I saw The Hobbit an unexpected Journey last night, it was pretty good. I liked some of the changes from the books a bit more than others, but I think that overall the additional will help cement Tolkien’s universe in the minds of many.
What I hated was the overall movie going experience. It was a relatively full theatre, full of people paying full price for a 3D movie, currently $14.25/person before concessions and taxes. So clearly the room had to contain a few people whose social lives couldn’t sustain 3 hours without txting. There was also a man sitting in the third row who I think was completing his own screenplay on one of the largest & brightest screen cell phones I’ve seen. I heard a few people ask him to put it away, including someone who got up walked down four rows, and tapped him on the shoulder. This seemed to constrain him to only keeping brief notes for the rest of the film, but he very much wasn’t done.
It confuses me that we’re a society so inconsiderate that people do that, but simultaneously so civil that no one started a fight.— Paul Reinheimer (@preinheimer) January 21, 2013
The pivotal moment for me was when a theatre employee walked in, past the guy on his phone (the brightest thing in the room by far, including the movie screen) sign the check in form on the far wall, then back past the phone user once more, without a word, and out of the room.
Perhaps demographics have pushed so much that the dollar value of guests who want to user their cell phones out weighs the dollar value of guests who find that disruptive; theatres are best serving their stock holders by not stopping them. Fair enough, but I’m not going to give them my money while they gladly accept and embrace people who disrupt what I’ve paid to enjoy so much. For the price of two tickets I can get the Blu-Ray in a few months, turn the lights & my phone off, and enjoy the film uninterrupted.
Also: fancy “Digital Picture” we paid to enjoy froze twice for several seconds during the film, but that was by far a smaller disruption.