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Movie audiences....Getting worse??


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#21 of 113 OFFLINE   Jason Walstrom

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Posted June 22 2003 - 08:21 AM

My story takes me back to when Jay and SilentBob strike back was released. It was opening day and Me, my Wife and four others were pumped up for what we hoped would be a fun movie, immediatley before the movie had started, some scary looking guys and their scary looking girlfriends showed up and sat directly in front of us, one of them was a very large bald fat guy, who spoke very loud into his phone, "where the hell are you guys? "we're at Jay and Silent bob, dude it's awesome!" So I guess this Jackass had already seen it. "We'll save you some seats!" then he hangs up the phone. His trailer-trash girlfriend then asks, "Who was that?" "To which the guy replies, "(insert yokel name)Cletus, they can't find the movies." Why can't these people call it the THEATER, it's either, the Movies, or the Show. So me and my friends and Wife are dreading when these other lunatics show up, hoping it will be before the movie starts. The lights dim, and the Trailers start, And all of a sudden the Fat guy stands up, "Hey up here, man!" he waves, "Hey dude!" Five others show up completely blocking the screen, yapping as they are sitting, exchanging words about popcorn and why they couldn't find the theater. The send their women to get food. The two most annoying of the bunch, Baldy and Cletus are in front of my Wife and Her Mom,(who wanted to come cause she loved, DOGMA. I can see my wife getting angrier and angrier, as the Trailers are ending and the movie is starting and they are still talking like they are having a conversation at home in there double-wide. My Wife cannot take it anymore, so she leans forward and politely says,"Excuse me, Are you planning on talking the whole movie?" To which Cletus says emphatically, "Yes!" He smiles at his friend Baldy. My wife replies, "Well, I would appreciate it if you didn't." To which he replies,"Well, I'd appreciate if you'd suck my d**k!" And then the Gamma in her blood stream triggered something, and my wife pulled her foot so far back it was next to her ear, and she released kicking the man's chair in front of her as hard as she could. Cletus knocked forward didn't even turn around, he just slumped down and did'nt say another thing for the rest of the movie, I swear he didn't even laugh. As I turned to my wife, to say something, she said, shhhhh I'm trying to watch the movie, to which I did.
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#22 of 113 OFFLINE   Phil Florian

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Posted June 22 2003 - 08:54 AM

Wow, was it Hulk or is it just getting worse in the theatres? I have seen most of the big fanboy flicks this summer (X2, Hulk, Matrix, etc.) but Hulk was the one to beat. It had the requisite kids talking (middle school age) and a couple of chatty girls next to us but heck, that isn't so bad. A quick shush and the girls stopped. The boys were worse, but it wasn't as distracting. Hell, when I was their age, I am sure I was no better. I distinctly remember having a running commentary track with a friend of mine seeing Wrath of Khan that would be looked down upon by fanboys everywhere (self included, in retrospect...ah, youth). Anyhoo, the biggest difference that then not too long ago (I don't want to wax old guy since I am not THAT old) that they had ushers. Real folks who walked up and down the aisle from time to time. They made us take our feet off of the seats. Told us to shut up. And when the groups didn't do any of the above, asked folks to leave. They don't have that now and I wonder if it would help. At the Hulk, it was the third bother that most upset me. Behind me was a father holding a 2-3 year old on his lap and this child talked through the whole movie. Maybe it is being a parent, but it wasn't that he was BOTHERING me, it was the fact that the three year old was saying "I'm scared" and "I want my mommy" and was struggling against his father because he wanted out. That is akin to abuse, in my book. My wife was the quick one, though, and after hoping the father would get a clue, she got an usher and had him removed, doing what even basic parental instincts should have done for him. It is a level of abuse to expose infants and toddlers to the level of violence and sound in a cinema. I am not for censorship. These movies have their place and appropriate audience. But damn, there are some scary bits in Finding Nemo that my 4 year old will have problems with (which is why we are hesitant to take her), let alone a giant green monster smashing things up with snarling dogs and crazy fathers. Do movie theatre owners really lose out if they tell 1 in 50 audience members that bring waaaay under age children into a theatre that they need to pick a different movie? Especially on opening weekend where they are taking in the tiniest portion of that green? Because it isn't a crowded theatre filled with babies and toddlers. It is usually a few out of hundreds. I don't want the government to get involved, but I wish the theatre companies would police themselves. The kids and cell phones are easy...send an usher in from time to time (there are plenty, too...there are a half dozen who run in to clean up...send a couple of them in). Is ther eany slightly less than Lieberman level of talk about this or am I being oversensitive to what a child should or should not see on the big screen? Sorry for babbling. Left the theatre sick to my stomach remembering the child pleading to get out but not being allowed to do so. I put my own daughter's voice to those words and can't IMAGINE without shuddering. Damn, what's up with some people? Phil

