Friday, April 08, 2005

An Open Letter to Fanboys & Fangirls in Movie Theatres

Dear Fanboys and Fangirls,

Shut up! I get it. You are super duper excited for the upcoming Star Wars film, or Sin City, or whatever. However, the rest of us normal people just want to watch our movie in peace and quiet. As I sat through the previews of a film recently, two of you stood up (yes, STOOD up) and cheered as a Star Wars preview began. This is not really what bothered me. What bothered me was when you began speaking the dialogue and acting out the scenes of the preview. THE PREVIEW!! I know you don't get alot of real social action in your basement. Usually you just IM each other while playing an online game. But for the rest of us, acting out a scene is really annoying when we're trying to relax. I just paid $7 for a matinee, I don't need an extra show. This also goes for the vendors who come to the theatres and offer to sing for money. Shut up and go away. If I want to hear Annie butchered, I'll go to the local high school production. Yes, that was me who shouted, "I'll give you five bucks if you shut up and go away." You would have made more money if you had listened to me.
It's not just the previews either. When a group of us went to see the first episode of Star Wars back in 1999, the guy sitting next me acted like a Heroin junkie. He was rocking back and forth in his seat, shaking, saying over and over again, "I've been waiting thirty years for this!" When the Lucasfilm logo started, he jumped up and screamed, "STAR WARS!" at the top of his lungs. When I asked my friend Corey if I could switch seats, he gave me a look of death and said, "Oh hell no!" As the film proceeded, I swear the guy had a joygasm. What made it worse was when two people in the front row jumped up and began to recreate the fight scene while it was going on in the film. Woohoo! 3-D action of a John Goodman-sized Jedi and a man so white that when the lights were out, I could still read thanks to his glow. And if you hit an audience member with your lightsaber, don't say, "uh, Jedi healing power." Apologize to that person, moron. You hit her in the head with a plastic sword. It probably hurt.
This isn't limited to sci-fi pictures either. The kids who dressed up as Napoleon Dynamite and company and proceeded to act out the film in front of the audience. Go away. The people who sang ALL of Moulin Rouge and Chicago. Shut up. The guy who called his girlfriend during Hostage and described the film: Bring her next time. Yes I was hitting you with ice, you were ruining the movie for me. You told her how the film ended right after it started. I hadn't seen it, you jackass.
I have no problem if you want to line up over a month in advance just to get a ticket to the opening. I have no problem if you want to have conventions where you show off costumes. Good for you. However, if I go to see Hamlet, I don't dress up as Hamlet and spout the lines as the play goes on. I don't hop up with a Laertes clone and begin fencing while the fight scene is happening on stage. That's bad form. I am not, by the way, speaking just to the Star Wars fans. Star Trek, Matrix, Lord of the Rings, even the girl who dressed up as the villian from The Ring. No! (and oh my god, just because you have to look dirty, Little Samara clone, doesn't mean you have to smell that way.) And If I ask you politely not to talk, don't, Star Trek Dude, tell me that you are going to "assimilate me." Jedi Girl, don't tell me that you can use your mind trick to shut me up. And for the love of god, a six foot nine inch man cannot pretend to be a hobbit and hide from me by using a ring. When you say, "I can't see you anymore," YES, I CAN! You're right there in the costume your mom sewed for you with the hope that you would at least leave the house for a little while. And you, the guy who wore all leather to The Matrix sequel. That noise you bitched about was YOUR squeaky leather. All because you had to look like Neo.
Look, I applaud your commitment to a passion. The fact that a guy can make a Darth Vader costume that appears real is amazing to me. However, your average woman is not going to be impressed (having witnessed this) that you can say EVERY line from any Star Trek film from any point. That "oh dear lord, help me" look is not a good sign.
Movies are different from your own home and, yes, different from concerts. You want to yell out stuff at home or at a concert, great. Go ahead. Just not at the symphony, they discourage that kind of thing.
And yes, I understand that certain films encourage audience participation. The Rocky Horror Picture Show wants people to dress up and sing and etc. However, there is a reason that this happens at midnight. That's because the normal, everyday patrons are gone. This is the time of the true fan. So, get them to create a midnight showing of your film where you can dress up and shout the lines and whatever. Just don't come to a matinee and sit next to me (I mean really, there were only sixteen of us and over three hundred seats. You HAD to sit next to me. Come on!) and spout the lines. And while I may appear friendly, please, PLEASE, do not turn to me and say, "my favorite Jedi is (Name I can't remember), who's yours?" My answer will always be the same: "Is that from Star Trek?" I love the looks it gets me.
So in conclusion, with the summer movies having started, please Fanboys and Fangirls, leave the rest of us normal patrons alone. Otherwise I may need to come to your Starbucks or Kinko's or whatever and make your lives difficult. I just want to watch my movie in peace, and I already have to deal with people on cell phones, parents who leave their children to see another movie, and the occasional couple having sex in the back. I love going to the movies, and I do like hearing your views and opinions. BUT NOT DURING THE FILM!
Thank you for your time, and I hope you have a nice summer of movie going. I'm sorry that the two biggest fan franchises (Star Wars and Star Trek) are coming to an end. I think you'll survive. Sorry for all the rage, you just make me so mad sometimes. Still I admire your courage. Most people who are over three hundred pounds wouldn't be caught dead in the Princess Leia Bikini Outfit in public.

Have a nice summer.
A movie patron

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