Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Leaving Soon (from a theatre near you)

What is it with movie theatres these days? (Yeah, I’m talking to you, Galaxy.) I honestly didn’t expect to have a rant like this until I was well into my “old and crotchety” years but on this I feel I must speak out while I (and everyone else who’s even an occasional moviegoer) can still hear myself speak. This May long weekend, as a treat, I thought I’d take my eldest off to see the new “Iron Man” flick. Between the reviews, the trailers and both of us being like a “before and after” picture of geekdom it seemed like the perfect afternoon break for the pair of us, that is until the trailers started.

Now, I’m pretty sure most ad wizards out there get nervous when tasked with advertising an M. Night Shyamalan movie these days. Despite the man’s genius and genuine earnestness to tell a story he hasn’t had a decent hit since “the Sixth Sense”. But, for heaven’s sake, enough with the deafening base already. We get it. It’s scary. Boo. Now turn down the sound, you idle crow. Here’s tip #1 of today’s rant. Do you know why “The Sixth Sense” was a hit? It…was….quiet. Take it from a dad, nothing more nerve wracking to an adult movie audience than a pale little kid who only speaks in whispers. Screeching soundtracks, thundering base and quiet parts interrupted with high pitched screams are formulaic as advertising goes and done…to…death. Shyamalan, if you’re reading this, fire your advertising team. They’re not worth what you’re paying them.

As for the theatres themselves, really folks, use some common sense. If it’s an afternoon flick, chances are it’s going to be filled with those who’d prefer to keep their hearing intact. And don’t give me any argument about “But you feel like you’re really there!” Here’s tip #2, movie-boy, if I wanted to experience the A-stan, real or fictional, I’d be there. You’re not doing me any favours. In my past I’ve had an arty-round drop a little too close for comfort, thanks. I don’t care how much you crank the sound. It won’t compare and just ticks me off. Though the texture of the popcorn at the theatre and the dust I got to chew when the 105 shell dropped short do taste remarkably similar in texture and fake-buttery goodness. But I digress. In short, muffle it gentlemen. I’d like to keep my kid’s hearing intact for a few more years anyway.


Christopher said...

Too funny,

I remember the first movie Marcy and I went to see here in Geneva, it was the first time we left the boys with a sitter after they had gone to sleep. Michael was sleeping through the night so that tells you how long t had been since we went out.

We saw "The Lion and the witch etc." Both Marcy and I were having small anxiety attacks because it was way too loud. "It was going to wake the baby!"

B.A. said...


I know the feeling. I kept wanting to reach for a pair of ear defenders for Jack. Don't get me wrong, Iron Man is a fabulous movie (in hindsight maybe a little too old for Jack at this point)but the trailers were simply annoying and detracted from the whole experience. The sound was cranked twice as loud as the actual film.

Christopher said...

Hey Marcy just read something about
Shyamalan directing an Avatar movie. don't know if it would be live action or animè style but it could be cool?