By Jane Smith
As a movie blogger, I go to the movies a lot. Startling revelation, I know. I don’t have a favorite time to go to the movies, though. Because I do this stuff for work, I go whenever it’s most convenient to my schedule. Sometimes I go really early in the day. Other times, I go late. I also still go to the movies for myself, to see stuff I want to see. Sometimes, my friends and husband join me; sometimes I’m completely alone. I’ve been the only person in a theater more than once. It’s less creepy than you think.
Unfortunately, I’m a hack movie reviewer in that the reviews aren’t my focus, I have no formal training and I haven’t been to film school. I do, however, have an unusual love of film; OK, I’m obsessed with movies. Luckily, I know what I like and I have strong opinions.
Hopefully these reviews help you figure out what movies you should see at an actual movie theater, which ones you should save for your Netflix queue and which ones you should avoid at all costs. I’m here to serve, people.
In serving, I've seen the inside of many a movie theater. I’ve also had plenty of both good and bad movie going experiences. Sometimes, I’m lucky and I get to watch movies with a good crowd. Other times, I get stuck with the audience from hell. Having the misfortune of trudging through a long movie with a room full of assholes, can really wear on the nerves after a while.
Ever have a crap night out at the movies? The audience ever ruin the experience for you? I saw Paranormal Activity on opening night, in a movie theater in Georgetown (Washington, D.C.). That crowd made it impossible to immerse myself in the movie. They talked over everything and while they were funny, they went too far. It's like once they got a laugh, they were hooked and they had to have more.
I left that theater having had a good time, but realizing I couldn't properly convey the overall effect the film because it had been muddled. All the Mystery-Science-Theater style comedic commentary had diminished the effect the film. Bummer, right? Yeah, especially when you see movies as part of your job, because then you have to see them again, in order to do a proper review. Unfortunately, you've already seen the movie once so you'll never be able to replicate that pivotal, first impression.
So, which one are you? Are you just another asshole in a seat or are you a good movie going buddy? Unsure? Don’t worry. I’ve compiled a list of common movie going faux pas for your reference. If you find that you're exhibiting any of the following behaviors, you just might be that special guy or gal that’s annoying everyone around them at the movies. Bra-vo.
Don’t be just another asshole at the movies, avoid the following and you'll be well on your way to good-moviegoing-buddy status:
1. Standing at the entrance of the theater, looking for a spot - You’ve likely been to the movies before and know from which vantage point you prefer to watch a film. Once you walk inside the theater, locate your spot and if it’s free, proceed there. If you find your favorite seat occupied, get as close to that area as possible. Don’t, however, hang out at the entrance. You create a bottleneck when you do that and it annoys everyone that has to shimmy past you, and your friends. Now is not the time to strategize. Take a decent seat quickly and then figure out what your options are if you decide you're too good for that spot.
2. Talking during the movie - You’re free to speak at normal volume until the trailers start. Talk it up, have a good time. You paid money just like everyone else in this place; you’re well within your rights to enjoy your snacks and conversations at normal volume until the lights dim and the movie trailers begin. You can still talk, but don’t shout over the trailers. It makes people, like me, want to throw things at you. All bets are off when the feature begins. Just save whatever it is you have to say or whisper it so you don’t piss off the people sitting around you.
3. Repeatedly getting up – I know you’re busy. It’s a busy world and we’ve all got stuff we need to do, but right now you’re at the movies. Get it together and stop getting up. Not only do you obstruct the view, but you also make noise walking up and down the steps.
4. Kicking the seat in front of you – What are you, seven years old? A few times can be anyone’s mistake. Sometimes theater seating is tight, depends on the location. However, if you’re doing it repeatedly, you’re just a jerk.
5. Constantly shouting at the movie screen – I know I’m starting to sound like a moviegoing Nazi, but I swear I’m not. I get that every now and again some folks need to shout stuff at the screen. Sometimes those outbursts are hilarious, but it gets old incredibly quickly. You’re allotted two outbursts; my word is law.
6. Not getting up when the credits roll (after insisting on sitting in the end seat, thus blocking everyone from getting out and making it awkward.) – I suppose I can understand when someone wants to sit through each and every cinematic credit. Wait, no; that’s a lie. I can’t understand. Why must you know who the Key Grip was on this film? Was it your uncle or sister? If so, kindly sit in a seat where you won’t block most of the row from exiting. The rest of us would like to leave before the parking lot turns into an Atlanta freeway in a three-inch "snow storm."
I suppose it all comes down to the fact that movie going is a group activity whether you go to the movies alone, with a date or with a group. Us moviegoers, we’re in it together, see. One shitty asshole can stink up the entire place, thus running everyone’s movie night. What I’m saying is: don’t be that guy / gal. Act right, like your parents took you out every now and again when you were a kid and taught you how to act like a human being in public.