MovieBob: Intermission: Oh, Behave!

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Oh, Behave!

MovieBob's 8 commandments for movie theater etiquette.

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Translation of all eight: Use Common Sense and Remember There Are Other People in the World Besides You (and Your Immediate Circle).

Shame that people have to be told that.

This is why I prefer sitting at the last row of seats in the back, so any voices that are being spoken in the theater are usually in front of me and emitted away from my position, so they aren't as audible. I honestly HATE those people who quote things MST3K-style during the film. WAIT UNTIL YOU PURCHASE THE MOVIE AND WATCH IT AT HOME.

Surprisingly, I've never seen anybody whip out a phone or drag their infant along. Though I can feel the pain on that one.

MovieBob:
Oh, Behave!

MovieBob's 8 commandments for movie theater etiquette.

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As a teacher: Hey, man, it pisses us off just as much that we're not allowed to teach them manners. In fact, I still try every day.

We just don't have them anymore. We're such an egotistical culture now. No one else has feelings that we should consider, and only the us-oriented consequences of our actions matter in the least.

We can't legislate empathy. Unfortunately.

1nfinite_Cros5:
I honestly HATE those people who quote things MST3K-style during the film. WAIT UNTIL YOU PURCHASE THE MOVIE AND WATCH IT AT HOME.

I'll note that this was not one of Bob's rules, and for good reason: sometimes the snark is the proper reaction to what's on film. Not always, but sometimes it is.

These rules are the exact reason the Alamo Draft House is THE best movie theater to ever grace this planet of ours. It's in Austin Texas they serve beer, don't have ads before the movie (besides trailers) and don't tolerate ANY shit. Unaccompanied minors aren't allowed and neither are any children under six years old. Talking, texting or otherwise being a dick? You are thrown out. No warning no refund just shown the door and given the management's best wishes that it doesn't hit you in the ass on your way out of it. There really should be more theaters like The Alamo Drafthouse.

Golden rule of Theater educate:

Don't be a dick!

I don't even text on my phone anyway.

MovieBob:
I've gone cross eyed

Oh, Behave!

You got something on your mind Bob?

a couple of caveats from a parent.

I can't afford a babysitter because i just moved to town and don't know any of the neighborhood teenagers willing to do it well enough to trust them with my child for any conceivable length of time. Pro sitters cost like $100 and a movie ticket for Captain America costs a tenth of that. Plus it was like three weeks after the movie had come out and it wasn't a 3D showing anyway. There were like 3 other people in the theater besides me. Rule 6 in this case does not apply. Also went in the middle of the afternoon when the baby was napping.

Rule 7 does not apply when it is a kid-centric/targeted movie. Although still not a great idea to let them role around and play on the floor.

ALSO YOU FORGOT THE GOLDEN RULE OF THE THEATER; BE QUIET!

"If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater." - Shepard Book.

Could not agree more with number 6, its right up there alongside babies on buses, babies on train, babies ON PLANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, babies in supermarkets, babies in retaurants, (parants and) babies visiting my flat..........fuck it, I hate babies.

Okay, I agree with Bob 100%. Hell must have frozen over : P

Seriously tho, the fact that Bob had to make this article saddens me. Why people have no respect for others is something that has always bothered me. I guess they just dont realize what they are doing is wrong? In that case... thank you Movie Bob. Spread the word.

I don't laugh at scary parts to be ironic or annoying. I laugh at scary or tense parts because it's my natural reaction to fear and stress. Which is why I have a MASSIVE fear of needles, but laugh when I get blood drawn or get vaccinated. But, that's why I don't go to scary movies. I know how I'd react, and I don't want to interfere with the enjoyment of others.

Only one I've broken there is rule #4, and that's because I misjudged it...

Definitely the most awkward moment I've ever had. I don't really like going to the cinema for pretty much that reason, it really sucks for comedies (communal laughing came close to ruining my experience of Scott Pilgrim).

No sorry incoming trailers and ads are prime for ribbing,ripping and mst2king, sorry the ads must go if I am to remain silent.

krellen:

1nfinite_Cros5:
I honestly HATE those people who quote things MST3K-style during the film. WAIT UNTIL YOU PURCHASE THE MOVIE AND WATCH IT AT HOME.

I'll note that this was not one of Bob's rules, and for good reason: sometimes the snark is the proper reaction to what's on film. Not always, but sometimes it is.

No it isn't. The only time it's acceptable is if you're at home.

