Monday, January 11, 2010


Lesa and I went to see Avatar on Saturday morning. We pulled into the parking lot nice and early for the 11:30 showing and were delighted to find it almost deserted. I'm a very uptight movie watcher. I can't stand distractions. I'm finely tuned to the sound system and the lighting and the screen quality etc. I grew up in an era of theaters without the wonderful stadium style seating that they have today. A lot of the classic movies of my youth were viewed with a dark silhouette of a head blocking much of the screen. I could never accept this and if it hadn't been fixed, I probably wouldn't go to the movies today. I'm fairly tall, chances are nobody would be blocking my view, but I would be unable to enjoy the film knowing that it was possible that I was blocking someone else's view.

I am completely intolerant of people who talk or text or sniff or breathe during movies. I want to be completely and helplessly enveloped in the film. Since we were nice and early we were able to get the best seats in the house. We were at center screen and in the front row of the second section. You know, with the railing in front of us.

During the previews, however, it became clear that there was going to be a problem. Sitting in our row on Lesa's side was a father with a four or five year old little girl. The most immediate problem of course, was that this movie was in no way the right movie for a girl that age to see. It was violent and scary and lonnnnnng. Two hours and forty minutes long.

Now, let's pretend that you are a little girl stuck in a theater for that length of time. You are wearing 3D glasses and you don't understand half of what you are seeing on the screen. How do you occupy yourself? Why of course you stomp your little light-up sneakers on the ground constantly. While you are doing that, you also ask your father questions about what you are seeing. Why do you know that it is OK to do this? Because your father never once tells you not to.

Parents, please, don't bring your way-too-young child to a way-too-scary movie. If you do, please make sure that they know it is not OK to talk during the movie. But most of all, please don't let them wear the flashing sneakers. Please?

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