If You Can’t Control Yourself, You’re Gone

A few nights ago some “mentally-challenged” guy ruined (or came close to ruining) a screening of Gravity for the parents of a guy I know. It happened during a sold-out showing at the Cinemark/Rave theater in Manchester, Connecticut. The guy was making spastic noises all through the film. Audible to many but nobody squawked except for my friend’s dad. When he confronted theater management “they didn’t want to hear any of it” and said “we can’t not allow someone in because they have a disability.” The discussion continued and they finally offered him two free tickets. The bottom line is that the Manchester theatre manager felt it was preferable to put his customers through a major annoyance than risk being seen as bigoted toward handicapped people.

HE’s position is that nobody but nobody is allowed to disturb others when a film is playing. You have to be quiet or you have to go — that’s it, no discussion.

Here’s what my friend’s father wrote a couple of days ago to Scott Thompson, president of the Cinemark Theatre Group:

“I have what I’m sure is a hot button topic, one that will likely engender a canned, already-written- response, but it’s a topic I hope that you will give a few minutes of your time to address. I am writing about your policy of not removing disorderly people from your auditoriums. I went to a Real-D 3-D showing of Gravity last night — along with at least 500 other patrons at your Manchester, CT theater — and unfortunately, an inconsiderate adult brought her three children along, one of whom clearly suffered from an intense form of Down Syndrome.

“Unfortunately, your management decided to sell a ticket to a family who rudely chose to bring their Down Syndrome child to the film. He appeared to be significantly impaired in that he would yell out loud every few minutes, thus distracting everyone else in the theater. This is no more different than someone chatting on their cell phone, or texting with a bright LED light, or a group of teenagers showing up to do everything but watch the film at hand. I don’t blame the disabled child in the slightest. That is his unfortunate condition. I believe his parent was an insensitive moron for bringing him to the film so that she could see the film.

“But here’s my real issue:

“You begin your presentations by promising to evict anyone who uses their cell phone during the film. You have a policy of not allowing anyone under 17 to an R rated film. You also practice a rare and actually thoughtful rule of not allowing anyone under the age of 6 into an R-rated feature after 5pm, so as not to disturb the many adults who actually took the time to hire a sitter for the kids for the night. So you clearly run a business that allows you to make what some might refer to as ‘discriminatory’ decisions. Yet you seem incapable — from a management standpoint — of standing up to a customer and telling them that this is not an appropriate venue for their disabled child, who is interfering with the enjoyment of the rest of the crowd.

“More to the point, you are clearly willing to reduce the enjoyment of the product (in this case: Real-D 3-D which drives your price point north) that you are selling for 500 people for fear of upsetting that one individual who should have the common sense not to put their child in this situation in the first place. Certainly any number of people could have gotten up and asked your manager to remove the child/parent. But the real truth is that no one wants to be ‘that’ person. The result is that their enjoyment of the film had to suffer. You could easily have remedied that situation by indicating a policy that respects the 500 over the one.

“Let me repeat: I do not for a SECOND blame the child. But I do blame the idiot parent and I do hold you, the Cinemark Theatre Group, to a higher level of conduct.

“I would like a response about what policies you have considered to address issues like this. Why isn’t their a blanket rule statement that reads something to the effect of: ‘Any persons who interfere with the enjoyment of a show for the other people around them will be asked to leave the premises.”

“Your manager’s pathetic response was, ‘Oh, we couldn’t possibly not sell the ticket to her.’ The implication in his extended conversation with me was a ‘fear of being sued/being seen as discriminatory/insensitive’ etc. Nowhere was the consideration of the 500+ patrons discussed or valued.”

  • fredmertz

    Agree or disagree with his central point, I think we all have to admit that if this guy is half as douchey as he writes, he’s half of extremely douchey. Two top priorities when writing a complaint letter (assuming you actually want to receive some consideration) — 1) don’t be a douche, and 2) don’t write 600 words, because nobody gives enough of a shit to read that, especially if you violate rule #1 within the first 20 words.

  • Phat Abbot

    Wow, what an asshole! May he be brain-damaged in an accident and be barred from theaters by his own asshattery.

  • bastard in a basket

    The kid’s parents are obviously idiots.

    Your friend’s suggestion though is impractical. Think about it, you’re asking some pimply faced kid who sells the tickets to make a judgment call on whether someone “looks” mentally challenged enough that he MAY disrupt a movie. I guess it’s almost like profiling (and let’s not forget the inevitable lawsuit and public outrage if a theater had such a policy). It just couldn’t work.

    The disruption during the actual movie is different but someone actually has to go tell a manager about it. Otherwise, how would they know?

    Unless you’re wealthy and can isolate yourself, we are ALL at risk from dealing with the idiots of this world whenever we step outside. I just pray whenever I go to the movies that there wont be any annoying kids or loudmouths (LexG is always telling hilarious stories of how most of his movie going experiences are ruined by these type of assholes). My wife got spit on by a homeless guy a few weeks ago in a nice area of Manhattan. EVERY TIME you drive a car

    • bastard in a basket

      EVERY TIME you drive a car you’re putting your life at risk because there are idiots on the road who simply drive reckless. What can you really do? You can’t control everything and the “idiots” will always be there.

