I really love movies. I love ’em so much, I sometimes call them “film”, like a snob.
But I don’t go to the movies anymore. Once in a great while, a friend will cajole me into going, and I’ll go. But inevitably I’ll be distracted and irritated and want to leave, especially if I’m interested in the film. I sometimes think I’m the only person in the theater interested in watching (and hearing) the film.
Let’s recap why going to the movie theater sucks ass:
The former is easily handled: you tell them to shut the fuck up before you and your entire row of people rain blows down upon their heads. This works sometimes; other times it will shut them up for only 10 minutes, whereupon the threats must escalate and the film is now second fiddle to the real action.
The latter is more common. It happens when an idiot family from the idiot part of the county comes to watch a film slightly more complex than “Cars 2”. As the film begins and we see foreshadowing, they immediately begin whispering loudly to each other:
“Didja see that, Elmer? I bet she gonna cause him some troubles!”
“Ya think so? But she’s Cameron goddamn Diaz!”
“Don’t matter none! I can tell she’s gonna be the cause of all this trouble later on!”
“If’n ya really think so! But I’m not so sure about that there fella from the FBI, neither!”
“No! The FBI guy ain’t the killer! He woulda hafta been two places at once doncha think?”
This goes on throughout the entire film. And there is no remedy as the idiots will claim they were being quiet and minding their own business. Your only hope is to move out of earshot or leave and wait for the DVD.
I have beheld the latter type of Mouth-Breathing Idiots so often that I’m actually amazed when they don’t appear next to me.
This one used to haunt me like a nightmare. In the 1990’s, it got so bad that I bet one of my friends that I’d have a screaming baby next to me, guaranteed. We went to the movie and left early. I was $20 richer.
Some sort of backlash must have occurred because baby meltdowns at the movies are kinda rare nowadays. If you go to a comic book movie or a kids film, you should expect a few snot-nosed brats raising a ruckus. But the onslaught of brats at R-rated films has dropped in recent years. I’m hoping it’s because dullard breeders were shamed from such behavior. If parents think that’s unfair, they should either drug their brats into a catatonic stupor or try being more thoughtful about their reproductive habits.
No, not masturbation. Most masturbators are quieter than the slack-jawed bovines who down quarts of popcorn and soda or wrestle with a noisy plastic wrapper for 40 fucking minutes. What’s being said in the film? Who knows? All I can hear is crunch-munch-munch-munch, slurpy-derpy-slurp and rustle-ristle-rustle-ristle. I think they said something about needing to escape the office building in order to find the guy who was…oh, I dunno. It’s all just a bunch of noise. Who can hear anything?
And when I’m not losing the plot because of all the noise being made by the perfumed hogs who surround me, I’m being deafened by the Hollywood soundtrack. If a character sets a mug of coffee onto a glass table, it has to land with a loud ker-CHLINK! noise that has been compressed and signal-gained eighteen fucking times before being inserted into the scene.
And if the action really heats up? You’ll need ear plugs to shield you from the head-splitting noises generated by another idiotic car chase or Michael Bay explosion. At these moments, even the popcorn munchers are drowned out. And everything that happens MUST have an accompanying low-frequency rumble to make your groin vibrate. If there is no low rumbling noise, then the movie must be boring and we should all just listen to the popcorn munchers.
As a person with chronic back pain, I have to take into account how much money in medical bills I’ll have to pay after sitting in a tired, scummy, beaten-up old movie theater seat for the 30 minutes of commercials, 20 minutes of previews and 2 hours of film I must endure.
I can’t hit the “pause” button and stretch my legs. I am a prisoner here. I must listen to the munchers, endure the ker-FLOOM noises and wriggle in my seat as my ass screams for mercy. Why did I come here again?
You have two options once you’ve committed to go to the movie theater:
1. Go in early, get a good seat and endure 20 minutes of television commercials.
2. Go late, get a lousy seat, miss the commercials and watch 20 minutes of previews.
There is no other option. Despite the fact you’ve paid a premium for a seat, burned gasoline to get there, endured a long line to buy a ticket and plumped down next to some popcorn-munching behemoth who smells like a Malaysian garbage dump, you STILL have to endure commercial advertising. Why? BECAUSE HOLLYWOOD SAYS SO.
Finally, there’s the content. I’m like anybody else. I enjoy watching spectacles on the big screen. At this point, that’s only reason I’d ever attend a public screening. If a movie intends to intrigue me intellectually, it can’t do so in a movie theater. May as well go straight to DVD (which is what most foreign films and independent films do anyway).
I have no idea how mainstream America continues to line up for Jim Carrey comedies and stupid revenge films and all the “two women struggling against all odds in a world they didn’t make” movies. Somehow, these films make bank at the box office. I’d sooner shoot myself in the face than sit through that crap, but I guess that’s why the movie theaters are what they are: halls of consumption for the lumpenproletariat.
Will people eventually flee the blockbuster theater experience for the more civilized art house scene? I doubt it, and that’s a good thing.