Why I Hate Movies on Cell Phones, and You Should, Too

Posted: December 1, 2010 in Essays on filmmaking
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I believe that the laws of drinking apply to movie watching. If you are doing it alone, if you do it all the time, if you must always be doing it, if you do it before noon, you are in serious trouble, mister.

But the maker of cell phones, and by extension, people of the world, feel differently. They feel that you should always watch movies. Do you have to wait in line at the bank? Movie! During your kid’s soccer practice? Movie! Sitting in traffic? Movie! Eating in a restaurant? Movie! Going to the bathroom? Movie!

I myself don’t lament the time I have wasted on toilets movie free. But maybe I just hate change, and should crawl back under the rock I came from.

Why would you do this to yourself?

When I watch a movie, I do it to be immersed in a fantasy world, where I can vicariously live other lives, see through different eyes, or watch a really cool fight scene between a ten-year-old girl and twenty mob guys. I don’t know how you can do that on a two inch screen. I don’t know why you would want to.

I don’t know how the HTC Surround can claim to have surround sound in a phone. Because the definition of surround sound, I don’t know, might have something to do with the speakers SURROUNDING you. This is the equivalent of paint claiming to be hi def. You have to ignore the meaning of the word to do it, and marketing people are happy to ignore the meanings of words. Like extreme breakfast cereal.

But to me, the worst part is the fear of a few minutes of life passing without diversion. I love watching movies, but they aren’t life. And unlike life, they aren’t going anywhere. I can wait to see Spiderman 3 (forever, or for the sake of argument) until the end of a long day, when I want to relax. Maybe after a good meal, with popcorn I made with an air popper (the best way to make popcorn), a blanket, and a glass of cranberry juice.

Preferably, not alone.

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