Dude and I are on a summer movie binge at the mo’, and, yes, I realize just how broke that currently makes me. Nevertheless, it’s a nice, air-conditioned break from the searing heat we’re all currently dealing with in central Flo-ree-duh. The kind of heat that solders bare thighs to hard seats and forces everyone to walk with a leadened, zombified gait. Anyway, we’ve already seen every other mega-blockbuster that’s been out that we’ve wanted to see, thus far. I know Antman and Minions are still on the agenda (although I promised to see the latter with the nephs as I uphold my current status as SuperFun Auntie). Aside from that, who knows?
My binge gets me a lot of comments from well-intentioned friends and family. Lots of “But it’s so expensive now…Why?” coupled with the common complaint “I cannot stand the thought of sitting in a crowded theater, dealing with rude people.” I get the first concern, and as I’ve indicated above — I’m more than aware that it’s my monetary vice. Other women my age seem to like shoes (sure, they last longer) and their “mani pedis” (my nails are the least of my concerns, and I think the term “mani pedi” needs to be shot in the face). I think my vice is much more involving anyway. I can hold decent conversations and write about movies. I cannot talk or write about shoes or pretty fingernails, not without boring myself to sleep.
As for the second complaint, okay, that one is certainly something to deal with. In the summer especially, EVERYONE goes to the movies to escape the heat. The earliest matinees around 11am aren’t even safe from the deluge of the Rude.
If all movie theaters’ practices involving the Rude were akin to the Alamo Drafthouse’s (essentially, kick them out of the theater), those of us who genuinely want to be absorbed in the experience wouldn’t have to deal with the following shitdickery from various age groups…
In the 3-and-under bracket:
1. Crying during the scaries.
2. Crying during the funnies.
3. Crying for sweets and crunchies.
4. Crying because crying means attention.
5. Screaming like banshees because the crying doesn’t seem to be working.
In the parents-of-the-3-and-under bracket:
1. Loudly shushing during the quiet moments.
2. Loudly scolding during the quiet moments.
3. Buying more sweets and crunchies because more sugar solves everything, of course.
HAPPY SOLUTION 1: Attend the special events for the kids, not the ones for general audiences. Everyone there will be in the same boat.
HAPPY SOLUTION 2: Have a Netflix baby movie gathering at home. (Why on earth are you taking your tiny ones to the movies to begin with?)
In the 4-5 bracket:
1. Loudly questioning the nature of a character and his/her actions. (I may be able to forgive this as it shows a future of solid critical thinking skills.)
2. Loudly announcing to everyone within earshot, “Haveta go the bafroom!”
3. Climbing over other patrons in order to loudly question the nature of a character and his/her actions to a family member sitting several seats away.
4. Climbing over other patrons in order to loudly announce, “Haveta go the bafroom!” to a family member sitting several seats away.
5. Climbing over other patrons in order to grab the popcorn and/or box of sweets that a family member sitting several seats away is holding onto.
6. Climbing over other patrons because climbing is fun.
HAPPY SOLUTION 1: Attend the special events for the kids, not the ones for general audiences. Everyone there will be in the same boat, and no one will mind the climbing.
HAPPY SOLUTION 2: Have a Netflix kids movie gathering at home. Climbing can be an interactive part of the experience if no one cares about the furniture.
In the 6-11 bracket:
(As long as they’ve no cell phones out and they don’t have to go to the restroom, these kiddos are usually fine.)
In the 12-20 bracket:
1. Playing games on a cell phone while the movie is playing.
2. Texting to friends while the movie is playing.
3. Loudly answering cell calls while the movie is playing.
4. Loudly reacting to something happening in the movie.
5. Loudly reacting to something happening in the theater.
6. Loudly reacting to something personal that happened outside of the theater.
7. Loudly reacting to loud remarks.
8. Seat kicking for no reason at all.
9. Cackling at and heckling the screen knowing full well the screen won’t respond.
10. Heckling a fellow patron.
11. Picking a fight with a fellow patron.
12. Losing said fight with a fellow patron.
13. Texting friends about winning said fight with a fellow patron…all of this while the movie is playing.
HAPPY SOLUTION: Have slacker employees enforce theater code of etiquette, and kick the buggers out. If slacker employees are too slackoffish to care, kick them out as well. Replace with robots with lasers since $10 matinee tickets are probably enough to offset the costs…and everyone likes robots with lasers, especially the 6-11 year-olds.
In the 21-69 bracket:
1. Loudly answering cell calls while the movie is playing.
2. Loudly complaining about something happening in the movie.
3. Loudly complaining about something happening in the theater.
4. Loudly complaining at the action on the screen knowing full well the screen won’t respond. Then loudly questioning the character’s intent as if that makes everything logical and just onscreen.
5. Shuffling to an “ideal” seat directly in front of a row of people well after the movie has begun.
6. Guiding a train of family members to “ideal” seats directly in front of a row of people well after the movie has begun.
7. Guiding the 8-and-unders to the “bafroom” directly in front of a row of people several times during the movie.
8. Carrying the screaming, squirming 3-and-unders directly in front of a row of people several times during the movie.
9. Remembering to get concessions in the middle of the movie, and then shuffling in front of a row of people to buy and then come back with thirty bucks’ worth of apparently much-needed concessions.
10. Delivering hilariously clever quips after the movie credits have begun rolling.
HAPPY SOLUTION: Netflix nights, as ever. It’s cheaper anyway. Unless I’m not crazy in thinking that everyone really loves robots with lasers, right?
In the 70-100ish bracket:
1. Entering the theater while the previews are on and noisily spending an inordinate amount of time determining which available seat is closest to either A) the emergency exit or B) the nearest john.
2. Questioning everything happening during the course of the movie mainly because someone’s hearing aid isn’t working.
3. Loudly complaining to anyone listening that there’s just too much violence onscreen these days…often during a film that’s been heavily advertised as an R-rated, violent action film.
4. Loudly complaining that the movie’s too noisy (usually follows number 2 above).
5. Cackling at all the adult, naughty jokes. After the movie is over, commence with the complaining about how “filthy” the movie was.
6. Loudly complaining about the outrageous price of movie tickets and concessions, that “back in the day,” tickets were a nickel.
HAPPY SOLUTION 1: Have the dollar cinema hold Sunday afternoon classic movie matinees complete with news clips, advertisements, and cartoons from the era of the film showing. Charge full price for the concessions but have free refills. Everybody wins… well, until someone complains of course because no one in this bracket seems ever truly satisfied.
HAPPY SOLUTION 2: Introduce the 70’s-and-Up to the beauty of Netflix and On Demand.
HAPPY SOLUTION 3 (my personal choice): Bring back Pizza & Pipes, the most awesome pizza-and-silent-movie experience ever, complete with requisite organ player. EVERYBODY really wins!