    • http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/ Jeffrey Wells

      Are you guys insane? You’re taking the side of an obviously arrogant and insensitive parent who brought her mentally challenged kid to the movies, probably knowing full well that he would disturb others to some (if not a great) degree? SHE’s in the right and the guy who righteously complained is in the wrong? What kind of cuckoo’s nest realm are you living in?

      • bastard in a basket

        I called the parents idiots. Did you read my post? All I was saying is that the suggestion that the theater refuse to sell a ticket to a mentally challenged person is ridiculous and impractical.

  • http://jessecrall.wordpress.com/ Jesse Crall

    If you or your loved ones can’t sit still and stay quiet for 2 hours, don’t go to the movies. Especially considering some poor kid yelling every couple of minutes at Gravity couldn’t exactly have been in his own desired element.

    Parents are to blame for this one. I’ve had issues not so much with mentally challenged kids but rather physically-impaired adults who use fucking OXYGEN TANKS during movies or morbidly obese guys wolfing down popcorn in between hacks and wheezes. The ticket takers can’t make judgments and other audience members know that getting up to complain means missing a major part of a movie and effectively having to rewatch the whole thing to understand it. The letter-writer getting 2 free tickets is about all you can hope for since moronic parents and insensitive trudgers will always be around to fuck things up.

  • Glenn Kenny

    This is a very sensitive and painful issue…and hence, something that Wells is AUTOMATICALLY gonna go “tough-guy” troll on. I wonder to what extent Wells would be willing to go full Tommy Udo on a handicapped kid if told to take care of it himself. “You’re GONE, retard.” You think he has the heart?

    Oh, and Jeff, maybe try to disguise the identity of your friend just a LITTLE when going hot-button like this. I guessed who it was by location alone, dude.

    • http://jessecrall.wordpress.com/ Jesse Crall

      HAHAHA. Now I see Wells dolled-up like Roger Waters doing his “In the Flesh” schtick, shining a light on the riff-raff and looking spiffy in his fascist duds.

      “All in all it’s just another brick in the Wells.”

    • Awardsdaily

      God, Glenn, one voice of sanity and compassion. The poor kid. This hideous world.

      • http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/ Jeffrey Wells

        The “poor kid”? And the poor people in the theatre who had to listen to his platypus noises all through the film? You make frog sounds in your theatre and screw things up for God knows how many others, you’re out on your ear.

        • buck swope

          platypus noises?

          you are a tremendous cunt.

        • buck swope

          but seriously, do you have to keep grinding everyone’s gears and compare him to an animal? i feel like you are just throwing shit all over the place to see what sticks. didn’t you post before that you fell asleep and snored during a movie? what’s the difference?

        • Awardsdaily

          I don’t have much sympathy for the people in the audience by comparison, no, sorry. No contest.

          • Michael Gebert

            I’m going to sit next to you at dinner and fart a lot.

            • Awardsdaily

              If you did that would be minor compared to the shit I have had to endure in movie theaters over the years. You just fucking deal with it or go to another showing.

              • Michael Gebert

                When I saw The Lawnmower Man there was a Mexican family in front of me with a baby. At some point they had to change a poopy, and did it in the theater.

                Just imagine the Welles rant on that one. It would be his masterpiece.

                • brijazz012

                  It’s important to point out that they were Mexican.

                  • Michael Gebert

                    Well, it is if you’re trying to convey every major detail that would send Jeff to the ceiling, yes. They were also fat and wearing low-thread-count shirts and mandals over their brown, desert-hardened toes.

                    • brijazz012

                      Makes sense. They probably chose that movie because Mexicans like lawnmowers.

        • Bachmann Corndog Overdrive

          You are an unredeemably terrible person.

      • Andrew

        If you actually thought what Kenny wrote was out of “sanity and compassion”, then that saddens me. It came out of his resentment towards Wells, nothing more.

    • Andrew

      I don’t know if what you are doing is all that better. You’re just using this issue to berate Wells again, not because you particularly care about the child, the parent or the other viewers. You don’t; they are just too good an excuse to propagate the “Wells is a philistine and I’m not” angle. AGAIN. This is a difficult problem and you have zero interest in providing any contribution of substance or integrity. Fuck you for taking this anecdote and using it to fuel your own ego.

      • Glenn Kenny

        “Fuck you for taking this anecdote and using it to fuel your ego.” Right, because this column is actually “The Ethicist,” and Jeff puffing out his chest on behalf of a zero-tolerance-for-spazzes-and-their-platypus-noises isn’t ego-driven in the least. Also, “philistine,” that word does not mean etc etc

        • Andrew

          Yeah, I was writing to Wells – just before – to tell him off. Check out below. Clearly, I don’t respect or admire his stance. But that doesn’t change YOUR arrogance or YOUR petulance or YOUR attempt to reiterate the “Kenny knows better than Wells” argument. Your post is just about you and your ego. Frankly, you are just as ego-centered as he is and you don’t give a shit. I find your position to be just as pathetic as Wells’. So – once again – fuck off, you EXPLOITATIVE, ego-fueled asshole.

