A Rant on Annoying Movie-goers: Silent, Respectful, and Appropriate

movie goer do's and don'ts of the cinemaLast night I had one of the worst crowds in all my years doing what I love and it needs to stop. I have had other poor theater going circumstances but this one really broke it for me. I saw X-men Apocalypse (again) but with my brother. I’m more upset that the showing was ruined for him because he’s a big fan of the series. We’ll get into that more later on, here’s the set-up for the environment.

When I was growing up, I always took note that all the other kids around me knew what they wanted to be. A police officer, firefighter, doctor, and I never quite had it figured out. It wasn’t until and oddly enlightening showing of ‘Superman Returns’ that I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker.

Since 2006, I’ve  dedicated much of my life to seeing and observing movies, critiquing them and enjoying them in hopes of one day taking the elements I love most from the movies that inspire me and having them influence something I make. I’ve been reviewing movies since around 2011, and with 4OneGaming since 2013. Mostly, I get to be immersed with pre-screening crowds that are respectful or I see films their opening evening with the fans that so eagerly anticipate what’s coming to the theater.

friends-at-theater-talking movie

Behind us to the left and right, high schooler/early college students giggling during the serious moments of the film. In the handicapped seats more high schoolers/early college on their phone throughout the entire last 30 minutes of the movie (an action spectacle if I may add), and directly in front of us a couple older than myself talking through even the loudest action scenes. I politely told the couple behind us to stop talking and “sush-ed” them after. The copious talking continues through the most silent and heartfelt moments. I occasionally look back at the people talking and they briefly stop only to resume. Scott is usually quite person but during the climax of the film the couple in front of us starting laughing and talking. Scott told them to “Shut up” and I lost my patience and echoed the statement.

As I stated earlier, this is my second showing of X-men, the first for my brother. I love seeing movies and with him especially but we don’t often get to because of conflicting schedules. When we spend time together it’s important to me and it’s time that I cherish. I want him to have the same theater-going experience as I did; silent, respectful, and appropriate. He was excited for the movie just as I was, but now he’s dissuaded from even seeing his most anticipated movies that are releasing in the future. What exactly does silent, respectful, and appropriate mean in a movie theater thought?

Silent is not talking throughout the endeavor, respectful is just using manners and being conscientious of those around you, and appropriate is expressing the right emotion at the right time. I watched Finding Dory yesterday and often at children’s movies the kids have a lot of question and they like to voice them during the movie. While this is annoying, it’s more acceptable because they’re kids, they always have questions and that’s fair.

However, during any movie that’s got a PG-R rating I absolutely expect the crowd to pay attention and leave all chatter for after the movie. I think that some whispering is fine, but only really hushed and not every scene. Respectful means you’re thinking about those around you. There’s a reason that theaters ask their guests to silence and put their phones away, they’re distracting and it really takes away from the movie.

A completely dark room with one real source of light that grabs your attention, you’re damn right that any other screens will stick out like razors in an apple. Respectful is also not kicking the seat in front of you when a person occupies that seat, and it encompasses a variety of other aspects as well. Appropriate is laughing when something is funny, saying “Woa!” when something grand happens. Appropriate is not giggling during the death of an important character. Some may say “Well what if the scene is just really cheesy?” which happens often, but still do you need to audibly voice your opinion about it rather than just have a frown or a smirk?

After the movie I voiced my disdain to the back group with no reply. Only saying, “It needs to be quiet in the theater because we’re trying to enjoy the show.” I’m an optimistic person, I like being happy and don’t ever like to condone negative emotions, but this is about respect.

talking-cinema movie

If this kind of conduct were taking place during a play, we all know well that the people conducting the intrusive actions would be exiled from the theater. You pay 10-11 dollars for a movie, why spend any of that time on your phone and go to a movie that you’re going to make fun of? I’m all for movies that are so dumb that it’s fun, but how about you do the occasional laugh or snicker instead of voicing everything you dislike that’s so audible that it drowns out an apocalyptic action scene?

In the final action sequence, the climax, the most pivotal part and turning point of the movie, the immature couple to my back left burst out in laughter and completely broke my immersion to the film (that was severed several times during my showing).

The credits and walk from theater to your car is where you discuss what you thought about the movie. NOT during the actual show. It’s a shame because others around us were trying to enjoy the show as well. I guess we just sat in the wrong place.

Film is so important to me, it’s art, and expression. Sure, X-men Apocalypse isn’t an Oscar contender, but it’s something that my brother really wanted to see and that I wanted to enjoy with him. An evening ruined by adolescent behavior and disrespect. To put it in perspective, the Finding Dory crowd of parents and children that have numerous questions were a far more acceptable and enjoyable crowd than the heathens at the theater tonight.

Moral of the story: be respectful, there’s no room or tolerance for interrupting a showing of anything if someone pays time from their busy day and their wallet. My brother, that rarely sees movies in the theater and really enjoys the X-men series, had this movie completely ruined for him just because some teens and adults violated three simple rules that should normally be taught in elementary school. He wanted to see Suicide Squad and after this showing he said he may not see it or anything in the near future. That is most heartbreaking to me, that these young fools ruined something that I love so much for someone I love so much. That is what things have come to.

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