A Date with Closed Captioning Glasses and Captain America

I saw "Captain America II: More Gunfights, Less Pectorals" last week. It was an uneventful, low key evening, aside from the fact that I understood every word everyone spoken on screen for the first time in over a decade (even the whispering people). No biggies.

I Love Technology (and Closed Captioning Glasses) | Crappy Candle

I had mentioned in a previous post that Regal Cinemas had gotten their act together and started making closed captioning glasses available in their theaters. This was my first opportunity to utilize them since I only go to the movies twice a year. The glasses aren't much bigger than 3D glasses, and if the movie you are seeing is in 3D, the closed captioning glasses have it built in; as much as I wanted to wear 3D glasses over the captioning glasses, it would seem it was not my fate.

My Date with Captain America (and Kevin Costner) in Closed Captioning Glasses
Me and Kevin Costner at the movie theater. His head is really big and stoic in person.

The glasses have a little cord that runs down to a transponder thing that wirelessly communicates with whatever mother hub in the theater is supplying the captioning data. It took me a little while to figure out that the captions won't work properly if you leave the transponder in your lap. The signal gets messed up and the captions will either show up as a brick of neon green or won't keep pace with the film. I found the best method was to clip the transponder to the hood of my jacket and let it rest on my shoulder (there are built in clips on the back of the unit). This is what the captions should look like if it's working properly:

Movie Closed Captioning Glasses Text

Keep in mind, the captions will remain at the bottom of the screen if you've got proper posture and aren't melting into the chair. These are things I don't do well in movie theaters so this was happening a lot:

Caption America 2 :( | Crappy Candle

And another thing. The glasses are uncomfortable as all hell. They squeezed my head and pushed the tops of my ears down making me feel like a weird elf wearing a too-small 80s headband. The best solution to this was to prop the arms up toward the top of my head, but this caused the captions to display way below the screen. My solution was to slouch in my seat and prop the glasses on the tip of my nose like a grandma. It doesn't look pretty, but it's dark in movie theaters and what the hell do I care anyway.

In conclusion, I've decided that "Captain America 2: Why Aren't the Other Avengers Helping" was great fun because I hadn't thrown money away on a movie I didn't understand. Here are some tips to keep in mind should you want to try the glasses out yourself:

  1. Get there a little early to pick up the closed captioning glasses from the box office.
  2. Bring an alcohol wipe or something to clean off the nose rest on the glasses. Mine was covered in white lady makeup and I was convinced it was going to give me a nose zit.
  3. Wear a jacket or something with a sturdy collar area so you can clip the transponder to it while the lights are on. I was fiddling and fumbling with it the whole movie because I didn't clip it on right the first time.
  4. You don't need to push the buttons on the transponder thing. I repeat: STOP PUSHING BUTTONS. (I'm a confessed button pusher.)
  5. Unless your head is the size of a baby's head, these glasses are going to squeeze the shit out of your head. Maybe a bring a bandana to pad it. Or a head sock.


PS: **MINI SPOILER (it's not really a SPOILER spoiler)** My favorite part of the movie, the part wear the middle aged woman in the power suit kicked the crap out of everyone, was immediately followed by my least favorite part of the movie: the part where the middle aged woman was revealed to be Scarlett Johansson. Those 2 minutes of film built my faith and trust in American Cinema, then destroyed it spectacularly. Marvel should give Jenny Agutter her own franchise if they want to make this right.

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