Saturday, June 26, 2010

Movie Talkers

WARNING: The following blog entry contains MINOR spoilers for the movie Knight and Day. I mainly reference moments shown in the previews and DO NOT comment on specific plot points.

I HATE people who talk during movies. Jackie and I recently made it out to see the new action, romantic-comedy Knight and Day and 5 min into the movie, the fire alarm goes off and we all have to vacate the theater. It actually only took about 30 min for them to clear and re-set the theater and turn what could have been a disaster into just an inconvenience. Now, it is saying something that I almost wish we had not been let back into the theater. This is not a comment on the movie. I think Knight and Day may well be a very good movie, but I couldn't tell because the couple directly behind me WOULD NOT SHUT UP!!!

It all started during our second run through the previews. Having already seen these exact trailers, the couple (who seemed to be on their third-ish date) decided to break the tension by joking about and narrating all 6 of these mini-movies. I let this go because it seemed ridiculous to demand silence for previews we had already seen and I fully expected them to tone in down once the movie began. I was wrong. In fact, I am not sure that I have ever been more wrong.

The woman was by far the more vocal of the two. During the 5 min of the movie we had already seen, I heard several "Oh, yeah"s and "Right"s as she felt the need to express to her date that she did, in fact, remember these moments from a whole 45 min ago. Through the rest of the movie, I must have heard "Oh, wow!" from this woman around 15 times (Jackie will say that I am underestimating this). It wasn't just what she said, it was when she said it. Now, Knight and Day is a spy type movie, and Mrs. Obvious would blurt out "Oh, wow!" when ... wait for it ... a spy type person would show up somewhere. This includes almost every time the Tom Cruse character, a very accomplished government operative, showed up somewhere (un)expectedly.

These comments paled in comparison to the number of inane and obvious comments that she made about the story progression in the movie. For instance, in the preview, you see Tom Cruse shoot a guy in the leg and then explain to him that he is going to be OK, it was a "through and through". During the movie, when Tom shoots the guy in the leg and then they show the wound, the woman behind me questions, "He shot him in the leg?" and then when Tom explains that he didn't hit any bone or major artery, Queen Of All That Is Obvious announces, "Oh, but he's gonna be alright." Or how about this gem? In the trailers, there is a scene where Tom takes out a plane full of people intent on harming him. So, sitting in the theater having watched Tom at his action hero best, we see Cameron Diaz exiting the lavatory having missed everything. As Cameron walks down the aisle, the genius behind me says, "Oh, they're all out and she doesn't know." WE SAW THEM ALL GET TAKEN OUT! And, of course she doesn't know, she was in the bathroom and ... THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT FUNNY!!!!!!!

Imagine that for 2 full hours and you have some idea of the hell I was in. Jackie and I did turn around a shush them early on in the movie. That worked ... for about 2 min. Then they were right back to stating the obvious and ruining my movie. We also looked into moving. We have done so before in other movies (I swear we attract these wackos). But, this was opening weekend of a big blockbuster, the only open seats were in the first two rows. Instead, we sat there and took it, not wanting to ruin the movie for anyone else around us. But, with every comment, I was pulled out of the movie and even when she wasn't commenting, I was sitting there wondering what obvious remark she might make next.

So, please don't talk at the movies. Don't let anyone you are with talk at the movies. Gare at and shush other people who talk at the movies. And, if you absolutely must talk during a movie, I have one word for you ... Netflix!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I HATE Misquotes. Don't get me wrong, I don't care if someone messes up a word or two here or there. But when the meaning of the quote is lost or even reversed, I get a little bothered. My two biggest pet peeves come from Shakespeare. Oddly, the two quotes that I am talking about are often stated word for word correctly, but the intention tends to get all jumbled up.

First is, "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" The only time I ever hear this quote (often in TV commercials) it is used as if to say, "Where is my Romeo?" This is overly simplistic and actually a little insulting to the true meaning of the quote. Instead of just asking where her man is, Juliet is actually asking why the man she loves has to be named Romeo (a name that belongs to her family's sworn enemy). This line, in fact, is followed closely by another famous line, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Famously, this speech is, however, given from a balcony which just adds to the myth that she is looking for Romeo from the high vantage point.

The second Shakespeare quote that gets correctly quoted, but misused is from Richard III. "Now is the winter of our discontent ..." Generally, this gets used in a situation in which people are feeling discontented. This is fairly understandable as it is stated by the villain of the play who is often discontented. However, the remainder of this quote is, "... made glorious summer by this son of York." Richard is actually publicly praising his brother for bringing the kingdom out of a state of discontent. So, "Winter" in this case means "end of".

Just for fun, here is one last pure misquote but, this time, from 1971. Dirty Harry never said, "Do you feel lucky punk?" Instead, he said, "... you've gotta ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?" This isn't a huge deal, but I just think that the actual quote is way cooler and it is interesting that so many people misuse this one in particular. In general, I have way less issues with this misquote because it is at least it is being used with the correct meaning. But, you better be feeling lucky if you misquote the meaning of a Shakespeare line in my presence.