the theatres, but only first runs where the crowds and the problems were more plentiful. Wow. Remind me not to see a first run flick at AMC Loews in Cherry Hill – apparently it could be worse…

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About Glenn Walker

Glenn Walker is a professional writer, and editor-in-chief and contributing writer at Biff Bam Pop!. A blogger, podcaster, and reviewer of pop culture in all its forms, he's done stints in radio, journalism and video retail. Ask him anything about movies, television, music, or especially comics or French fries, and you’ll be hard pressed to stump him or shut him up.

Posted on January 16, 2009, in amc loews, cellphones, cherry hill, jennifer aniston, marley and me, owen wilson. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. That’s precisely why I try to wait 2 – 3 weeks for the DVD Release lol. That’s how quick they hit DVD/blu ray now. With a big LCD and a blu ray why the heck do we even need to leave our homes? I worked at Cineplex Odeon (which was subsequently absorbed into Loews theaters then AMC) for about 6 years and the customer service was alot better in the mid to late ’90s. I don’t think any of these theaters are making any money to be able to provide high quality training and service.

  2. Probably because everybody waits for the DVD release… ^_^

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