This morning we went to an Odeon “Senior Screen” session (£4 a head for the luxury seats, coffee and biscuits!). Oh, the excitement we pensioners have to contend with…
Man of Steel was showing, and though I know our friendly not-exactly-neighbourhood critic gave it a “meh” rating, I did actually quite enjoy it, as a fairly decent attempt to return to a darker style. The over-emphasis on the mayhem, violence and destruction actually slowed the story somewhat; much of that was, I assume, designed to keep the 3D audiences happy (we watched in 2D). Despite the niggle, though, it was an enjoyable bit of comic-book hokum in which to immerse ourselves for a couple of hours, though the additional sound track was a real nuisance.
What additional sound track, you ask?
Well, I’ve ranted with the best against the constant texting, twittering, tweeting and talking of teenagers (I probably include anyone under 50 in that designation these days!) in the cinema, and their tendency to practise percussion skills on the cardboard cups or popcorn boxes having previously rattled, crackled, slurped and chomped the contents loudly during the tenderest moments of the drama.
Given a cinema fairly full of apparently respectable citizens of ‘a certain age’, I had expected a civilised experience, being able to view the film with others, sharing the odd gasp, laugh or indrawn breath, but otherwise without that sort of extraneous noise.
I was so wrong.
A gaggle of giggly septuagenarians at the back left maintained the fine tradition of kids at the back of the class everywhere, thus kindly providing distraction, should I get bored with the story. Behind me on the right-hand side of the aisle was a trio of women (though I am sure they would say ladies) who chatted loudly and volubly throughout most of the film, kindly balancing the noise levels in each ear for me. I was particularly impressed by the way they managed to co-ordinate their louder bits of conversation with the gigglers and crescendo wonderfully together into the (fairly few, to be fair!) quieter and more dramatic moments of the film.
This was all wonderfully counterpointed by the extended and repeated crackle of cellophane from somewhere in front, which I could only assume accompanied the opening and consumption of copious quantities of Werther’s Originals along at least a whole row of pensioners.
Please, cinemagoers of all ages, remember that you are not alone in that auditorium. It is the cinema, not your living room. We have all paid to see & enjoy the film rather than to hear your ongoing commentary, or worse, your gossip. And, to the Senior Screen cohort – you really are old enough to know better!