The Cinema Revolution: 7 Rules to live by (or else)

The world is full of problems. Logic states that things have probably always been this way – the world is a tricky blighter at the best of times, and if you don’t keep an eye on him he’ll nick your coat and sleep with your girlfriend. This is nothing new. However, I believe that in recent years there has been a crucial shift. Back in the good old days the biggest problems we’d face were along the lines of neighbouring farmer Geoff accidently burning down the barn. The solution? Tell his wife about his alcoholism. Simple.

Poor Geoff Poor drunk Geoff

Nowadays? Nowadays we have problems that WE CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT. The world is filling up with evil devil gas that turns August into a pond; we feel useless. David Cameron is inexplicably Prime Minister; there’s nothing we can do about it. The oceans we hold so dear now give every seal a Fonzie-style oily haircut; IT’S TOO LATE. So considering we already feel so powerless, it’s little wonder that a lack of control over the smaller things in life can thrust us into a frothy, murderous rage. Never is this more true than at the cinema. The precious few hours you spend in a darkened theatre are supposed to drag you away from the horrors of the real world and your insignificant place within it. And yet, so often, the experience can end with you weeping violently into sticky nachos, whispering things like “why is that man wearing a top hat? WHY?”

When you feel the powerless rage in the hallowed ground of the cinema, anything can happen.

With this in mind, I have created a cut-and-dried guide to cinema behaviour, taking into account the most common murdering-inducing cinema situations. This is our world. It’s time we took back control.

1. Children: the special treatment is over

I once went to see The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock. Which, frankly, was a bad enough situation to be landed in to begin with. Halfway through, a child that couldn’t have been more than three started wailing. The mother did the standard shushy shushy hand-on-knee routine, but the kid was having none of it. She wasn’t enjoying The Blind Side; it didn’t have exploding robots in, no-one was falling over hilariously EVEN A BIT and Sandra Bullock wasn’t a cartoon professor. All of these were criticisms I would later work into my own review of The Blind Side, but it was SO UNFAIR that this child was allowed to voice this opinion so very immediately that all i could do was stare in envy. I do not desire to sit in a cinema staring at weeping strangers in envy. I have the real world for that.

2. Ask no questions, get no stabbing

You’ve seen that guy in something before, have you? Yes. He was definitely in that TV programme you watched with Brian the other week. It’s annoying you can’t remember it, isn’t it? It’s really annoying. Still, maybe if you talk about it a bit more, you might remember. Still nothing? Try saying the same words, but louder. No? Maybe the answer is written on my stabby knife. You read with your kidneys, right?

3. Turn your machine off, or I will eat it.

All. The. Phones. Die.

“But, Reginald, surely that means that if Sebastian didn’t do it, and Meredith was still at the wedding when it happened…”
“Do you have something to say, Felicity?”
*GASP* “It was you, wasn’t it? It was you all along! You were the gunman in the stairwell, all this time?”
“Felicity, I knew you’d figure it out eventually. It took all my ingenuity to keep it from you for this long. You see, when the safe combination was finally revealed, I-”
” – believe it Reginald, that’s, that’s utterly brilliant!”
“Thank you Felicity. Now, let us never speak of it again.”

4. Premier seating – death to the class system!

No one ever sits in you, premier seating. Do you know how much one has to care about slightly improved back-insulation in order to use you? Two pounds fifty more. And no-one does. No-one cares that much. We can buy nearly 4 skittles for that. In fact, the only people who EVER sit in you are the chavs who sit in you because they haven’t paid for you, and that makes them well hard. Is that the life you wanted? Is that the promise that was made to you? No. Cast off the shackles of your enforced aristocracy, and accept us, the glistening public, into your central-screen viewing experience. You belong to us, and I think you know that.

5. Having fun? You die now.

Not everything is hilarious, group of humans I want to kill. It was OK that everything was hilarious when it was the adverts that were hilarious, and it was even OK when it was those seriously un-hilarious trailers that were hilarious. But now the film is happening. This film that’s some searing comment on the Yugoslavian economic infrastructure, or possibly The A-Team. Stop letting us all know what a brilliant time you’re having with each other. If the time you’re having is that great, why is the only experience you can bear sitting in a darkened room not looking at each other? In your face. I’m here alone. That’s… that’s much less depressing.

6. From now on, we get what we pay for.

If I go to a restaurant with a friend or loved one, the following will probably happen: they will order something snazzy like dolphin steaks with a side of GOLD, whilst I order some of my favourite water and whatever has the least ingredients in. I do this because I am poor. This means that when the bill comes, my friend’s meal will cost more. She is happy with this, and so am I. This is how trade works. Why is it then, that I am forced to pay 11 pounds whether I am watching the throat-punchingly brilliant Inception or cinematic hernia The Rebound? Clearly this is madness. From now on, we pay depending on how awesome the film actually is. And let’s not do this “opinion is subjective” nonsense. The Rebound was worth the button you found that day. No more, no less. Done.

7. Snack overhaul! Hurrah!

“Now then Phil, this whole “cinema” thing is really taking off. But I’ve been thinking. What we need are some SNACKS to go with the whole experience, know what I mean?”
“I guess so, Carl. How about something inoffensive, like soft sweets, or pieces of bread? Lovely chewy fudge? You don’t want anything that makes loads of noise, after all -”
“Yeah… Yeah. Or – what about popcorn?”
“Erm… popcorn? Isn’t that kind of loud, rustly and annoying? I mean, even the name “POP-corn” sort of implies-”
“Yeah! And nachos! And huge bags of crisps and chocolates!”
“But, but big, noisy bags of – surely that negates the entire point of -”
“Huge slurpy cokes!”
“I’ll see you later.”

Ahhh. I can see it now. A place without children, large groups of people, electronic communication or any overly jovial talking of any kind. All happily gumming down their regulation egg sandwiches. What a world that would be, eh? A simpler time. Barn or no barn, you’d walk out of that cinema smiling.

Anything you’d add to the Totally Friendly Cinema Overhaul (TFCO)? Let us know below…

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