Movie Etiquette

While seeing Apollo 11, I noticed plenty of bad movie etiquette. I feel that I should write about it rather than assume people understand how to behave, since clearly full grown adults have no idea.

Two couples in front of me were pointing at the screen and loudly describing their thoughts about the film, making sure that everyone understood how smart they were. Loudly pointing and talking at the screen to prove how much you know about the film is disrespectful, rude, and unnecessary. While you may think people genuinely care about your thoughts on the movie’s tonal direction most people are concerned with the movie itself. We all have emotional reactions. Laughing, a sudden gasp are more than reasonable. However, actively taking away attention from the film and attempting to put it on yourself is never okay. If you think people care more about you than the film they are trying to watch you have other issues. You have plenty of time after the movie is over to discuss your thoughts.

An adult next to me was checking Instagram while the movie was playing. Playing on your phone is something I would have expected from a child who is bored at his sister’s piano recital. Who knew grown-ups were capable of the same selfishness. Movies are roughly two hours long. If you cannot go two hours without checking your phone, then stay at home and twiddle your thumbs to your heart’s content. Emergencies are emergencies, and if you have one you should absolutely use your phone, just make sure to walk out of the theater. The bright light is incredibly distracting while trying to watch a film, and it is important to show consideration towards those who want to be in the movie theater. If you would rather check Instagram and Twitter, stay home.

Am I being mean, snobby, blunt, harsh, or all of the above? Yes. Do I care if I hurt your feelings? Not particularly. Being considerate in today’s world is a lost commodity, and a movie theater may seem like small potatoes. It is, but we have to start somewhere. Show some consideration towards others when enjoying yourself, and the experience will be better for you and everyone else around you.

The Death of Stalin & Watching Movies on Airplanes

Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin is biting and delirious, bringing out the narcissism in those who grab for power. A satirical game of thrones, it is at times less funny than it is ridiculous and absurd, but this movie works as it showcases what drives some of history’s fiercest men. Many will wonder if these men, who have killed and otherwise brutalized too many people to count are worth satirization. However, this movie works and even allows for laughter in some of its darker moments. Standouts are Jeffrey Tambor as Georgy Malenkov and the wonderful Steve Buscemi as Nikita Khrushchev. Tambor captures Malenkov’s desperate need to solidify himself as a leader, whilst Buscemi captures someone willing to be conniving in his own way. This is an excellent film, and while it lacks a certain energy at times, it is a winner from Iannuci, who builds on his success from Veep. 8.5/10

This movie was watched on an airplane, which is an interesting way to watch movies. I generally have trouble hearing the dialogue, as it times can be a bit quiet due to the noise surrounding the cabin. However, with the right film and an audible volume, it can definitely be a viable way to watch a film. That being said, movie theaters are the way movies are meant to be watched, and if you can that is still the best way to watch cinema.  It enhances your ability to view and critique the movie, as somethings work and do not work based on the size of the screen and the acoustics of the movie theater. My advice would be is is you are going to watch a movie on a plane pick one that focuses more on dialogue and less on violence (unless of course you want the violence to be reduced). Big screens and sweeping volumes enhance a movie more in a theater than does dialogue, and while any movie is better in theaters the lowest dip in quality will be with a dialogue focused movie rather than a action focused movie.