Bellowing Psychopath

The kids and I caught a 4:30 showing of The Wolf of Wall Street today at Leows 34th Street. A couple of HE people had said “see it with a paying audience and you’ll realize that this really is the new Scarface — people are mostly getting off on the insane manic humor, and very, very few are drawing any moralistic or metaphorical message whatsoever.” It was Jett’s second viewing, Dylan’s first. But right away there was trouble from a big black guy sitting a couple of seats to Dylan’s right. This dude wasn’t just talking all through the film — he was broadcasting his line-by-line, scene-by-scene commentary to the entire front section of the theatre.

When Dylan asked him why he was talking so much and where are his manners, the guy was indignant…”I’m enjoying myself!” The guy’s wife or girlfriend was trying to get him to chill also, but he was off on his own cloud. There was no reaching him, no guilt-tripping, no winning through persuasion or threat — he was (and probably still is at this very moment) a stone sociopath, a complete animal…gone.

We all know that African-American culture has always accepted talking during films, especially in New York. As manners have decreased and society has devolved in recent years incidents like today’s have probably increased. It has always seemed to me that theatre talkers have a certain under-educated je ne sais quoi with a vaguely alcoholic air. They never seem to be executive job material, I know that. I also know that the vast majority of New York theatre talkers I’ve run into in the past seem to be Swedish, Danish, Norweigan or Finnish. Have others noticed this?

After Dylan’s first verbal altercation I looked over and glared at the guy, and he glared right back and said, “What the fuck are you looking at, man? Rude-ass mothahfuckah…guy givin’ me shit!” I knew then and there this guy was very possibly disturbed and beyond the reach of any appeal. I also knew he was a fucking dumbass because when Kyle Chandler‘s FBI agent came to Leo’s mansion with that yellow post-it that Leo slipped to Jonah Hill, the one that said “Don’t incriminate yourself — I’m wearing a wire,” the guy said quite loudly to the front section of the theatre, “That’s the yellow paper he used to write that note!”

Dylan eventually gave up and bolted out of there at the 130-minute mark.

The only way to deal with psychos like this is for three guys to face him as a team. Two guys need to go the lobby and buy three 24-ounce drinks while the third guy goes to a nearby sporting goods store and buys three baseball bats. The friend returns and they all go into the theatre, each carrying a super-size drink and a bat. They drench the talker with three simultaneous hits, one on either side of his face and one on the top of his head, and when he howls like a bison and gets up they fend him off with the bats and if necessary whack him once or twice. I know that’s a ridiculous scenario but you have to do something when these assholes won’t shut up, and the managers of these plexes are candy-asses — they never do anything. So what do you do? Use a taser?

Here’s a June 2013 piece by New York‘s David Edelstein about a similar situation that happened at a June 2013 BAM screening of Mother of George.

  • bastard in a basket

    Wow…the rage this post is going to set off. 100 posts in 24 hours! Remove the “ape” characterization immediately!

    I saw Wolf at the very same theater at the 3:10 show yesterday. The crowd was pretty damn quiet all the way through.

  • Cerulean

    Well Jeff, hats off to you for actually taking some of our advise to go see The Wolf of Wallstreet with an audience. As I said Wolf is the kind of movie that will have cross-over with the Jackass series fanbase so I’m not surprised at all about your encounter with the loud talking dude who came for entertainment only. Not sure why you had to EMPHASIZE his race since you said his significant other (assuming she was Black too) was being respectful. One Black guy can’t represent an entire race.

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

      He was a black guy. What, I can’t say that? I’m kidding. I realize, of course, that the rules of p.c. journalism require that non-whites can never be physically described, even faintly. I’m so sorry I did that. I guess I’m just a racist turd.

      • Cerulean

        Hey Jeff,

        I am not calling you racist. I don’t throw words like that around especially when I don’t know you personally. Just wasn’t sure why his race (even if he had been White) was so important. However that’s a distraction, I just stopped by because I was so impressed that you listened to your readers. You are the real deal. Two thumbs up.

      • Thom Phoolery

        OH NO YOU DI’INT!!!!

      • Honeybrown1976

        Why was his race important, though? You could have said man and that’s it. You put an emphasis on an unimportant attribute. Own up to what you wrote.

