Friday, June 24th, 2011

The 'Tree of Life' "No Refunds" Sign

This "Warning: Terrence Malick Film!" sign, published by Next Projection (and, update! Apparently actually photographed by reporter Joe Meyers, which, should it really be that hard to find and give credit on the Internet people? Sheesh!) was posted for movie-goers at the Avon, in Stamford, CT. What's to even say? Do people really ask for their movie-ticket money back because… they were bored? Another reason to despise Connecticut. (via)

66 Comments / Post A Comment

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

I just joined a movie club, and this is the next pick. I'm not concerned about a refund, but I am concerned with having to pee in the middle of it. 138 minutes!

keisertroll (#1,117)

@boyofdestiny If I can survive est I can survive The Tree Of Life.

Bittersweet (#765)

@boyofdestiny: As someone who can't make it through a 90-minute kids' movie without a loo trip, I just plan ahead now and ask friends when the boring scene in the middle is.

djfreshie (#875)

I genuinely feel as though asking for money back for a non-defective, experience-based product is the gauchest thing a person can do. Like "Oh, can you send this back to the kitchen? I ordered a pasta but I don't like Italian food." Hey! No! Don't do that! Try harder to be a better person please!

Van Buren Boy (#1,233)

@djfreshie At the deli I used to work at people would bring back sandwiches that were almost completely eaten saying that it was no good. Monsters.

djfreshie (#875)

@Van Buren Boy

YOU ORDERED IT. YOU ATE IT. TRANSACTION COMPLETE. Please tell me you didn't give them refunds. There should be a "halfway" rule.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@djfreshie: Define "non-defective." Then hop into the Tardis with me so we can go explain to my younger self why not to spend $19 of my 1997 dollars on Mr. Bean. (It worked out — no refund, but they let us slip into Starship Troopers.)

djfreshie (#875)


Non-Defective – If it works, and you wanted it, it's yours, and you paid for it.

In the case of Mr. Bean…well, you wanted and paid for Mr. Bean. And in the end, you were wise (VERY WISE INDEED) to see Starship Troopers (WISE EVEN TO THIS DAY)

I've walked out of two movies in my life: Mortal Kombat 2 and Spiceworld. I knew the risk I was taking in both cases. The last movie I really wanted my money back for was the Ridley Scott Robin Hood fiasco, and to be honest, I felt I could make a very strong case for how that movie was defective (Good director track record, potentially good source material, expectation that even if the movie sucks it'll be nice to look at for a few hours. Wrong on all counts)

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Is the art house in South Norwalk still around? Because they would have just laughed at anybody wanting their money back from say a Godard retrospective.

ianf (#11,118)

Choire, where have you been these last few weeks,
ever since Terrence Malick pooped all over Cannes
(think first audience reaction to movie-within-movie
in "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" [1974] for
an at-best comparison), and, to quote one early
tweeter, "If you make five films in a 38-year career,
that last one better have dinos in it" ended his il-
lustrious 5-movie career with a movie that, instead
of seeing, we're supposed to feel in our bones while
taking €10/$14 naps in theatre. Here, eat your brains
out: "Quanta of Pretense" ("Quanta of Pretense pt. II"
in the making).

@ianf I strongly disagree but support your right to feel this way.

THAT BEING SAID man would I ever lop off those last 20 minutes.

Ganya (#5,212)

@Choire Sicha And lose the Obsession for Men ad at the end?

ianf (#11,118)

@Choire Sicha Thank you for your support, and
I hasten to confirm that I never for a mo doubted
you denying me that support
. In any event, what
about the first 45 minutes only constipated astro-
physicists could love (the rest of us: you've seen
one Big Bang mockumentary, you've seen them all).

I saw the movie in an artsy saloon of a multiplex,
and I've never seen so many people check their
mobile messages in the dark WHOLLY WITHOUT
the usual tsk-tsking and boo-hooing taking place.
Apparently, the collective-we-the-audience felt
at least something WAS happening. Not sure what
this could be significative of, but of something
it definitely was. Some links that got edited out:
"The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" The Movie
(the MASTERPIECE Bar Mitzva movie-within-
movie); how wholesale uncritical loving of "Tree
of Life" can affect one's judgement.

ianf (#11,118)

@Ganya there ?was? some Obsession for Med ad
at the end? MISSED IT. Tried to decode what later
turned out to be pretty simple: @Varouza I think
you've come pretty close to describing #wtf
#treeoflife is all about: partying on the beach
w/crew and dinos under nebulae
. Or clubbing,
only not of baby seals (always something).

