Where’s the Popcorn?- an Essay

This is a radical shift from the somber post of yesterday. It just means my mood has lifted and I’m ready to face the world again with a smile. Granted this essay has been here for a long time (since its conception, actually) but it has never seen the light of the front page of this blog. Where Death Seen through the Looking Glass was serious, this one’s crazy, where the former was reflective, this one asked you to abandon the too restrictive bonds of overanalyzing life and have some fun. The movies are old but the scenarios aren’t. They still continue to occur until today. This is for those hardcore movie fans who knows going into a theater can be quite an experience.

Published in Indi Section, Cebu Daily News

Where’s the Popcorn?

Photo by One Drop

Watching movies in theatres sucks.

Given the experiences I had, I have every right to say this. Film viewing in Cebu is like walking into a film fan’s nightmare. There are snob ticket sellers, lax attendants and worse of all, a lousy audience. Given all these is enough to drive a movie fanatic away.

It’s a shock that I can still grace the halls of the local cinemas given the plethora of negative Kodak moments I had. To lift the feeling of pity from the reader who might think the author never had any worthy flick memories, I shall list three movies I had fun watching this year.

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone– my friend and I watched it on a Thursday so the audience totalled about twenty. My second time on watching it was unfortunately, on a Saturday. I felt like I had been plunged into a moshpit of
a punk concert and had to sit on my butt on the aisle lodged between sweating bodies.

2. Lord of the Rings:The Fellowship of the Ring– Movie audience totalled
about thirty and I watched it on a Friday. Everyone was quiet (I think they were all
Tolkien fans as well.) Plus, watching Orlando Bloom as the pretty elf Legolas was well worth it.

3. The Waterboy– I was really focused on watching this since I viewed it in its opening and I was the only one in the theatre (pathetic, huh?)

But these my friends are nothing compared to the movies I did not have fun watching. To spare you from delving into my life and examining every minute of my negative-film watching experience, I’ve prepared another list.

1. I decided to watch “Woman On Top” alone. When I gave my money to the ticket counter, the woman behind the glass looked behind me and asked, “Don’t you have a date?” What?! Can’t a person especially of the female gender not have a chaperone? What is this, the Dark Ages? Being on a solo flight to a movie or a mall doesn’t suck. It isn’t pathetic. There are times when you feel you don’t want a person breathing behind your neck. You’re confident to walk on your own, not conforming to the local norms and not hiding behind another’s shadow.

2. My friend begged me to watch Men In Black 2 (mind you, the first one
was waaay better) which I was vehement not to see again. By brute force, she shoved me into the space near the concession stand. As she turned back, I slipped past her. I went to get a refund for my ticket. The guard eyed me with suspicion.
“What’s the reason?” he asked.
With a straight face, I replied, “My brother got into an accident and broke
his leg. I gotta go help him.” (A total fabrication. Hey, it’s better than: “My brother
got kidnapped by U.F.Os and they’re gonna perform oral surgery on his bleep if I don’t go there.)

3. Don’t you just hate it when people come in late and block your sacred view? They shouldn’t be admitted at all. If you want to enjoy and watch the movie, then come on time. Don’t spoil it for others. If your circumstances don’t allow you then DON’T WATCH THE FILM! I remember enjoying a scene in the Oscar winning A Beautiful Mind (Hail Russell Crowe! Hail Ron Howard where light reflects and bounces on thy bald spot blind me to thy glory!) where John Nash Jr. is tortured by his private demons in his house when a long line of people suddenly blocked my view. I was suffocated by these myriad of bodies squeezing past in front of me. I tried to even get a small glimpse between their butts and miserably failed. “Excuse me,” they mumble. Well, you’re not excused.

4. In a movie scene where two characters are having a serious conversation in low tones, you’re supposed to be subdued and focused. Not when a couple next to you is playing twisters with their tongues and making those goddamn awful noises. This is a theatre for god’s sake not a motel. I had to find another seat before something lands on me by mistake.

5. I know this is gross but I’m going to include it anyway. My friends and I were watching Shallow Hal and there was this guy sitting three seats away from us. All of a sudden we heard him moan just as Gwyneth Paltrow came lumbering in her fat suit. It was dark so we couldn’t see what he was actually doing (note: the reader is free to imagine anything).

The Royal Tenenbaums is also worth mentioning. Another Paltrow flick, I was watching the actress’s character as a junior high kid in one flashback scene when my ears caught a prolonged satisfied shout at the back. What kind of fetish does these sickos have?

6. I think we’ve all gone through this quite common experience. I believe you’re supposed to be silent when you’re watching a movie. You can’t do this when somebody is yakking behind your back. What’s worse is if they’re a group. Usually their conversation is plain stupid and leaves nothing to be desired. I was fuming when I got “lucky” to have a couple of loud airheads behind my seat while watching A Walk To Remember.

“Oh may Gawd, Shane West is so cute. Sheht.”
“Eee! They’re sooow swheeet.”
Sheeeht. Ugh. Yech.

7. I was getting into the good part where Obi Wan Kenobi was duking it out with his light saber in Star Wars Episode 2: The Attack of the Clones when a horrible stench invaded my nostrils. A girl next to me had been eating candies and suddenly she threw up. I was spared the wet disgusting remains of her sludge (thank God) but the smell! I was literally suffocating. The theatre was packed so I couldn’t transfer. I had to put up with the rotten odor throughout the movie. I wished I had Darth Vader’s helmet then. My Star Wars experience was ruined by The Attack of the Barf.

See? These are the experiences I have to put with. If I wasn’t such a wuss, the bad quality of our audience would have been greatly diminished then movie watching would be bearable to the real film freaks. Here’s a list on how I would have coped with my bad experiences in chronological order.

1. I would eye the sales attendant with my own withering stare (think Robert deNiro eyeing his future son-in-law Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents). “So what if I don’t have a date?” I would have said, my voice laced with venom. “You’re also alone in your booth, you little girl!”

2. I’ve already coped with this one.

3. When people block my sacred view, I shove their asses off the chairs. Better yet, put wax on the floor so they’ll slide to oblivion and never come back.

4. Bring a flashlight and a video camera. When I see a couple making out,I’ll record their steamy section. They’ll have to thank me since I’ll send the tape to EXPOSED: How Far will They Go? Either that or the Discovery Channel: Art of the Uncontrollable Reproduction.

5.Same thing as no. 4. Only I’ll send it to the Funniest Home Videos with the caption: I was Cleaning It and It Went Off. Shame, shame. Spurt it out at the right moment, boy.

6. This one shoots up to the top of my hate list. I’ve fantasized fitting
punishments on these noisy people and I’ve come up with my list of favorites.
a.) scotchtape their mouths. b.) put cement solution on them so they’ll never
move. c.) just yell in a British accent like Professor Higgins in My Fair Lady, “How dare you insult the language of Milton and Shakespeare Why don’t you shut up, you f***, bleep,bleep!!”

d.) Do a Norman Bates (Psycho original by Alfred Hitchcock) on them and stab
them repeatedly with the famous murder-shower theme blaring.

7. Vomit on the girl.

Want more? Head to my Essay section.

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