        • Joshsleeps

          His race was important because the experience was a spring boarf for Jeff to contemplate the cultural differences in movie-going etiquette. The commenter who used the analogy of church behavior was spot on. I tend to give a pass to movie talkers if they’re black because I know that’s just the cultural norm and not necessarily a conscious disregard of other people’s feelings rooted in sociopathic narcissism. If a theater is all black, no one is complaining and everyone is enjoying themselves, so how can you fault it? If its a white fratboy or a dumb redneck, I will go apeshit on his ass. Does that make me racist?

          • Honeybrown1976

            It’s not a cultural norm, though. No more than NASCAR and drinking wine out of a box is a cultural norm for white Americans. I don’t talk during a movie (but if I do, I whisper). We are all individuals with some connection. But, to generalize an entire group on the actions of a few is a relic that needs burying.

            • Joshsleeps

              I get what you’re saying, but there’s a fallacy in your argument — we’re talking about movies, not Nascar. Nascar is a niche sport with a very specific audience that easily fulfills a stereotype. But everyone goes to movies. It’s just statistics. You go to a nascar event and you know that you’re not getting a representative cross-section of humanity — you have one specific subculture. Movies are universal. Everyone goes to them. So when you observe one specific group in the movie consistently behave in a certain manner, it’s fair to draw conclusions about cultural norms within that specific group. It’s not good or bad, it’s just math. Any thinking person understands that we’re all individuals with our own values that are not in any way contingent on the color of our skin. To think otherwise would, in fact, be racist. But is there something wrong with observing and acknowledging patterns that present themselves? At the end of the day it’s just anthropological curiosity.

              • Joshsleeps

                To put it another way — I’m Jewish. I am not cheap, I’m rather generous. I am not good with money, I’m a terrible, compulsive spender. But I routinely observe, on a daily basis, Jews, rich and poor alike, fulfill the stereotype of the money-grubbing cheap-ass tightwad. So, is it wrong for me to acknowledge and comment on that pattern of behavior?

                • Honeybrown1976

                  No, it’s not wrong. At least, your attributing some things to individuals, rather than an entire group. That makes sense. It still leaves room for individuality.

      • http://Flicksation.com/ Ian

        And how dare you mention his size! I like for your stories to be entirely vague and without description, like all the best writers stories are!

  • Glenn Kenny

    “This black guy wouldn’t stop talking during the movie…and his comments were so stupid!” is the new “The food here is terrible, and such small portions!”

  • Muscle McGurk

    This reminds me of seeing Amistad at the Lincoln Square, seated next to a couple of the black Islamist guys who used to preach about killing whitey on the corner of 14th and university across from union square. They loved the first scene but were vocally unhappy when Cinque started to look at pictures of jesus and get buddy-buddy with Matthew McConaughey.

    Honestly I think tasers are the way to go in these kind of situations.

  • Hollis Mulwray

    Talking to a movie screen or eating waffles with chicken are not exactly signs of “culture”.

  • waxrhapsodic

    Jeff deserves a pass on this one. Anyone remember the to-do this summer when tech blogger Anil Dash compared those of us who enjoy our movies free from chatter, phone calls, texting and loudmouths who editorialize at the screen to slave owners and misogynists?

    He even managed to piss off Matt Zoller Seitz, who tends to be a bit less excitable than Jeff. Seitz responded in Vulture with a defense of good manners.

    Original piece here: http://dashes.com/anil/2013/08/shushers-wrong-about-movies-wrong-about-the-world.html

    This is something film enthusiasts should be up-in-arms about. You’re either on Team Dash or Team Wells. And if you’re on Team Dash, you don’t really belong posting comments on a film blog.

  • MisterQuigley

    Do blacks hoot and holler during Broadway shows as well? If so, I’d change my mind about wanting to see a play. That sounds like fun.

  • Bobby Peru

    Same experience yesterday Jeff, but on my third viewing of the film there was an obviously “challenged” person in the theater (on the order of your Gravity experience) who needed affirmation from his companion of what was going on (from the sound of it I am not even sure he could see the screen). There was a “that’s the yellow paper” comment, right on cue.