If you make some snarky remark at a movie you think is bad, people might laugh. Or they might not. They also might become upset. Maybe they actually like the movie and you're ruining the experience for them; just because you think a movie is objectively bad doesn't mean someone else in the theater isn't enjoying it. Is it really worth it? (And if you say "yes," you're selfish.)

If you have some totally hilarious bit of snark you need to add to a movie, just remember it and post it on Facebook later.

Bob, I completely agree with you. I think though that UK film critic Mark Kermode covered these issues better in his Code of Conduct. In fact he even streamlined it and included some points you didn't (such as the kicking of seats. All included in this handy print out sheet. http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live/films/code_of_conduct.jpg Also, the issue of phones is why I love the ideals of the Alamo Drafthouse, if you talk, you leave, period. This is one of the issues I feel most strongly about and I get so annoyed when people talk during films. In fact, I think Book from Firefly said it best. People who talk in the cinema/theatre/whatever go to a special level of Hell alongside child molesters. Words of wisdom.

To address #6, some local theatres here had "Movies for Mommies", usually early afternoon matinees where parents were encouraged to bring their infant children. Because as my librarian colleagues can attest, one thing new mothers crave is to get the hell out of the house once in a while.

Not most trouble, but most often, the problem I have is with younger teenagers. They yell, talk, laugh kick the seat behind you etc. I still haven't found a solution which would be quick enough so I get to watch the rest of the movie.
I think the key is to intimidate, but I'm waiting for a movie that I find boring and won't be sorry to miss.

rayen020:
I can't afford a babysitter because i just moved to town and don't know any of the neighborhood teenagers willing to do it well enough to trust them with my child for any conceivable length of time. Pro sitters cost like $100 and a movie ticket for Captain America costs a tenth of that. Plus it was like three weeks after the movie had come out and it wasn't a 3D showing anyway. There were like 3 other people in the theater besides me. Rule 6 in this case does not apply. Also went in the middle of the afternoon when the baby was napping.

Ok, you're really nitpicking, how often do you move to a new town, have absolutley noone to watch the baby and you go to a showing where there's not a lot of people? You're really an exemption rather than the target of this rule.

But in genereal, unless you look at it from the point of view of others, then none of these rules apply, why not comment of the movie if you find it boring or silly, why not text while the movie is on, there's no other reason than that it bothers everybody else.

I'm sort of on the fence about the texting thing. I get that for the actual movie, you'd want to put your phone away. But for the previews, what if you are meeting with people who are wondering where you are at? They are trying to get to your theater or something? I think we can be allowed to text them locations or what's up or whatever. Especially if you turn the backlight down a lot.

Furthermore, what about emergency situations? Not emergencies for ME, but for other people who desire my advice or help? Like say there is a computer problem and their homework is due that same night. I think being allowed to step out and take a call is acceptable there.

I'm not saying phones are okay, but I think we should try to find a point of compromise for both sides here.

This list needs to be put on the wall next to the door to every movie theater ever.

Windu23:
I don't laugh at scary parts to be ironic or annoying. I laugh at scary or tense parts because it's my natural reaction to fear and stress. Which is why I have a MASSIVE fear of needles, but laugh when I get blood drawn or get vaccinated. But, that's why I don't go to scary movies. I know how I'd react, and I don't want to interfere with the enjoyment of others.

I react to laughter in bad scary movies due to questionable plot or really poorly done characters or, hell, a plot twist that is just god awful. Of course, if someone dies in a weird way, then I suppose I'll laugh at that too. A good scary movie, like say, Pandorum, will not make me laugh because it did a good job in being authentically scary all the way through.

rayen020:
a couple of caveats from a parent.

I can't afford a babysitter because i just moved to town and don't know any of the neighborhood teenagers willing to do it well enough to trust them with my child for any conceivable length of time. Pro sitters cost like $100 and a movie ticket for Captain America costs a tenth of that. Plus it was like three weeks after the movie had come out and it wasn't a 3D showing anyway. There were like 3 other people in the theater besides me. Rule 6 in this case does not apply. Also went in the middle of the afternoon when the baby was napping.

Rule 7 does not apply when it is a kid-centric/targeted movie. Although still not a great idea to let them role around and play on the floor.

ALSO YOU FORGOT THE GOLDEN RULE OF THE THEATER; BE QUIET!

Yeah, my daughter, as an infant, slept through X-Men 2. Didn't disturb a soul. I agree that the moment a child of any age shows an inability to not disturb the other theater-goers their parents should show some courtesy and remove them from the theater until they can, but that's not the same as a hard-and-fast "no babies" rule.

