I like movies. Let’s start with that.
And by that, I don’t mean the way you like one of your acquaintances’ breakfast choice. I really like them. A USB disk full of motion pictures – along with a book, some cigarettes and a robust supply of bread and cheese – is one of the very few things I need if I ever find myself locked up in my room for a couple of days (which I often do). I wouldn’t call myself a movie nerd; I can’t really have an argument with you about the arrogant callousness of French directors or the brutal realism of Eastern European cinema, or whatever it may be. But I have watched almost the entire IMDB top movies list, including the genre- and decade-specific ones (apart from the stupid ones, of course, like the Musical, Sports and Horror lists). Some nights, I don’t even watch them. I just rearrange them in different folders (genres, directors, decades, etc.) and spend a couple of hours going through the list, remembering scenes from the ones I’ve watched, comparing reviews for the ones I haven’t.
So yeah, I just like them. Established? Good.
Now, invert that to the opposite end of the ‘liking’ scale. That’s how much I abhor “going to the movies”, as the scam is popularly referred to.
It’s not just the incredibly overpriced nachos that put me off; it’s the whole experience. Firstly, if you want to go, you have no choice but to go to a mall. Oh, malls. They have a way of sucking the fun out of everything. Everything looks the fucking same, everywhere. The same standardization creates clones of multiplexes too, so wherever you go, the experience is the same, always.
The assembly-line methods dictate the movies too. So something with a title as inane as “Partners” gets four score and seven shows while Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy has just one. In the morning. They have no reason to push for an early release, promote it, or order more than one reel (or Blu Ray, or whatever they use in there). What choice does one have other than guiltily stealing it off the internets?
Even if you manage to find something worthwhile, you have to suffer watching it with the average moviegoer. The problem with the average moviegoers is, they come to watch a movie, not watch the movie. The whole system is built to cater to these people. They come late, they yell stupid questions about the plot to each other, they light up the whole place with their Super-duper-amoled screens to tell their mothers they’re watching a movie. And they order cattle troughs of popcorn to their seats. Popcorn. That deserves another post. I have never understood the correlation between this superbly annoying and utterly pointless food item and a movie. It’s messy, it’s noisy, it sticks in every dark corner of your mouth. It’s probably the worst thing you can eat while watching. They should give everyone complimentary hash-gummies or something. Something to glue their teeth together and shut them up for a couple of hours.
But the single most annoying thing about the whole business now, is 3D. I can sit for hours with cramps in my legs, listen to three hundred people crunching and slurping, but I can’t wear those damned glasses anymore. They’re always dirty, they make everything dark and colourless, and you spend half the movie wondering if they’re working or not. The only reason this stupidity goes on is because they can charge a premium for it. So they don’t even bother with giving you a choice of 2D. (I had to watch Tintin in 3D, without glasses.) I thought people went to watch movies for the stories, not the extra fucking dimension. Of course not. The added dimension, with Godzilla-sized, extra-crunchy popcorn, wins hands down.
So yeah, I don’t like “going to the movies”.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, Maine Pyaar Kiya is on YouTube movies, and my Act II Xtreme Butter won’t pop itself. Oh no, it will.