#23 of 113 OFFLINE   Dean Kousoulas

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Posted June 22 2003 - 09:57 AM

For the most part, my Hulk crowd was pretty quiet. Besides of course the people who I sat behind. It was a mother and her 2 out of control kids. They would talk nonstop, and even giggle and laugh at certain parts (they found humor in The Hulk?) Not only that, they would kick my seat a lot (think the airplane scene in Kindergarten Cop lol). Oh yea, the mother's cell phone rang twice. The first time, she refused to answer it, and the second she left the theater to talk. 2 other problems I had with theater crowds, were when watching Pearl Harbor and LOTR: TTT. After the bombing at Pearl Harbor, a couple kids in back screamed "F*cking Japs" which got them kicked out by security. Before LOTR started, a father and son were discussing (what else?) The Return Of The King. Gee, thanks guys! Dean
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#24 of 113 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens

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Posted June 22 2003 - 11:07 AM

[quote] Lately I have been trying to go to the theater early in the afternoon when I have free time so I don't have to put up with the younger audiences [quote] Going to the cinema in the middle of the day is no guarantee of avoiding bad behaviour.

Back when I was a student, and could go during the day in weekdays, I saw Pleasantville at a 10.30am screening. The only other people in the cinema were two women, sitting together about four rows behind me. And a cell phone went off. And the woman answered it, and presumably given the low level of attendance, started talking. Loudly. "I'm at the movies, blah blah, with Jane, do you want to talk to her her, here she is..." Phone swaps over to other woman, who talks even louder. So I turn around and politely ask them to shut up. They just ignored me and carried on. FOR TEN MINUTES.

Then there were the kids at the screening of Matrix Reloaded who were talking loudly (they were in the front row, I was in the middle of the cinema, and I could hear what they were saying over the film). In another film, I think Changing Lanes?, the kids were sitting in the front row and throwing their empty popcorn boxes and various other objects into the air. I complained, and the attendant threw those kids out.

The worst was the woman in the cinema for Burton's POTA. Not only did she answer her cell phone and talk for several minutes, she laughed hysterically through the entire film like she was on nitrous oxide. A case of justififable homicide if I ever saw one.

The annoying thing is that their behaviour brings out the Hulk in me. In each of these cases, I would willingly have assaulted those people had I been sitting close enough to them. Fortunately, I wasn't. But even sitting here now thinking about these people I can feel this seething anger and rage emerge about people that I was bothered by, in some cases four years ago. I worry that, if I ever was in a situation where I was close to one of these people, I would do something unwise.

The thing is, I'm usually a nice person, who would never hurt a soul. So when I get this kind of reaction, it's really scary. That's one reason why, whenever possible, I watch films in the more expensive Cinelounge seats - not only do you get the extra cofort of a Lazyboy seat, you're usually sufficiently far away from the morons who inhabit the cheap seats to not be bothered by them.

#25 of 113 OFFLINE   Brenton

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Posted June 22 2003 - 12:04 PM

I've never had problems nearly as bad as some of you guys have had, but I've had problems. I saw "Bruce Almighty" three days ago, and there was a boy who was probably about nine who was making an ass of himself my laughing loudly at EVERYTHING. It was a very flamboyant, fake laugh. I think he was just trying to show off that he could "get" PG-13 humor. And when I saw Matrix Reloaded, a baby started crying loudly. A baby!! In an R rated movie!! Fortunately, the mother quickly took the child out into the hall of something, but just the idea of taking a baby into ANY movie is ludicrous, an R rated movie is worse.

