Saturday, April 23, 2011

Movie Watching Habits/Theater Pet Peeves

I have a few rules for when I watch movies at home.

-The lights have to be off. If I watch a movie during the day, I find that there is too much of a glare on the screen. I try to draw curtains, but it doesn’t always work. So, I have to wait for the evening. Besides, a movie affects you differently depending on the time you watch it. For example, Lost in Translation, as I mentioned in my review, needs to be experienced at night.
-I always finish the movie, no matter how terrible it is. I've done it at home before, but no longer anymore. I can also proudly say that I have never walked out of a movie, though Step Brothers really tested my patience.
-My rule for movies on television is this: if the movie has already started, I will not watch it. I need to watch a movie from the beginning, especially if I haven't seen it before. The exception to the rule is if I have seen the movie a few times before, and need something on in the background on a Sunday afternoon. Forrest Gump and Gladiator are usually the go to movies for these occasions.

-I do not like watching movies on my laptop. Movies were meant to be experienced on a large screen and with Dolby Surround Sound, not through crappy speakers and a tiny screen. Besides, there are too many distractions on a computer, like Facebook or a blog.

-Audio commentaries are a mixed bag. Some commentaries are interesting and you learn interesting facts about the movies. Others are just awkward self-congratulation fests. But, I always check them out. some really good ones include Citizen Kane (commentated on by Roger Ebert), This is Spinal Tap (cast does it all in character), and The Lord of the Rings (There are commentaries by the cast, crew, and set designers).

-Everybody must remain quiet. Some talking is okay, but don’t talk throughout the entire movie. This leads me to…

My pet peeves at the movie theatres:

-Talking. The main reason I rarely go to the theatres anymore. I can’t stand it when people talk throughout the movie, either telling someone what’s going on, or trying to be witty and make snarky comments throughout the movie. You’re not as witty as you like to think you are.

-Cellphone use: I hate the glowing blue screen from the phone of some teenager or adult that flashes every few minutes. Turn your phone off. You can wait two hours before sending a message to that person.

-Parents taking young children to inappropriate films: This is common among newer parents; they’re stressed and they want a night out, but can’t find someone to babysit their child. So they take their toddler to the movie they want to see, usually an action film of some sort. Baby starts crying, it annoys the entire theatre, and then they end up leaving. What they need to learn is that a baby is a major responsibility, and sometimes you have to cut out things that you enjoy because of you child if you can’t find a baby sitter. Rent a movie.

Experienced parents are just as guilty of this. When Watchmen came out, I went to see it in theatres, and a mother with three young children, no older than ten, sat down a few rows in front of me. She likely assumed that since it involved superheroes, it must be for kids. Watchmen is a hard R rated film, and it was clearly advertised in the trailers. I believe after witnessing the violent opening scene, an attempted rape, and a naked blue guy, she and her kids walked out of theatre, wasting at least $50. Parents need to research the movies that their kids want to see, and there are all sorts of websites online that will tell parents the content of the film. Don’t assume that just because it looks kid friendly (superheroes, talking CGI creatures, animated) that it is appropriate for children. I’m reminded of numerous staff room conversations about the first time some teachers watched Family Guy.

-Price gouging: It’s getting out of control at this point, especially at the snack bar. A common scenario: you at the movies on Friday night by yourself (usually what I do; my taste in movies is a lot different from my friends) and you pay ten dollars for a ticket. Not great, but that is the way things are going these days. You head to the snack bar, and by the time you buy a popcorn and drink, you are out another ten dollars. And it gets worse if you have a family, or are out on a date. The snack bar is the biggest ripoff at the theatre these days, and the popcorn isn't even as good as it used to be.

3D movies are another price gouger. Theatres will add an extra few dollars in the ticket price for the glasses, and still charge you even if you bring your pair from another movie to the theatre. I could write a blog ranting about 3D. Maybe the next blog.

That is a list of my habits/pet peeves when watching movies. What are yours?

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