December 26 I agreed to see Valkyrie, the new Tom Cruise movie because Yuri was in town. To be clear, Yuri is something of a World War II whore. Originally I protested because I hate seeing movies: 1) on weekends, 2) on weekend evenings and 3) on opening weekends. Weekday and matinee shows severely cut down the teenage jerkoff factor. Yuri met me halfway and agreed we could go to a matinee show. I am anal about my movie watching and someday I’ll write a blog about how to watch a movie (like always enter the left door of the theatre because there will be more seats on that side).
So we get our seats and the theatre has the bass booming like they are trying to impress the lowrider douches in the parking lot. I’m getting old. After the second trailer and the audible grumbling of the audience I can’t take it. I run to the lobby and tell the usher. Two minutes later it’s corrected. The couple behind us thanks me.
Then the movie starts. The couple behind us starts talking. Not whispering, talking. Like my father used to so at the movies unaware of just how loud his Drill Sergeant voice was. I only saw my father threaten violence stranger twice. Once, was when he accidentally cut someone off in traffic and they gave him the finger and called him nigger causing him to drive two miles out of his way with us in the car, follow him into a K-Mart parking lot and tap on the man’s window so they could “talk it over.” There, he was in the right. The other time was when he was sitting in a theatre for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and because of the opening “Anything Goes” dance number was convinced he was in the wrong theatre and wouldn’t listen to me and a man in front shushed him to which my father told him to shut the hell up and mind his own business. Here, he was in the wrong.
I’ll tolerate talking during those “First Look” commercials they show before the show starts. I’ll even tolerate it when the trailers come on. When the lights dim and the movie starts, keep it quiet or I’ll give you large bag of hot buttered shut the hell up. You don’t want to know what a quarter more will get you.
Unfortunately I sat in front of a couple of idiots who I assume one of them must have been blind because the other had to narrate the movie for them.
Hey, that’s Tom Cruise as Nazi (after he appears on screen in Nazi uniform).
He lost his eye (after Cruise is injured in a bombing raid and bleeding out of his eye).
Why did he do that? (this was said multiple times during a movie the entire audience was probably watching for the first time).
His wife must be pregnant (after a close up of Cruise’s character’s wife touching her belly).
He said, “He’s my man now,” (after Cruise is asked does he have an inside man).
This went on for the next two hours. I sighed and rolled my eyes. On occasion, I could see Yuri glare at me with a look that said, “are these fucks this stupid?”
I used to like going to movies. Let me change that: I used to love going to movies. There was a time where it wasn’t unusual for me to see three movies in a weekend at a theatre. There are occasions where I have seen three movies in a day. People complain about the price of movies and I will still argue you can’t buy two hours of entertainment for $10 anywhere. Concerts? Sporting events? You’ll spend twice that for parking. Comedy show? $15 in Ocala gets you in the door for an hour show. Theme park? $70 and you haven’t even gotten souvenirs.
As much as I like theatres it’s like they’re trying to get me to stay home. I read an article by a guy who quit going to theatres. He dealt with the parking. He dealt with the line to buy tickets. He dealt with the line to buy snacks and gladly paid $5 for a bag of popcorn knowing if you bought the same crop to feed pigs that $5 would get you a ton of corn. He stopped dealing with it when the kid at concession handed him an empty cup and pointed him to the soda fountain where he would stand in another line and pump his own $4 Coke. He politely asked for a manager, got all his money back and never returned.
And a pleasant Go Fuck Yourself to you, kind sir.
