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.

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.


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Hi, I’m Paul Reinheimer, a developer working on the web.

I wrote a book titled Professional Web APIs with PHP back in 2006, and am currently working in Biomedical Informatics for a major public health company.

I’m working on a project to help developers called WonderProxy which has proxies all over the world. Working on GeoIP development? Now you can finally test properly! We've also released Global Ping Statistics for expected ping times between cities, as well as a Load Testing Tool to measure your site's ability to handle load. Our most recent site checking tool is Where's it Up? which checks your sites availability globally, returning HTTP, DNS, and Traceroute details

My hobbies are cycling, photography, travel, and engaging Allison Moore in intelligent discourse. I frequently write about PHP and other related technologies.

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