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Filmism.net Dispatch July 9, 2012

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I went to a cheap second run cinema the other day to see The Amazing Spider-Man. I've been to this place once before and swore I'd never do it again, and this time I've really learnt my lesson. They charge $5 and get the scratched, dodgy test prints from the studio and the sound is horrible. I should have paid $20 to see it in a multiplex with good sound, a real sized screen and 3D.

But what gripped me even more than that was the amount of people not caring about the movie. Now, I'm a film critic, I want to see, absorb and appreciate every frame. I hate being late (which I was to Spider-Man) and I hate having to go to the toilet halfway through. I purposely don't drink for a few hours before seeing a movie.

Mostly it was kids sitting still and paying attention only during the action sequences. Every time there was a scene of drama or exposition they looked around, yelled at their parents, played with their shoes, etc.

And kids are kids, but the adults were no different. The number of glowing cones of light from mobile phones that went on and off while people texted their friends was beyond belief. One couple nearby appeared to be talking about their impending house move.

Do people really treat the act of enjoying a movie with such cavalier indifference? A director or studio has (presumably) rewritten, reshot, re-edited and sweated bullets over every second of footage to make sure the entire thing hums. Do they realise the people buying the tickets aren't even paying attention to half of it?

Is it just me?

I've also noticed a trend that I think marks a turning point in movie marketing, the motion poster. I've seen two so far, for the new Dredd 3D and a horror movie called Sinister. It's as if someone in Hollywood Marketing Inc suddenly realised where most of the ticket-buying public are. They're not walking out of the cinema looking at the posters or driving down the street looking at billboards thinking 'that looks like a good movie'.

They're on Facebook and Aintitcool.com, swapping pictures and links with their friends. And if they're doing that, why give them a flat jpg of your poster? Give it a bit of a life! I think we'll see a lot more of it.

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