I’m with that guy. I have a 46″ Sony and a home theatre set up that I like enough that I’d take it behind a high school and get it pregnant. At home I don’t have to deal with the idiots who thought it was appropriate to bring a two-year-old to The DaVinci Code (along with two other small children) and watch the movie while their kid cried in ten minute stretches. Or the guy who sat in the front row of Mr & Mrs Smith and recorded the movie with his stupid LCD screen open that you could see twenty row behind him. Or the mother that got up with her crying baby during Species and stood in the back of the theatre while her kid cried so she wouldn’t miss anything. Seriously, none of us should have been in a theatre watching Species let alone who brings a baby… at a 10:00p show? Then there was the girl that laughed hysterically through Nacho Libre. You could watch that movie on Nitrous Oxide with the ghost of Richard Pryor improvising better jokes and you still wouldn’t laugh as much as this girl did. And my personal favorite was the douche who sat in the theatre and answered his cell phone during The Gift and held a conversation for ten minutes that was clearly audible to us sitting seven rows in front of him. Eventually my friend Heidi just starting answering back at him.
It isn’t there? He should check the garage and see if it’s in there. Maybe I should go help him because it’d be quicker than this phone call, asshole.
I usually keep the movie theatre direct line in my cell phone so I can call the box office and complain like Mr Wilson to the Mitchell family. That’s how I got that family kicked out out of DaVinci Code because if I have to watch mediocre Ron Howard/Tom Hanks movies I should at least be able to do it in peace. Yes, I am getting old and get your frisbee off my damn lawn.
Then there is this guy:
James Joseph Cialella, 29, who pulled this:
… from the waist band of his sweatpants and shot a dude for talking during The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I don’t know what’s more surprising: the fact someone would shoot someone for talking in a movie or the amount of people who feel the waistbands in sweatpants are adequate to carry a handgun. Now many of you might not remember but in the early nineties “black movies” got a lot of crap for inciting violence. You’d pay to see Boyz N The Hood, an anti-gang movie, and somebody would get shot. Theatres were afraid to carry the movies. White people were afraid to to go. The truth is you put a movie out about inner city violence and two guys who hate each other show up, someone’s bound to get shot. On television, they call that the Source Awards. It got so bad they started editing gangsta movies to make them look like something else. Case in point is this poster for Juice (1992) starring Tupac Shakur.
Notice the gun on the center right of the left poster is airbrushed out of right poster. Of course, this poster the Christian Slater turd Kuffs has Nicholson-lite brandishing a big-ass gun in the poster. That movie was released the following week after Juice and nobody said, “Boo”.
I picture thinktanks at Columbia trying to change the advertising of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button because we know what a hot button Cate Blanchette is.
I am not condoning the shooting of people who talk in movie theatres (or for that matter, movies that star Christian Slater) but it’s similar to my theory about hitting women. I have been places with women who don’t know when to shut up. I have seen women turn around and brazenly tell a bunch of thugs to shut the hell up while her man cowers in the seat next to her. I have been cut off on the highway and had a girl lean over while I am driving and blare my horn at them. I have a good friend who tells me one of the dumbest things she ever did was get into a fight with her boyfriend, lock herself in a room and when he, who outclasses her by one hundred and eighty pounds and twelve inches, knocked the door off the hinges what was her response? She insulted him.
Why do they do this?
Because they’ve never been hit.
Wait… wait, hold on a second. I am not condoning violence against women. What I am stating is that women are comfortable knowing most men won’t strike them therefore they’ve never been struck by a man. Men don’t do shit like that because that road raged driver isn’t going to shoot the girl riding shotgun, he’s going to shoot me. Those thugs aren’t going to beat the shit out of that girl, they’re going to beat her boyfriend who didn’t want to be in a theatre watching Marley & Me in the first place (don’t ask me why the thugs were watching Marley & Me… they like dogs, it’s just a story). When my friend’s boyfriend caved the door in and she should have been choosing her words carefully she blurted out the first thing that came through her mind which was to insult him more. She later told me in retrospect, that’s how women get hit.
Men who get in lots of fights usually know how to fight. I have been in two fights in my life and that’s enough, thank you. Getting hit hurts… a lot. I don’t like to get hit. I also am deathly afraid of prisons because I am doughy and cute.
Again, violence is human nature and violence against women is a horrible truth of society. What I am saying is that you’re very careful about your actions if you know what the consequences will be and I pretty sure the dude who took a bullet for Benjamin Button will keep his mouth shut the next time the lights go down.