A film student's recommendations, reviews and essays on motion pictures new and old
Annoying Things People Do At The MoviesNovember 2nd, 2011 at Wed, 2nd, 2011 at 3:41 pm by samuelhwolfe
If you’re a movie lover, you can probably acknowledge and recall the excitement and anticipation of those particular upcoming films that really get your heart pounding.
One such movie that instilled similar feelings in myself was The King’s Speech. Two years ago, after noticing the considerable hype and observing the overwhelmingly positive reviews surrounding the movie, my family and I drove over to Anacortes, WA to see it. Of course we showed up a little early and delight filled my soul as I observed a fairly empty theater. First pick on seats!
Slowly, the other people started to file in. The trailers soon started and I remember my relief at the site of the sparsely filled cinema. Confident there would be no irritating distractions from this group of people, I sat enjoying my popcorn, awaiting the start of the movie. And then…
What the? Hmmm… that was weird. It sounded like someone trying to clear their throat as they sneezed and coughed and spit at the same time. Slightly annoyed but also somewhat amused, I shook my head and soon forgot about it. The trailers continued to role.
Then, again, “SNIFFLE-COUGH-SNORT!!!”.
I clenched my jaw and gritted my teeth as my heart sank. The realization set in: I’m watching a movie with someone who has a strange cough snorting tick thing! AWESOME! May I also add that the level of annoyance was compounded by ten because I happened to be watching the quietest, dialogue driven, dramatic tear-jerking movie of all 2010. I’m sitting there, completely drawn into Colin Firth’s performance. He is in tears, breaking down to his wife, “I’m not a king!” And then… “SNORTTT!!!”
Yeah, that sets the mood perfectly snorting guy. Thanks alot.
Anyhow, enough with the story. The point is, we can all recall those times where movies have been ruined for us due to a number of different reasons. So, without further adieu, I give you 10 Annoying Things People Do At The Movies. Notice that these aren’t numbered in any order because all of the following perpetrators are equally guilty!
Does it even need to be said? Seriously… texting and driving, texting in class, texting here, texting there, texting freakin’ everywhere! Sitting by someone with a phone out at the movies is just pain horrible. Have you ever sat by a person texting who tries to be subtle about it by holding it to the side, way down between their legs, or hunching over? Yeah, sorry texters, it doesn’t help.
NOISY POPCORN BAGS
For some reason, most theaters have traded out popcorn buckets for paper bags. Not just any paper bags. No, these bags sound like rapid successions of firecrackers are exploding every time you reach in for another fist full. And oh, God forbid there’s someone wearing a bulky sweat shirt armed with one of these babies. If so, you’re ears will be treated to a pleasant, “CRUNCH SMASH CRACKLE CRACKLE CRUNCH” every time they reach in.
For those that haven’t figured it out, there is an art to eating out of these bags. It’s like that game, Operation. You have to carefully reach in and avoid the very sensitive sides of the bag. Short sleeves are preferable.
Hmm.. on second thought, can we just have the bins back?
Talkers come in a few different forms. I will discuss them categorically.
- Whisperers: Sometimes people find it necessary to whisper doing certain parts of movies. Whisper very loudly I might add. For example, “Woah did you see that?!” or, “This is sad!”.
- The Echo-er: Occasionally, people will hear a line in a film that they find humorous, memorable, scary, etc. To the echo-er, these lines are so great that they find it necessary to repeat it out loud! Sometimes, they will even look around at other audience members, perhaps expecting to be thanked or congratulated.
- The Shoosh-er: Sometimes, in response to a whisperer or an echoer, a shoosh-er will try to intervene on behalf of the rest of the audience. Little do they know they are just as annoying and chances are, the perpetrator can’t even hear the shoosh. For example, a whisperer may enquire to a neighbor, “Woah! What’s gonna happen?” The shoosh-er then responds with a dramatic, “SHHHHHHHHHH!!!”
- Ignorant Yellers: I had the not so pleasant experience of watching a movie with an ignorant yeller just the other day while watching The Grey. I knew we were in for it right as they walked in and I heard a, “Oh man F##k yeah that was hella’ funny!” It did not get better. These four guys, who were sitting about three rows in front of me, were in a different universe, screaming, yelling, and laughing about who knows what. But wait, you’ll never believe what happened. This leads me into my next form of talker.