#26 of 113 OFFLINE   Dalton

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Posted June 22 2003 - 12:26 PM

Well the Hulk was a horror story for me too. I took my 7 and 10 yr old sons(they KNEW to behave or else!). There was a couple behind us that kept talking throughout the movie and made my 7yr old mad! They just wouldn't shut up. The woman kept making stupid comments about the Hulk jumping. I finally asked them to please be quiet which worked for a couple of minutes until her cell phone rang. She proceeded to have a nice chat like she was sitting at home. I finally blew my stack and told her F**k off(yes i used the word f**k) with the cellphone because this was a movietheater and she was not having afternoon tea with her friends! Well that did it. She went to report me. I know i got rude but for crying out loud i had had enough! The usher came in and asked me the problem so i told him about how she was talking throughout the movie and then on a cellphone and he understood my frustration. I thought i was gonna get the boot but the couple ended up sitting on the other side of the theater and i got to stay. It was a major downer because i missed some of the film. On the bright side other moviegoers were behind me. I am gonna have to see it again during a less crowded matinee showing. It just seems like people just don't have any respect for others anymore.

#27 of 113 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted June 22 2003 - 12:34 PM

[quote] It just seems like people just don't have any respect for others anymore. [quote]Amen to THAT! I'd demand a refund from the theater. Put up a BIG stink because cell phones aren't allowed and since this woman was breaking a rule and disturbing you, you didn't get your moneys worth.

Definitely complain and demand a refund.

We should all start demanding refunds whenever someone uses a cell phone in a theater. If these theaters get hundreds of complaints about cell phones, maybe they'd start doing something about it.

#28 of 113 OFFLINE   James E

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Posted June 22 2003 - 02:06 PM

some supersokers loaded with something nontoxic that really stinks would come in handyPosted Image
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#29 of 113 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted June 22 2003 - 03:00 PM

I had a couple behind me who insisted on having many, MANY discussions and going DAYM!!!!!!! every time Hulk Smash. I was counting back from 10 every time, they're VERY lucky I never got to 1

#30 of 113 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted June 22 2003 - 03:02 PM

[quote] -This guy sits in front of me. And sat up straight the entire movie. [quote]
That's me. If I want to lie down, I'll go to bed. In a chair, I sit up.

But this is somewhat related to my biggest peeve at the moment, how seemingly 90% of the audience thinks stadium seating is designed specifically to be used as a recliner, slouched down in their seat with their feet on the row in front of them. I am so sick and tired of being bounced around all through the movie because people can't keep their damn feet on the floor (or at least keep them still). They don't even have to be sitting right behind me, they can be halfway down the row and still shake the entire row of seats. Posted Image

No one gives a damn. The little featurette at the start of the film about theater behavior might as well not exist. People leave their trash everywhere after being asked to pick it up. People put up their feet after being asked not to. People talk after being asked to keep quiet. People don't turn off their cell phones after being asked to.

Do people think this guide to proper etiquette is supposed to be for everyone else but them? Posted Image Posted Image

My other peeve is that the theater has the sound too damn low. I was at "Finding Nemo" today and missed a bunch of dialogue because the sound was so low. I've complained a couple times, but they don't seem to give a crap. A couple other theaters I go to you practically need earplugs, but at this one you need a personal amplifier. Posted Image
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#31 of 113 OFFLINE   Tyler Ruggeri

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Posted June 22 2003 - 03:49 PM

Geez, is it the Hulk or what? One of my worst times in a while was seeing the 8:30 show of it last night. Now, I tend to be intelligent and go to matinee screenings during the week. I know how to avoid a crowd. But I had nothing to do last night and I REALLY wanted to see the Hulk. The show was more or less sold out, stadium seating, not in one of my favorite theaters in town but they always have the most convenient times and I didn't feel like waiting until 10 for another show. I think the problem is these huge multiplexes where kids can hop freely from one theater to the other without being restrained. It seemed to me that a lot of troublemakers in my screening were going from one movie to the next for hours just for something to do, especially seeing as how many of them came in and left at random points during the movie. The entire audience was loud as hell for the whole film, kids in front, in back, and a small boy of about three who stood up in the aisle behind me and kept trying to get his father's attention during the whole film. This thing is 2 1/2 hours long and it's kind of boring, so young kids are likely to be less than enthralled. There were also kids obviously going from one movie to the next, as roughly every 20 minutes the theater door would open and someone would scream at the top of their lungs into the theater and slam the door behind them. The kids then entered the theater at one point and stayed for about an hour, during which time they loudly yelled at the screen at the top of their lungs. I could keep going but it really was one of the worst experiences ever, not to mention the half dozen cell phones that went off. Ugh. Tyler Ruggeri