    I agree with you on all, but after several “ssh” and “please be quiet” and “what is your problem?” admonishings, I always feel that I am disrupting the film more than they are. Have also tried complaining to the theater staff mid-film, but it never works, and you end up missing chunks of the film.

    However, good to know that it is mainly “Swedish, Danish, Norweigan or Finnish” (oh and Black) viewers who are mainly the unruly ones. We would all do well to keep an eye out for them at the ticket kiosk, and save ourselves the trouble.

  • Clockwork Taxi

    It’s really intolerable. Theater staff are useless. I’ve found the only wait to get movie talkers to shut up is to make them think you yourself are out of control. Of course this makes you look like an idiot and ruins your stance, but it tends to work.

  • Gabe_Toro

    I love it when Jeff waxes on about his knowledge of “African American culture.”

  • AnnaZed

    I lived in New York for decades and never noticed the boisterous Scandinavians, just sayin’.

  • David Slovakia

    “I also know that the vast majority of New York theatre talkers I’ve run into in the past seem to be Swedish, Danish, Norweigan or Finnish. Have others noticed this?”

    Anyone? Have Swedes, Finns, Norgs and Danes always been genetically engineered to talk during movies or is this a new thing?

    • Diane_Chambers

      I am from the upper midwest, land of Scandinavian descendants, and Jeff’s analysis cracked me up. We tend to be much quieter watching films than people in other parts of the country. Maybe recent Scandinavian immigrants are a particularly disrespectful group of movie-watchers?

      • Michael Gebert

        Fucking Finnish water buffalos.

        I know, I heard a Swedish-American clear his throat during a movie once. He was shunned by his community for the rest of his life.

    • AnnaZed

      On reflection I have concluded that this was a smallish joke on Jeff’s part.

  • VicLaz2

    Dulouz Gray is going to LOVE this thread.

  • Vinci_Smetana

    I’m still liking a HE commenter’s suggestion from an earlier post that the Kyle Chandler character be played by a woman. Hollah!

    • Brad

      Nah, just dumb. Scorsese wanted to emphasise the differences in both men’s masculinity aka representing the differences between Jordan’s values and wider society’s (“good for you, little man” “me, the little man?”). Not to mention that Jordan’s arresting officer was, umm, a man. However, I suppose Scorsese should bow down to a couple of moronic commentators on a movie blog because of tokenistic, stupid ideas.that misunderstand the points he was trying to make.

    • bastard in a basket

      Women be shopping!

  • pizan܍amore

    PRIVATE JOKER SAYS…

    Pillowcases and bars of soap. Works like a charm. But watch those reprisals, they’re a bitch.

  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3769949/ thatpj

    #12YearsASlave supporter

  • ronlado

    We all know that African-American culture has always accepted talking during films, especially in New York. As manners have decreased Football Shirts
    and society has devolved in recent years incidents like today’s have probably increased. It has always seemed to me that theatre talkers have a certain under-educated je nais sais quoi with a vaguely alcoholic air.

  • worldsoccerjerseys

    It’s really intolerable. Theater staff are useless. I’ve found the only
    way to get movie talkers to shut up is to make them think you yourself
    are out of control. Wholesale Soccer JerseysOf course this makes you look like an idiot and
    ruins your stance, but it tends to work.

  • Joburg man

    “….theatre talkers have a certain under-educated je nais sais quoi …”

    Pro tip: when attempting to use prissy French phrases to complain about “under-educated” people, you might seem a little under-educated yourself if you botch the French phrase.

  • John H. Foote

    Nice call Jeff — my wife and I had a similar incident and the dude wanted to fight me — I stood to follow the asshole out of the theater to possibly get my ass kicked (possibly) when my wife flew past me and grabbed his face in her hands and hissed at him, “What the fuck is wrong with you? Men don’t fight…BOYS DO!!! Are you a man or a boy???” — people around started applauding her — he very meekly sat down, apologized, but then thirty minutes later pulled out the cell phone to start texting — this time she grabbed his cell phone and threw it down in front of the screen — the place exploded in cheers — my wife was a super hero — she died a year ago, brain cancer, 45 years old, and stories like this make me miss her — such a lady but fearless…

    • VicLaz2

      Pics/ video or it didn’t happen.

