No refund.

Film Day two. Here's the only letter of complaint I've written about film. It's 1997 and I'm really, really pissed off ...
Dear Sir or Madame,

I am writing to you by way of a thank-you. One of your films has helped me through a mental block which I have had since I was a child, and I thought I would write and congratulate you.

I have always had a problem with walking out of films. I have spoken to friends and read magazine articles, and both have described leaving movies in the middle quiet flippantly. I have even seen it happen. But I have never understood how someone could do it. I mean, I’ve paid my money at the box office, so I might as well see the film. This has meant that I have sat through some really awful films. But I never thought would come to walking out.

Then I went to see ‘Batman and Robin’. The trailer had made this seem like a very exciting film, in the tradition of the rest of the series. I thought George Clooney would fit the bat-suit in the dark tradition of the comics, and I loved Alicia Silverstone in ‘Clueless’. Arnie seemed to have his usual carisma. And as Batman jumped into the Bat-mobile, I still thought that I would be in for an enjoyable two hours.

Then the film began proper, and even before the opening credits ended, my heart began to sink as I realised that yet again, I had been cheated. As scene after scene passed, I felt myself cringing, my intelligence not only being insulted, but being kicked to the floor, and stamped upon. I should have felt like a child on a spending spree at Hamley’s. Instead, I felt like a kid whose been given 50p and told to choose something from the second hand bargain bucket at a Car Boot Sale. I should have been enthralled, thrilled and losing myself in the new reality. Instead I found myself trying to work out what was wrong with the film .... while I was watching it.

I began thinking of the script, characterisation being reduced to exposition. How there were simply too many characters, meaning that some simply didn’t have anything to do but stand around looking pretty. I thought of the so-called action, tension being lost because everything felt so artificial, so obviously controlled by a Special FX operator somewhere. I thought about how the actors seemed to be more concerned about having a good time, than giving strong believable performances and making the audience care or not about the characters, hoping they would get by on star quality and nothing else (although I felt sorry for George Clooney - he still gave Bruce Wayne some charm despite the dialog, and the guy who played Alfred, as dependable as ever). I got as far as when Poison Ivy repeated the Joker’s line from the first film (as if we’d think it was funny) ‘This place needs re-decorating,’ and I’d had enough.

I know it is not really Warner Brothers UK’s fault. You merely had to advertise and distribute what your American big brother delivered. And you have to be congratulated - the second biggest opening weekend in British history is a slam-dunk.

But I am writing this letter for people like me, the people you cheated. The people who gave you their money, because they trusted you to give them an entertaining time and who instead left annoyed, insulted, and out of pocket, Why should I trust you again to entertain me?

Perhaps I could suggest a way. You could write back and apologize. You could refund the price of my ticket at my local Odean (£3-00), and suggest a film in the next couple of months that you are certain I will enjoy. Because if I don’t you can bet you will be hearing from me again, very, very soon.

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Ian Burns.
No refund, and I didn't write again. Though I did walk out of some more films.

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