Sunday, 18 May 2014

Wednesday Whine | Top ten cinema hates

As you may know I'm a huge fan of cinema and with my Cineworld Unlimited card (first talked about in my Top 5 Films of 2014 (so far) post). I go to the pictures at least two to three times a week. Some weeks it feels like I spend more time at my local Cineworld that I do at home so it's no surprise that after three years I've built up quite a list of things that actually really bug me about going to the cinema! Read on to find out more... 


10. 3D glasses

A lot of films are made and/or released in 3D these days and whilst some films really do benefit from the technology (Dredd for example) there are others where it just falls flat. I can take or leave 3D but the thing that annoys me most about it is the glasses. I'm not talking about how dorky I might look in them, I'm talking about how as someone who already wears specs it is bloody difficult to keep them on my face! I don't mind wearing prescription glasses but I have a very short nose and it is near impossible to balance the 3D glasses and my usual ones on my nose. Sometimes they just fall off altogether mid-film. I often end up holding them in place which isn't a very comfortable position in which to watch a film.

9. People in the wrong place

Despite really obvious signage above each theatre/screen door there are still people who wander into the wrong screen. They don't just do it before a film, oh no; I've seen people wander in mid-film, take a seat and stay for ten minutes before realising they're watching the end of 12 Years a Slave instead of the trailers before Last Vegas. I'm not sure if it's embarrassment that keeps them there so long or just lack of awareness. Of course it's very distracting and I end up watching the people who've wandered in as opposed to the film so I end up missing important plot developments. Linked to this is people who are just in the wrong seats. The lights in my local cinema aren't dimmed until the film starts but there are still people who don't seem to know the alphabet. Each row is clearly labelled but I've still had to ask people to move from row A whose seats are in row F! Only once has anyone complained about me asking them to move and that was when I went to see Metallica Through the Never. I'm pretty sure that lady was drunk though...

8. People who bang doors

This one probably doesn't upset anyone other than me but when people pop to the loo mid-film they always seem to bang the doors. If I have to leave I hold the door handle so that it gently closes but nobody else seems to be as thoughtful (even my Cinema Buddy, you know who you are!) Another bug bear is when the staff come into the auditorium towards the end of the film with their black bag to clean up and they bang the doors too. The film has never quite finished so they stand there watching the audience which also distracts me.

 7. Parents taking children to inappropriate films
Source: BBFC

I'm going to partially blame the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) for this one for introducing the 12A rating. Prior to this it was simply a 12 rating which meant nobody under the age of 12 could see the film full stop. Now anyone under the age of 12 can see a 12A film as long as an adult takes them. In the case of films like The Hobbit or Captain America this doesn't seem like such a big deal but there are a lot of films that just aren't suitable in content or tone for young children. This doesn't stop some parents taking them though. I'm unsure if it's because the children want to see the film or the adults do and they can't find a babysitter! The BBFC guidance on a 12A film states:

The BBFC considers the content of 12A rated films to be suitable for children aged 12 and over, and we would not recommend taking very young children to see them. Works classified at these categories may upset children under 12 or contain material which many parents will find unsuitable for them.

Unfortunately it's unlikely that parents can afford to watch a film first then decide if it's suitable! I've seen lots of 12A certificate films with frequent and strong sexual references, gory moments, depiction of suicide, minor drug use and my favourite - very strong language. Call me old-fashioned but I personally don't think that young children should be taken to films that contain the word f*ck. I've seem so many films that are littered with swear words and looked around to see children as young as 4 sitting watching them. It makes me uncomfortable. I could go on as I have tons of specific examples but let's just leave it at that because this is only number 7...!

6. People who giggle at sex scenes

It's usually teenagers. Enough said.

5. People who are unruly

Again, it's usually teenagers. Some young people seem unable to just sit still. I've actually been in an auditorium when some kids decided to steal and throw their friend's shoes around. It's very distracting and these people just need to grow the hell up.

4. People kicking the back of your seat

Anyone whose ever flown can probably relate to this one. I don't mean when someone accidentally knocks your seat whilst passing, I mean people who do it continuously throughout the film. I don't know if they're stretching their legs and don't realise that the chairs aren't made of concrete but regardless of reasoning it's bloody annoying!

3. Rustling packets

Be it popcorn, pick and mix, nachos or family sized packets of M&Ms, it seems that cinema chains still haven't introduced snacks that are inaudible. I think most people try to munch as quietly as possible but there are some people who rock up with their Asda bag full of crap and sit and munch and slurp their way through as many noisy snacks as they can in 90 minutes! What's worse is the people who only seem to want to shove things in their mouth during every lull in the film's volume or during every poignant scene. Some films are made for munching - big Hollywood blockbusters full of CGI explosions, gun battles and fight scenes! Nobody is going to hear you rustling your popcorn bag over all that, but other films are just not suited to having people eat an entire packed lunch. Films like 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club and Locke all rely on dialogue and the poignancy of what you're seeing or hearing to be fully appreciated. If you can't hear what's happening on screen because some oaf can't eat his nachos quietly it can be really off putting and downright rage inducing!