      • DuluozRedux

        Pics and video? You mean like the complete lack of video or audio of the Tea Party yelling the word “nigger” 20 times at Representatives like John Lewis as they crossed the plaza to go vote on Obamacare?

        No video or audio was ever produced that proved such a thing, but victims like yourself still spew this lie.

        So kindly go fuck yourself with your bullshit calls for proof. The man’s wife is dead, have you no fucking respect you victim?

        • VicLaz2

          Dulouz, google “pics or it didn’t happen meme”, then do some yoga or meditate and relax. Here I’ll do it for you:

          http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/pics-or-it-didnt-happen

          “Pics or It Didn’t Happen (sometimes spelled Pix or It Didn’t Happen) is a phrase often used on message boards or in comments to challenge an unbelievable or outlandish claim by inquiring photographic evidence.”

          I am glad you got a chance to type “nigger”, was that therapeutic?

  • Gridlock

    Adds “not executive job material” to list of euphemisms.

  • Gurney Halleck

    Let me relate two movie going experiences I’ve had.
    Sometime in 2003 I saw “The Ring” in theatres. By chance, my row had quite a few black girls from my high school. Throughout the movie, they couldn’t help verbally expressing how scared they were and how involved they were in the film — they kept talking back at the screen, screaming, chattering about the movie, etc. In any case, those girls made that cinematic experience more exciting than it would have been in a stone cold theater.

    Some time later, I’m watching David Mamet’s forgettable thriller “Spartan” in a small theater. There’s an elderly white gentleman in my row who is quite riveted by the movie…he couldn’t help but narrate the film and kept trying to predict what was immediately going to happen. This goes on for about an hour, when a single black man seated on the edge of the row in front of the elderly snaps “Could you PLEASE stop narrating the movie!? We know what’s going on. We’re watching the movie with you!!” The tone was indignant, the accent definately black. The old man immediately shut up. I felt sorry for him. I looked around the theater, and it seemed that everyone else felt sorry for the old man too and were kind of mad at the black guy for calling him out.
    These things aren’t so simple. Sometimes near complete silence is appropriate…other times, some liveliness is to be welcomed. Jeff, what you should have done is go complain to the theatres management…

  • Gil Padilla

    So it doesn’t look like I’m mentioning the man because he’s African-American, I’ll throw in a few other races, so it will seem I’m fair, and I’ll include my kid’s tweet….how about that!

  • Ivan__Drago

    My problem is that I can’t relax once someone starts interrupting, I’m so consumed with their ignorance it takes me out of the movie. I literally get the chemical flight or fight response and I can’t gear down.

    My pet peeve is when parents drag their kids into these movies. I was at a 10PM weekday showing of Evil Dead and some guy had what looked to be a 6 year old girl with him. Are you kidding me? I said loudly at the end when everyone was filing out “Can you imagine taking a child to this movie? Someone should call Child Services” the guy was so oblivious he didn’t even blink.

    My cell phone jammer has eradicated phone calls in theaters, they are history, I highly recommend one if you have the balls to order one internationally and have it shipped to you here where they are illegal. The joy of watching people fail to use their phones in the middle of a movie is better than sex.

    I know it’s heresy to say, and cinema is my church, but since I bought a 82 inch 3D TV I have cut my theater going in half and I cant say it’s been a problem.

    • Thom Phoolery

      Damn it I always use my cell during movies. I must break you!

      • NephewOfAnarchy

        Thom….if I can change, and you can change…everybody can change!

    • pizan܍amore

      Sorry Thom.

      THOM PHOOLERY SAYS…

      Speaking of Ivan Drago, you know who else can be a real problem? Transvestites. I was at one of those Rocky films way back when, and there was this whole group of them throwing hot dogs at the screen.

      • Ivan__Drago

        Agreed, we shouldn’t let them vote.

        • pizan܍amore

          Da, und also no real coontry een dees state.

  • Jeremy Carrier

    the fuck do you know about African-American culture, Jeffrey Wells

    • Ivan__Drago

      Allow me to answer on his behalf, all you can go off of is what you experience personally. In my experience, if I am at a movie and someone is talking at the screen, 9 times out of 10 they are African American (which is not to say whites do not talk inappropriately at theaters, just not usually at the screen directly). Many other people share this experience. Does that mean I assume all African Americans talk during movies, of course not, but should I pretend my experience is different to make you personally feel better? An inappropriate distraction is an inappropriate distraction. Of course it comes down to an individual, but if a large percentage of the offending individuals have something in common, it is observed.