#32 of 113 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted June 22 2003 - 03:50 PM

I worked at theatres for 10 years, and I NEVER understood how people were content to wait in line for half an hour or more, then sit in the theatre for a half hour, then sit through 10 minutes or more of previews, then LEAVE in a mad rush at the first sign of the movie possibly being over! I've always stayed til the VERY end of the show (rating card, house lights up full), I don't get what makes people so eager to get out as soon as possible!
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#33 of 113 OFFLINE   James E

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Posted June 22 2003 - 03:58 PM

Jesse, maybe there conscience was bothering themPosted Image, with the way some people act it would't surprise me.Posted Image

edit: dropped an "with the"
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#34 of 113 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted June 22 2003 - 04:17 PM

[quote] I don't get what makes people so eager to get out as soon as possible! [quote]This brings up a great point. I HATE it when the movie finishes and everyone basically does a mad dash to the door...WTF???? It's like they are glad the movie is over...like they were being held there against their own will.

And how about the movies that start with the credits and then play some additional footage (i.e. Bloopers). I'm one who always likes to sit through the credits and I have to be interrupted by people walking in front of me and talking about the movie we just saw Posted Image and then when the "extra" footage is being played, they all stop where they are standing and watch the credits Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

What's the mentality of a person who does this?

(The credits start)
"Uggh! Movie over, QUICK run out of theater!!!"

(additional footage/bloopers play)
"HEY! There's still more movie! Me watch from where me stand! Me no care that me stand in front of man who sit in seat whole time."

(bloopers finish)
"Ok, now me go!"

MORONS! Posted Image


And what about the people who make you feel like an ass because you want to watch the credits! Posted Image My friends are always pissed that I sit in my seat for the credits! They're always like "Come on! I'm tired, and I gotta get up early tomorrow morning"

Umm, last time I checked, the credits were part of the movie...They're just as bad as the people who leave a baseball game at the top of the 9th inning so they can "Beat the Traffic"....If you're really in such a rush to get home, maybe you shouldn't have left in the first place???? Posted Image

This is why I always go alone, it's just not worth the aggravation, but then you got the theater people cleaning up while I'm trying to watch the credits. You know they're looking at me like "Why is he still here?"

As far as I'm concerned, Home Theater has definitely replaced the movie theater experience for good. The movie theaters can have their white-trash/inconsiderate low life's. They won't be getting anymore money from me.

#35 of 113 OFFLINE   Neil S. Bulk

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Posted June 22 2003 - 04:51 PM

Things don't necessarily get better with small crowds. I previewed a print of The Matrix Reloaded at my theater, starting it at 2 am. It was supposed to just be a manager and me, but I think 2 or 3 of the theaters cleaning crew came in too. Well at this very late, private screening one of the cleaner's cell phone rang. I was quite pissed at that. My screening of Hulk had it's fair share of noisy children. I'll chalk it up to boredom. Neil

#36 of 113 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted June 22 2003 - 05:53 PM

Okay, my horror Hulk story was lost in the database crash last week, but you guys have inspired me to bring it back.

This was the Tuesday night sneek and free. Otherwise heads would have rolled and I'm as tolerant as they come.


First came the metal detector wand to get in. Looking for cameras. A little paranoid but okay, they did just have a digital version stolen already. (but seriously, were 4 days really that big a deal)

Then came the cell phone check for camera options. A bit more of a "what??" from me, but okay. Not sure what kind of quality they thought someone would get with one of those but whatever.

Then came the very annoying beeps and a PA announcement just before the film starts. "Blah blah blah, cameras, you will suffer horrible punishment, we will get you, die dogs die....thank you, Universal". Nice of them to end the threats with a little thank you like that. Posted Image Didn't they think I got the message with the airport patdown?