          • Glenn Kenny

            All right, will do. You want any follow-up on my fucking off, you know, so you can be SURE that I’m following your directive? Should we make a lunch date so you can track my progress?

            Seriously: what are you gonna DO, Andrew? About me, about Wells, about whoever offends you? What are you gonna DO? Cause getting on comment threads and telling people to “fuck off” doesn’t get much DONE, Andrew.

            PS: interested readers should know that after posting the last comment, “Arthur” went in for an edit, and changed “ego-centric” to that very dramatic all-caps “exploitative,” followed by “ego-fueled.” What’s YOUR call, copy editors out there?

            • http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/ Jeffrey Wells

              In many if not most instances whatever you write online is movable, malleable and re-phrasable. I love that. It refines itself, it changes with the minutes or the seasons or the moods.

              • Glenn Kenny

                So wait a minute Jeff, you’ve been ANDREW all this time? You scamp, you. And how are things with your ego?

              • Bob Martinelli

                What else do you love fruitcake?

            • Andrew

              How about start with not EXPLOITING (there is that word again, and an important one) this debate or any other sensitive debate with a contribution that is effectively “this is a sensitive issue, but I don’t actually give a shit about the issue and that first clause was just an excuse to shit all over Wells”? You arrogant, insensitive asshole. Quit trying to be clever, quit trying to offer “but, but, but you edited your remark so there” retorts and just listen to the advice I am giving you. What you did was appalling and grotesque. Unlike Wells, you actually know what you did was terrible and insensitive, yet you did it anyway, which makes you infinitely worse. Right now, you are a fucking piece of shit. Try to be less of a piece of shit, that’ll do for now.

              • DuluozRedux

                Glenneth couldn’t help it if he tried. He actually doesn’t realize he’s an asshole.

                • Glenn Kenny

                  Andrew, do you have any actual understanding of the nature of the discourse in which you’re participating?

                  And Duluoz, sit tight, that restraining order’s in the works. Was wondering what took you so long to show up.

                  • Andrew

                    Yeah, I do, you’re the one who doesn’t, which is why my response of “don’t use this issue to simply bitch about Wells because it belittles the issue” comes out as “D.Z. is a stalker, lolllllllllllllllllllllllllll.” I understand, what you are suggesting isn’t complicated or interesting. It’s actually rather boring and almost-adolescent. No one on this board knows what it is like trying to take care of a child with special needs. NO ONE on this board has had to deal with the shit she has dealt with and had to try to remain strong and focused on the needs of her child in the same way, let alone put themselves in the actual shoes of the child, who would miss out on so many things that others take for granted. I think the child probably should have been taken out of the cinema, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel for the child or the parent who was trying to give her child the same experience of any other child. I genuinely find it a little disgusting that you have EXPLOITED (considering that you clearly don’t get it, I guess I just have to capitalize the word all the time) this debate, once again for the “Wells is insensitive and I am a cultural giant” narrative. In fact, that’s fine when you are writing about the actual film of ‘Gravity’ and Wells’ dislike of it. I don’t have a problem with that. But to try and steer the conversation to your pathetic, one-note shtick on this issue is morally repugnant to me. Do you genuinely not understand why that is inappropriate? Are you genuinely that insensitive and stupid? How the fuck are you as old as you are and are still trying to be the smart-ass? Do you not have any fucking wisdom? Or any sensitivity? Or even self-awareness of what you are doing, which is wrong?

                    • Glenn Kenny

                      Before this exchange grows any more debased and demented, I’m just gonna point out that the recounting of this anecdote, an event that no one can do anything about now (including Jeff’s complainant pal) was not posted on this website for the purpose of advancing ANY kind of serious discussion. And that, Andrew, you have absolutely zero idea of what experience I’ve had with special-needs children. None.

                    • Andrew

                      You’re right, I don’t actually know, but I can tell, though. You don’t have to be a fucking mind reader to tell. Whenever someone writes on a topic that they have no understanding of, it’s fucking obvious to the reader. You were an editor, right? How do you not know that? This anecdote may not have been posted for serious reasons, but it IS serious and it deserves a better discussion than “lol, DZ is a stalker, lol Wells isn’t the cultured, lol lol”. No one gives a shit about your petty rationalizations for your insensitive contribution. It’s pathetic. Just learn from this debate and you might not highjack other serious issues, in the future. Or maybe, just maybe, get a bit more life experience.

                    • Glenn Kenny

                      No, you can’t tell. You can’t tell a goddamn thing.

                    • Andrew

                      Oh, did you see a child with down syndrome on the way to a critic’s screening of ‘Frances Ha’? Oh, that changes everything. My apologies. You don’t volunteer with special needs groups, you don’t read to special needs kids, you don’t know anything, frankly. Quit pretending that you know.

                    • Glenn Kenny

                      So wait, are you D.Z.? Also, wherever it is you live, sounds like they need to vet the special needs groups volunteers a little more carefully.

