Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Rant time: what happened to decorum?

Having heard and read good reviews about the film, "Prisoners", a night out at the movies was in order. Actually, the title of the film aptly describes the feeling of being seated in front of what can be best described as a couple of selfish numbskulls. Whatever happened to movie theatre decorum one wonders, anyway?

The film, which is too long in my view but that discussion is for another blog entry, is an intense cop drama that requires focus and concentration. Let me state for the record that I'm a big popcorn aficionado and a bag of the white stuff is a pre-requisite for an enjoyable night out at the movies. There are popcorn eaters and then there are popcorn eaters and it's truly amazing how the noisy eaters seem to gravitate to where we're seated.

No sooner did the film begin than a male, who shall be known as the 'Crinkle Bag Cracker', started what may be described as torturous routine consisting of inserting a hand (maybe two) into a paper receptacle, retrieving "a" i.e. one-at-a-time, kernel causing the bag to rustle/crinkle, in addition to what sounded like movements inside the bag, one surmises, distributing butter throughout. It was akin to a form of aural torture. Perhaps "popcorn torture" should be added to the lists of gleaning information for interrogation purposes.

"Who is your contact?" an interrogator would ask.

"I don't know what you're talking about," the person being interrogated would respond.

"We have our ways of making people talk! 'Bring out the terrible-bag-of pain!' an interrogator would command, after which a large bag filled with white kernels would be flashed in front of the prisoner. "These will be eaten one kernel at time over a 24 hour period."

"No-no! Not the terrible crinkly bag of popcorn! I'll talk! I'll talk"

But I digress. Getting back to the movie theatre issues...

After a while, instead of watching the film, I found myself wondering when the next popcorn kernel would be retrieved, resulting in the inevitable rattle that would follow. No amount of turning around and giving him 'the eye' had any impact on his behavior. It was interesting to note that there were other people seated around us that were eating popcorn but none produced the same level of noise as Mr. Crinkle Bag.

During the last half hour during the culmination of the story line and having finished the contents one presumes, Mr. Crinkle Bag decided for whatever reason - insanity springs to mind - to fold the empty bag over and over and over... It was more than our nerves could sustain compelling us to turn around and uttered loudly, "enough already!" which appeared to shock him into the realization that there were other people in the theatre.

As if this wasn't irritating enough and in spite of a notice on the screen to turn off  all cell phones before the movie started, the cell phone of his female accomplice sitting next to him rang. Rather than turn it off, she lifted it up to see the caller and allowed it to ring at least 3-4 times. Ignoring theatre patrons seated behind her who requested politely that she turn it off, she took her time texting a response, after which she finally turned it off. Not related but related, I've also attended funerals where cell phones were answered in addition to conversing with someone while the service was conducted.

As I asked: what happened to decorum?

I dunno. Read some articles in which producers et al complained that movie goers aren't going to theatres to watch movies as they once did. In my eyes - and ears - it's less stressful to watch movies on TV and settle for microwaved popcorn, and where answering a cell phone won't interfere with someone's night out at the movies. Not.

No comments: