In case you didn’t know, I like making lists. It’s how I seem to organize most of my life. This next list of items will only apply to a very small population of people because this list of annoyances are common problems that I see as an avid moviegoer. Going to the movies is a weekly pastime that is a necessity for my sanity. I take most films seriously because most are a physical art form intended to arouse emotions and imaginations of those who view them. Hundreds (if not thousands) pour a lot of time into producing just one film and to dismiss the art form as a whole would be a decline in our culture. Therefore, I have made a list of things that I would like to see happen in film to advance the integrity of what it was meant for.
- NO MORE GIMMICKS
I don’t care if they give out free things before the show or whatever, but during the show, leave it alone. I don’t want to go to Monty Python and the Holy Grail to hear people quoting the movie, I don’t need fake frogs to throw during Magnolia, and I certainly don’t want 3D. Yes, I hate 3D. It is unnecessary to wear glasses that make it seem like a superhero is reaching for your face in order for me to enjoy the film. I just want to sit in a silent environment and get enthralled by the story.
- EFFICIENT DINE-IN THEATERS
Being able to eat and order your drinks during a movie is great, but most of the time when you are in a heavily packed theater, it’s terrible. I would fathom to guess that 70% of patrons still don’t understand the concept even though a third grader could figure it out. Ordering during the movie is also disruptive. We have to hear you place your order, complain about the time it takes for the server to come by and get to see your food go right in front of us during what could be the most important scene in the movie. So could we please arrive early, order before the previews so that your food comes out just in time for the beginning of the movie? Thanks!
People have been attending movies for almost a hundred years and yet nobody knows how to act. I don’t need to hear where you think you saw that actor before and whom they may have impregnated. I also don’t need you to grace us with your texting habits, because unless you are a doctor on call, it can wait.
I stream. I stream Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, etc. on a regular basis, but I still go to the theater. It’s hard to complain when a theater is almost empty, but it’s showing that the younger generation will either wait for it to be streaming or just steal a movie. This is causing film industries to not take chances on films that don’t play it safe and generating their money into another Adam Sandler piece of shit just to see returns. It has been predicted by industry leaders that small theaters will be nonexistent in a few years even though boutique theaters are the ones that keep the charm of going to the movies. They show what the others won’t (NC-17, David Lynch, documentaries, etc.) and sometimes provide 35 mm experiences for classics that you can’t get on your TV. Going to the movies is an event that just can’t be replicated on the sofa.
If things keep going the way they are, only big box theaters will be around with bored teenage employees that don’t care about film. Nobody will get the experience of seeing their favorites or hidden gems on the big screen. Imagine if Tarantino only could’ve gone to the local AMC instead of the New Beverly. Even in LA, most of the little theaters are only running because of donations by people who care. I really want people to care about the failing industry and open their mind to great writing and hardworking artists that create films beyond Michael Bay’s imagination.
- THE MPAA
MPAA is the association that hands out a film’s movie rating based on the content. Now I’m not saying that we should do away with it completely because it is a good guide for families, but it has gotten out of hand. Giving an R rating to a documentary about bullying because kids are saying obscenities makes the movie inaccessible to the kids that need to see it. Also, I’ve heard worse things said in big studio productions, but they are paying the board’s salary.
Indies are the films that often get hurt the most by the MPAA. Historically, they get tougher restrictions than the big studios and their whole distributing plan is on the line. If a film receives an NC-17 (the death rating), big theater chains won’t show it and their advertising campaign goes down the drain in terms of monetary resources. The MPAA will suggest what to change to receive a desired rating. That’s right, a room full of regular people telling artists how to alter a film. This should not be happening. Of course, a rating doesn’t have to be accepted and a film could be released unrated, but that’s worse than an NC-17. Want to discuss freedom of speech and censorship, The Interview supporters? Maybe you should look into a more common form of film regulation. I suggest viewing a fabulous documentary called This Film Is Not Yet Rated.