                    • Andrew

                      Yeah, anyone that disagrees with you is D.Z. or Wells. However, I guess it makes sense for you – psychologically – to collate everyone that disagrees with you into the same shadowy figure. It makes things simpler that way.

                      And I don’t actually volunteer. I didn’t say or imply I did. In fact, I doubt anyone on this board volunteers with special needs kids or knows how to care for them. But here’s the difference between us: I didn’t actually pretend to know what parents or others go through, whilst you implied that you did (“No, you can’t tell. You can’t tell a goddamn thing”). Frankly, I find that disgusting. But, yeah, keep pretending like you do, in order to ‘win’ an internet argument. Keep acting like a martyr, victimized by D.Z. or Wells or anyone else that disagrees with you and implying some kind of life experience that YOU DO NOT HAVE.

                    • Robinson Crudite

                      You doubt wrong, though I rarely post here and certainly don’t qualify as a regular. Bit I HAVE worked as a teaching assistant in special needs classrooms in a junior high for years. It’s difficult work, but I don’t for a moment consider myself to know what it’s like to be a parent, which is far more challenging.

                      And while I understand your point, you can only assume Glenn doesn’t care about kids with special needs, as he hasn’t said anything directly. Meanwhile, Jeff has made his feelings obvious, as have you: your repeated use of special needs kids as some sort of monolithic group, more object than human, as part of your own personal rage-fueled crusade for quote-unquote justice isn’t exactly noble.

                      It’s been a few years since I worked at a school, but that old familiar defensive feeling for my students came right back to me when I read both Jeff’s posts AND your comments.

  • PatJim

    Wells, have you ever removed yourself? Or are you exempt?

    • http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/ Jeffrey Wells

      I’m exempt, yes, because I don’t make spazzy sounds when I watch films. Or any sounds for that matter. Unless it’s a comedy, of course.

      • PatJim

        can’t decide if I’m in the mood to find the posts proving otherwise. Anyone have some examples bookmarked?

      • Glenn Kenny

        QED, “spazzy,” cause Wells is above your timid lying morality and its PC rhetoric. Guy probably thinks of that Charles Rodrigues “Hire The Handicapped” cartoon as an instructional.

  • George Prager

    You can’t kick the kid out. If he had kicked the kid out, the douchebag parents would’ve been on the Today show, GMA and CNN the next day and Dr. Phil the following week and there would’ve been a boycott of the theater. In Massachusetts recently a diner owner faced a boycott because this dipshit brought his dog into the diner and then let his dog lick from his plate. The pussy’s excuse was that he was suffering from PTSD from being in the Iraq war and sometimes he feels anxiety so he has to fondle his dog or some other such nonsense. The diner owner wasn’t aware of this when he kicked him out. So the veteran was within his rights to bring the dog in, I guess, but couldn’t he refrain from letting his dog lick the fuckin’ plate?

    • http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/ Jeffrey Wells

      They let dogs sit down in restaurants in France, and I for one love this.

  • actionman

    anyone not in total agreement with what’s written above is clearly an insane person.

  • Awardsdaily

    Actually compares using a cell phone to a kid with Down’s syndrome in a movie theater. Wow. Wow. Really. Wow.

    • Zach

      What? They’re both distractions! Two completely different things, yes, but in a crowded theater, the effect is pretty much the same.

      • Awardsdaily

        One can be helped, the other can’t. Parents of disabled kids spent 90% of their time trying to help their kids not feel badly for being not like everyone else. Yes, it might be annoying to you if he can’t stop talking (I would say to that: get the fuck over yourself) — but he has just as much a right to be there. Unless you’re arguing that he doesn’t have a right to be there because he’s disabled. And you couldn’t do that with a straight face I don’t think.

        • Clockwork Taxi

          But does it? When you know your child can’t sit still and watch a movie-screen without making noises, do you really need to take the kid to the movies? How about order a Pizza and Redbox The Purge? Sure, it’s your right to take your kid and go see anything you like, but how about a little courtesy?

        • Zach

          Both can absolutely be helped. Don’t use your cell phone, and don’t bring a kid who’s going to be disruptive. It’s really that simple. I don’t see how any rational person can justify ruining 500+ people’s experience (which they paid 3-D prices for, mind you) so that ONE child doesn’t feel bad about “being not like everyone else.”

        • http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/ Jeffrey Wells

          “One can be helped, the other can’t.” But the spazzy kid situation CAN be helped. It can be helped by red-lining his as and not letting him back in the theatre ever again. Or…okay, be liberal and let him back in but boot his ass outta there if he lets go with one disturbing sound. The majority is entitled to silence.

          • moviewatcher

            jeff, you might want to make your point a little bit more respectfully. This is what happens every day on HE: I often agree with the gist of your point, but you just go overboard and fuck everything up.

          • Andrew

            There is something just … ugly about a grown man that refers to a child with down syndrome as the “spazzy kid”. This parent clearly wanted to give this child an experience that other children had. After it was apparent that her child couldn’t deal with the film, then she probably should have taken the child out of the cinema. But fuck you, you old as fuck piece of shit, for referring to a child in that way. Clearly, you are just as ugly on the outside as you are on the inside. How can you fucking be as old as you are (and you are old) and have zero wisdom or life experience?

