Actually, I love going to the movies, but despite decades of culling the people I go to the movies with down to a select handful who can abide by some basic cinema etiquette, these guys keep turning up:
The Economist – everybody knows that popcorn and soda cost a fraction of a cent to make, and the cost mark up at the snack bar is pure extortion – but that doesn’t stop this same financial watchdog from buying it anyway, and bitching about it (loudly) every time. Plan ahead you moron!
And yes, we can work out that it's cheaper to rent the DVD once it comes out and have everyone watch it at your house and make the popcorn ourselves.
The Hyena – laughs at everything, funny or not, constantly throughout the movie. Have you ever met friends at the cinema, and the film you all intended to see has sold out due to no-one (except you) thinking pre-booking was necessary? Then there are 2 to choose from and it goes to a majority vote. One is a film that’s garnered great reviews, but the others go for the 'lowest common denominator comedy' you know will suck. And, predictably, 30 mins into the 'comedy' nobody has laughed once. Except of course, the Hyena, whose donkey-like bray is a cruel, mocking irony to your private hell.
Johnny Come Lately - irrespective of screening time, genre, location - there will always be some asshole that arrives in the darkened cinema bumping past your knees, interrupting your view; thus negating the extreme measures you’d taken to avoid missing a frame of the film in the first place. Undoubtedly, the alpha schmuck of the group probably said something like this to his pals: “Chill dudes, we have PLENTY of time, they always have commercials at the beginning and junk!” Before laughing heartily and kicking off yet another round of hi-fives.
Naturally, the genius didn’t take into account traffic, parking, the huge queues, and that the only seats left require negotiating noisily through the dark, angering paying patrons who got their collective act together.
Solution: Once the lights dim, the theatre is sealed. You got a problem? Buy a goddamn watch!
NOTE: This actually happened to me at an exclusive premier midnight screening and I missed the intro as a cluster of idiots pushed past, showering me with popcorn, slurring “sorry, sorry”.
I spent the next 20 minutes of the movie so enraged I had no idea what was happening on screen as I plotted brutal, yet ironic, revenge upon them; while simultaneously trying to figure how the hell one arrives late to a midnight screening that sold out 8 weeks prior anyway? Too much traffic on the roads at this time of night? Not enough notice of the start time?
Talker #1 The 'Long Time No Sees' – Hey it’s great that you guys haven’t seen each other for years, and decided to catch up! But how about meeting in a bar instead - so the other 130 people can enjoy the film, hmmm?
Solution: After second infraction, duct tape forcibly applied to mouth.
Talker #2 'Mr Replay' – feels it necessary to vocalise every plot point as it happens, just in case someone of lower intelligence (unlikely) missed the point, or wasn’t watching: “Whoa – did you see that? They just shot his parents!” This guy also misses out on other story points while he is running his mouth, so he is continually questioning out loud: “So... why did they shoot his parents?”
Solution: After first infraction, duct tape forcibly applied to mouth.
Talker #3 'Mr. Spoiler' - people who have already seen the film, (usually via illegal downloads) for some reason feel it necessary to remind their friends and everyone within a 15 metre radius of that fact. Usually it will be in the form of a tension dampening/ plot revealing statement like “you GOTTA watch this bit!” or “this bit is scary, brace yourself!” accompanied by vigorous nudging. Like being in a darkened cinema in seats positioned towards a 100m wide screen provides us with a plethora of alternatives.
Punishment: removed from cinema and forced to watch the same episode of Two and a Half Men over and over until the feature is over.
Talker #4 'Mr Cel Phone' –self explanatory, and without a doubt, the most serious offence possible in a cinema. The sheer arrogance of someone sitting there loudly talking to someone who isn't even in the cinema is way beyond the pale for even the most forgiving patron.
Punishment: the movie is paused momentarily as the crowd metes out mob justice. After the bloodied, lifeless corpse (and phone) is removed, the movie resumes.
The Professor - These pompous jerks will often chortle out loud with ‘The Knowing Laugh’. It’s not because they find something funny, but more of a deliberate, forced, vocal ejection to announce to the rest of the audience that they are privy to appreciating the movie on a higher, more cerebral level than you.
Punishment: being forced to write a thesis on the hidden subtext of ‘Dude Where’s My Car’, and the continuing relevance to society years after its release.
The Texter - not having the attention span to cope with being off the pulse of what’s happening outside for a full 90 mins, The Texter will distract all with his glowing iPhone several times throughout the movie.
Solution: Phone gleefully destroyed by angry mob.
Solution: Phone gleefully destroyed by angry mob.
Dr. Cologne - To impress his date, he immersed himself into a bath of pure cologne. Everyone around him gets a sharp sinus headache and watery eyes.
Solution: High pressure hose ‘prison shower’ in car park prior to admission.
Mr. Fidget – simply can’t sit still for longer than a nanosecond, bumping the back of my chair, resting his feet on my chair, constantly wriggling the hell around.
Solution: Mr Fidget is cling-wrapped to chair.
Mr. Sick – Don’t splutter your phlegm/ bacteria all over the back of my head douchebag! Go home!
Soluition: No Admission: Quarantined.
The Drink Slurper – if there’s one thing that drives me to pure, undiluted, homicidal bloodlust – its people who noisily slurp drinks during a movie. I once sat next to a patron who had a frozen coke, and I swear it took her 20 minutes to finish the last 10ml. I nearly lost my mind.
Solution: drink is removed, mouth sealed and IV tube forcibly replaced for duration of film.
The Litterer– thanks to possessing opposable thumbs, we can now deposit our own empty drink bottles into the rubbish receptacle on the way out. Impress litterers lower down the evolutionary scale by employing this technique as their eyes roll back in their sockets; excessive saliva forming a pool in their open, stunned mouths.
Punishment: Litterers can aid society by removing chewing gum under seats.
That’s all for now. I have a headache, and I can feel my heart beating in my eyelid.