Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dear Movie Theaters

I don't make it out to the movies as often one would think.  I love movies, but I hate people.  Well, at the very least I have learned that I can't trust that people will behave themselves enough for me to enjoy the show, so I often go without.  Recently, I've made a concerted effort to get out more, so I took a trip to Washington DC to see Seven Psychopaths with my friend, Spike.

Before you think you have this all figured out, I will tell you this letter is not about the filthy drunk hipsters that sat in front of me, braying and snorting throughout the movie.  I could have told them that the movie had just been named the #1 movie in America, and they would have left to go listen to a CD of some guy in Paris, Texas banging a glockenspiel and singing off key in a petting zoo, or whatever asinine thing hipsters are doing now.  It also wasn't about the woman behind me that rustled through a garbage bag full of food through the first twenty minutes of the movie.  She stopped that when I growled at her.  I refuse to be that obvious to complain about the people making noise in a movie. 

No, this is about what you, the greedy movie theaters that are hell bent on ruining my experience.  This new movie trivia crap that you have before movies is awful, but I understand.  Instead of letting people get their conversations done before the movie begins, you have to play loud, annoying top 40 music while you give stupid multiple choice questions about celebrities.  I don't care at all if Natalie Portman almost didn't take the role of annoying female love interest in Thor, or in Ashton Kutcher has seven nipples, but I get that you get ad revenue for this, so I was content to leave it alone.  This theater in DC, however, blatantly showed commercials instead of the trivia.  I see these commercials for ten minutes out of every half hour of television I watch.  I don't need to see them for the twenty minutes before a movie starts. 

Finally, the lights went down, and I prepared myself for the previews, which I like almost as much as the movie.  I was eagerly awaiting a trailer for Red Dawn, and grew more excited as the standard "Turn off Your Phone", "Buy Our Candy", and "Obey" messages all flashed across the screen.  Finally, the previews started up!  And lo and behold!  MORE MELON PICKING, CORK SCRUBBING, FORK AND RASPBERRY COMMERCIALS.  The actual movie did not start until thirty minutes after the advertised start time.  If you are getting ad money from all of these commercials, you should not be selling movie tickets for $15 a piece.  I could have done so many things, and I doubt a jury would have convicted me for any of them.

A few nights later, I went to see Argo with my parents.  My father only sees movies that "could really happen", so he only goes roughly once every five years.  I weathered through the stupid trivia, I made it through the seven, and I counted you sick freaks, SEVEN commercials, and I was a good boy. 

Was I rewarded at the end of this with the trailer for Red Dawn?  Of course not.  You showed a music video by Kimbra.  The entire music video.  And when my father leaned over and asked me who Kimbra was and why we were watching this, my only response could be was that she was an putrid, squalling sea hag and that we were being punished for some long forgotten hubris that mankind had offended her with.  She was here to teach us that nothing would ever be alright, ever again.


  1. Hi Greg,

    Agree with your comments on the too many commercials at movies.

    Momipotent (my wife) and I have seen both Argo and Seven Psychopaths. Great movies. Feel like I have failed as a father. Can't get my adult children to go see Seven Psychopaths even after several glowing recommendations from me. Maybe that is the problem!

    Dadolescent (Val's Dad)

    1. I had high expectations for Argo simply because of the work Ben Affleck has done as a director so far. I loved Gone Baby Gone, even though they messed with the book.

      I thought Seven Psychopaths was going to be fun. Anything with Tom Waits walking around petting a bunny in the trailer had me sold. I was not prepared for the fact that it was going to be so well written and have such great acting. It really was just a fantastic movie.

      In summary, you obviously have excellent taste, and your children should be ashamed for doubting you.

  2. If you don't mind the government telling you which movies are acceptable to watch and waiting months after they've been released in theaters elsewhere (Skyfall is being released in January...) then a Chinese movie theater may be for you.

    There are no previews, only one message from the government telling you it has carefully vetted the movie for your health and safety. Although there are also people eating full McDonald's value meals (I once saw a girl pull three ice cream sundaes out of her purse) and playing Angry Birds on their phones the whole movie. So, there's still plenty to be mad about.

    1. I might never even bother going. I was gritting my teeth but fine until the Angry Birds. Why do you pay to see a movie and then text or talk, or play around through the movie? Where is the sense?


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