Wednesday, January 11, 2006

In this post, I complain about something

I am, by my own estimation, a gentle creature; I will nuzzle your hand softly then bound off into the green mists of a primeval forest, the only sign of my presence the delicately pressed ground where my feet were. I don't swear often, and am amicable to all of mankind upon first meeting. Mine is a life of blissful tranquility, where agitation is the long-forgotten tale told by some wizened old man with pale hair growing out of every orifice in his head.

Despite my contented state, I do have occassion to be riled up and drawn forth into a furious ball of diabolical energy, awaiting only a spark to ignite my frenzied and lunatic savagery.

What sad event might evoke such intense passion within me?

Why, it is nothing less than going to the movies: seemingly innocuous, you might think. A movie is supposed to be a happy occassion, if you were to mimic the Swamp Lord in Monty Python. One chooses to go to movies- that is the way it always has been, although perhaps some cults could direct you against your will to the can't miss hit How to improve your life: It rhymes with "pult". The Nazis probably did that too, because they were jerks.

For modern, non-cult-or-Nazi-affiliated man, we have the option of going to see these masterpieces of acting and special effects. As with most entertainment, we pay some amount of currency for the privilege. Now some might think that my objection is with the cost- but nothing could be further from the truth. Nine bucks for two hours of entertainment is a bargain, in my opinion. When I'm shopping with my wife, I can spend ten times that in a tenth the time.

The assault, however, begins when you enter the theater. Quite instantly, you are transported to a world that would only exist in some ad executive's wet dream. Giant cardboard cutouts hawking snacks, upcoming movies and God knows what else line the periphery like some two-dimensional spectators, each taunting you with the promise of unending happiness if you would only just buy. Surely that four extra dollars could be spared to provide a gallon of soda for your enjoyment during the movie? After all, you get a free refill.

If you are somehow able to avoid those cardboard demons and make your way to your seat, your only hope is for the Lord to strike you blind temporarily if you have managed to arrive before the movie starts.

If, for example, you were to show up a half-hour before the movie begins (aside from the criticism that perhaps you're taking your planning a little too seriously), you are treated to a merry-go-round of slides, some of which have fun corporate sponsors with fun little trivia games that make you want to throttle the person who invented both fun and Fanta soda. Add in the trivial pop music piped in and you're in for a coma-inducing experience.

Should you arrive within 20 minutes of the movie's purported start time, you're now able to view an exciting reel that drills into your head exactly which products someone of your age group and gender should be consuming, be they television shows, movies or delicious snacks. As if to hammer home the point, they "recap" the past 20 minutes at the end, as if most people couldn't possibly have an attention span that long.

Should you be present during a first-run movie, you'll now have the opportunity to watch previews for other movies that you don't want to see. Although I regard the man who does the voice-overs for those previews as the fourth in the Triumvirate (Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Movie-voice-over guy), each one wears down your soul until you are a bitter and unblinking husk of a person, waiting only for the sweet release of death. And yet, you soldier on stoically.

Finally, after forty minutes of previews, thirteen reminders to turn off your cell phone, a friendly reminder that snacks are still available in the lobby- you know, just like they have been for the last 90 years, two people's cell phones ringing (I believe the tones are "La Vida Loca" and "Darth Vader's theme"), a crappily animated video of a jet or a roller coaster or some bullshit flying by even more floating clouds of Coke, Skittles and Red Vines, you are invited to sit back, relax, and enjoy the feature presentation. You collapse, realizing the worst is behind.

Then, in the first scene, the gallant starship commander reaches for a Coke.

If you survive the initial rush of blood to your head, the intense pressure in your eyes and the urge to elicit a blood-curdling scream, then you may survive. However, resist the urge to rip your theatre seat from it's mount and send it hurtling towards the screen Simply internalize all of your anger, sending it deep within you to be released like a torrent at the next person who irks you.

If you're one of the lucky ones, your head will merely explode at the first preview.


At 10:54 PM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

I'm right there with you with all that in-your-face advertising!

What you describe is pretty much my last experience at the movies. Just add a couple of things. Find the tallest man and get him to walk in late and sit in front of me, a family of four noisily slurping their drinks and ruffling packets of chips, and a woman behind me coughing her lungs out.

I want my money back!

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Knows It All said...


At 8:08 AM, Blogger chica bonita said...

i go to the cinema every week and i totally CANNOT stand:

1. people talking in the cinema.
hello? we don't need a narrator. if you think you're smarter than everyone else in interpreting what's happening, you should probably stay at home and cry instead, idiot! and stop asking questions like "what's happening?", "why is he killing her"?, "why is the sky blue?" because you'd be better off reading spoilers from the internet.

2. mobile phone ringing in the cinema. repeateldy.
enough said. :-)


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