Friday, 18 May 2012

Movie Monsters of a Different Kind

I am guilty.

I have been neglecting my blog, leaving it to languish unloved, unfed, and – though not exactly unusual – unread while I was off tending to other matters.

I would like to be able to report that I’ve been distracted by issues of epic importance or even –whisper it – finishing editing my book, but that would be a big fat lie.  What have I been doing?  Well…I’ve been at the movies.

Yes, really.

Alright, so I’ve not been there the whole time, and I have also been embroiled in the painstaking process of taking apart my manuscript, fixing the problems and putting it back together again, but mostly, I’ve been at the movies.

It started with a little plastic card.  Actually, it started before then, when a budget limited by the demands of Walt Disney World vacations forced me to choose between three different movies I desperately wanted to see.  It’s something of a first world problem, I’ll grant you, but a problem nonetheless.  Fondly recalling my days as a student, when my disposable income seemed substantially larger and one or two movies a week was the norm, I decided I’d had enough.  Now for a monthly fee I have a little plastic card that lets me see as many movies as I like. 

Problem solved.  Well, sort of.  Now I have new problems. 

I’m moving right by the outrageous amount of time I’ve since spent in a darkened cinema, and the fact that seeing The Avengers multiple times has unleashed a time-consuming new obsession with Jeremy Renner, and going straight to the real issue – other people.  Not all the other people, but a select few.  You know the ones…

The Facebook Addict

You’ve seen them, the person so addicted to Facebook, Twitter, emails, My Fitness Pal, the picture of Justin Bieber on their screen, that they can’t endure a two hour movie without looking at their phone – in all its luminescent glory – approximately 72 times.  We get it okay?  You’re a popular, important person and you want the whole cinema to know it, and no, that bright, shiny light from your phone illuminating the twenty feet around you is not in any way irritating.

The Aura Crusher

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you are the only person/couple/group in a cinema, someone will feel compelled to sit beside you.  Right beside you.  This sort of behaviour is not confined to the realm of cinematic entertainment – bus travel also brings it out in people – but the dark room/long movie combination makes the awkwardness extra special.

The Statue

I blame modern cinemas and their sheer vastness for this.  The anxiety and strategic planning that go into choosing a place to sit are just too overwhelming for some people, inevitably resulting in paralysis – usually at the entrance – that will last approximately half the length of the movie. 

The Oblivious Bystander

I have some empathy for the Oblivious Bystander.  They have wandered in off the street, looking for somewhere warm and cosy to catch their breath and they’re left completely confused.  They don’t understand why they’re in a darkened room full of people, all staring intently at the big, bright screen with moving pictures, or why they’re the only ones continuing to talk at full conversational volume.  Though I find the endless prattle about someone’s pregnancy or how this guy cheated on that girl just a little bit distracting, I feel bad for The Oblivious Bystander.  They’ve paid £7.80 just to come in and catch up with their friends and those inconsiderate actors are talking the whole time!

If you have encountered these people at your local multiplex and, like me, have not yet learned how to function in adult society without experiencing a spike in blood pressure, there are ways of avoiding them.  Go to an earlier showing.  Stay at home and watch DVDs instead.  Be generally more tolerant and understanding (I’m totally working on it.) 

But where would be the fun in that?