Things I Hate, Part 1

January 21, 2008 at 10:07 pm Leave a comment

Yes, there will be more along these lines, so I might as well make this part one of a series.

The honor of being first among the many things that tick me off goes to…

People who talk at movies.

More (including spoilers for Cloverfield) after the cut.

I saw the movie Cloverfield this weekend, and I knew there could be trouble when, at the last minute before the trailers began, a group of teenagers settled into the seats between me and the end of the row. Smartass comments abounded throughout the previews. They did finally quiet down once the film got going, but it wouldn’t last.

For anyone who’s missed the inescapable buzz about this movie, here’s the basic premise: you know those extras you see for two seconds running through the streets screaming in a Godzilla-type movie? Well, this movie is about those guys. The conceit is that the entire film is an amateur recording documented by a group of twentysomething hipsters as something huge tears New York City apart. The storyline follows their attempt to rescue a girl who’s trapped in Midtown while the rest of the population is headed the other way.

(SPOILERS follow, last chance to turn away.)

Eventually, after several harrowing experiences and a few casualties, they rescue the girl. Several minutes later, after they board one of the last military helicopters evacuating the city, the creature shows up and knocks them out of the sky. And that’s when the annoyance came – not from the kids next to me, but from someone in the next row in front. “That was a huge waste of time,” someone said loudly. This, of course, got big laughs from the teenagers – who then proceeded to have a conversation about how that was so funny, and was the best line of the movie. (For the curious, our heroes survive the crash and the movie continues for another ten minutes or so.)

What is it about some people that they think a movie theater audience is interested in what they have to say? This is not your living room. If you want to talk to the screen, watch a movie at home.

Of course, this entry would not be complete without corollary 1a, Cell Phones at the Cinema.

It continues to amaze me how people can laugh at the cutesy little “please silence your phones” vignettes they play before the movie, and not realize THEY’RE TALKING TO YOU, DUMBASS. And even when the phones are silent, I can always count on the bright light from someone quietly texting piercing the darkness of the theater (and thus deflating the cinematic experience). At a recent showing of Sweeney Todd there was a man sitting in front of me who had his cell/PDA out for literally 90% of the film’s running time, poking at it constantly with that precious little pencil thingy. (Yeah, I know it’s called a stylus. I don’t care.) If I hadn’t already seen the movie twice, I’d have been more than a bit annoyed.

Well, that’s enough on that subject. Not exactly going out on the limb with this one, as I’m sure many others feel the same way about this. But as stated above, there will be more to come. To paraphrase Quiz Kid Donnie Smith from Magnolia: I have a lot of hate to give…and now I have a place to put it.


Entry filed under: Movies, Things I Hate.

Statement of purpose There Will Be Oscars

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