And take note at this point. NO ONE said anything about shutting up, turning phones off, or anything else regarding my ENJOYMENT of the film. It was all about "don't you steal this". Nice way to generate the good will early on.


But that was just the start.

The film starts and about 5 minutes into it a figure comes slowly walking down the isle. Very distracting. I look closer and its a rent-a-cop with NIGHTVISION looking around for people with cameras!!! And he is STANDING in the isle or slowly walking. He does this for some 25 minutes, some of the time with his head in my view and certainly always blocking somebody's view. WHAT THE FUCK I think. Totally lame.

Well, it turns out that there were 3 rentals working the theater, and lucky for me since I was sitting at the back of the theater, they decided to stand right outside the door and YAP IT UP. Also luckily the door wouldn't shut. So here I sit in a very quiet first half of the film hearing "blah blah blah" coming in the door along with some light.

If I wasn't sitting all the way against the wall I would have gone to say something. As it was I bordered on walking out period.

Then one of the comes back in to do yet another COVERT OP with the nightvision. Jesus Christ who steals half of the hulk on a mini-cam 4 days before it opens? Let it go already, you used a freaking metal detector (even when you left to get food and came back you were rescanned).


More talking outside the door. Someone finally goes to say something. 5 minutes later they resume. Can't they at least pull the door closed. Can't they just step 10 feet down the hall so their voices don't shoot straight in. Do they really need to talk non-stop for some 30 minutes.


Well, this all finally stopped about 100 minutes into the film...but not before 2 of them started to come in, opened the door FULLY, and STOOD THERE AND TALKED LOUDLY like they were just working at the mall or something. I mean standing in the doorway, basically at the top of the isle in plain sight of everyone on that side of the theater, and with the outside light pouring in only being outdone by their very loud conversation.

Again, if I wasn't stuck so far from the isle I would have gone ballistic at this point (picture that scene with PSHoffman in Punch-Drunk Love on the phone..."SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP" Posted Image ). As it was I was considering hopping over the back of my seat to either go off or just flat out walk out. I didn't want to leave my buddy and it was free so I rode it out and they finally stopped.

As it is I'm sending the theater a letter explaining this event as well as how this fits exactly why I don't go to that theater anymore anyway (typical experience there - UA theater in the Indy downtown mall).

I can honestly say that had I known it would be like this I would have skipped the showing.


Surprisingly the audience was outstanding and attentive. They laughed at some parts they were supposed to but you can't fault people for reacting to the film if they think its silly. There was one brief cell phone ring but it was shutdown fairly quickly. Otherwise the audience was a packed house of people interested in seeing a film.

To bad the help didn't share that appreciation.

#37 of 113 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted June 22 2003 - 09:55 PM

At this point in the game, I think people need to accept that at least one cell phone will probably go off during the movie. NO ONE is perfect, and that on-screen theater warning may or may not be there before the movie starts. I'd certainly like it if none went off, but unfortunately, you can't expect that nowadays. Just hope those people have enough decency to turn them off quickly or walk out to have the conversation.

#38 of 113 OFFLINE   Magnus Nord

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Posted June 23 2003 - 12:28 AM

About blocking other peoples view... I am 6'7" tall and I really try to press myself down in the seat or maybe lean myself towards the shoulder of the girl im there with Posted Image Posted Image , but atleast I try to do something about it, lots of people just yap yap yap!, and sit straight up and do all the shit that you arent supposed to do...

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#39 of 113 OFFLINE   Tommy Ceez

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Posted June 23 2003 - 02:15 AM

Inside a theatre or out, if your cellphone isnt on VIBRATE your kinda an asshole. Couldnt we start an internet rumor that the surgon general has determined that children under 10 trapped in a movie theater with a majority of adults for more than an hour are 97% more suceptable to monkey pox than the normal population?
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#40 of 113 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted June 23 2003 - 03:38 AM

I have seen very few movies this year, X2 and Daredevil are the only ones that come to mind, because of the uncertainty in audience behavior. Both those visits were nice however, just a screaming baby for a few seconds here and a cellphone ringing there... nothing major. They were both weekend matinees however, maybe that helps.
/Mike




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