Is it just me or does going to the movies suck?

Our buddy Dylan over at Blog Cabins recently said he likes these posts but feels that I put out topics where everyone just agrees with me. So, here’s something I felt might be a bit more polarizing.

This holiday weekend I came to the realization that, even though I’m a huge film fan, I HATE going to the movies. It happened twice. My wife and I had planned to do a movie on Thanksgiving and ultimately passed because the idea of getting dressed, paying a bunch of money and going to the theater to see a film, that will no doubt be a much better rental, did not excite us!

The next day, I was tasked with seeing the newest Harry Potter film for my recent appearance on The Film Cynics radio show. While I actually really enjoy the Harry Potter films, the 2 and a half hour length of the film seemed a real turn off. I stuck it out but was happy to return home after like the Flash on Amphetamines.

The fact of the matter is I own a 52″ Samsung 1080p HD television that is attached to Samsung’s latest Blu-Ray model which happens to be situated less than 5′ in front of the “Daddy” seat on my very comfortable couch. I can pause the film anytime I want to smoke. I can drink a glass of beer. I can watch in my jammy pants and frayed Spiderman T-shirt. What’s not to like?

Not to mention, the going rate for taking my wife and 2 kids to the movies (at last count) was around $80. That’s with people sharing popcorn and candy. For that price, I can get the Blu-Ray disc of the film with the enclosed DVD and digital copies, a six pack of beer and have enough money left over to buy 40 bags of microwavable popcorn.

On top of that, I realize now that there’s only 2 reasons to go to the movies: 3-D and movies I cannot wait to see like your Dark Knights and Inceptions. However, 3-D is coming to the home slowly but surely and it’s only a matter of time before films are available OnDemand the day they hit theaters. So, what’s the point in even going? It really is more of a pain than an enjoyment. So, basically, my name is Kai, I’m a film fan and I hate going to the movies.

Is it just me?

26 Responses to “IS IT JUST ME?”

  1. I won’t argue it – especially the economic end of the equation – but that’s sad to hear.

    • Is it though? I’m soooo happy to watch at home. When Monsters was available OnDemand before it hit theaters, I was exstatic.

      • Go back to my episode of Film Cynics, I brought it up then.

        All things being equal (money, time, convenience) I prefer to see something for the first time in a theatre. I find that I get more immersed into the film than I do when I watch at home.

        The lights are of, the sound envelops you, you drown in the image…makes for a much more enriched experience than home where the phone rings, door knocks, computer beckons, and fridge tempts.

        Again though – certainly from an economic and crowd idiocy perspective, I couldn’t possibly argue this with you.

  2. It gets even worse when you factor in all the numerous commercials before the trailers, folks texting on their cellphones during the movie, the non-stop talking, etc.

    I actually think the studios shot themselves in the foot in regards to the whole 3D explosion. They saw it as a way to curb piracy and get extra dollars out of our pockets. Yet now with 3D televisions hitting the market, the studios will find themselves dealing with the same piracy problems all over again.

  3. $80 for a movie with the family would make anyone hate going to the theater. I never buy anything at the concession, either I sneak in some candy or I just don’t eat/drink. I don’t feel like going to the movie theater is all that much fun either and I practically never go if that’s not for a movie I’m anticipating big time. So no, once again, you are not polarizing me sir!

  4. 80 bucks? That’s insane. When I go, I usually never pay more than… somewhere between $5 and $9.

    • I forget what cost what, I just know that the last animated film we saw before Toy Story 3 was 80 bucks. Remember, behind New York, we have the highest ticket prices in the country.
      4 matinee tickets are still around 30 bucks alone. Coke is 6 bucks, popcorn is 4 to 8 bucks, candy is 3 a shot. It adds up quick.

  5. It’s not just you, man. Seeing the new HP movie in a packed theater with folks who’d never read the books and a kid behind me who insisted on giving everyone a running play-by-play of every character that appeard on-screen was more than a sufficient wake-up call. Best way to see a movie is before noon so it’s half price, bring your own snacks and sit in one of the side rows. So sorry it costs you $80 to see a movie with the fam. I hope those kids LOVED the new HP.

    • I did HP alone just cuz I had to see it for the Cynics thing. I sat next to a mouth breather that had a cough and was no doubt coughing up what must assuredly be a virus comprable to something like in Outbreak or 28 Days Later… or it was just the Plague.

  6. I gotta say I can see where you’re coming from. As someone who only in the last few years made the decision to head out to my theatre as much as physically and fiscally possible (which comes out to about 50 times a year) that as a single person it’s easy, but when that adds to a couple and or even more when I get wrangled into treating friends and stuff (I’m a nice guy)…

    However there are certain experiences that I feel are worth experiencing in the theatre. And this isn’t me talking about seeing The Dark Knight in IMAX (which I havent done since I dont have an IMAX in my country) or anything like that. When I saw Drag Me To Hell in the cinema and the entire theatre jumped in and began enjoying the film in such a way that we were all laughing at the right (and sometimes wrong) points it made the movie even better than I could’ve imagined. So ye, sometimes there’s something the theatre offers me that a rental store doesn’t. But then again I’m not shelling $100 everytime I head to the cinema.

    • I feel the same way about the cinematic experience. I have a really great TV and home theatre set up myself, but it just can’t replicate the immersive experience of going to a dark cinema with a great sound system and being totally absorbed (dick-head audience members aside).

      That being said, I usually go to the cinema for free with friends who work there; I can certainly see high prices being a big turn off

  7. If a movie isn’t playing matinee, I don’t bother. And I never buy candy or popcorn or anything, so me and a few other people is down to about thirty bucks. But then, we get student discounts, so I don’t suppose that’s fair.