      I was a waiter. One of these days society needs to have an honest open conversation about one particular ethnicity and tipping. It’s not an empty shallow stereotype. It’s real. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of how the rest of the country operates, an opportunity for a teachable moment. Of course its not everybody, but it’s a large number. Is it wrong to bring up?

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

        Yes, it’s “wrong” to bring this up. May you fry in hell for all eternity for being candid about the African-American cultural tendency to be vocal in movie theatres while a film is playing. You can’t say this shit, man. I know. I’ve gotten roasted for it over the last 12 hours on Twitter.

        • VicLaz2

          I guess my friends and I are “good little well spoken negroes” who stay silent in the theater. I’m such a credit to my race aren’t I?

          • ACOD

            You are an Uncle Tom.

          • DuluozRedux

            No, you’re a fucking embarrassment to your race who willfully ignores facts and patterns that don’t fit your victim narrative. Afterall, if black people are boisterous in movie theaters, it’s probably because white people, or because slavery, or something.

            Bottom line, they’re not responsible for their actions. They’re victims of white people and as such nothing they do can be criticized without being racist.

            • VicLaz2

              I seem to remember posting some hard numbers and statistics ie, “FACTS” to refute your assertion that “black people commit more crime than white people” and “black unemployment did not outpace white unemployment pre-new deal”… and I heard crickets.

              • DuluozRedux

                You posted no such thing.

                In proportion to their percentage of the population, blacks commit way more crime than any other group.

                And black unemployment was roughly the same as white unemployment pre-1960’s. Look it up, and actually do it this time.

                • VicLaz2

                  “yet blacks commit the majority of crime in this nation.”

                  Wrong:

                  http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cj

                  (by the way that took less than 30 seconds to google, you might want to stop getting your info from STORMFRONT)

                  “Why did blacks back then have the same unemployment numbers as white people?”

                  Wrong:

                  “For example, among male workers in thirteen large cities in 1931 the rate was 31.7 percent for whites and 52 percent for blacks. And in spring 1933 while the general unemployment rate was 25 percent, for blacks it was 50 percent.”

                  http://slic.njstatelib.org/new

                  • DuluozRedux

                    How about you don’t pick a year from the fucking Great Depression! I was so embarrassed at your obvious thumb on the scale comment that I did not respond. I just let it hang cause it was so stupid.

                    And check your FBI link, there’s nothing there! How fucking dumb are you, seriously?

                    As a proportion they commit the most crimes, and maybe I was thinking of the prison population, which is majority black, nothing proportional about it. But again, you know better with your busted links and skewed data.

                    http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2013/04/10/black-unemployment-n1561096/page/full

                    • VicLaz2

                      Wait, so now the goalposts have moved? No longer the “60s” huh? Well check pg 17 of that second link it goes from the 30s to the 90s and shows a steady trend.

                    • VicLaz2

                      You changed your position from “blacks commit more crime”. How was the data I provided that proved you wrong skewed?

                    • VicLaz2

                      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-43

                      Fixed. Go read it, you can’t hide from facts.

                      And that townhall OPINION piece you posted is devoid of facts. “From 1900 to 1954 blacks were more active in the labor force…” What does that even mean? There is nothing in that article but extrapolation.

                • VicLaz2

                  http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/usccr/documents/e1858e471986.pdf

                  Page 17 has a nice graph that should shut you up.

                  • DuluozRedux

                    Hilarious, a document from the Commission on Civil Rights from 1986! Truly astounding! And Mary Frances Berry? Give me a fucking break.

                    All you give are skewed “facts” and partisan bullshit.

                  • DuluozRedux

                    Third page:

                    http://people.ucsc.edu/~rfairlie/papers/published/aer%201997%20-%20RacialUnemp.pdf

                    As you can see, until almost 1960, unemployment numbers were roughly similar for whites and blacks.

                    These are facts.

