What kind of cinemagoer are you?

Ever watched a film and heard the loud guy at the back… and gotten cross at how that loud guy at the back seems to be ruining the experience for you? You’d just wish the guy would just shut up and leave the theater, ‘coz for crying out loud, you’re there to watch the film not listen to him YAK and it’s just a bloody nuisance to have to listen to him YAK especially in the really GOOD part and you just can’t concentrate on the film that you’ve paid good money to enjoy.

Ah, but see, while I can commiserate, I’m afraid I’m the loud guy at the back.

… And usually, I have a loud posse with me. We scream. We yell. We crow. We snicker. We squeal. And when the occasion calls for it, we give a succinct condemnation or critique or backgrounder in half-whispers that assail other folks’ ears. We are public nuisances.

Don’t get me wrong. I turn my cellphone off. I take calls, emergency calls, outside the theater. There have been times when I’ve watched a film near-completely silent, only reacting with startled gasps or laughter at the appropriate moments — although I’m also guilty of laughing at the inappropriate moments. Sometimes discreetly. Sometimes in a laugh-out-loud-roll-in-seat-tears-streaming-get-the-straitjacket-stat manner.

I absolutely love movies. I love public screenings. I love hearing the reactions of other people. I love it when people laugh at the appropriate moments. I also love it when they can’t help but laugh at the inappropriate moments. I find it funny when they don’t quite know their place and it has to be explained to them. If I get bothered enough, I’d say a quick ssh, but usually, I let bygones be bygones. Because I tend to enjoy the moment and let others do the same. The cell, yeah, if it has nothing to do with the movie, please take it outside. Everything else: fair game.

Today, we watched Rurouni Kenshin, the “live action” movie of the animated classic. And we were simply blown away.

I’m a huge fan of the series. It’s been more than 10 years since it stopped being shown in local television, but this was the quintessential anime series for me and my pals. We’ve seen (and acquired most, if not all) the series episodes and the OAVs, and heard (or bought) the soundtracks. We’ve seen it in both the Eng dub and the Eng sub/Jap dub. Heck, we’ve probably seen it in Tag dub too. Some of us did the manga route. None of us did the game route I believe. We’ll be hard put to recall some of the details — but give us a bit of time and we will probably smack our heads and go: “I’ve got it!” Some of us are the kind of fangirls who wrote fanfic about RK (self included, handle of tomiaru, in my misspent youth). Some of us have cosplayed it too (my friend was the original Yumi Komagata when cosplaying started in this part of the world). We’re plenty obsessed — but probably not as obsessed as you, true.

Nevertheless, we have looked forward to this movie for so long, that we may have gotten a tad too excited when it finally came out (despite the slight delay). So excited, that apparently, one person in front of us got ticked off and felt compelled to say — at the end of the movie — that we were “inconsiderate” for being such a rowdy bunch.

My friend apologized. I was too far to catch the byplay, so I didn’t get to do what I wanted to do, which was to say, with my best wide-eyed-innocent-stare, “But wasn’t the movie fabulous? We enjoyed it! We just loved it! Didn’t you love it?”

Give us a break, guv.

We don’t talk because we’re know-it-alls. We don’t think we know more than you do — in fact, it took me a while to recall that Tomoe Yukishiro’s fiance’s name was Kiyosato (and damn it, I had to Google his first name of Akira), and I was mistaken that he was part of the Shinsengumi (he was with the Mimawarigumi). So purists will probably crucify me for that. (Smacking self in the head now and blushing profusely.)

We don’t bust our sides laughing like hyenas because we want to intrude into your space either. We just simply can’t help it. We really can’t. We’re exuberant, but not deliberately rude.

And to be honest, everyone else was laughing along with us, talking over us, reacting to the movie the same as we were. Were we the loudest? We were the nearest. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive the girl who commented on Kaoru: “Kamukha niya si Kathryn Bernardo (She looks like Kathryn Bernardo, a Filipino TV soap star, and it’s a valid comparison methinks). Or the guy who said, “That was my favorite line, ‘I’m a vegetarian!'” two scenes after said line was uttered. (We agree.) And the fangirls in front who (along with us) squealed when Saito Hajime did his Gatotsu Isshiki stance. (Perfectly executed!) We all clapped and cheered.

Honestly, it’s expected. The only place you can expect to control your environment is your own living room with your awesome entertainment equipment.

So, many pardons for the outbursts that compelled a post-movie outburst.

But gawd, we had so much fun! (And we’ll probably do it again. Soon.)

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3 comments

  1. SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!

    No wonder I was confused. They used Gein and Inui Banjin and none of the Oni. I was trying very hard to place those two when I was watching (I don’t read reviews prior to a movie I really want to experience cold, and don’t do in-depth cast views either.) It’s a big departure from the original, because it was the Oni who were hired by Takeda, and were gunned down by Takeda. And this is why Aoshi Shinomori had a vendetta vs Kenshin. Argh. I was sticking so bad to this plot point. I expected minor Oni no Aoshi, but was unprepared for Gein. Now I’m scared they’ll twist Enishi and Shishio. Maybe stick Enishi into the Juppongatana. Or skip Shishio (unthinkable). Questions, questions.

  2. Warn me when you are watching a movie so I can make sure I am in a different theater. : )

    While I don’t mind laughter, screams, or crying as these are reactions that are meant to be elicited by the director (or he managed to elicit inadvertently), I feel comments or questions should be whispered at most or kept to oneself for discussion after the film.

    I believe that watching a DVD at home is the perfect place to be as loud or obnoxious as one wants to be. Plus you can stop the movie for a bathroom break and smelly food. A public place like a theater β€” wether watching a movie or a play β€” calls for consideration for others.

    Of course there are exceptions β€” the Rocky Horror Pictures Show screenings are meant for audience participation. Truly bad movies are asking for loud commentary thrown at the screen, along with popcorn.

    But in general, I am very old fashioned and proper about this.

    A Sting concert is another thing entirely…

    1. LOL will do. (and all of my sting vids are not fit to be posted because of the screaming.)

      honestly, this is the worst that we get. this particular film is special. in that it took a decade to come out, we’ve forgotten most of it, and it’s an action film that makes you go “fuck that’s so cool!” you should see my FB entry on this jaunt. 50 comments and counting. we just love it to pieces.

      but i must say that we’ve also watched all three LOTR films and behaved perfectly well πŸ™‚ just as rabid fans, most of my friends are.

      i’ve suffered through bad horror films (that i’ve reviewed) and only snorted or cried out – just once – “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” but that’s it.

      so this one: a combo of so many factors.

      pero yeah. i wish they did do rocky here. we’d be perfect πŸ™‚

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