Today was opening day for Pirates 4: On Stranger Tides so Laralee and I trucked down to the theater to see it. I misread the showtimes so when we arrived the only show at that time was the IMAX 3D version. We sucked it up and paid an extra three bucks per ticket for the IMAX Experience.

As it turns out, the IMAX Experience can best be summed up with the one word sucked. There was some problem with the projector at the theater, and the first five minutes of the movie were eye-wrenching. They stopped playing it and apologized, telling all of us that they had to recalibrate the projector. We enjoyed about ten minutes of colored dots and boxes (none of which were in 3D, interestingly) and then they cranked it up again.

No joy. It still made you want to cross your eyes like you were staring at one of those 3D posters. They stopped and rewound it (question: how do you “rewind” a digital movie?) and said everything was ready to go. We got to watch all of the trailers again– oddly, the trailers worked very nicely in 3D. But when the movie started for the third time, I asked Laralee if it was really fixed, or if nothing had changed. She concurred nothing had changed, and by this point we were almost an hour after the movie was supposed to start.

We went out to the lobby and asked if we could watch a non-3D version which happened to be starting then, and they agreed. They gave us some coupons for free soda (small) and popcorn (also small), and we headed over to watch the same set of trailers a third time. Note to self: Zookeeper looks idiotic.

The movie worked fine in old-fashioned 2D, and turned out to be pretty good. Afterward we received two passes for a free show and they were going to refund our thirty bucks but apparently “the computer won’t let you” if the show itself has ended, so they handed us two more passes.

In the end, I guess we ended up with three movies for the price of one, and about four hours in the theater. At least the movie didn’t suck. You can’t complain about Penelope Cruz as a pirate…