                    • VicLaz2

                      Did you even read that link? It shows a STEADY RISE in the unemployment gap between whites and blacks from 1910 on. The document shows the gap widened as Blacks migrated north and competed with whites for non agricultural jobs. Doesn’t that blow up your theory? Furthermore, the gap widens as MORE DATA IS COLLECTED. Read that whole document, it DESTROYS your whole argument. Thanks!

                    • DuluozRedux

                      Nope, wrong. Unemployment was roughly the same until almost 1960. Try again.

                    • VicLaz2

                      So now the numbers you provide which clearly show unemployment double are wrong? And oh yeah we can’t count the the depression era either right? Are you serious?

                    • DuluozRedux

                      Dude, the graph clearly shows unemployment being roughly the same until mid 1950’s. Relax, you were wrong, it’s okay, happens more often than you think.

                    • VicLaz2

                      What a piece of work you are.

                      Page 4:

                      http://faculty.washington.edu/charles/new%20PUBS/A55.pdf

                      Black Unemployment +5.5 in 1954, +5.9 in 1960, +4.8 in 1964 and it stays that way. A consistant +5 gap. Do you consider +5.5 “roughly the same” or do the 50s not count?

                      Oh wait, you are reading that graph as literal numbers and not as a ratio! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You’

                      That graph shows a consistent 2 to 1 unemployment ratio. You misread that as actual percentages… BWAHAHAHA. I actually feel kind of sorry for you now.

                    • DuluozRedux

                      Nope, sorry, you’re wrong, again.

                      But please, keep trying to prove how blacks have always been victims. That is your point, right?

                    • VicLaz2

                      You said “Blacks commit more crime” and alluded to something happening in the 1960’s (The Civil Rights Act?) as “destroying the black family”. YOU said “unemployment for blacks and whites were the same until the 1960’s”. YOU. SAID. THIS. I proved you wrong on both counts. That’s all I’m doing. I am not a victim. What’s your premise? Why are we black folk running amok? What’s the narrative you’re building Dulouz?

                      “white teens usually shut the fuck up if you publicly shame them in the theater. Black people will argue with you if you tell them to pipe down.”

                      Just an example of the types of things you post. If you can’t see the gross generalization and prejudice in that, well…

                    • DuluozRedux

                      Blacks do commit more crime. When I think of crime, I think of violent crime.

                      There was something in the 60’s called the Great Society, hailed by LBJ, and it was a massive jolt to the welfare state and the victimhood business. The professionally unemployed. The effects were disastrous for many poor groups, but especially for poor black people. Teen pregnancy and out of wedlock childbirth became the increasing norm.

                      And I was right when I said black unemployment and white unemployment were the same until the 60’s. Something happening until almost 1960, is something that happened until the Sixties, i.e. in the Sixties, something changed. For you to quibble over a few years difference is laughable.

                    • VicLaz2

                      You’re hopeless. You are wrong about violent crime. Wrong.

                      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-43

                      Here’s a tip ADD ALL THE VIOLENT CRIME STATISTICS TOGETHER YOU DOLT.

                      I showed you facts stating that unemployment for blacks has consistently been a 2 to 1 ratio since the 30s. You ignore that because I doesn’t fit your narrative.
                      You refuse to acknowledge 100 years of Apartheid that ended legally in 1964, nope doesn’t fit your narrative. Segregation, denial of education, nope don’t matter. Things magically got better in the 60’s right. I have heard this tired premise over and over and their is absolutely NO DATA TO BACK IT UP. The unemployment numbers are at a consistent 2 to 1 ratio. No amount of hand waiving will make those facts disappear buddy.

                      But tell me, why are blacks the only victims of the Great Society. Most welfare recipients are white. Why didn’t all white people fall victim to the great society? Or are you saying all poor folks dumb and lazy?

                    • VicLaz2
      • Honeybrown1976

        That’s funny. Usually, it’s the other way around for me. However, I tend to go blind in theaters with the incessant phone checking and texting that occurs around me.

        How in the hell is this considered “part of AA culture”? It’s called stereotyping.

        • DuluozRedux

          No, sorry, it’s called facts.

          • VicLaz2

            A “fact” is something that is scientifically quantifiable or observable. It may be a fact that Jeff saw a black person being rowdy in a movie theater, but saying “African American’s have cultural tendency to be vccal in theaters” is and always will be an opinion, until we get hard data to back it up.