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@ianf Dude, I assure you that all those people who checked their phones at Tree of Life would be running home to check their fucking snail-mail boxes at any number of movies that I go to see at Film Forum. The question that's posed here is: what on Earth possessed them to go see Tree of Life, when they are never to be found at something like… Syndromes and A Century. My guess is: the fucking Brad Pitt, and yeah – the dinosaurs and other "fun" items. See, this exact same movie could've had a bunch of non-actors and a mouse instead of a t-rex (or whatever), and then phone-checking crowd would not complain and even give it a compliment along the lines of "not for me, but I'll allow the artsy-fartsy crowd to have their fun with it", and all would be well. The problem is that this movie had all these things (which were not necessary for it) that made the Blackberry-on-my-dining-table crowd think that it was somehow their movie which they were not able to enjoy, not because they made a wrong turn at the multiplex, but because it's defective. It's not defective. It's just deceptive. I know. So mean.

@Niko Bellic There are seriously DINOS in this movie?

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@winchesterwolcott Why would that be so shocking? Was there never a movie with dinosaurs in it before? The movie spans the entirety of time, focusing mostly (appropriately enough) on a tiny section of it occupied by a family of humans.

@Niko Bellic Ok, so then is everyEVERYthing also included in this movie since it spans the entirety of time? And yes, I think there have been a few movies with dinosaurs in them, but they usually feature them in the previews and the movies generally seem to be about dinosaurs. Sorry this is a sensitive issue for you.

It's a sensitive issue for ALL OF US.

I generally see dinosaurs in every movie.

(Also there was like a dinosaur in that last poster they did, but kind of subtle.)

jfruh (#713)

"I'm sorry sir, we can't give you a refund. 'Green Lantern' does not follow a traditional enjoyment-generating approach to storytelling. You should have read up on on it first." (#12,168)

@jfruh If I ever see George Lucas, I'm going to demand $20 bucks back from seeing the fourth Indiana Jones movie. And then I'm going to punch him.

But it's not Regal's fault the movie sucked, so I'm not going to get into it with them.

C_Webb (#855)

They should include driving directions to the nearest Multiplex.

zidaane (#373)

I watched this on a second date and try as I could I could not stop nodding off. Even the fear of snoring next to a new date could not ward off the jump cut zzz's. It was like a long version of the scene from Soylent Green where you see a lot of pretty things before they make you into a cracker. Although that was more poignant.

Sean Penn as an Architect though was good for a laugh.

Pop Socket (#187)

Shorter sign: This movie sucks and we warned you but you bought a ticket anyway, so tough shit.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@Pop Socket I got this vibe: This movie is artsy, if you don't "get it", tough shit.

saythatscool (#101)

I liked the movie quite a bit but at least a dozen people left during the first hour.

hockeymom (#143)

Who, exactly, is this aimed at?
Viewers who thought they were going to see Justin Bieber in 3D or a group of people who are so unbelievably entitled that they think they shouldn't have to pay for anything that isn't exactly to their specifications?
Either way, dumbest sign ever.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

@hockeymom you have to understand that the reason this movie exists is because it stars Brad Pitt in a nominally romantic role with Sean Penn in some elevator cameos. Many people who have never heard of Terrence Malick will see the movie just because Pitt is the star. Those customers will be upset by a ponderous art-house film.

hockeymom (#143)

@Lockheed Ventura Am I the only person who does extensive research before I see a movie? God created the internet for a reason, people.
(yes, I am a geek)

Bittersweet (#765)

@hockeymom: Absolutely not. It's critical to know whether you have to drink beforehand or afterward.

ClarkPietas (#5,008)

Did anyone actually feel the dinos or Sean Penn or anything present day added anything to the movie? I mostly enjoyed the film, but Jesus, every time the screen would fade to black and show that weird orange smokey screensaver my whole body would tense up with "oh shit, more dinos".

fritbit (#14,338)

why is this another reason to despise connecticut? ppl from all around the world (including the bourgeoisie and art-tastic Cannes, France) are booing and walking out. i for one loved the film and saw it in Providence RI where i saw the same thing occurring. Why this invites ire towards CT (and really, have we given you other reasons to 'despise' us? we kind of just sit here and chill) is beyond my understanding (and I understand Malick).

