Dear Multi-Plex, It’s Not Me, It’s You (New Version)

My wife and I went to see a movie last night.  I know, big news, right?

The theater is in the process of being renovated, so only half of its usual eight theaters are actually open.  We went to see “The Silver Linings Playbook“.  It’s a movie about family, love lost, and mental illness.  It was very well done and had a stellar cast.  Sadly, the film will not likely grab a major prize at the Oscars, because it prominently features the Philadelphia Eagles and as such it cursed itself out of winning the big one.

It was dark in the theater, but I'm pretty sure this hussy wasn't in there.  Who wears that kind of get-up out in public? (Image from monstermarketplace.com)
It was dark in the theater, but I’m pretty sure this hussy wasn’t in there. Who wears that kind of get-up out in public? (Image from a banned internet site, the posting of which resulted in my entire blog being shut down for 6 or 7 hours)

The theater we sat in to watch the movie had a newly redone interior.  The seats were recliners with luxurious, buttery leather upholstery.  You could use the power button to lift your feet up and recline the seat.  Sadly, the movie screen was still in its usual location, requiring reclined patrons to flex their necks to see it.  Putting the screen on the ceiling may have been better.  Not to worry, I kept the seat upright and watched from the normal position.  In any case, it was nice that theater owners are thinking outside the box and trying to come up with new ways to make going to the movies a little better.

The lovely new seats were nice, but one of my movie theater pet peeves remained in force; the unwanted sharing of sound effects.  Though there were no explosions, car crashes or other such cataclysmic events in “The Silver Linings Playbook” there must have been quite a few next door in “Hansel and Gretel – Witch Hunters“.  At various points during my movie, sometimes at poignant moments of dramatic tension or touching tenderness, there would be a sub-sonic rumbling attached to the plot next door.

I’m certain that when the movie was being filmed, director David O. Russell did not say to Robert De Nero, “Bobbie, that was great!  You really captured the conflicted emotions of the father in that scene.  Only one thing was missing – can we try one more take, ’cause I think this time I want to have the low rumble of a Blackhawk helicopter hovering right over the house just as you say your big line.”

It’s unfortunate that my mastery of the English language is insufficient to put into words the sound which permeated the theater at various points during the movie.  It was kind of a “MMMMMMMMMMRRRRRRRMMMMMMMRRRRRGGG” which I could almost feel more than hear.  It’s the worst kind of lapse in continuity – A reminder that I was watching a make-believe story featuring actors.  It’s impossible to really lose myself in a story, no matter how well written or acted it may be, when I’m reminded at random intervals that on the other side of the wall, there are pretty young actors killing computer-generated witches in slow motion with bazookas.

This is a pivotal moment in the story.  Get your hankies out...(Image from indiewire.com)
This is a pivotal moment in the story. Get your hankies out…(Image from indiewire.com)
Put your hankies away, this explosion next door pretty much wrecked the dramatic moment.  On the bright side, there was one less witch Hansel and Gretel to worry about.  Thanks for wrecking my movie experience you dopes! (Image from mashable.com)
….put your hankies away, this explosion next door pretty much wrecked the dramatic moment. On the bright side, there was one less witch Hansel and Gretel to worry about. Thanks for wrecking my movie experience you tools! (Image from mashable.com)

The good news is that if I’m patient enough, I can see nearly any movie from my own comfortable living room once it comes out on DVD.  In the event that a subsonic rumbling occurs during a pivotal scene, I can just pause the DVD and wait for the earth-moving equipment to get off my front lawn.  With any luck, I’ll succeed in losing myself in a beautiful story for an hour or two.

39 responses

  1. Oh the irony – the irony! Having key moments of the movie stolen from you due to the movie next door, only to have your post stolen from you due to the powers of WordPress. Can you imagine watching The Artist in the theater with nosy next door movies? Talk about a major buzz kill.

    • This was not a great day. I spent so much time cursing at my computer and scribbling angry emails to faceless foes that I’m totally behind on everything else. On top of that, this could happen again at any time. My issue was giving credit where credit was due and not realizing that the website for the credit was on the banned list (like I would know!).

      • Blind banning based on a web address. Modern technology can only go so far without actual human attention. One has to actually SEE and READ what is listed – not just rely on a computer to flag and kill it based on a referenced link.