            • DuluozRedux

              The hard data are the observations Jeff and millions of other people who go to the movies have made.

              Left wingers always dispute shit you can see with your own eyes.

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

      Not that much, I guess, but I do know that it’s a New York thang for African-American audiences to talk back at the screen (or comment about the action) during a film. Surely you’re aware of this.

      • waxrhapsodic

        It’s not just a New York thing, either. While I’ve spent most of my life in Jersey, the first time I had ever experienced this phenomenon was in Oklahoma City. I was uncharacteristically goaded into joining a couple of friends to see the Eddie Murphy vehicle “Boomerang” (1992) in the theater.

        We happened to be the only white guys in the audience, and the ensuing experience was completely foreign to me. When the first trailer came on, for the animated movie “Bébé’s Kids” the whole auditorium erupted into a circus. And it didn’t end until the film was over. People shouting, offering advice to characters, expressing outrage, providing running commentary. It was the most interactive, and completely foreign movie-going experience I’ve ever encountered.

        This also shouldn’t be surprising. Consider the difference in how African-American and white culture worship. Church is a totally different experience if you are a buttoned-up white guy, in a mainline Protestant or Catholic congregation. African-American church is a lot like African-American film-going, interactive and raucous.

        Sometimes I think our host pushes buttons just for the sake of doing so. But if we cannot acknowledge truthfully the difference in how black and white culture gather in groups to enjoy entertainment, than PC culture has completely ruined us.

      • SmaugAlert

        A New York thing? Don’t you live in LA? When I lived in LA, I experienced this with regularity which is one reason I started going to see all movies at the Arclight when they first opened… back in the days when they had an usher and monitored the theater.

        Haven’t lived in LA or been to the Arclight in years, so for all I know, it could be a problem there as well now.

      • Vinci_Smetana

        I saw The Conjuring in Crenshaw and there was very little talking back to the screen. Very disappointing.

    • DuluozRedux

      Did some black website pick this thread up? Who are all these new black faces here that never posted before?

      It’s like when Drudge links to Nikki Finke or something, all the right wing assholes who would never go to that site come out in force.

      So which website picked up on this? CafeMocha.com or some shit?

  • Brian Bouton

    Had a similar situation years ago watching Jackson’s “King Kong” where a blue-collar guy a row behind me was narrating the entire film to his 8 year-old son—“Look, he’s giving the monkey some chocolate. I bet he likes chocolate.” When I spoke up, he threatened to hit me since he had a “right to speak” whenever he wanted. We nearly came to blows, but I walked out and just got the refund. It’s always a lose-lose situation and management couldn’t give a shit.

    And this isn’t just a “black culture” thing. I’ve been invited by white, college-educated professional friends to see films, but when I tell them about my zero-tolerance for chat, they get upset and suggest another activity. This is the reason why decent people have home theater systems and rent everything on Netflix/Redbox.

    Also, you’d love seeing movies in Guam! When I caught “Schindler’s List” there in the 90s, the theater was packed with families and young children who brought their own food and drink as if it was Shakespeare at the Park. During the entire three-hour film, young children ran around under the screen while the adults wandered around talking to their neighbors.

  • Max Stephens

    I’ve seen one film at Leows 34th Street and will never return because of the ignoramuses talking throughout the film.

  • bastard in a basket

    This is the way to handle movie hecklers/talkers. Do it like George Costanza. “I’ll show you what it’s like!”

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EzxfivZF9Yk&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DEzxfivZF9Yk

    • pizan܍amore

      And no more fuckin’ beards! Now get out of my fuckin’ bus!

  • mizerock

    I was at a midnight showing of Evil Dead [the original!] about a year ago, and some nerd decided this was going to be a Rocky Horror / MST3K type experience and that he would throw out the first few lines until everyone else stopped being shy.
    After about the 4th “hilarious” statement out of the guy, someone near him said, in a moderately loud but calm voice, that that was enough with the commentary. And so he stopped, and we all enjoyed the film (which still included a few shared moments of laughter over moments like the badly matted full moon effect).

