On Friday my friend Matthew messaged me and asked if I’d be interested to go see Inhumans in IMAX on Labor Day. Of course, I said yes — and now I’m here to tell you all about that time we went to see Inhumans in IMAX in a furniture store.
1. Have y’all been to Jordan’s Furniture lately?
Maybe this is just a Massachusetts thing, but when my friend told me we’d be seeing the Inhumans showing in, what he referred to as, a “real IMAX” theater (none of this dumb AMC “tryMAX” bullshit for us), I thought he was just trying to talk it up. I’ve been to IMAX showings before! It’s just like a regular movie, but harder to see the whole thing! But in all seriousness, this was legit. I haven’t been to the Jordan’s Furniture IMAX in Reading since 2006 to see 300, and in the decade since then they’ve upgraded this bad boy to be 500-seats (only about 9 of them used for this showing, 4 of them being our group) with an 8-story screen. It makes for quite a powerful showing. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that if you saw something actually entertaining and enjoyable in this theater it’d be tremendous!
2. Sunbrella seats are where it’s at!
I love going to the movies, and I typically go to this one AMC theater near my house that has loud speakers and comfy seats that I can spread my leggies out in (I’ve got long legs and get cramped easily!). But boy oh boy, I might have to give up length for comfort on this one because Sunbrella seats are magic. I don’t mean to turn this into a sales pitch, but these seats morph to the contours of your body; they’re so comfortable, you’ll hardly notice you’ve been sitting in the same position for 80 boring minutes because the chair is so comfy.
3. The audio in this theater was KILLER!
I gave up my indie creds and seeing movies in smaller cinemas because I can’t stand movie talkers. I get too distracted! And when the show started they rolled out this cute little demo that talks about how movies used to have mono sound, then stereo, and evolved from there. But just when I thought I’d heard it all, Eliot Tatelman comes out to talk about the speaker system in this theater, and man, as an audio nerd myself this was one exciting minute-long speech! 12-channel surround, speakers in the ceiling and “butt kickers” in the seats?! Damn. I’ll need to come back to see a film that actually has properly mixed audio so I can take full advantage of those butt kickers, because the one time they went off during the trailer for Thor: Ragnarok it was fun stuff.
4. That 4k Laser technology was kinda dull, though!
Maybe it’s more of a 3D thing, but I feel like they really kinda ganked up on the 4k Laser technology here. The only theater in Massachusetts using it, and they couldn’t even get it out in full force? That’s kind of like hyping up an 8-episode mini-series that can be a tentpole television property and then just phoning it in. Supposedly this technology gives us the “sharpest, brightest, clearest and most vivid digital images ever”, but I’ve gotta say, I really wasn’t that impressed here. Maybe I’m old, maybe my eyes are going bad (I did recently have to get glasses…), and maybe it was because I was fighting my eyelids to remain open, but nothing here seemed particularly sharp, bright, clear or vivid. I’d be willing to give this another chance on something where it seemed the production and writing tried a bit harder, though.
5. OK, Fine: Let’s talk about Marvel’s Inhumans Show
I like writing passive aggressive remarks about the show and instead focusing on a furniture store that also has an IMAX theater for some reason (I’ve lived in MA most of my life and I don’t really get it, either) — but I imagine you all probably clicked into this review to see something about Marvel’s new Inhumans show, right?
So, ok, fine, here it is: it’s not good.Continued below
Literally the first thing any of us said when the showing ended — and I’m including the 5 other people in the theater here — was, “that was bad.” Bad as in, I’ve seen every episode of Agents of SHIELD to date, plus all of Iron Fist, and Inhumans is somehow… worse? Egg on Marvel’s face for hiring Scott Buck a second time, but in all honesty I get how you can mess up Iron Fist; I really just don’t know how you mess up a character named Blackagar Boltagon. Yet somehow they did it spectacularly — and not in a “yes I’ll pay $12 to see a midnight showing of The Room” kind of spectacularly bad.
I’m not just saying that to echo everything every other advance review of the show has said. There’s no anti-Marvel conspiracy here, either. It’s just not a good 80 minutes. The acting is okay, the SFX are below average, the writing mostly feels forced, the wig work is questionable and there are some really bizarre character moments and plot choices. If I can spoil two things, there’s a bizarre sequence of Karnak being excessively misogynistic because he’s proud of his power, and there’s an elongated sequence of Black Bolt being chased by Hawaii Police for stealing a suit. As a fan of the Inhuman Royal Family, the whole thing was tearing me apart.
All in all it felt like Marvel’s television arm was scrambling to do something with the Inhuman because somewhere a decree came down to make it work — so they tried, and did what I’m assuming is their best, and … this is it.
Should you watch it when it airs later this month? Sure, why not. Lockjaw is cute, and Iwan Rheon is talented (and cute). Should you pay for it, to see it in an 8-story cinema with 12-channel surround sound and 4k laser technology? Not unless your buddy invites you to go and offers to pay (thanks, Matthew!).
At the end of the month, someone on Multiversity will assuredly do a real 5 Thoughts review and break this down for you in a way I’m not going to. All I can say is that, having attended the screening with Jessica Graham, former Casting Couch columnist who wrote about an Inhumans cast in 2014, the only thing the two of us can really say after seeing what they came up with was: well, it was a nice idea.