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F&^@ing Wanker

Quick story: while I was watching Oblivion earlier this year, I committed the big no-no in watching a movie: texting while the film is going on. I hardly ever do it, and my friends on Twitter called me out on it, and rightfully so. It's rude and inconsiderate to the audience. I hate it when people yap on and on in a theater, and it's only common courtesy that you respect the people around you and make a text or use your phone outside. None of us like people or things disrupting out movie-watching experience, but most of us aren't going to be complete wankers about the situation.

Enter Jeffrey Wells, a blogger/entertainment columnist for Hollywood, who wrote about his experience while attending a screening for the film Gravity, and how it was ruined for him because of a child who was mentally handicapped. 

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 inManchester, Connecticut. The guy was making spastic noises all through the film. Audible to many but nobody squawked except 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 waspreferable to put his customers through a major annoyance than risk being seen as bigoted toward handicapped people.

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.
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 but watch 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. The two aren't even in the same league or even in the same ballpark, but 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.

I don't go after other film critics, columnists or journalists, but that one story left a rotten taste in the mouth, both because of the callousness of the piece and the fact it's the first thing i've written in over two months, due to my obligations with my time at the Art Institute and working part time. I'll be back next week (maybe earlier) with reviews on Gravity and perhaps Captain Phillips, two movies that have made a big splash with the critics and possible Award-season implications, as well as a new installment of The Netflix Files. Stay tuned.


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