Donnie Darko, Jim Stark from Rebel Without A Cause
To many to list
Jackie Chan, Jim Strugess, Michelle Yeoh, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio, Zooey Deschannel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Charlie Chaplin, Jessica Chastain
Christopher Nolan, Johnnie To, Edgar Wright, John Woo, Neill Blomkamp, Clint Eastwood, Quentin Tarantino, Guillermo del Toro, Akira Kurosawa, Charlie Chaplin
Anyone that's not me
Best Movie Seat
When I'm not watching movies, I'm...
playing video games, reading, writing, listening to music, in college
Posted on 06/30/13 07:29 PM | Last edited on 06/30/13 07:29 PM
June was unexpectedly busy for me so much in fact it sorta played out like a bad sitcom. I wanted to reach a deadline to post my blog and kept postponing it over and over again because of other activities. Thankfully not in the usual cliche last minute setup did I decide to get things done. I thought on what topic to talk about for days and what review to write next when it hit me. No literally, I was working when a co-worker threw a piece of frozen meat to my face. This evidently got me thinking about the current trend of bad theater experiences I’ve had recently and got me thinking why can’t some simply watch a movie in peace nowadays?
I remember a long time ago back in May of 2013 when I went to go see Iron Man 3 on opening weekend. I was more than psyched to finally see the first big summer movie. I bought my ticket and sat down waiting for my movie to start. In the meantime more people were coming in and I had the misfortune of viewing the movie with an immature audience. What exactly made them immature? Well the fact they couldn’t remain silent for a minute when actors in the movie were speaking. One woman I kid you not literally brought her baby to the screening. Needless to say the baby remained quiet and for the most part only recalling one time the baby was almost going to cry. It’s a shame that I didn’t sit next to that woman because even her infant knew how to watch movie more so than the people next to me.
I had the misfortune of having a father who was constantly talking to his young son during the movie sit next to me. This bothered me because he not only did he did it so often, but his son was kept making noises. I’m okay with people chewing on popcorn since popcorn goes with a movie like a beaver and wood; what I couldn’t stand was the kid literally squeezing a can of soda during a scene that required paying attention to adults talking. As for the option to move seats was unavailable because it was a Marvel flick and there was in no way going to be an empty seat after the success of Marvel's The Avengers. I was able to enjoy the movie, but wasn’t as much of a good time like I was hoping for.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find value in the theatrical experience. That feeling of sharing a good time and being absorbed in the experience with a huge crowd is something that can’t be matched the same way at home. I remember in my theatrical viewing of Toy Story 3 being a great one for one particular reason. With the exception of myself (Disney logo equals happy ending in my eyes), the climax of that film brought the whole crowd together. It was the one moment that everyone shared a universal feeling with what was happening on screen and that togetherness that made it more emotionally involving. Sure you can invite a group of friends over to your house for the same possible effect, but the chances of all of them paying attention without being distracted or causing you to pause the film is not always guaranteed. Sadly home viewing experience has also distorted some in how they see a film in theater.
When it came time to seeing Man of Steel I chose to view it not because I was anticipating it, but because it been weeks since I last saw a current release. When I did get to the theater I had the misfortune of seeing it in non-existent 3D. Much to my shock the near absence of 3D in the entire film didn’t bother me, but once again a middle aged man sitting next me very much did. How? Well for starters when the first action scene immediately started he shouted in excitement and kept doing so until it ended. For anyone who seen Man of Steel will know the whole sequence in Krypton is just one giant action set piece with minimal story so imagine that guy doing that for around twenty minutes. Worst was the fact he explained plot points casually to his date like he was at home. I had some knowledge of the mythos so it didn’t bother me, but I can’t say the same for everyone who didn’t. Also, what’s the point of bringing a date to a movie theaters if she’s not going to pay attention. Luckily unlike Iron Man 3 I was able to change seats, but he kept talking and nope the workers didn’t kick him out of the film showing.
A bad theatrical experience could be solely be blamed on the audience, but then that would be leaving out the theater chain themselves. I can’t speak for all, but not every theater chain shares equal values. I live in the city of Pittsburgh in Kansas which only has one movie theater which sadly doesn’t enforce its audience to be quiet. It could be the change in mobile technology that causes shorter attention span wanting something to occur immediately and not waiting for it. I had the misfortune of having someone playing “Angry Birds” behind me with high volume when I saw White House Down. The only time the person behind paid attention was during a big set piece. It was annoying and when one of the workers came by he casually ignored the person on his iPhone playing “Angry Birds”. If I had other options to go to other theaters I would take them because if the workers themselves don’t care about the experience of seeing a film on the big screen why should I bother going to them.
Or it could be audiences have changed. Wanting something to occur now opposed to appreciating the atmosphere and world building classics of the past have made us value. Nearly everyone I talked to said the only time the audiences ever seem to be entirely quiet is during a big action scene. Some have even said they have friends who have skipped past an entire movie just to see the action scenes. And you know what goes great with action? Context of any kind. Can you imagine watching Terminator 2 wondering in confusion why two grown men are both trying to a get their hands on a young boy or why on Earth is Bruce Willis shirtless on top of a building shooting in the sky. I can’t because the action scenes by themselves become empty. Why would I be invested in a action scene if I don’t care about any of the characters or the story.
Despite some awful experiences in the theater I did have a good time at some of them. Schwarzenegger's The Last Stand was surprisingly a good one and this, might I add, aimed at a crowd who wanted to see a loud, simple, and enjoyable action film. The audience was quiet during the whole movie and the only time I ever got a distraction was before the film started for its start time. Heck, even Furious 6, which like The Last Stand is targeted towards the loud and simple action crowd, had a mature audience. Most baffling of all is Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain had a more mature audience than most of the summer blockbusters I’ve seen. That speaks volume for the demographic of the film. When it comes to the film no one can be sure what kind of people it will attract. It’s just a matter if you are willing to take gamble to possibly the next big thing.
In the end regardless of how awful the theater experience might be it won’t ever stop me of checking out the latest and possibly next greatest flick. So how you feel about going to the theaters to watch movies? Have you had more bad and than good experience? Has a movie ever been ruined or enhanced because of the audience you saw it with? Share your thoughts down below in a comment.
Join me (or us for anyone willing to make a joint venture) as we’ll all go “Beyond the Review” for other topics and discussion.
This might be a recurring thing where I update on what’s happening offline if anything is worth noting. Like I have the opportunity of a getting a gig to direct an independent singer’s music video. I have a shot, except as far as I know there two others that might get the gig. It wouldn’t be the first time I helped a independent singer out on making a video. Although the videos I did make were just plain and simple lyric videos. Though if I do get the gig it'll give me a chance to show my directing skill and for better or worse see if I got what it take to become one.
I said earlier my job prevented me from be very active this month so there’s your explanation in the decline of quality of this “Beyond the Review” blog entry. I personally don’t feel it’s on par with what I posted so far, but I want to commit to doing a monthly blog as long as I can.