Why the Movie Theater Experience Sucks Now

Since I live in a small town, there's rarely anything to do past 9pm other than see a movie. That being said, I've seen most major (and minor) films that have been in theaters. You would think that this love for cinema would inspire a post about the greatest actors of our time or something about the philosophical gravity that Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel had on me. Nope, today we're going to talk about how and why the movie experience has sucked over the last five years and what I plan on doing about it (writing a snarky article where I offer no solution).

When you go and sit down to enjoy your movie, there are certain "obstacles" you have to sit through before getting to the best part. First, there are the theater's commercials, which are on a looping feed until the movie starts. Then there are more commercials, most of which you just watched, only now you can re-appreciate them in a dimmed setting. Then those are always followed by the bane of my existence: the cell phone ad.

Last time I checked my watch, it was 2010, which means that everyone born after 1994 learned to text around grade 4. We're all used to having cell phones now, which means that we're used to the responsibilities that come with them, including turning them off when we're at a movie—we don't need to be reminded. But for some reason the cell phone companies think that we forget how to use this numbered brick as soon as the lights go down, so they show us a 30-second commercial reminder that tells us to be considerate and turn down our phones. Listen, phone companies: don't try to disguise your commercial as a public service ad, especially by baiting us with the exact thing we aren't supposed to be using. I don't go to a Broadway show to have the actors try to sell me an awesome camera before telling me "no cameras allowed."

After sitting through the slew of commercials, we are treated to the trailers, where the best parts of various movies are revealed in the hopes that we turn around and say, "Woah, sweet, I can't wait to see that" to the people sitting within yelling distance. The problem is that some of the movies coming out aren't particularly funny or even entertaining. But if that was hinted in the trailer then the movie would flop harder than an Italian soccer player. So instead, we're shown trailers that contain not only major spoilers, but in some cases give away the funniest jokes of the movie. Take Death at a Funeral for example: it was a funny movie but most of the jokes were crammed into the trailer. When you see a joke, it doesn't get funnier after six months; that's not how comedy works.

Not to mention that most movies coming out now are in 3D, which I have mixed feelings about. Sure, Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon use 3D in a sublime and effective way to make you feel more connected to the movie, but Step Up 3D? Really? I guess this will be great for Nike, who can now literally kick us in the face with their shoes. And guess what? The general audience has caught on to this 3D thing. We know it's not a phase so we aren't going to be giving those glasses back after the show; those are going straight into my glovebox. I paid $12 for the movie so I'm keeping a souvenir. Plus, that way I don't need another pair when I go see Jackass 3D.

Jackass 3D movie poster



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Death At A Funeral was an unfunny rip-off of an actually funny movie. In order for it to be funny, it has to have funny people in it.

I can deal with the trailers, but the commercials are just ridiculous - we all have TV for that.

I cannot disagree with your bit about cell phones any more strongly. I dislike being a consumer in general, but that is part of going to the movie theater. Advertisements are basically a part of our daily lives and I would love it if they didn't bombard individuals with advertisements while you just paid to see something, I don't love it when people flip open their cell phone every 15 minutes to see if someone has text messaged them. This happens frequently and it's just as annoying as people speaking during a movie. I almost wish cell phones were banned from movie theaters, and if you were caught with one in the theater it would be destroyed.
You left out the portion of what you intend to do about these horrible movie viewing conditions. But you are in luck, I've already devised a solution of my own and use it daily. A projector for your home. I have a 150 inch projection screen in my basement with quality surround sound. There are no advertisements, there is no cell phone punks with no life, and there isn't anyone kicking the back of my seat.
I generally don't go to movie theaters. But when I do, here is the trick I use that you can too. Arrive late. It's that simple. You don't have to sit through 10 minutes of advertisements at the start, you don't even have to watch previews. You don't even have to arrive late, you can just sit in the lobby a few minutes before it begins and look inside of the theater to discover if the actual movie has begun. Nobody is forcing you to sit in your chair. So I'd walk into the theater exactly when the movie says it will begin, not 15 minutes early, and if the movie hasn't actually began, I'd sit outside the door for a few minutes.
If you see someone whipping out their cell phone during the movie, do everyone a favor and smash the cell phone with a baseball bat right out of their hands, be sure to break a few of their fingers in the process.

Why pay $10+ for each ticket and watch the movie once, when you can buy the dvd for $15 and own it for life. Hell, half the time the dvd comes out only a month or 2 after the movie goes into theaters anyways. Or you can buy a bootleg on the streets the same day it goes into theaters for $2 or 3 bucks...

I couldn't agree more with your bit on movie trailers. I am a movie critic for a site called lazyreviewzzz.com, and aside from the fact that most movies today are more painful to watch than a child receiving an enema from a tweaking squirrel, it is the trailers that really get to me.
We did a video on our site about this exact same issue, and I have resolved that I will try my darndest to stay away from trailers at all costs. If that means closing my eyes and ears while singing "la la la" as the trailers come on screen, so be it!

I disagree about the cell phone reminders/ads. Some people are idiots. They have to be reminded to turn off their damn cell phone.

You obviously know very little about football, or as you call it, soccer. Italian players are some of the most talented players in the world.

FALSE. Falling down doesnt make you good.

I live in Europe, and I watch soccer regularly. Italian players are talented, that's true, but they don't play like men should, they play like little girls, always pretending they have been tripped, agonizing on the ground, faking injuries, acting to get a penalty kick...

Of course, not only Italians do it. Unfortunately, it's quite normal to act like that in any country. Italians just do it slightly more annoyingly. And the real problem is that in soccer there is only one referee on the whole field, and he cannot review anything on video, so these actors can easily ruin the whole match.

That's why I prefer the NFL.

i know for a fact that you don't just keep the glasses in your glove box, you poke out the polarized bit and wear them to look smarter for the ladies.

haha I only pay 4 bucks to get into the movies, and that's for the coke i drink while watching the movie. It's not what you know, it's WHO you know.