            • http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/ Jeffrey Wells

              “…about a grown man who refers to a child with down syndrome as the ‘spazzy kid.’” The basic thrust and nature of my HE prose is generally not to echo or emulate Paul Scofield as Sir Thomas More but Scofield mixed with Pauly Walnuts.

              • moviewatcher

                Oh so your disrespect and douchebaggery are intentional?

              • Lucas Jensen

                You might be the most disgusting person I encountered on the internet today and that is quite a feat!

              • MisterQuigley

                Brilliant…

          • Lucas Jensen

            Spazzy? You’re disgusting.

        • actionman

          you’re an insane person if you think it’s acceptable for a parent to bring their handicapped child to a crowded movie theater and then allow them to make noise throughout the entire thing. you’re utterly off-your-ass.

        • brijazz012

          If they want their child to feel like everyone else, they could do what most parents do when they want a night out: hire a babysitter.

    • BoltsFan99

      Just wondering, Sasha: is this Jefferey Wells person usually this much of an insincere asshole, or is it just for this occasion?

      To Mr. Wells: look, we all hate it when people or phones ruin our movie-watching experience, but a crying bay and a kid with Down Syndrome sometimes can’t be helped or avoided. Maybe the parents couldn’t find a babysitter for said child, and maybe even their close friends, neighbors etc.had plans of their own that night.

      Simply saying they’re fucking shitheads (let’s not beat around the bush here, that’s EXACTLY what you meant to say about the parents in this situation) ignores that possibility of other factctors as to why they brought their mentally handicapped child to a theater. Also, I doubt they did it to be dicks and ruin yours – and everyone else’s – night.

      But here’s where you began to lose me: “This is no more different than someone chatting on their cell phone, or texting with a bright LED light, or a group of teenagers showing up to do everything butwatch the film at hand.”

      A person can easily switch off their phone or put it on vibrate. A child with Down Syndrome can’t help themselves. They’re not in the same league or even in the same ballpark. Here’s the line where I refuse to listen to what ever else you have to say:

      “You begin your presentations by promising to evict anyone who uses their cell phone during the film. You have a policy of not allowing anyone under 17 to an R rated film…Yet you seem incapable…of standing up to a customer and telling them that this is not an appropriate venue for their disabled child, who is interfering with the enjoyment of the rest of the crowd.”

      There’s a reason why the management won’t ever do that. It’s called a discriminatory practice, and by doing what you suggest, that theater would be sued and rightfully so. Also, congrats being for telling parents with mentally handicapped children that because their child is a retard, they cannot go see a film.

      Wanker.

      • http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/ Jeffrey Wells

        Yes, damn straight. Let’s say it again for emphasis. Parents with mentally handicapped children who can’t control themselves and shut the eff up when a film is playing cannot bring that child to see a film. Because it’s grossly offensive and inconsiderate.

        • Awardsdaily

          I disagree but maybe that’s because I’ve put up with all manner of irritating habits by movie-goers from rattling wrappers to snoring to talking to inappropriate laughter to chair kicking. Going to the movies is a communal experience, like it or not. We are a communal species, like it or not. We must share our world with everyone else, and yes, our movies. Movies are for everyone – including people who have difficulty controlling their impulses. As long as the kid was enjoying the movie that would be all that mattered to me.

          • Denis Hennelly

            This is exactly right. Every filmmaker will tell you that the audience brings something to the film. Unfortunately you can’t control exactly what that will be. It’s likely that the kid’s noises were reactions to the film, just very different from others’. And that’s part of the communal experience. People with Down Syndrome exist… in the same world where we fly space missions. Your community is what it is… you can’t control it by excluding what you consider undesirable members. You have more opportunity now than in the history of the world to have an individual experience with a film… watch it at home. Go to the afternoon matinee a few weeks after it opens. The group experience is a choice, but it is not controllable.

    • actionman

      yes. the disturbance that the official complaint is referencing was NOISE. the sounds of handicapped person who cannot control themselves are just as out of place in a crowded movie theater than that of cell phone chatter or gaggle-of-teenage-girls-chatter. how you can’t see that is mystifying. bottom line — it comes down to RESPONSIBILITY.

  • Mr. F.

    What’s the matter? Did the guy’s loud, distracting, and annoying exertions and wailing distract from Sandra Bullock’s loud, distracting, and annoying exertions and wailing?

  • Browncoat

    Fuck that guy and fuck this site. I’m done.

    • http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/ Jeffrey Wells

      You’re done because you’re offended that some people take movie-wacthing seriously and you feel it’s wrong to keep a guy out of a cinema who can’t control himself? I’ve been glad to be rid of certain commenters & readers over the years, but I’m REALLY glad to be rid of you. God! You actually believe that people who can’t control themselves should be allowed to see movies with others willy nilly. Unbelievable!