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Connecticut: The Second C Is Silent.

filmsyncs (#14,337)

"Another reason to despise Connecticut" Hate to break it to the O.P. but without patrons no theater showing "Art House" films survives. Yes, having a significant number of patrons wanting their money back is truly … ridiculous. However, it speaks volumes to the fact that patrons are so darn mad about this film.

moneyfetish (#13,643)

Watching middle aged couples (who just showed up because of a positive NPR review) have a screaming argument with a 20-year old bro in a cardigan the second after the credits roll is totally worth the price of a five hour nap.

Smitros (#5,315)

I've seen it once, and will have to see it again, because I'm making up my mind about it, but I sure as hell don't want my money back.

Flashman (#418)

"Is this boredom in you too?"

Tuna Surprise (#573)


This movie. This great evil. Where does it come from? How'd it steal into the world? What seed, what root did it grow from? Who's doin' this? Who's killin' us? Robbing us of life and light. Mockin' us with the sight of what we might've known. Does our ruin benefit the earth? Does it help the grass to grow, the sun to shine? Is this darkness in you, too? Have you passed to this night?
No refunds.

djfreshie (#875)

@Tuna Surprise

Well done.

brad (#1,678)

@Tuna Surprise – am i an asshole for loving that movie? my sarcasm dectector is malfunctioning, so i'm unsure if it's being mocked. i was awestruck the entire time. the rest of our party fell asleep 30 minutes in. i don't know what it says about me- i'm a pretentious ass? i love the thin red line. i feel like everyone else should greet me now.

brad (#1,678)

ok, yeah, it's being mocked. guilty.

Flashman (#418)

@brad I wasn't mocking the Thin Red Line. I love that movie too – probably top 10, top 20 love it.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

@brad – I love a Thin Red Line. Now that I've quoted it, I'm going home to watch it. Now ask yourself this…how many times have you rewatched Saving Private Ryan?

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Tuna Surprise Exactly.

brad (#1,678)

@ Tuna & Flashman – ok. cool. i've taken a lot of shit for liking that movie. as for SPR, eeeh. never again. even though he made me angry with that one, it paled in comparison to the disgust i felt after AI. if only someone had made stanley eat more salads.

HiredGoons (#603)

These are the same people who don't like films where there is no character you're supposed to 'identify' with, where all the characters are assholes and treat each other like shit and there is no happy ending.

Hatred or loathing is a valid emotional response to an artistic work – why do people think the only way to react to something is to like it, or to be happy?

OMG fuck off.

tomme (#4,473)


brad (#1,678)

@tomme – movies that you love and are great but can't handle watching again. magnolia. requiem. i love them so much i'm going to slit my wrists.

Mitch Connor (#14,349)

@HiredGoons So True. Throwing up in one's mouth is also a valid emotional response. That's what i did after i read your comment.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@Mitch Connor: Have a good weekend. See you next week.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@Mitch Connor I think you forgot "a little" in there, "Mitch Connor".

Murgatroid (#2,904)

So, you're saying I shouldn't watch this tonight when I've had six hours of sleep combined in the past two nights?

ianf (#11,118)

@Murgatroid only if you follow this simple
webretweeted advice

I had a choice to spend my 2+ uninterrupted hours watching this or 13 Assassins. Thank God the 12-year-old in me won out.

Mitch Connor (#14,349)

"A uniquely visionary and deeply philosophical film from an auteur director. It does not follow a traditional, linear narrative approach to storytelling." Jesus. I was going to see this thing. Thank you.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Tree of Life or Ghostbusters?

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@dntsqzthchrmn Want a refund after watching Tree of Life? Get a DeLorean and a mad scientist with a clock-tower.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@whizzard F/M/K: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Crispin Glover…
or… Brad Pitt, Terrence Malick, dinosaurs

Sydney Levine (#14,353)


Sydney Levine (#14,353)

Dinosaurs…what was that all about??

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@Sydney Levine I haven't seen it, but I'm guessing it serves the same purpose as the intro to 2001: A Space Odyssey with the apes and the monolith and the fighting with tools and the whatnot.

Ganya (#5,212)

@Sydney Levine Well, one of them does seem to be on the verge of expiring from boredom, so . . . audience figures?

"I'm sorry, we can't give you your money back. It's mixed in with all the other money now. We'd never be able to find it."

ArtisDead (#12,792)


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