Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Show business

Don't ask me what the title mean, I have absolutely no idea myself!

I recently caught the show "Shrek 2" at my favourite cinema with my favourite movie kakis. It has been a long time since I watched a movie in a cinema (where have I been recently??)There was lots to see and hear, not all of it on-screen. Cinemas and the audiences here have received much flak from the press, Usenet and other media. I have decided to consolidate some of my amusing and not so pleasant experiences over the few years of movie watching into this interesting blg ( I hope it is interesting) This is my salvo. Ready, aim...

Firstly, I think the cinema operators were very concerned for our safety. In event of a fire, earthquake, hailstorm or worse, the uncontrollable urge to fart, the emergency exit was located on the left or right, in the front of the hall. How did I know? They put a bright 'Exit' sign on top of the door. Heck, they made it so bright that patrons noticed it more than the screen. As our attention drifted from subtitle to subtitle, what we see is " Are you sure this is the case EXIT", "Let's go EXIT", "I want to make you mine EXIT" But then again who are we to complain? It's for our safety, what!

Everyone has their seat of choice. Mine are those in the very centre. (That way I don't look like I'm peering over my shoulder after I leave the cinema.) I had this wonderful experience of sitting right at the back of the cinema, and witnessed a more than exciting "copulation" between a teenage couple. Not that I have anything to complain about, but I really didn't get my money worth especially with regards to the movie. Although I caught an RA show in the making, what the heck, I still have to watch the movie (the one actually showing on the big screen) another time, and this time I had to make absolutely sure that I am sitting right in front of the bloody screen so that I will not be tempted by earthy desires. (My Father! I had sinned!!)

There was also the unfortunate incident that happens to my movie kaki. She is vertically challenged ( short you dork!) and the fellow seating right in front of her, although as vertically challenged as her, decided to accentuate his height by giving himself an outrageous hairstyle, one that looks like it was held by at least 2 cans of Brycreem! And watching the movie was difficult when there was a "bush" swaying from side to side.

Anyway back to the seating arrangement, whoever prepared the floor plan on the computer booking system had a serious case of parallax error. While somethimes the seats we chose were close to the centre (on-screen), once in the hall we found we were practically facing the emergency exit! There were instance when the movie operator assure you that the first row is quite ok and you realise the fallacy of his/her argment when you literally "lost" the character when he or she move fromone end of the screen to the other. I shall avoid that hall from now on.

Practically when the movie starts, all the cinema Bozos decided it was open ring day at the circus. In the front row, having a combined weight of 360 kg, the Soft-Spined Sixsome armed with snacks and handphones. Usually these are young bengish boys who find security in numbers. These are skinny boys with singlets and beach shorts and of course the very essential accessories, the slippers. Oh yes, these slippers that were proudly displayed atop the seats in front. In the left corner was Willowy Wallpaper Woman armed with Horridly Harmonic Handphone and noisy jacket, with handphone in luminous colours, playing to the polyphonic tune of some chinese 5566 songs. This man was so keen on giving the commentary of the movie that one wondered how much his handphone bill was:

"Yah I am watching a movie... I call u back can... what movie hah... don't know lah, some cartoon my girlfriend want to watch... say it is quite good.. no no no haven't start yet, now commercials, yah.. ok no problem, the show should end by 6 plus.... at Orchard Cineleisure... want to meet for dinner? Sure why not? .... tell you what, we meet around at 7 lah, ok at Lips.. which lips? the one at Orchard Cineleisure... ya ya the one Ah Seng meet Julie... the waitress quite chio one.. you know hah.... ok, any thing I sms you... ok... you call me later, can? Ok ok, the movie started about 10 minutes ago.. talk to you later........." ARGH!!!!

There was a type of person known as Mr Skeptic. His reason for coming to the movie was obviously different from others. He fell asleep midway and decided to let everyone know by snoring with a resonance that would make an elephant turn pink with embarrassment. Another type, known as the Mr Commentator who said the obvious (and obviously wrong) in English and (horrors!) Hokkien while his missus twittered with every word or sentence that left the mouth of the heartthrob. (E.g. HT: "Yes." She: "Hee-hee-hee." HT: "Thank you." She: "Hee-hee-hee".) Aiyah, leave your hubby and buy a poster, lah!

Handphones rang, tinkled, sang and did anything other than vibrate. For goodness sake, don't you people understand the fancy introduction which the cinema operators create just to remind you gently to keep the bloody phones in silent mode! Didn't you tell mommy dearest where you were? I would love to see the day when all handphones must be left at the door. They could use those airport metal detector bridges or scanners. Better still, train dogs to sniff them out! (Hey, it's not impossible. We are the same country that banned chewing gum, remember? Wonder if any MPs watch movies at cineplexes...) Most of the time I needed all the concentration I could muster to watch the show. I must have looked constipated. Good thing it was dark. (Stop flashing the handphone around!)

All this pales in comparison with one incident. In one show I had watched, a character (I shan't spill the beans/guts) got hit by not one but two cars! It was very realistic and a terrible shock. The greater shock I got was when most of the audience laughed! I think these were the same people who laughed when they watched 'Saving Private Ryan'. These people should be shot. Or run down. Or both. I volunteer to administer the coup de grace.

In case you didn't notice, they forbid you to bring your own tidbits to the cinemas, instead charging you twice as much for a pack of popcorn, sweet or salted. The amount of money one spend on a movie for two is enough to feed a kid from a third world country 3 meals a day !!! If they think people would be ripped off, then they are damn right. Have you seen people carrying popcorns, drinks and hotdogs, with kids in tow into the cinema. It was just like a circus! In fact what can be most annoying is when these people to add additonal sound effects with their chips munching, and the noisy slurping of their corn soups (yes! that's true)

Which is why I invested a cool 5K on a sound and entertainment system at home, so that I can watch the movie in peace and pause appropriately for my overworked bladder to go for a well deserved toilet break!

If you have got something to say, get it off your chest (but keep your shirt on guys and especially the girls), do email me or tag my board. If you were one of the clowns in the cinema, go honk yourself!

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