- The Hero: Sometimes, while you’re at the movies, experiencing one of the many horrors listed in this article, just when all hope of enjoying the movie seems lost, the hero will come to the rescue. They quietly put up with a few instances of annoyance and then suddenly, with authority, will shut them up. I was lucky enough in my most recent experience for this happen to me. I noticed a guy wearing a white T-shirt sitting about six chairs to the left of the ignorant yellers. The hero stared them down a few different times. I thought, “Is he gonna do it?” Sure enough, when everything got quiet, the hero turned to them and said, “Hey could you guys SHUT UP?” Immediately, the hero was backed up by the rest of the viewers who affirmed his statement. They weren’t a problem anymore. Thanks hero.
SLOSHING ICE OUT OF CUPS
There’s no more Coke in there and the guy whose obnoxiously sloshing the leftover ice into his mouth apparently didn’t pay for refills. So, the rest of us are treated to the sporadic crunching of ice and then the occasional pound on the cup. Cmon’ man!
FREQUENT COUGHS, WEIRD TICKS, ETC.
I’m not exactly sure how common this really is. However, I found it necessary to include in this article because of my own personal experience watching The King’s Speech. I guess you’ll have to experience this one to truly understand it.
POOR SEAT SELECTION
We’ve all experienced it. You’re sitting in a prime spot in an empty theater, maybe with a date, and then suddenly, you see Paul Bunyan lumber through the entrance. No biggie right? Look at all these empty seats! Everything’s cool. Okay, he’s coming closer. Alright there’s still a few rows left. Okay, the row in front of me is alright as long as… Okay how did I know he would sit RIGHT in front of me! Wow! Not cool at all! But, luckily this is an easy problem to fix. Just move along to one of those empty seats across the aisle.
You’re most likely to discover there is a seat kicker behind you when you’re eating popcorn and then suddenly a jolt of force will cause you to close your fist and send bits of popcorn matter flying everywhere. Sometimes you can send a message to the kicker that says “cut it out”, by turning your head over your shoulder a little bit and making a disapproving shaking motion. But sometimes, you just can’t win with these people and you’ll just have to make yourself feel better by talking bad about them with your friends after the movie!
A lot of times, this annoyance (as well as many others) can be avoided by movie choice. For example, I don’t think a lot of screaming kids or ignorant yellers would go to see The Descendants or The Artist. But hey, some kids movies are really worth seeing. For example, Hugo, Up, Kung Fu Panda 2, Toy Story etc. Most people are aware that they are really rolling the dice when you decide to see a movie like this. Chances are the lights will go down and soon you’ll be hearing screaming voices talking about the bathroom, soda, popcorn, and whatever else kids talk/complain about!
The fortune teller finds it necessary to yell out his or her prediction of what is going to happen next on screen. For example, “He’s gonna die!” Or, “He’s lying!”. It can be funny at times and maybe it says a good thing about the film. Maybe the movie has drawn them in so much that they feel like they can warn the characters of their future? Beats me.
RUINING THE BEST PART
Sometimes a friend or a family member will see a movie in theaters, enjoy it very much, and invite you to go with them to see it a second time. Most of the time, this is a fun experience! They get to see a good movie a second time and if you trust their taste, you’re in for a treat too. But sometimes, depending on the movie, this can go wrong. Let’s say you’re watching a movie that involves some kind of twist, and right as you’re about to figure it out or the truth is about to be unveiled, you’re partner leans over and says, “Dude, you absolutely won’t believe this part” or, “This is the best part of the whole movie”. We get it. You saw this movie and you liked it! Let me experience it!
Okay, so this concludes my list of annoying things people do at the theater. Now, with all the chips out on the table, I want to say that I still very much enjoy going to the movies. I’d like to think that these grievances are only committed many 25% of the time. Most other times, the whole experience of going to the theater with friends and family is quite enjoyable. But then again, when in doubt, hit up Blockbuster or Netflix instant stream and cuddle up with blankets and enjoy the privacy and comfort of your own couch.
Have an annoying story to tell? Comment below.