      • SeanRobinson

        The level of privilege and sheer, unrelenting self-involvement that you present is absolutely pathetic. I am gratified that you will never truly feel satisfaction as all of your joy is accompanied with pathetic mewling whining at the imperfection of your experience. Frankly, if I faced such a dour future, I’d eat a bullet immediately. Like, I’d be on my way to a store now in hopes that you can start filling out your paperwork as soon as possible because the waiting period before self-annihilation would be TORTURE.

        • DuluozRedux

          Oh, shut the fuck up, you oversized woman’s blouse!

          • Lucas Jensen

            You’re a bad person. Kerouac would hate you.

      • Browncoat

        I’m done because you have the tact of boar and attack others with frivolity, even the deceased as evidenced by your latest post about Mr. Ebert. You claim that Lex should consider a life evaluation, but you should look in the mirror, if the site of an old man doesn’t frighten you.

        • MisterQuigley

          Yeah, you’re clearly done.

          • Browncoat

            Who needs the last word most?

  • Joe Leydon

    “I don’t blame the disabled child in the slightest. That is his unfortunate condition. I believe his parent was an insensitive moron for bringing him to the film so that she could see the film.”

    And that, in a nutshell, is the real issue here: Not the child’s handicap, but the parent’s selfishness.

  • Guest

    yes, poor kid. platypus noises? for all you know it was the highlight of the kid’s life. it’s a fucking movie.

    you are a tremendous cunt.

  • Derek 8-Track

    Jeff gets it. This woman’s priorities are all out of whack. I never know which is worse, living through the disruption unable to concentrate or missing a portion of the movie to grab an usher/manager to stop the disruption. Unless the person is within my reach I usually sit through the atrocity. Those who respect film are put in sticky situation due to these rude acts. Hashtag first world problems.

    • fratdawgg23

      What do you do if they are within your reach? Molest them? Punch them?

      Kick yourself in the stones, mate, you earned it. Cheers.

      • actionman

        douche alert

      • Derek 8-Track

        If they’re within my reach I lean towards them and ask that they quiet down or turn off their cell phone.

  • HarryWarden

    platypus noises? LOL, love that one. The parents of the offending person are idiots and yet, like has been said here, if the theatre kicked them out said parents would have been on GMA the following morning and a lawsuit would have been filed. Stupid yes because it’s the parents own fault for being idiots but you and I know it would happen.

    • fratdawgg23

      Punch yourself in the stones, mate. Cheers.

  • Jake Bart

    I can see the point about not wanting to be distracted, but here’s the crux of the issue: there’s always the opportunity to just leave and ask for a refund. If these “platypus noises” are really such a distraction, then leave and see another showing. Believe me, there will be more screenings of GRAVITY. I can’t speak for Cinemark, but I know the AMC I’ve worked at will refund you the price of the ticket no questions asked so long as the film has played less than 30 minutes (any further in and you’ll most likely get free passes as this guy did).

    Is that inconvenient? Of course. But is it truly that difficult to see it as you doing a little part to give this guy who most likely struggles through daily life a chance to bask in the joy so many of us have felt before the silver screen? Must it only be a matter of YOUR PLANS BEING INTERRUPTED (the nerve).

    To equate this to cellphone usage is asinine. Down syndrome is not a choice; cell phone usage most certainly is. Any film fan worth his salt should be able to recognize that movies, despite their power and essential importance, are not actually the universe. There’s a whole big world spinning out there. Once in a while you’ve just got to let things slide and be a little decent.

    It sounds like that guy was having the time of his life in the best, most respectable way he knew how. Any movie fan who doesn’t respect that can shove it as far as I’m concerned.

    • DuluozRedux

      Having the time of his life? He probably didn’t know what world he was in, no pun intended.

      And yes, the kid doesn’t have a choice about the Down Syndrome, but the fucking parent DOES have a choice, and that choice should be not to be a selfish asshole who pretends her kid is like every other kid.

  • moviewatcher

    This is indeed a hot button issue. My stance is that there are many many ways to entertain a child and make him feel “like a everyone else” as Sasha put it. And few of those activities require someone to be in silence for 2 hours. The parents shouldn’t have brought the child (who has zero fault in this) into a movie theater when they knew he would disrupt the audience for the entire running time. With that said, both Jeff and his friend are being real assholes in making their points (as they usually do). There are other things to do. And if they really want to see it in theatres, perhaps the better option would be for the parents to take the child to a very early screening or a very late screening on a school day or a sunday night a few weeks after the film premiered or something like that so that there is more of a chance that the theatre wouldn’t be sold out and would have very few people. I mean, taking the child to a sold out screening doesn’t sound very thoughtful or corteous.

    • Awardsdaily

      I agree completely with you. But the part that no one seems to address is that she had two other “typical” kids who wanted to see the movie too. I can imagine how difficult it must be for their whole family.

      • http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com/ Jeffrey Wells

        Tough!

        • DuluozRedux

          See, this is why Jeff is my type of Liberal, he may be a Communist, but he at least has common sense.

          Libs like Sasha Stone are so fucking insufferable, they have no common sense. I guarantee if the kid was yelling out Bible verses she’d be the first one calling for the kid’s hanging.

          • Guest

            Can we please stop pretending you and Jeff aren’t both Conservatives?