        • I hit “Publish” and was suspended before my finger left the key. I thought it was only right to list the web address the photo came from. Once I found out what had caused the problem, I asked multiple times for someone to please give me “the list” of banned websites so thagt I could avoid this in the future, but no one even acknowledged my request.

  2. Yay – you’re back…Glad things got straightened out.

    I do not find the theater experience to be enjoyable and can’t even tell you the last time I went to the theater. People are rude (talking, phones, climbing over you 100 times during the film) and the sound is usually way too loud (not only in the theater I’m in but as you describe – from the adjacent rooms). The popcorn isn’t quite as good at home, but it’s cheaper, the bathrooms are cleaner (usually) and the reclining seat is already molded to my behind.

  3. Good to see your blog issue was resolved. I would have had a heart attack.

    I cannot wait to see that movie, it looks so good. But as for watching it in the comfort of your own home, I’ll have to wait a few years. I tried to watch The Hunger Games yesterday and was interrupted about 100 times by the kids. I tried to ignore them, but at one point I heard a noise out in the kitchen that sounded the cupboards had exploded.

  4. It’s the hussy in the leather recliner. It’s ALWAYS the hussy in the leather recliner. Either that or there’s an Eagles fan behind the magic curtain.

    This was the movie that I had chosen from my Be the Boss of Me poll, but we had to scratch movie plans anyway. So, it’s good to know I’ll enjoy it more in the quiet of my own home.

    • You will enjoy it more at home. It was really very good, in spite of the subsonic booms from next door.

      Thank you for all your support today. I really thought my WP days were over, and I was very upset. Now I’ll have to figure out a way to give photo credits without risking getting deactivated for half a day.

  5. I’m so glad you got that mess settled. I probably would have fainted! I saw the movie and it was good, but I will enjoy much more in my house. Not only did I have loud noise from the adjoining theatre, the 2 year old ticket collector made me throw out my water before entering….apparently you’re only allowed to drink their 5 dollar bottle of the same water.

    • I’m glad my WP crisis is over too. Of course, their response gave me plenty of time to convince myself that I’d never be back and write farewell comments to many of you. Ooops! Thought it was terminal cancer, turns out I have an ingrown toenail…my bad! How embarrassing!

  6. I really liked that movie. It was much more than I expected, and the dance scene was so fun. Luckily I didn’t have competing theater noise from another movie. Unfortunately, however, I did have a yapping couple right next to me. The man kept asking his wife to repeat everything. Thought I was going to lose it on them!

  7. Congratulation being Freshly un-Repressed. There’s so much I’ve learned from your post – not to give any link credit, back up the blog (still have to do), and not to go to any multiplex where Hansel and Gretel is playing.

  8. I admire anyone brave enough to watch a movie at a theatre. I haven’t stepped foot in one for almost 4 years. Honestly, I can tolerate the rumblings and booms next door. What I can’t stand is listening to someone chew popcorn as though they lack lips to muffle the sound.

  9. Personally I love the experience of watching a film in a movie theatre rather than at home, but I think there are two key things to do to ensure the experience is not spoilt – firstly, ensure that you are the one watching the very loud action film in the theatre (save the quiet intimate films for home viewing), and secondly choose a sitting that will be quiet, the unpopular times when the theatre will be half empty.

  10. First of all, I’m so glad you’re up and running again and hope nothing was affected on your blog! Second of all, I hope they put up better soundproofing after they reactivated you. You can’t hear the chipmunk giggles coming from my blog, can you?

    • My source for the photo was on their watch list for retailers. The computer program detected the web address and shut me down before I was finished pushing the “publish” button.

      I fully understand WordPress’ need to keep spam and such out of this community, I just wish they would have told me sooner, as I had no idea what was wrong and it scared the hell out of me that my entire blog was dead.

      So to summarize, it wasn’t the hussy in the pic, it was the website I found her at. Be careful what you put in posts if it may be misconstrued as something more than an innocent photo credit.

  11. I haven’t been to a picture show since Audy Murphy was playing, but I’ll keep your experience in mind and only go to a place showing Bambi on all 16 Mega-screens.

    Good point about home movie viewing. If the huge equipment on the lawn is making too much noise you can always pause it and say “Honey, could you mow the grass later? I’m trying to relax in here!”

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