Last night Padawan, Master Plo Koon, and I went to see Rango, starring Johnny Depp, at our local favorite movie theater, the Alamo Drafthouse. For those of you who don't live in Texas, you are missing a fine experience for movie going.
The Alamo is a fine establishment dedicated to superior customer service. They make it extremely clear with sarcastic, biting, clever advertisements that you do not ruin someone else's movie experience. They have several rules which make it very difficult for you to ruin someone else's experience. My favorite one being absolutely no children under the age of six allowed, and anyone under eighteen must be with a parent or guardian.
Nothing ruins a trip to the movies faster than a child screaming and throwing a tantrum, or getting up to run around the theater because they don't want to sit still, and the parents are too lazy and/or stupid to teach their children how to behave in public. And giggly teenagers who do nothing but talk through the movie? No. You don't have to worry about that.
As for cell phone users? Not an issue at the Drafthouse.
"From this moment on, this auditorium is officially a NO TALKING ZONE. Keep your mouth shut and your cell phones silent, dark, and in your pockets. We don't want to be rude about this, but we will if we have to. NO TALKING. And for the record, texting and tweeting totally count as talking. If there's a table near you that is loud or disruptive, raise a flag and a manager will take care of the problem."
Or occasionally they'll use bits from movies.
Some people find these ads offensive or over kill or unnecessary. Some people even say it's like movie theater Nazi-ism. Those people, however, are stupid. I always love these bits, because it makes the point really obvious. Respect everyone else in the theater and don't be an ass because everybody paid for their experience.
I've been going to the Alamo with my family for years, and I've been going without them since I turned eighteen and became old enough to go without a parent or guardian. And in all of those years I had never seen anyone blatantly flout the rules of the Alamo Drafthouse during a movie.
Not until last night.
I had the unfortunate bad luck to be seated next to the only true asshole in the entire theater. This man was in the movie with his wife and three children. His well behaved children, I might point out. And while his wife was a snorter, that wasn't bothersome.
What bothered me was ten minutes into the movie I was distracted by a glowing cell phone screen suddenly appearing next to me. To my utter amazement, irritation, and horror the man pulled out his cell phone and started texting. And again. And again. And again and a-fucking-gain.
All fucking two hours.
He never stopped texting.
I have no idea who he was texting. I don't care. If you have a life that is so fucking important you can't pause it for two hours while you watch a movie with your wife and children in a public movie theater, then you have no business being in the movie theater. He was ruining my time because every five seconds I would hear buzz, buzz, buzzzzzzzz.
He didn't even have the damned decency to turn off the vibrate option.
I had no choice. I wrote on a flag, "The man to my left has been texting the entire time and it's annoying me." I put it up like I was ordering more food, and I sat back to relax. It just so happened when our waiter came by and read my complaint, the moron next to me had his phone up and was responding to a text. So the waiter saw for himself the complete rudeness.
"Sir, turn your cell phone off or leave the theater, please. You are disturbing the other patrons. If you take it out again you will need to leave."
The man nodded, flipped the phone closed, and put it in his pocket.
For all of five seconds.
As soon as our waiter had gone, he pulled it right back out and carried on his conversation.
What a fucking douche bag!
Unfortunately the movie ended ten minutes later and he wasn't kicked out. But he SHOULD have been.
I realize that there are a lot of people out there that go to average movie theaters and think, "Well, I'm paying to be here, so I can do what I want." This is precisely why I don't go to the mall to see a movie. Nobody enforces any kind of code of behavior. Talkers can talk, texters can text, tweeters can tweet and nobody will say anything. The thing is everybody paid to be there though, and everybody paid with the expectation of enjoying a movie. I didn't pay to be distracted by an asshole who wouldn't turn off his cell phone.
Am I alone in this, or do you guys feel the same way?
PS. Though it was impossible to fully appreciate the movie because I was distracted by Mr. Asshole, the movie itself was still funny. Despite thick Southern accents, I want to see it again. I especially loved Jake Rattlesnake. He was awesome. Also, I loved the opening scene. Poor lonely little lizard...It has an interesting combination of kiddie and adult humor that makes it fun for everyone to watch. Master Plo Koon as expressed interest in seeing it again as well. Maybe we will. I know I missed a few things the first time through.