Friday, June 27, 2008

WALL-E, or Hell is Other People

When Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that hell is other people, he probably wasn't thinking of movie theaters, but he hit the friggin' nail on the head.

It's opening day, so I expected there to be a lot of kids, and for there to be a fair amount of background noise. However, what we experienced was beyond reasonable limits. The lady with her four kids on the same row as us got up at least four times during the film, usually at key moments. At one point when she came back, she smelled strongly of cigarette smoke, making me think she basically dragged her kids outside so she could have a smoke in the middle of the film. For this woman, I personally award the Mother-of -the-Friggin-Year award.

Another woman on our row brought two of her kids in late, and was loudly exasperated about not being able to find the cup holder during the first five minutes of the film. The four kids sitting behind us talked pretty much not stop for the first half of the film, as well as kicking our seats. A little girl got up near the end of the film and was wandering up and down the stairs in the aisle. And some poor kid directly in front of us kept making some weird grunting noise.

So how was the film? How the hell should I know?

Actually, it was pretty good...what I was able to see/hear of it. Despite the distractions, I thought the first 20 minutes or so was the strongest. I thought the overall plot was pretty lame, as were the heavy-handed attempts at satirizing laziness and obesity. Still, it was pretty good, what little my brain was able to process through the torrent of kicks, grunts, squeals, chatter, and bodies passing in front of me.


philip_tucker said...

I had a similar negative experience with a woman and her 2 kids seated behind me. The kids kept talking, she kept asking them to be quiet, but never really put her foot down. The worst, though, was that one kid finished his soda about 10 minutes into the movie, then kept slurping at it every 10 minutes for the rest of the film. Someday I'll get up the nerve to say something in those situations - I should have today.

The film was good. I thought the parts with the robots were excellent, those with the humans not so much. It was preachy, and milked today's ecological crises for cheap sentiment. But the animation was way cool, and I really did find myself pulling for the 2 protagonists.

Derek James said...

I know they sometimes have shows exclusively for people with small children or babies (which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me).

What they need are some "adult only" shows. Some might say that later shows, say 11pm would do this, but idiot parents still drag their kids to 11pm showings.