Posts Tagged ‘Return of the Jedi’

My Moviegoing Pet Peeves

June 16, 2011

The Flavorwire blog put up a list of what not to do when going to the movies. This came about after news about a patron who was kicked out of a movie theater for texting, even though she was warned repeatedly to stop. Well, that got the wheels in my brain turning. (Uh-oh, you must be saying now). So, here are a list of my moviegoing pet peeves.

Comments about the action/characters/plot during the movie
In December 2010, I took my nephew to see Tangled. In one scene Rapunzel’s boyfriend is mortally wounded by the evil stepmother. As he lay dying, one person in the theater blurred out, “He can’t die. This is Disney.” Yes, I was thinking that too, still that comment ruined the suspense. Of course, there are films where audience participation is a part of the experience (i.e. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, campy B-movies) and, I admit it, I blurted out “Do something!” during a key scene in Return of the Jedi when Darth Vader looked on as Luke Skywalker was being zapped by the Emperor. Still, loads of people worked very hard to make the film you are watching believeable. Also, loads of people gave up their hard earned cash for a few hours of escape from their troubles.  Don’t ruin it for both parties. During the movie, keep your comments to yourself. Loads of people will be very grateful.

Overpriced snacks
Yes, the movie theaters make their money on the concessions, not on the box office. Still, do they have to charge so much for a small tub of popcorn and a drink. Also, do they have to sell such big tubs of popcorn and buckets of soft drink? Consuming oversized portions is one reason why so many are obese in the U.S. So, theater companies, redo your product mix. Go easy on the portions and how about offering some healthy snacks for a change, such as granola, dried fruit, maybe even sushi would be nice.

Sticky Floors
This peeve is directed at both movie theater management and the moviegoer. To the moviegoer, if you must get the supersized soft drink and the humungous tub of popcorn special, please be careful. Some of us, present company included, like to get moderately dressed up for the movies (nice shirt, nice pair of jeans or khakis, nice shoes). We don’t like having to either wade through sticky and crunchy floors, or fall victim to someone else’s carelessness and mess up our nice shirt, jeans, khakis and shoes. To the movie theater management, please remind your staff on the importance of keeping the movie theater clean. Not only will doing that improve the moviegoing experience for the patron, but it could also reduce the risk of lawsuits from people who slip, fall and injure themselves on sticky and crunchy floors.

Well, those are my pet peeves. What about you, gentle reader? Do you have any pet peeves regarding the moviegoing experience that you would like to share? Leave a comment and if I get enough peeves, I’ll share them in a future entry.

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Movie Memories

November 24, 2010

Since this is my blog, occasionally I like to write about things from my life related to the blog’s focus. This will be one of those entries. Specifically, this entry will be about memorable movie watching experiences.  What made them so memorable? Read this entry and find out.

Snow White
I saw this in a movie theater on Christmas with my older brother when I was six. We went to church, opened the presents, ate dinner and there was nothing else to do. So, my brother and I went to see a movie. The movie theater wasn’t far so, we walked and Mom would pick us up afterwards. Mom being a good Italian Mom, packed a bag of pizzelles (waffle cookies) for us to eat during the movie. Me, the bratty younger sister, ate them all, much to the displeasure of my brother. (i.e. “You ate all the pizzelles and you didn’t give me one!”) As for the movie, I liked it.

Return of the Jedi
This movie opened in May 1983, on a Wednesday, and I along with a friend saw it that Saturday. Since this was the “last” film in the Star Wars trilogy, lines were around the movie theater at every movie theater in the country that showed this film. The theater we attended was no exception. I had seen the Star Wars films many, many times. (If you must know 8 for Star Wars, 6 for the Empire Strikes Back and 3 for Return of the Jedi and those are the number for the theatrical release of those films before George Lucas released updated versions in the late 1990’s.) My friend didn’t, so I brought her up to speed on the story while we waited for the movie. Then the movie started and I enjoyed the show, especially toward the end when the emperor was zapping Luke Skywalker and Luke cried out to Darth Vader “Father!”  I said aloud in the movie theater, “Do something!” At which point, Darth Vader picked up the emperor and threw him over a ledge. The whole theater cheered when that happened. That wasn’t just a movie I saw. It was a movie I experienced.

Lion King
This animated Disney movie came out in the summer of 1994. The movie got a lot of press for various reasons. One, it was a Disney animated film and that alone guaranteed it press. Two, it was part of the Disney animation renaissance of the 1990’s. Three, there was talk that the movie was a racist/imperialistic fantasy, since Simba was being groomed to be a King and the hyenas (the bad guys in the story) lived on the fringes of the grassland. All of this piqued my interest and I decided to see the movie to learn if any of the controversy was true. Once the movie started I was amazed. The animation was beautiful and I found the story of Simba, the happy go lucky lion who learned what it meant to be responsible adult, very touching. When the movie finished, the glow from the animation and story overshadowed the controversy. Of course, that’s why Disney is synonymous with animated movie.

While these are just my memories, these vignettes show that going to see a movie isn’t always a passive one-way experience. The viewer brings with him or her all sorts of expectations and life experiences when seeing a film. So, in the end, the viewer gives just as much as he or she receives.