Also, I can imagine a situation where it would be reasonable to need to receive a phone call in a theater, but for Odin's sake, keep the phone on vibrate, sit near the aisle, and leave the theater before you answer. If it's important, it can interrupt the movie for you, but it shouldn't for anyone else. If you have a phone conversation in a theater while the movie is playing, you should fully expect to find yourself doused in 52 ounces of Mr. Pibb Xtra.

So, yeah. Courtesy.

Decent article, Bob. Pretty much just use common sense.

On a side note, Starship Troopers is getting a remake??? THAT'S FANTASTIC NEWS! AND it's being made by the guys that rescued X-Men?

I can't wait for this movie...

Actually, I've had it that the ushers will try and herd you out of the theater during the end credits. I hate that because I always sit through the end credits.

wooty:
Could not agree more with number 6, its right up there alongside babies on buses, babies on train, babies ON PLANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, babies in supermarkets, babies in retaurants, (parants and) babies visiting my flat..........fuck it, I hate babies.

I'v had it withe these MOTHER^%$#ING BABIES ON THIS MOTHER^%$#ING PLANE!!!

Personally, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and stick up for the guy texting. I know it's an unpopular stance to make, but it really needs to be said.

1. Honestly, the 'light pollution' isn't all that bad. Seriously, I have never been seriously bothered by the miniscule amount of light coming from a phone, even one sitting right beside me. Frankly, if your attention span is low enough that you absolutely cannot pay attention to the giant 20 foot (estimated) screen in front of you because of a few lumens coming from a 5" or smaller screen several feet away from you, that's a personal problem. Filter that crap out the way you filter out the exit signs.

2. Yes, it is sometimes important to be in communication with someone else during a movie. Emergencies happen. Or maybe you're just trying to find out where your friends are because you took separate cars to the movie and one of you was late.

3. Watching a movie, in a movie theater, is about the experience of watching a movie in public with other people. If you want an uninterrupted, distraction free environment, watch it at home. Seriously, complaining about other people in a theater is like complaining about drunken jerks at a sports stadium. Granted, movie theaters are a special case because of the strange release schedule that mandates that new movies not be available for home viewing, but waiting a couple months isn't all that difficult if it really bothers you THAT much. Again, most of the time, a little whispering or seat shuffling isn't all that much of a distraction.

Yes, there are things that truly bother everyone in a theater. A baby crying at the top of his/her lungs is a distraction that nobody can ignore, as is that jerk talking really loudly to his stockbroker. But some guy checking his email for a couple of seconds to make sure that the buzz he got wasn't a fire burning down his house or something really important isn't something to tar and feather anyone over.

Snooder:
Personally, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and stick up for the guy texting. I know it's an unpopular stance to make, but it really needs to be said.

1. Honestly, the 'light pollution' isn't all that bad. Seriously, I have never been seriously bothered by the miniscule amount of light coming from a phone, even one sitting right beside me. Frankly, if your attention span is low enough that you absolutely cannot pay attention to the giant 20 foot (estimated) screen in front of you because of a few lumens coming from a 5" or smaller screen several feet away from you, that's a personal problem. Filter that crap out the way you filter out the exit signs.

2. Yes, it is sometimes important to be in communication with someone else during a movie. Emergencies happen. Or maybe you're just trying to find out where your friends are because you took separate cars to the movie and one of you was late.

3. Watching a movie, in a movie theater, is about the experience of watching a movie in public with other people. If you want an uninterrupted, distraction free environment, watch it at home. Seriously, complaining about other people in a theater is like complaining about drunken jerks at a sports stadium. Granted, movie theaters are a special case because of the strange release schedule that mandates that new movies not be available for home viewing, but waiting a couple months isn't all that difficult if it really bothers you THAT much. Again, most of the time, a little whispering or seat shuffling isn't all that much of a distraction.

Yes, there are things that truly bother everyone in a theater. A baby crying at the top of his/her lungs is a distraction that nobody can ignore, as is that jerk talking really loudly to his stockbroker. But some guy checking his email for a couple of seconds to make sure that the buzz he got wasn't a fire burning down his house or something really important isn't something to tar and feather anyone over.

You're watching a movie. You're into it. Suddenly, a small point of light pops up in front of you somewhere. No matter how low the brightness setting is, this new light will make you divert your eyes away from the screen and toward this asshole's phone. I'm much more worried about your attention span if this isn't your natural reaction.