  8. Editor In Chief Says:

    maybe we’re just getting old 😦

  9. Is it definitely not just you on this one, Kai. I very rarely go to the cinema these days. Like you, it’s just event movies that I can’t wait to see. My issue with cinemas is that they are full of FUCKING PEOPLE. Have you seen them? They talk while the film is on, they consume smelly hot dogs, they rattle the Goddamn ice in their over-priced drinks and generally turn my viewing pleasure into an exercise in Hell.

    Add to that the frustration of wanting to pee in your pants during the movie’s third act (I’m getting on a bit now), and it doesn’t seem like money well spent at all.

    Great point you’ve raised here. 😀

  10. I love going to the movies. First and foremost, even the biggest and best TV/sound system can’t beat a theatre/cinema. Secondly it doesn’t cost me as much as you, I don’t have a family so I only have to pay for myself, I pay £13.50 a month for an “unlimited”, I see a lot of movies so it works out at about £1.65 ($2.60) a visit. To add to this I don’t eat popcorn or candy and rarely buy a drink so all in all it’s a cheep night out for me.

    • Paragraph Film Reviews Says:

      Don’t think a home system could beat the power of a Cineworld set-up but for full surround sound, unless you’re bang in the middle of the screen it’s usually pretty unbalanced, and anywhere near the back just sounds like stereo anyway. I’m a massive proponent for 5.1 surround in every house!!!

      Still doesn’t stop me from abusing the unlimited card either though :-p

  11. My movie going experience for Harry Potter was quite pleasant to be honest. Had a good audience that laughed when it was a light-hearted moment, gasped during the darker ones, and stayed generally quiet. The only downside is when the inevitable bladder to toilet call gets sent out I don’t have a pause button to make that run.

    There are things I know about myself: 1) I enjoy ‘mainstream’ comedies more when I’m watching them with a group of people (example: Tropic Thunder) and 2) I’m more focused on the finer details of the film. At home I’m generally watching movies on my laptop or (maybe) my parent’s TV, but seldom either one. So I tend to lose that ‘immersed’ feeling one can get in a large theater. There’s so many distractions at my house as well I’ll often pause because it just occurred to me I want to do something.

    All that being said, I don’t have the money to go to the theaters often so I catch about 90% of my films at home. Which may or may not skew my opinion some.

  12. I totally agree with your blog Kai. You shell out a bunch of money to go to the theaters and they aren’t even maintaining them. The floors are sticky and gross the seats smell like piss. All of the kids who work there are like drug dealers pushing all of the combo crap on you.

    You go to use the bathroom and some ahole has cut his initials on the toilet seat which the theater won’t replace.

    Then when you go into the theater they bombard with a half hour of commercials before the previews even start. It seems like half the time when I go to the movies there is a sound issue or a projection issue.

    I think theaters are slowly going to fade away as it seems like everything is moving towards VOD.

    I just hope there will be away to get all of the extra content (commentaries, behind the scenes docs etc.) that film fanatics like me love.

  13. nothing beats the big screen and enjoying a film with an audience (the collective gasp at the end of Inception was brilliant) however I will confess that with certain films I chose my screening wisely in order to avoid gangs of chavs.

  14. Much better, Kai. I’m sure it’s not just you, but this is more like it with this topic, especially amongst film buffs, many of whom, like me, probably just enjoy the theatrical experience regardless of cost or inconvenience.

    Mrs. Fletch and I just plain love going – it’s where we probably spend the bulk of our entertainment dollars, and we’re fine with that. On top of that, we have an awesome local theater chain that gives us smokin’ deals on popcorn and drinks that make it a much more affordable experience. Plus: we often just make it our dinner and movie combined – popcorn for dinner = 😀

  15. Not just you.
    The cinema experience is expensive. I rarely go out to see a movie in the theaters. I see mostly just rentals. It makes more economic sense. I’m a movie fan, and I want to watch as much as I can, rentals is just way cheaper. And the movie crowds can be annoying. When I do go to the cinema I avoid kids movies, and I tend to watch the late night shows, so that even if it only has a PG rating, there still won’t be any kids there. Basically just choose odd days and timing to avoid the crowds.

  16. I’m not a big fan of crowds or paying $6 for one of the cheapest snacks on earth. Some movies are undeniably a great experience on the big screen though. Going to see Pink Flamingos with a huge group of friends and being totally interactive was awesome fun. And some films are just plain better on the big screen. I really enjoyed Jurassic Park at the theatre but caught it on TV a few years later and found it completely unwatchable. Generally speaking, most of the films I dig never even make it to the big screen anyway, which is a big reason I usually reserve my theatre trips for festivals. I’ll always prefer watching movies in the comfort of my own home though AND it is a hell of a lot cheaper.

  17. Late to the party, but oh well. I’m behind on my blog reading.

    For now, going to theater is a treat for us (at least until the kid is old enough to go with) and I look forward to our monthly outing and even try to squeeze in double features when possible. The Monday after Christmas I have the day off and instead of hanging out in my jammies all day eating leftovers, I will likely take in a matinee.

    There are far too many distractions at home and the pause button is my enemy. When I’m watching something at home, I’m also thinking I can get all kinds of other stuff done at the same time, like blogging or blog reading. I don’t find myself giving the t.v. my 100% attention anymore.

  18. mcarteratthemovies Says:

    The reason I hate going to the movies anymore is people. I have very little faith in humanity as it is, but going to the movies shows the lowest depths to which people will sink. You can’t sit through a movie anymore without some a**hole teen girl texting and giggling the whole time, with her phone lighting up the theater like a beacon, or some super-duper a**hole who gets a call on his phone and ACTUALLY ANSWERS IT AND STARTS TALKING DURING THE MOVIE. Normally I am a non-confrontational person, but I have my limits.

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