          • Lucas Jensen

            You might be the dumbest person I’ve read on the Internet today, and I’ve been to Townhall.com. I bet you love it there. Enjoy being a racist!

            • DuluozRedux

              Oh right, you’re the fuck who thinks there needs to be more diversity in casting and shit. Jesus Christ…

  • JR

    Your friends should have assessed the situation (nobody is going to kick out this group), and they should have left the theater and asked for a refund/passes. To sit through the entire movie and allow it to be ruined is stupid.

    I try to dodge the problems by avoiding the crowds, and that usually means either waiting a week or two to see something, or going to a matinee. However…the other day (a weekday) I went to the first matinee showing of the day of “Enough Said” – during the trailers, a group of approximately one dozen seniors trundled into the darkened theater, and a pair of geezers sat in the seats adjacent mine (I was trapped).

    And they proceeded to talk, and they talked during the film, too. Towards the end of the movie, in the scene where JLD parks across the street from Gandolfini’s house, the old geez next to me asks her sleeping seatmate “Who is that actress? I don’t know who she is…” I didn’t know if I should laugh or punch her in the fucking ribs.

    The next frontier: old folks with fucking smartphones. Used to be the under 30 crowd were the only ones on their phones during movies, but more and more I see people in their golden years doing the same fucking thing…you can’t escape the annoyance anymore.

    • Michael Gebert

      Yeah, hitting the daytime matinees weeds out the iPhone-glowing teenage assholes, but it’s definitely playing talky old fucks roulette.

  • MovieSquad

    I don’t think this is as clear cut from the business owner’s perspective as your friend tries to make it seem.

    If the theater owner kicked out the Down Syndrome child and his family, they would possibly be violating the ADA and could open themselves up to all sorts of lawsuits as well as public ill will.

    I can definitely see the scenario pointed out by the other poster of the family showing up on Oprah, the Today Show, etc and getting lots of public sympathy.

    As a moviegoer in this situation, I would’ve just left the theater and asked for a refund.

  • EOTW

    But what about the poor guys who moan and groan through a flick (Wells)? It can’t be helped if the quality of cinema is subpar, say Philly Hoffman topless in swimming trunks or hipsterss in sandals.

  • Michael Gebert

    You’re blaming the theater for Liberal PC America, Jeff.

    • cyanic

      Liberals are for abortion. Conservatives believe all biologically damaged humanoid beings deserve to mingle with the rest of us.

      • Michael Gebert

        You’ve got one 9-month shot to take them out. After that, don’t you dare say an unkind word.

        • cyanic

          It’s cruel to speak disparaging of children. Specifically those with special needs. That shouldn’t be considered PC but having a heart and being an adult about it.

          • Michael Gebert

            No fair switching gears in a race to the bottom.

            • cyanic

              Do you want to be the bottom? I thought angry white guys wanted control at all times including the bedroom.

              • Michael Gebert

                That’s very offensive to gays, retard.

                • cyanic

                  I’m gay and love innuendo with a flexible hetero such as yourself.

              • DuluozRedux

                What do angry black guys want? Oh yeah, they want to chase a family in an SUV and then beat the father in front of their two year old. Gotcha!

                • cyanic

                  ??

                • Lucas Jensen

                  You’re horrible.

                  • DuluozRedux

                    says the guy obsessed with Marvel movies and TV shows. Fuck off.

                    • Lucas Jensen

                      You’re a racist, so?

                    • DuluozRedux

                      Nope, you’re the one who hates based on skin color.

      • fratdawgg23

        You sound as if you fell off your high horse and landed on your head.

  • SeanRobinson

    If you want silence in the cinema, buy every ticket in the theatre and then fucking kill yourself.

  • http://www.stlcardinalbaseball.com/ Ray DeRousse

    The mentally-challenged kid was being disrespectful of the sanctity of the Hollywood movie experience. Instead of disrupting the reverential tone befitting an $85 million dollar Warner Bros. production, he should’ve simply gotten up and left in the middle of it like a certain mentally-challenged Movie Catholic always does.

  • actionman

    At no time should ANYONE be allowed to bother other people while viewing a motion picture. For some, the movie theater is a CHURCH. Personally, I’d likely have been arrested for assault on either the theater manager for not doing quality checks on a 3-D presentation with a sold out crowd, or the fucking ASS-HAT of a woman for bringing a handicapped child to a NIGHTTIME show of a film with no apparent thought that outbursts might disturb some 500 people. Fucking jerk-off. If you’re not in 100% agreement with the letter/ complaint and Wells’s embracing of it then I wouldn’t want o know you.

    • fratdawgg23

      Hey mate, punch yourself in the stones on my behalf. Cheers.

      • actionman

        Hey Philistine, go fuck yourself why doncha? you probably like to answer your cell during a show, tool.

  • actionman

    there are a lot of philistines trolling this post.

  • http://jdurward.blogspot.com jessied44

    Several decades ago most theaters had a “quiet room” where parents with infants or others likely to disturb patrons would be seated. They had excellent “loge style” seats and viewed the screen through a window from the sound proofed room. It’s a shame this is not standard practice now. Consideration for all concerned.