So, yes, it's distracting and annoying and there is absolutely no point to it. Unless you are actually a fire fighter,your first reaction to a text should not be "Oh, Jesus, WHAT IF MY HOUSE IS ON FIRE I BETTER CHECK IT!" It's almost always "Hey, what pages were we supposed to read for History."

The only people who defend this nonsense are the people who cannot go eight minutes without checking their facebook. Turn the damn phone off.

The Great JT:
This list needs to be put on the wall next to the door to every movie theater ever.

I used to be an usher and people would ignore the fuck out of that. We had signs on the fucking door and those retards could not understand "Let the ushers clean the goddamn theaters before you sit down." Then all of a sudden it was our fault because they missed the three signs entering the theater. Also I agree with the facebook comment about how the theater is not your garbage can. Those are five feet away when you go out the door. You carried your overpriced crap in, carry it out. [/rant]

This is the only list you need. Everyone in UK knows the Wittertainment Code of Conduct (by Kermode and Mayo).

image

Snooder:
Personally, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and stick up for the guy texting. I know it's an unpopular stance to make, but it really needs to be said.

1. Honestly, the 'light pollution' isn't all that bad. Seriously, I have never been seriously bothered by the miniscule amount of light coming from a phone, even one sitting right beside me. Frankly, if your attention span is low enough that you absolutely cannot pay attention to the giant 20 foot (estimated) screen in front of you because of a few lumens coming from a 5" or smaller screen several feet away from you, that's a personal problem. Filter that crap out the way you filter out the exit signs.

2. Yes, it is sometimes important to be in communication with someone else during a movie. Emergencies happen. Or maybe you're just trying to find out where your friends are because you took separate cars to the movie and one of you was late.

3. Watching a movie, in a movie theater, is about the experience of watching a movie in public with other people. If you want an uninterrupted, distraction free environment, watch it at home. Seriously, complaining about other people in a theater is like complaining about drunken jerks at a sports stadium. Granted, movie theaters are a special case because of the strange release schedule that mandates that new movies not be available for home viewing, but waiting a couple months isn't all that difficult if it really bothers you THAT much. Again, most of the time, a little whispering or seat shuffling isn't all that much of a distraction.

Yes, there are things that truly bother everyone in a theater. A baby crying at the top of his/her lungs is a distraction that nobody can ignore, as is that jerk talking really loudly to his stockbroker. But some guy checking his email for a couple of seconds to make sure that the buzz he got wasn't a fire burning down his house or something really important isn't something to tar and feather anyone over.

. . .and you can have the peace of mind of a fire free house and find out where your friends are right out in that big ole lobby where nobody is going to give a toss if you have your phone out or not. If you are checking your texts or emails inside a theater during a movie your an ass plain and simple and deserve to be removed from the theater immediately without a refund.

Personally if I get some asshat in front of me that wants to dick with his phone the first thing I do is make sure I'm not at The Alamo Drafthouse where he will be rightfully kicked out and given fuck all in the form of refund. But if I'm not I give a little tap on the back of the seat. Second time, a little harder tap. Third time I'm doing my damndest to kick the seat clear the fuck out from where it's screwed into the floor.

I feel this video from the Drafthouse is in order.

Snooder:
Personally, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and stick up for the guy texting. I know it's an unpopular stance to make, but it really needs to be said.

1. Honestly, the 'light pollution' isn't all that bad. Seriously, I have never been seriously bothered by the miniscule amount of light coming from a phone, even one sitting right beside me. Frankly, if your attention span is low enough that you absolutely cannot pay attention to the giant 20 foot (estimated) screen in front of you because of a few lumens coming from a 5" or smaller screen several feet away from you, that's a personal problem. Filter that crap out the way you filter out the exit signs.

2. Yes, it is sometimes important to be in communication with someone else during a movie. Emergencies happen. Or maybe you're just trying to find out where your friends are because you took separate cars to the movie and one of you was late.

3. Watching a movie, in a movie theater, is about the experience of watching a movie in public with other people. If you want an uninterrupted, distraction free environment, watch it at home. Seriously, complaining about other people in a theater is like complaining about drunken jerks at a sports stadium. Granted, movie theaters are a special case because of the strange release schedule that mandates that new movies not be available for home viewing, but waiting a couple months isn't all that difficult if it really bothers you THAT much. Again, most of the time, a little whispering or seat shuffling isn't all that much of a distraction.

