Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A How To Guide

In today's fast paced society, it seems that even simple tasks such as enjoying a good movie are becoming increasingly more difficult. No matter the genre, time of day, or what Leading Lady/Man is on screen, people can't seem to drop their lives for the required 90+ minutes in order to take in what they're watching. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people checking their email, updating facebook statuses, or even texting the person sitting RIGHT next to them during a movie. I, too, am guilty of this crime.

Having Movie ADD is not a very good thing if you're expected to have a semi-coherent opinion on what you just watched. So, I've come up with a few ways to combat this problem and I'd like to share.

1. Arrive just before the previews...if you sit around in the theater for too long, your Movie ADD will kick in long before the roller-coaster.

2. Sit in the middle. Now, not only will this help with the viewing, but it will also keep you from being sucked in to watching the people (who don't read these tips) run in and out of the theater for who knows what reason.

3. Not only should you sit in the middle, but you should also sit where you can put your feet up on the seats in front of you. If this isn't possible, take a big bag (which you'll want anyway..see #4) so you can prop your feet on that. The more comfortable you are, the less you'll fidget and the less your eyes will be pulled off the screen.

4. Snacks. Now, I know movie popcorn isn't everybody's cup of tea but snacks really do help keep you focused. Why? Because, in today's world we're used to doing at least 10 things at once so when we DON'T have something else to occupy us, we go searching for it. For instance, right now I'm watching TV, reading another blog, talking to two people on messenger, and eating baby goldfish snacks...all while writing this post. What the popcorn does is keep your hands and mouth occupied while your eyes and brain are focused on the movie.

5. While I advocate snacking, I do advise not to go overboard on the drinks. Speaking from personal experience, having to visit the lavatory halfway into the film does not enhance the movie-going experience. If you're like me, you won't want to get up lest you miss an important part, so you instead sit in misery for the duration. If you do decide to get up, you either have to work out the important details yourself oooorrr rely on your movie buddy's best description of the chain of events...yeah.

6. Change your cell phone's screen brightness to something so low that makes trying to see it not even worth the effort.

7. Go see movies at night. Yes, it's more expensive but it's scientifically proven that our sight and hearing senses are stronger at night so that makes the movie experience that much better. Plus, the later it is (unless it's a midnight premiere)....the less crowded and, therefore, less distracting. AND you can wear your PJs!

8. Watch the previews...I know some people see them as a waste of time, but it helps you get focused and primed for what's about to happen. A good preview set will have you well into what's happening on screen and you will have lost track of how long they've been on and, if they're really good, what movie you even came to see. I feel it's important to have this few minutes to get out of reality before the story even starts.

9. Don't answer your phone. Remember the days when people didn't carry their phones everywhere? Often left them at home and didn't have to charge them for over a week? I barely do...but I remember enough. In this day and age, if it's a life and death matter, the person in question will text you that. While I don't advocate actually texting during a movie, I feel you'll know if it's imperative to do so. When you answer a call, you're not only missing potential key plot points, but you're also taking yourself WAY out of the movie AND distracting the people around you no matter how quietly you think you're whispering "I'm in a movie, can I call you back?".

10. Don't expect anything. This is probably the hardest thing to do, especially for me. Before I go to a movie, I've IMDB'd it to death and know just about everything about it...from the star's first ever acting gig to the name of the pig's trainer. So it can be hard for me to go in without a pre-formed opinion. If I go in expecting to love a movie, I often find myself hating it. If I go in thinking I'll hate it, I sometimes kind of like it but don't want to admit it*. So, try to be neutral.

*Please note that, 99% of the time, if I say I hated a movie..I legitimately hated it.

I hope these tips help you like they do me! I still can't really enjoy "at home" movies unless I watch them on my computer because of my extreme Movie ADD. Sad day. Hopefully a new movie review coming at you this weekend!

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