This post will be the only post where I sound like a disappointed old man, in the fact I’m moaning at the current generation who I firmly believe have lost touch with film, and that they don’t watch films properly anymore. Yes I’m looking at you mobile phones, Facebook, laptops, numerous apps. I miss the days where me and my mates would all sit round the TV, snacking on popcorn and drinks and have no phones near us, now all they do is go on their phones and look up at the screen from time to time, making casual “ooh” remarks as if to make it sound like their still invested in a film that they’ve mostly missed. I will admit there are occasions I'll look at my phone after it pings, but put it back immediately as it's never that important.
I’m talking from personal experience, my family’s viewpoint and trips to the cinema over recent years. Nothing boils my blood more than the bright flare of a phone screen midway through a cinema screening. Intermittent flashes or prolonged brightness glaring in my face, why do these people come to the cinema to text, tweet, Instagram, check Facebook? If it’s that important shove off and leave, stop ruining the atmosphere for others. I turn my phone on silent and then turn it off, I never have it on at the cinema. One time I remember telling my friend off for having his on, texting for a good minute or two during Jurassic World at an exciting moment. Cinema etiquette has crashed and burned, even the cinema is a place where a lot of people don’t think anymore, being loud and brash, it ruins it for the few that pay to enjoy cinema trips.
Thing is, you can’t really go up to people on phones midway through a film cause you’ll miss out on the film itself, you’ll interrupt others by moving about and worst of all be talking and telling off a stranger essentially. Where are the workers of cinema, they don’t check up on the assholes often enough. My worst experience was during Taken 3, despite the film being rubbish, a group of young chavs sat behind me and my mates were giggling, gossiping, even screeching at times. I bottled it up but it got so bad others in the room were tutting so I got up, told them “Look, I know you’re young and out for fun, but so are we, could you please be quiet just for the rest of the film”. I was calm and didn’t resort to reporting them or getting rude with them. They lasted ten minutes before the giggling started again. I got up and let it out, “Could you please shut the f**k up, trying to watch the movie”. They laughed back, then the film ended shortly. Worst £10 I ever spent for a bad film and an even worse screening.
You can understand people may have work related messages coming in during a film, but if that’s the case why go out if you’re going to be constantly checking? Or at least tell the person messaging you’ll be unavailable. I’m not condoning people who want to be on their phones don’t go to the cinema, but just think of others who want to be there, no one wants to see that annoyingly bright light on and off. This brings me to my most pet peeve, the genuine moment where this post relates to the title more than ever.
I host a lot of movie nights, I had one recently and it was great fun, not a phone light in sight, just food and good company and two very scary movies. It’s other times where I wonder why bother. Message after message after message, ping, ping, ping, phone light on and off and on and off. I always tell my mates if you aren’t enjoying the film after forty five minutes I don’t mind turning it off and sticking on another one. Literally had people sit beside me to watch a film, staring blankly at their phones or laptops playing games and message more than they have the movie, then after it ends they say “meh it wasn’t that good”. How can you judge a film properly when from the get go you’ve been glued to your Smart phone? You can’t, simple as. I was watching Bean Disaster Movie with a friend who was playing an RPG game for the entirety, maybe looking over at the screen every five minutes, and complained he didn't like the movie as it was boring. I ignored his opinion cause he hadn’t been watching, why are people afraid or forced to not watch a film properly without having some sort of distraction near them?
This might just be my most pessimistic and annoyed post ever, there’s lots of “I” written here mostly because it’s from experience, some good but a lot of bad. I miss when people would be in complete awe of a film, to hear others let out giant “ooh” or “woah” when something amazing happens on screen, and I don’t mind people talking if it’s about what they’ve just seen and how good or maybe not good it was. Put it this way, would you rather be watching Mad Max Fury Road in glorious 3D completely immersed in the action, or checking Facebook and Twitter and just checking up to see where Tom Hardy is driving to next because you’ve missed the journey?
TURN YOUR PHONES OFF, CLOSE THOSE LAPTOP LIDS, APPRECIATE THE FILM AND EVEN IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, SEE IT THROUGH TO THE END AND THEN YOU DESERVE TO MAKE AN OPINION SOMEONE WOULD LISTEN TO.