  • Jack Shrout

    Thank you for writing this. Seriously. Noise is noise. Would the kid somehow be less annoying if he wasn’t mentally handicapped? The world shouldn’t have to bend over backwards to accommodate certain people.

    Right now I’m in college and freshmen are not allowed to have a car on campus. Because of this, when I go to the movies I have to spend money on a cab or leave on a bus way in advance. Either way, it’s a pain in the ass to get there, a drain of either time or money. I would be pissed beyond belief if I got out to the movies and my experience was ruined. Even if I was compensated, that’s a wasted cab ride or a ton of time wasted on a bus. I don’t know the kid, I don’t care about the kid, so why the hell do I have to give up my afternoon to accomodate this child? It may take a village to raise a child but I’m sure as hell not in that village.

    What you’re proposing here isn’t discriminatory or unfair like some people have said. It’s not hatred of Down’s Sydrome patients in the slightest. It’s the only fair way to go about things. Thank you for having the balls to say it. I love this article.

    • fratdawgg23

      Pro tip: You could save money by watching recently released movies online for free in your dorm room or off-campus apartment. Alone. At your convenience. And without the risk of being victimized by a disabled person. Alpha Mike Foxtrot.

      • actionman

        No. People should have the right and EXPECTATION of walking into a movie theater, purchasing a ticket, and watching the film DISTRACTION FREE.

  • Noiresque

    I am sure that your disgusting friend did not have the courage to talk to the person with Down Syndrome, nor his carer.

  • Lucas Jensen

    Your precious movie was “ruined” and you’re lashing out a child with disabilities and his parents. Look yourself in the mirror and say out loud what you’re saying and just listen to yourself. In the debate over the white guy broken up over his movie getting interrupted and the family with a child with special needs, I’ll take the side of the latter every time. Glad to see someone sticking up for all the “regular” people. You’re a horrible person.

    • DuluozRedux

      You’re a racist.

  • MisterQuigley

    I had to youtube “platypus noises” to get a better sense of the situation described. Wow, those are some annoying little fucks.
    Count me as Team Wells, though a small part of me hopes a world exists where somehow this kid is sitting directly behind Jeff on his London flight. Fuck that, he is sitting in front of Jeff with his seat in full recline. And the kid is wearing the 3D glasses because, you know, comedy…

  • MisterQuigley

    Reading comprehension is hard sometimes, but this cinema experience didnt happen to Jeff, dude…

    • Lucas Jensen

      I know. And that negates my point how? You’re defending a bigot. Have a nice day!

      • DuluozRedux

        Lucas, why don’t you go blow that cartoon dog in your avatar.

        You sick racist fuck.

  • Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb

    Shorter this guy’s letter: “Dear Theater Manger, I demand that you begin instructing your employees to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Many thanks, Anonymous.”

  • sarcasticcupcakes

    Wow you are a shitty human being. I am actually impressed.

  • Fredster

    Advocating discrimination is still advocating discrimination. Anyone who could justify such a thing is on the same level as any racist or homophobe as far as I’m concerned..People like this are why discrimination laws exist in the first place. The description of the event is telling enough that is less about a disability and more about the assholish behavior of an over entitled asshole.

  • Ethel the Frog

    Wells, congratulations. You are now officially part of the cultural 1%. Movies are not a right, they are a luxury. People come first, not your self-entitled, spoiled demands to be made to feel better than other people because of whatever deep seated psychological insecurites you clearly have. This is a new low for this site and your writing. You have crossed the line from mere arse to full blown selfish, self obsessed infantile scumbag.

  • Samantha Connor Vđ

    You got no idea, sweetie.

    You could almost be proud that your bigoted rantings made it all the way over the ocean to be posted on disability groups everywhere. My favourite retort wondered why we should consider the opinion of someone who looks like Cliff Richard on crack.

    If you took a breath to stop writing self indulgent piles of ignorance, you’d be able to find out that lots of people with disability ‘make noises’. They don’t even need to be ‘mentally challenged’. (I almost wish I had Tourette’s Syndrome so I could tell you what an unmitigated cunt I think you are with no language-shame, but let’s move along.)

    Yes, we are different from you. We are differently shaped, we drool, we shout, we grunt, we wobble and lean. But at the same time, we’re people and paying customers, something that clearly seems to have escaped your tiny mind. They developed this cool idea called the human rights movement over the last 100 years or so, something which clearly escaped your attention.

    And if I cross the ocean one day and find my wheelchair parked in a cinema next to a guy who looks like Cliff Richard on crack, I’ll be sure to make ‘platypus noises’ and drool on your foot.

  • fratdawgg23

    Mr. Wells and the azz clown whose cinematic experience was disturbed by a disabled person are both devoid of empathy and a conscience, two key traits of sociopaths. Since they are incapable of feeling shame for demonising disabled people, I recommend a punch in their useless stones.

    • actionman

      Clearly you didn’t read the original complaint letter, putz.

  • Bob Martinelli

    Typical noise from a loser critic. A no talent, denigrate others work loser. Please come to Austin so I can punch you in the mouth.