Yes, there are things that truly bother everyone in a theater. A baby crying at the top of his/her lungs is a distraction that nobody can ignore, as is that jerk talking really loudly to his stockbroker. But some guy checking his email for a couple of seconds to make sure that the buzz he got wasn't a fire burning down his house or something really important isn't something to tar and feather anyone over.

Errr....I'm guessing that Bob is not referring to that potential buzzing text you get from someone. I believe he's adressing the people who can't bloody stop texting for two hours. The twitter and facebook addicts of today. The people who cross the street head bent looking into their cell phones that slam straight into you or get run over. Those poeple are the annoyance. You'd be able to filter them out like the exit signs if the position and intensity was constant, but it's not, it's waving around in the dark and the intensity changes everytime a finger passes over the screen. Your brain is hard-wired to pay attention to changing stimuli. These people are messing with your instincts and are distracting.

And I think Bob missed one very important rule that: You do not comment the movie as you pass by the people in line, especially if there's some suprise twist or whatever. That's just wrong.

There is nothing like going to a cinema and watching a film on a big screen with full booming surround sound, but frankly, if you fully want to become immersed in a film the only way is to watch it alone at home with the best setup you can afford. Going to the cinema is a social event, not an artistic one (though the films themselves can be, undoubtably) so I don't see anything wrong with reacting vocally to the film postiively or negatively during the actual film itself along with your buddies. That doesn't mean you should start having a conversation or start being constantly loud and annoying but there's nothing wrong with spontaneous reactions in themselves (just their content usually).

I mean, even when I'm watching a film with my flat-mates at uni, I know I would more fully enjoy the film on my own as they often make (or attempt to make) humourous remarks and pass commentary on scenes and characters, and they're all at some point on their phones texting etc. But that's ok (at least the former part is), because I'm not expecting them all to watch the film in dead silence with stern faces and take it all extremely seriously and I wouldn't want them to. I watch films with others for the social experience, for the sarcastic remarks and quips and emotional reactions, good or bad. It's simply another way to watch the film, not the most immersive way but nonetheless still enjoyable when with the right people. Again, that is not to say one should start having a conversation with one another or on your phone, one just needs to know how much and when is appropriate, not an easy task I wager (and not one my flat-mates always succeed at) but then life is a balancing act anyway.

Nonetheless I personally believe that when you do something, whether it be read a book, watch a film, play a video game or carry out any sort of job, your mind should be wholly on the task at hand and your concentatration total. No half-hearted, half-paying-attention crap, especially when experiencing something artistic. It's annoying to see people paying more attention to their phones and social lives rather than the film they should be watching, not only because their bright lights are distracting but that watching a film should be an escape from that whole world, a chance for you to sit back and not worry about who's saying what about who or who's doing what and where, or some other such nonsense. Focus on the here and now, don't let your mind wander and give the film your almost full attention. This more strongly applies in a cinema setting, where others, most complete strangers, have paid for their seats and viewing and so you should respect that and not be distracting or disturbing.

The timing for that column was so accurate for me. Let me tell you guys what happened this weekend: I went to see the Muppet movie with a friend on the last session (9 PM), and the place was pretty empty. But then, a group of about a dozen teenagers came in the room yelling and laughing. The instant they sat in their places I friggin knew they weren't going to shut up for the whole movie.

It was a nightmare. Seriously. They kept screaming and laughing and talking over the characters lines like a Mystery Science Theater 3000 without the funny. And every single time someone would call an employee to make them shut up, they would all be quiet or switch places, and make innocent faces and say "What? Me?! But I didn't do anything!!"

And it only became worse. When they realised that the movie employees weren't staying in the rom to make sure they wouldn't begin again, all hell broke loose. They got out of their chairs and began dancing the conga in front of the screen every time a musical number began (and it's a Muppet movie, there are a LOT of them). They started throwing rubber balls at the screen. I swear to God I'm not making this up.

And no matter how much we begged for an employee to stay there, they would just go tell the kids to shut up, the kids would make innocent faces, and the employee would leave.

I don't know why the hell these people find this kind of thing funny. What I do know is I had to control myself to not punch one of them in the throat.

And before you ask, I live in a really small town, this is the only theater in the entire city, I can't just start going to another one.

Moeez:
This is the only list you need.

Pffft. THIS is the only list you need!

Xanthious:

I feel this video from the Drafthouse is in order.

Do they use that as an advertisement? Because they should. If I were in Austin I'd go there.

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