  • JoeS

    I hate talking in a theater. I also have a low tolerence for too much vocal “interactivity” with the screen by folks either enjoying or hating on the movie. BUT, if it’s an animated film, a comedy or a big studio epic – I’ll tolerate a certain amount of it.

    But, what really frosts my chesnuts are the chatters at Art House theaters – 99% white and middle to upper class. The worst screening experiece I had this year was at the brilliant (and criminally overlooked with most of the end of the year accolades) foreign film, THE ATTACK. Laemmle Theater. Santa Monica. Folks were yapping for 2 solid hours and no shushing would stop it.

    I ain’t young myself, but, I find that its the blue-hairs who are the most insufferable theater “companions”. They talk like they are in their living room, are clueless about how to use cellphones (“Where is the off button, Gladys?”) and get really really rude if you dare tell them to shut their yaps!

    • mitchtaylor

      People talking loudly to the screen are always better than people fucking whispering to one another during the movie. “what is that? who is that? oh is that the guy who…” So annoying these whispering conversations in your ear from people sitting behind you. Always NPR tote bag types, graying, bored in their marriage, desperate to not feel alone even for a few moments.

      And always these people joking about what’s going on… detached and ironic… so intolerable. Watch the fucking movie and save your gold material for the drive home. I didn’t pay $12.50 or more to hear your tight 5 on the Bullock character’s outfit in Gravity.

      Worst thing ever is going to movie with a new friend and realizing they’re ONE OF THEM. They start talking and chatting to YOU and you want to melt into the seat and drag them to hell with you.

  • fahrenheit290

    Thank you for this post Jeff. Our society is so hypocritical, and it’s false when media outlets and phony anchors/reporters try to smooth over everything to be politically correct and not say things how they are. Going to the movies should be a quiet, even sacred experience. You can talk to your friends, families, spouses, girlfriends or boyfriends after the film finishes. Does your post apply to all black people? No. Did the comments on the disabled boy in Gravity apply to all disabled people? No. This applies to the ridiculous people who feel going to the movies is all about them and forget they are participating in a communal experience. And yes often times that means a certain demographic…I’d be lying if I said it didn’t lol. There needs to be respect for the audience, and that includes everyone from the ignorant black person who didn’t shut up to the parents who brought the severely disabled boy to the theater, both of which seriously disrupted moviegoers. This isn’t about being racist; this is about speaking the truth about being considerate and calling attention to selfish people who aren’t.

  • Mr. Sheldrake

    Elderly, uneducated racist spews ignorant vitriol again. Film at 11.

    • DuluozRedux

      What’s racist?

  • algarciashead

    Semi-related: the arclight has INFANT TICKETS now? What is the point of that place at this point?

  • Marcus

    Piece of shit Jeff Wells strikes again with his racist rant. My God you need your old ass kicked over and over again. So sick of reading your bullshit and whining and complaining like a 5 year old. I’ve dealt with you in the past with this stuff and you still haven’t learned your lesson.

    • DuluozRedux

      The stones? No, it’s called being civilized. Unlike the heathens who can’t shut the fuck up.

  • DukeSavoy

    Fucking
    Vikings. What I really hate is when they conduct human sacrifice during
    the previews. By the last reel the corpse is beginning
    to stink and the flies buzz around your head and then you slip in the
    blood and spill popcorn all over the body and that sets ‘em off and the
    ‘kings get up in your grill with their axes and musty
    bear hides and if they find out you’re carrying any gold chalices or
    silver candlesticks or monstrances or patens or incense burners or any
    medieval church precious metal at all, they’ll take you outside and go
    all Lindisfarne on your ass. Sucks.

  • Awardsdaily

    Teenagers are the ones who make the most noise, talk, text, doesn’t matter. If they weren’t taught to shut up in movies they don’t know any better. Occasionally seniors.

  • imahrtbrkbeat

    Umm, I’ve had to shut up many a different race at the cinema. Did it really matter what race he was? A nuisance is a bloody nuisance. Every race is guilty of this behaviour — it’s not relegated to black communities.

    • MisterQuigley

      What’s up with this “race” shit? You mean the human race, I hope. And Jeff is talking about culture. Or lack thereof. Fuckin’ Swedes…

  • hupto

    And for the umpteenth time:

    DON’T. GO. OPENING. WEEK.