Captive Audience

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Captive Audience

I was watching the Jon Stewart show the other day. He was making fun of Republican House Leader John Boehner’s going ballistic about the Tea Party. Something that was repeated over and over again on TV was the House Leader scrunching up his face and squealing, over the Tea Party’s nonchalance if the government were to shut down, “Are you kidding me?”

Stewart showed photos of T-shirts they made with different versions of “Are you kidding me?” Quite hilarious. Will this be the new catchphrase of 2014?

This is how I feel this morning after going out last night to catch a film: Are you kidding me?

The Internet, and my ticket, says that it starts at 7:05 pm. Before that important moment, we are “entertained” by Cineplex’s pre-movie show which basically promotes upcoming movies or newly released DVD rentals. There are plenty of merchandising plugs thrown in as well.

At around 7:05 the commercials start. Now I know that it’s Christmastime and I am used to two or three commercials before the film previews kick in, but really, there were at least eight full-length commercials, or more, before the previews. One after another, they wouldn’t stop!

Are you kidding me?

Some, admittedly, were entertaining. What audiences want before their films, if at all , are commercials that they haven’t seen before; award-winning stuff. But, quite frankly, they (the movie chain? The corporations?) are either too cheap or too lazy to even try to show anything new or creative. There are car commercials, of course, tablets and smart phone ads, sure, I don’t know, I phased out after a while, trying to catch the time on my watch. Are you kidding me?

Then, finally, finally, the film previews came on. Are you kidding me? One upcoming film was previewed, about a little boy living in rural America, who undergoes a near-death experience and comes back telling everyone about loved ones doing well in heaven. The preview shows so much, honestly, do the film executives really think that anyone is going to see a film that they know so much about in advance?

Are you kidding me?

The film that we saw, by the way, was Philomena. It’s excellent. It started at 7:20.

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