by Eric Paolini
Seeing a movie in theaters is a great experience. It is hard to beat a large screen in a dark room with big, comfy chairs. At home you can't have the moment when walking out of the theater looking around to see who you just shared an experience with, good or bad. But going to the theater isn't always great. Not everyone there shares the same enthusiasm regarding movies that I do. Having too casual of moviegoers around me can ruffle my film snob feathers. If you don't want my contempt please don't be one of these people.
At home you can't have the moment when walking out of the theater looking around to see who you just shared an experience with, good or bad.
The cell phone. Let's get this obvious one out of the way early. Why? Why do you need your phone? You have decided that you could spare two hours to go to a movie. I hate to parrot the "turn off your phone" commercials the theater shows, but they're right, it can wait. Because of my movie devotion, you might call it obsessive craziness, I want to see the entire movie. Every line of dialogue. Every shot. Because you never know if it's a crucial moment. The people who think it's okay to send one last text as the opening scene is starting are in clear violation. For example, the best part of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the opening title sequence. Just leave it in the car.
The conversationalist. You are not at home. The people around you don't care about every thought that passes through your empty skull. I'm glad you found something funny but you don't need to say so. Laughter will get that point across. And I certainly don't need observations about how Jake Gyllenhaal looks like your relative named Jack lady from End of Watch showing. Who could possibly care? This should go for watching movies at home as well. I'm thinking of few people right now. You know who you are. It's harsh I know. But those comments never add anything, especially when it's people you don't know in a theater. But they do take away from the experience. There are only a few possible exceptions. For example, it is encouraged to talk through The Room. Or if you're like these guys...
The snacker. I like having a snack with a movie. I personally go with some popcorn or Sour Patch Kids. I'm fine with whatever your choice is as long as you don't eat like an animal. All manners are apparently out the window when people can't see your face. I don't know how many times the sound of popcorn chomping overpowers something on the screen. Do people know you don't have to eat popcorn by the handful? Also, do people know that the best time to open you M&M's is not during a silent part of the movie? This seems obvious to me but based on some of the crowds I've been in recently I am very alone.
The trailer talker. This is slightly different and not quite as egregious as the "conversationalist". This is the person who tells whoever they are with if they are interested in the movie after seeing the trailer. This doesn't seem like it would be that big of a deal to talk while the MPAA's green banner is on the screen. But it is to me. Why? Because there is a very easy method that does not disturb others. After the trailer turn to your moviegoing pal and give a thumbs up, thumbs down, or a thumbs to the side. Quick, quiet, and it gets the same information across. The problem with this person is it scares other moviegoers, okay me, that you are the type of person who talks through the movie as well. The "conversationalist" begins as the "trailer talker".
The brainless critic. I would have called this one "person who encapsulates two hours of a movie with two words and thats it" but it's pretty wordy. I love analyzing movies and I love to hear people's opinions. Why did you like or dislike any given movie? What I don't want to hear is, "That was dumb." Please don't leave it at that. Why is this so bad? It speaks to a larger aspect of moviegoers. It is a "film snob" type of outlook. Movies are more than just a two hour passage of time. So you regarding the movie you just saw as a two hour passage of time upsets the film snob in me greatly.
The small crowd syndrome. Because of the above-mentioned annoyances I like to go to a movie on a weekday afternoon because of the small crowd. Unfortunately it gives some people the right away to confidently violate some common courtesies. Because there are less people to offend the above rules are flagrantly violated.
The "what just happened" person. This one happens much more at home, but I have experienced it at the theater. Remember my every line every shot mentality? It plays a prominent role here. Because of that mentality I take care of stuff before I watch a movie. Before pressing play or finding my seat in the theater I have finished my text conversation for the time being, bought or prepared my snacks, and gone to the bathroom. If you have not done this and subsequently missed a scene of the movie, do NOT ask me what happened. Why? Because we will be missing what is currently going on while I tell you what just happened. You made a decision that required you to miss a scene. You are not getting it back. So please do not make me miss a scene as well.
I understand that for many seeing a movie is more than just seeing a movie. If seeing it with friends, family, strangers in a theater, or some combination there is an experience to be had. Wanting to laugh, or cry, or scream in terror with the people you're watching the movie with is largely an enjoyable experience. But the experience shouldn't overshadow the movie. That's what is bringing everybody together. Call it film snob or obsessive movie watcher, the movie is the priority.
Here you can find all of our articles up to 2018.