PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

News

Trust me, you're not Henry Kissinger

Barry Koltnow
The Orange County Register (MCT)

Road rage gets all the headlines, but I wonder why we don't hear more about movie rage?

I'm not trying to equate the two. I know that it's a lot more serious when someone cuts you off in traffic than when someone kicks the back of your seat in a movie theater, but that doesn't lessen the annoyance factor. Having someone waste two hours of my life by ruining a movie-going experience has to be worth something.

I am reminded of annoying things that happen in movie theaters each time I sit in a movie theater, but the subject really hit home the other day when I received the results of a very interesting online survey.

Conducted by a Los Angeles-based marketing company called Pet Peeves on its Web site of the same name, the survey concluded that "talking in the movies" is the most annoying thing that can happen in a movie theater.

Of the nearly 1,800 people who responded to the survey, 35 percent cited talking as their biggest pet peeve.

I have no problem with that finding. I am constantly amazed when people treat a public theater as if it's their private living room. I can't tell you how many times I feel like screaming: "You're not home!"

In descending order, the survey respondents listed "kicking your chair from behind" (27 percent), "price of theater snacks" (25 percent), "people walking into a theater late" (7 percent) and "having to sit in the front row" (6 percent).

All worthy annoyances, I must say.

The only fault I found in the survey is that the researchers only offered those five options. There are so many other annoyances that could have been included.

For instance, what about the commercials?

I believe that commercials are the worst thing to be added to the movie-going experience since sticky floors.

Theater owners will insist that they had to go with commercials to offset the money they lose on tickets prices because the studios take so high a percentage. Wasn't that the same lame excuse they gave to explain the exorbitant concession prices? They keep piling on the commercials, and the cost of popcorn keeps going up.

I read somewhere that theater owners conducted a survey of their own, and discovered that people actually liked the commercials. This is the same survey that found that people were willing to have bamboo shoots shoved up their fingernails if it meant that they could get a free upgrade in the size of their soft drink.

Since no one surveyed me, allow me to offer my own conclusion: I hate the commercials, and will go out of my way to arrive late so I miss them. In fact, allow me to suggest that movie ads be required to list the starting time of the commercials, as well as the real starting time of the movies. Theater owners shouldn't be afraid to do that if they really believe that people enjoy the commercials.

Not all my hostility is directed toward theater owners. I have plenty left over for annoying theater patrons.

Besides the annoyances mentioned in the online survey, I would like to add cell phones.

I have nothing against cell phones. They are a modern convenience, and modern conveniences can be a good thing, even to a dinosaur like me.

But I object to their inclusion in the movie-going experience. I don't like looking over a sea of flickering lights before the film starts. With the advent of stadium seating, it's even worse.

People love to check their cell phones for messages as soon as they sit down. Didn't they just check their messages in the lobby? Didn't they also check while walking from their car? Didn't they check when they were parking their car?

I've got news for those people: You're not that important. Nobody is desperate to reach you to operate on a dying patient, to negotiate a truce in the Middle East or to bail Paris Hilton out of jail.

Some people like to play video games on their cell phones before the movie starts. I approve only if it is meant as a protest against the commercials. But they must be turned off during movie previews. And it should be a law - punishable by death or being thrown out of the theater - that people must turn off their cell phones during the feature attraction. Checking your cell phone in the middle of a movie is just as annoying as talking.

Finally, a few words about hard-candy wrappers.

Yes, I understand that some people suffer from a condition called "dry mouth in the movies."

But if you know you are afflicted with this condition, why don't you unwrap your candy before the movie starts, instead of waiting until the first line of dialogue to begin your crinkling explosion?

See you at the movies.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Jefferson Starship Soar Again with 'Mother of the Sun'

Rock goddess Cathy Richardson speaks out about honoring the legacy of Paul Kantner, songwriting with Grace Slick for the Jefferson Starship's new album, and rocking the vote to dump Trump.

Books

Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll (excerpt)

Ikette Claudia Lennear, rumored to be the inspiration for Mick Jagger's "Brown Sugar", often felt disconnect between her identity as an African American woman and her engagement with rock. Enjoy this excerpt of cultural anthropologist Maureen Mahon's Black Diamond Queens, courtesy of Duke University Press.

Maureen Mahon
Music

Ane Brun's 'After the Great Storm' Features Some of Her Best Songs

The irresolution and unease that pervade Ane Brun's After the Great Storm perfectly mirror the anxiety and social isolation that have engulfed this post-pandemic era.

Music

'Long Hot Summers' Is a Lavish, Long-Overdue Boxed Set from the Style Council

Paul Weller's misunderstood, underappreciated '80s soul-pop outfit the Style Council are the subject of a multi-disc collection that's perfect for the uninitiated and a great nostalgia trip for those who heard it all the first time.

Music

ABBA's 'Super Trouper' at 40

ABBA's winning – if slightly uneven – seventh album Super Trouper is reissued on 45rpm vinyl for its birthday.

Music

The Mountain Goats Find New Sonic Inspiration on 'Getting Into Knives'

John Darnielle explores new sounds on his 19th studio album as the Mountain Goats—and creates his best record in years with Getting Into Knives.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 60-41

PopMatters' coverage of the 2000s' best recordings continues with selections spanning Swedish progressive metal to minimalist electrosoul.

Books

Is Carl Neville's 'Eminent Domain' Worth the Effort?

In Carl Neville's latest novel, Eminent Domain, he creates complexities and then shatters them into tiny narrative bits arrayed along a non-linear timeline.

Film

Horrors in the Closet: Horrifying Heteronormative Scapegoating

The artificial connection between homosexuality and communism created the popular myth of evil and undetectable gay subversives living inside 1950s American society. Film both reflected and refracted the homophobia.

Music

Johnny Nash Refused to Remember His Place

Johnny Nash, part rock era crooner, part Motown, and part reggae, was too polite for the more militant wing of the Civil Rights movement, but he also suffered at the hands of a racist music industry that wouldn't market him as a Black heartthrob. Through it all he was himself, as he continuously refused to "remember his place".

Music

John Hollenbeck Completes a Trilogy with 'Songs You Like a Lot'

The third (and final?) collaboration between a brilliant jazz composer/arranger, the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, vocalists Kate McGarry and Theo Bleckman, and the post-1950 American pop song. So great that it shivers with joy.

Music

The Return of the Rentals After Six Years Away

The Rentals release a space-themed album, Q36, with one absolute gem of a song.

Music

Matthew Murphy's Post-Wombats Project Sounds a Lot Like the Wombats (And It's a Good Thing)

While UK anxiety-pop auteurs the Wombats are currently hibernating, frontman Matthew "Murph" Murphy goes it alone with a new band, a mess of deprecating new earworms, and revived energy.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 80-61

In this next segment of PopMatters' look back on the music of the 2000s, we examine works by British electronic pioneers, Americana legends, and Armenian metal provocateurs.

Music

In the Tempest's Eye: An Interview with Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood's 2010 debut put them on the map, but their critical sizzle soon faded. After a 2017 comeback of sorts, the group's new record finds them expanding their sonic by revisiting their hometown with a surprising degree of reverence.

Music

Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.

Books

Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.

Music

'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.