Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Picture House Rules

As many of my friends raved about seeing the final (sniff) installment of Harry Potter, I waited patiently until a couple of weeks after to go see it. Why? Because people suddenly change who they are in a cinema and they become chatterboxes who can't watch a film without talking, eating or drinking noisily.

I believe it was HP 3 that as the film started a burst of applause and mild cheering erupted. Hubby and I exchanged 'per-lease' looks but things settled down fairly quickly and no further interruptions were made. During another HP film, the girl behind us kept whispering to her Dad why something was happening. I wanted to turn around and tell him that maybe he should have asked her what the film's all about before they sat down or indeed just read the book!

Don't get me wrong, I love going to the cinema. The smell of popcorn (although the US don't do sweet just salty popcorn with extra butter) grabbing a coke (US small is equal to a UK large!), the anticipation of watching my favorite actor on the big it all. I'm not even that adverse to some noise - honestly! I can drown out the occasional crinkle of a sweet wrapper, the clinking of ice-cubes and even the odd gasp or loud whisper of "no, she didn't?!". But what I can't stand is people not being able to be still, and appreciate that everyone has spent $20 or so to watch a film in relative quietness. I'd rather not have to endure the constant impression of a snake as someone whispers to their mates about the latest gossip or whether anyone wants a jelly-bean!

My aversion of seeing anything in the opening week came after watching Memoirs of a Geisha. At the scene where Chiyo is about to do an important dance to impress the Chairman, four college girls burst out laughing because of the 5" wedged shoes that she wears. It was a dramatic moment and those stupid girls ruined it by their giggling! I wish I had the nerve to slap the back of their heads - but I believe that's frowned upon and I would have been charged with GBH/ABH. Pity...

So, with that in mind, I thought that nearly three weeks after HP's release, it would be a fairly quiet room. Wrong! By then, they had moved the film to a smaller screen, so seats were taken up fairly quickly. Hubby and I sat in the back in the last row, with no-one in front of me. A guy sat in front, to my left, two empty seats to his right. His girl came back and then before I knew it, they had moved along. So now I have this tall bloke with hair that looks like he stuck his finger in an electric socket sitting right in front of me. Hubby asked if I could see, I said no; we swapped seats. I then asked Hubby if he could see to which he replied "er, I'm 6ft 4 love.." I'll take that as you can see then. Ahem...

Just as the film starts, another bloke comes in and sits next to 'electric boy'. Oh for crying out loud, bleedin' marvelous! I shifted around and as long as 'late arrival' doesn't also shift, we're good to go. And then he starts rustling something. I'll give him a little (that's very little) credit as he was rustling during a scene that didn't have anyone talking. But who cares...atmosphere man, atmosphere! During the film he scooted down and I could watch the screen straight on. But then the Bad Posture Fairy tapped him on the shoulder which meant he sat up straight again. Thankfully, said Fairy didn't bother him again when he slumped back down again. Yeah.

I managed to enjoy the rest of the epic saga that is HP but it also reminded me that whilst I love going to the cinema, I need to consider the following before I see the next film:

- people dithering, swapping seats, drinks, snacks...
- people getting up and going to the loo 8 times during one film (I'm sorry to be harsh, but why if you have a bladder problem, must you sit in the middle of the room, in the middle of the row?)
- those that have a need to discuss every dramatic moment
- or those who need to share their feelings during the film by cheering, clapping, sobbing or heckling.

And if it will be too annoying, I'll wait until the DVD comes out and watch it quietly on my sofa with a nice brew and some biscuits.

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