2. Loud talkers

Loud talkers are split into two distinct categories: The "running commentary givers" and the "question askers". Firstly there are those who feel it necessary to give a running commentary. To illustrate this I'll tell you a story: I was sitting in front of two elderly ladies whilst watching Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit earlier this year. They yapped through the trailers which is something I can just about forgive as I'd seen them all a hundred times already (although other people seemed to be glaring at them) but I thought they would settle as soon as the film started. I was wrong. The film opens with Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) lying on a bench with his head propped up on a book. "Oooh look, he's using a book as a pillow, that can't be comfortable!" I turned around and stared at them but they were oblivious. Fifteen minutes in and they were still at it "I knew he was a baddie?!" "that looks painful" "his wife is pretty!" People in front of us were turning around to see who was speaking. In the end I actually told them to shut up. I wasn't nice about it, I was actually really very rude but I was irate by this point. I was a hero though! The gratitude on people's faces was apparent. Their silence lasted until about 15 minutes before the film ended when they started up again. I just don't think they could handle the suspense and excitement of the film. These two ladies are an extreme example of "running commentary givers" but I'll never forget how much they made my blood boil.

The second of the loud talking types are the "question askers" - they can't understand what's happening so they ask the people they're with, very loudly. "Who's he?" "hang on, wasn't he with her a minute ago?" "so, is he the murderer or not?" and my personal recent favourite (said numerous times as people clocked on) "wasn't he McLovin in Superbad?!" If people can't follow the plot they should Google it afterwards, not let the rest of us hear how stupid you are. They are not at home in their front room, they are in a room with numerous strangers who all want to sit and enjoy a film without hearing people loud whisper. If someone can't sit in silence for 120 minute then they might not be suited to a cinema environment. Wait for it to come out on DVD! I want to stress I'm not talking about children who talk during films aimed at children - if you're watching a Disney film at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon then this kind of thing is to be expected. It's why I don't watch Disney films at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon!

1. Mobile phones

When I was researching this post I asked people on my Facebook page and on the Cineworld Facebook page for their cinema related pet peeves and it didn't surprise me one bit that this came out on top. It has been a constant annoyance and one that seems incapable of dying anytime soon. I don't mind when people use their phones before the film - the lights are on and it doesn't cause a distraction but as soon as a film starts it should be in a bag or pocket and turned off (or on silent mode at least!) There is no need to have a phone in your hand. People don't need to check their texts, to text people during the film or to read their Facebook feed! If someone can't spend a couple of hours without looking at their phone then they are incompatible with cinema going and should stay away!
When someone whips their phone out to Whatsapp message their friends in the middle of Need For Speed it illuminates their face, the faces of the people around them and the whole auditorium in general. It is distracting. It is rude. It is wrong. If someone is expecting a call or text (perhaps they're waiting to hear if someone has had a baby or if they have to go into work tonight) and it's so important that they can't wait 90 minutes then they shouldn't go to the cinema in the first place. If their everyday life is so awesome that they can't be cut off from it then they should stay at home - nobody is forcing them to watch a film against their will! There is nothing anyone can say or any scenario that anyone can describe to me that will make me think it is ever OK to use your mobile phone (or even check it!) in the middle of a film. If you're reading this and think you can offer such a scenario then you are wrong, but feel free to try ;-)

It might seem like all of this is enough to put someone off the cinema altogether, but luckily these things happen very infrequently these days because I go to showings that start after 9pm. This reduces the number of people who are around to commit the aforementioned crimes against cinema! I'm sure you'll have noticed some if not all of these things from time to time and if so let me know in the comments below. If you think I've been a bit harsh then you're probably right, but that's the point in a list like this - it's a form of catharsis!

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  1. Love this list and totally agree with all of them! I hate people on their phones - always give them a loud cough! :)

    Jasmin Charlotte

    1. I wish that worked for me - people seem oblivious! I've seen people FaceTime someone in the middle of a film o_O

  2. Laughed at this - all of them are totally relateable hahah

    1. Some of them are getting worse. Since writing this people have started kicking the back of my seat more often - perhaps they read this post and were offended, hehe ;-)

  3. I absolutely loved reading this post - totally agree! I love going to the cinema but I can't stand rustling haha! xx

  4. LOVE THIS! I have a Cineworld card too, I had one for the 5 years I lived in London and I don't think I could have actually relocated to the North East if there hadn't been a Cineworld here too for me to carry on my film addiction.

    Can't stand 3D films, I tried a few and realised very quickly that it's not for me. I purposely look up only the 2D viewings, I refuse to watch 3D...GRRRRRRRRR!

    I have walked into the wrong film before, but it was many years ago so don't judge :p I think we thought we were seeing Down With Love but ended up in Finding Nemo, or something like that .. don't ask me how?!

    I can't stand talking in films, it winds me up so much ... I will always do a vey loud SHOOOOSH! I just can't tolerate it!

    And yes mobiles ...GAHHH! They don't even have the courtesy to turn the brightness down, they shine it out full beam?! And who the hell pays money to go and see a film and then sits on their mobile! Stupid stupid people!

    There! If you ever need a "perfectly behaved" cinema buddy you know where to come :D

    Chloe x

    1. You must be a regular at Boldon too then Chloe? Give me a wave if you see me and we can rid the cinema of all the "bad people" hehe x


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