Monday, March 9, 2009

Cinematic Misdemeanours

Since there's been a recent barrage of blog posts which are mainly complaints about cinemagoers behaving badly, like so, I thought I'd join in and relate some bad experiences of my own. Here goes:

1. This guy behind me kept kicking the back of my seat. It always happens that the seat-kickers are always folks who are way shorter than me. And there I am usually with my legs not touching the seat in front of me. So it always gets me wondering how they are able to sit in such a way that their knees push, and hard, against the back of my seat. And so, I turned around and told him: "Dude, please stop kicking the back of my chair."

His reply? "But I wasn't doing it on purpose!"

"Whether it was on purpose or not, you were doing it. So, please be more careful and stop it."

2. Just the other day, a group of young people sat in the row behind me. The one right behind me, again, had her knees against the back of my seat. And she was one fidgety person; she shifted in her seat every few minutes. And when she did so, my seat would also be vibrating. I turned around and told her: "Please stop kicking my seat." Fortunately she was intelligent enough to understand what I said and did stop.

3. Two girls, in their 20s, seated next to me,were yakking non-stop throughout the movie, commenting on every single thing, verbally describing what was happening on screen, which really confounded me, because if you could see what was happening on screen, why would you need to describe (I don't know to who) what is happening? I turned to the one next to me and said "Look, do you mind?!" She looked at me like I was a retard, then duly continued yakking with her friend. With a loud, angry remark, I got up and moved two rows to the front.

4. Guy's mobile phone rings and he answers it, talking loudly. I turn to him, tell him: "If you want to talk on your phone, please do it outside!" Surprise, surprise, he actually gets up and goes out the hall.

5. During Spirited Away, again two girls were yakking away, this time a row behind me. So you can imagine how loud they were. It reached a point when I couldn't take it anymore, turned around, stretched out my arm and waved it at them, and told them: "Could you shut up?!" Guess what, they didn't. What else could I do? So the entire movie experience was ruined.

6. During CJ7, a couple next to me were talking loudly and non-stop. Big mistake for them because I'm a huge Stephen Chow fan. I kept my cool, and did my best to ignore them. But the last straw was when the guy's mobile phone went off ... and he answered it. It was all a blur after that, but I think what I basically did was hit the guy on the shoulder real hard and told him to shut up. I think he was shocked, as I was at my own behaviour. He and his girlfriend were then quiet as mice for the rest of the movie. I don't recommend this to anyone, really. On hindsight, I think I could have been killed or maimed. For a movie? Not worth it.

7. I was watching a Star Trek movie (forget which one). And this kid in the back started to throw a noisy tantrum. I thought it would eventually stop, but the kid just kept on going like the Energiser Bunny. Now, it's not the kid's fault, of course. Kids are kids. But the adult should know better than to bring a kid to a Star Trek movie. And it's the adult's responsibility to make sure the kid behaves. So I turned around and shouted: "Could you please shut the kid up!!!" (I'm always polite.) The father uttered a little "Sorry" and carried the kid out the back exit. I'm pretty sure most of the other patrons secretly thanked me.

8. It's never the kid's fault. And so, I was watching Spider-Man 3, and there were this guy, his wife, and his mother seated a few seats to my right. Behind them were this huge family with I forget how many kids. Halfway through the film, I noticed some commotion to my right. It seemed the kid behind the guy kicked his chair, and the guy (stupid idiot) turned around and grabbed the kid's collar, threatening him. The kid's father then went up and shouted at the guy. After some heated exchanges of words, the father apologised to everyone in the cinema for the commotion, then turned to the guy and told him: "I'll settle this with you after the show!"

Sure enough, after the movie was over and the lights came up, the father went over and continued to harangue that guy. I didn't want to get involved although I was so near, because:

a. Guy's dumb to threaten the kid. He's just a little boy. Pick someone your own size. And it's never the kid's fault.

b. The father overreacted. What, did he expect the guy, who looks like a complete geek, would hit his kid?

So I just sat back and watched the after-show. It went on and on, when clearly the two guys weren't going to hit each other. Then the verbal attacks continued outside the hall, into the corridors, and out into the foyer. It was extremely stupid. And the worst of it, the ushers took the side of the father when they should be trying to calm both parties and defuse the situation (which wasn't going to blow up anytime, anyway). Of course, nothing came out of it, both parties went home.

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