So you know how some people have alter egos that manifest as super heroes? Well, mine manifests as a 89 year old man named Morty and he is the epitome of a curmudgeon; a crotchety, snarky old grump. You know the type- akin to the main character in 'UP', Morty isn't that mobile or happy. His superpowers include a high sensitivity to noise and light... particularly when either or both are presented as an intrusion on an otherwise enjoyable activity. Obviously there can be a lot of these types of interfering moments in the world, but the ones that really bring out the Mort power include loud obnoxious noises made by young drunk fools outside in the middle of the night, or people talking in movie theaters or worse... TEXTING DURING THE MOVIE.
I love going to the movies but this really gets my goat...or my Mort. I'm not saying that people can't react to the movies or be engaged with the plot. Truth be told, one of my favourite parts about going to the movies is sharing the experience with a crowd (like when you are all laughing at the same joke, or when everyone almost pees in their pants out of startled fear because the bad guy's reflection just silently appeared in the mirror behind the good guy). But when people start having private conversations or whipping out their phones (Yeah great, you have it on silent but hey guess what- that awesome touchscreen you have? Yeah it lights up real nice in the dark theater. Thanks dude) they literally pull you out of the experience. This is when Morty appears. He senses the cellphone light or incessant whispering. He squints as he focuses on his target, silently picking up his cane (which has flames painted on it because he may be a curmudgeon, but he is a bad ass curmudgeon) and then SILENT AS THE FULL MOON AT MIDNIGHT NINJA JUMP ONTO THE CULPRIT AND GRAB THEIR PHONE AND...!!!
OK, not really. But what does usually happen is that I stalk...I mean observe (because at this point they have completely distracted me from the movie) the person with their activity because sometimes it is a one time thing. But if it keeps happening, I may go over, or from my seat, ask them to put their glowing device away or to keep quiet. So then, the other day, I was reading one of my daily favourite websites and read a piece that had the headline- Don't turn off your cellphone during Despicable me. I can't remember what I was drinking at the time that I read it, but I definitely almost spewed whatever it was all over my computer. The premise of the movie is there is a villain with a lot of minions (fantastic little yellow critters) who is competing to be the best worst villain in the world when he inherits three little girls. Chaos, of course, ensues. Apparently, there is a promo app that will translate the gibberish language the minions speak. But, the promoters of the app are careful to point out, it will only translate what they say during the end credits, and not during the movie. So, I think to myself, does this mean that people won't try the app during the movie?
This is when I start to hear the raspy yet hearty laugh of a certain 89 year old in the back of my mind.
Maybe I've given in too much to Morty's power over me to have so little faith that people won't have their phones on during the movie. But I really don't think this is a way to engage people into movies. For me, going to the movies is a nice way to experience story telling in a setting that can be relaxing and enjoyable and requiring my phone for the experience defeats the purpose of going in the first place.
So, if you go to see this movie in the theaters, be a good movie goer and wait to turn on your phone (if you feel the need to at all) till the end credits.
Otherwise, Morty might come visit.
We'll be watching you.