Film Crit Hulk Smash: HULK SMASHES THE PUNY PARADIGMS OF FILM CRITICISM WITH HULK-SIZED SEMIOTICAL ESSAYS ON STORYTELLING, CINEMATIC PRINCIPLES, AND MEDIA THEORY! HULK EVEN MAKE PRACTICAL HOW-TO GUIDES! See More...

Film Crit Hulk Smash: Why Hulk Go To Movies

Moviegoing is a communal experience, and Hulk thinks that means sometimes you take the bad with the good.

Film Crit Hulk Smash: Why Hulk Go To Movies

WHY HULK GO TO THE MOVIES

LEAD PIC: http://s1-04.twitpicproxy.com/photos/large/471418304.jpg

HULK HAS SPENT 3 OF THE LAST 4 NIGHTS AT THE NEW BEVERLY.

IT HAS BEEN A JOY.

HULK GOES THERE A GOOD DEAL, BUT EVEN THEN HULK DOESN'T GET THERE AS MUCH AS HULK WANT TO. NO MATTER WHAT PLAYING, IT USUALLY HAVE AMAZING CROWDS AND GREAT GUEST SPEAKERS (NOT TO MENTION THE FREQUENT STYLINGS OF THE INCREDIBLE OPERATOR/PROGRAMMER/HOST-TYPE-PERSON JULIA MARCHESE.  SURE, YOUR AVERAGE, TACKY MALL THEATER MAY HAVE LARGER SCREENS AND SLIGHTLY BETTER SPEAKERS AND SUCH, BUT IN TERMS OF BASIC COST (DOUBLE FEATURE EVERY NIGHT FOR 8 BUCKS!), QUALITY PROGRAMMING, AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE... IT SIMPLY ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO SEE MOVIES.

IN CASE YOU WORRIED, NO, HULK NOT GOING TO TURN THIS  SOME LOVE LETTER TO TINY THEATER IN ONE PARTICULARLY CITY AND HOW IT MAKES EVERYTHING ABOUT MOVIES MAGIC OR SOMETHING (THOUGH TO BE FAIR, MOST EVERY CITY HAS THEIR "NEW BEVERLY" OF SORTS). DOING SO WOULD ESPOUSE THE MERITS OF SOME UNFORTUNATE IDEA ABOUT EXCLUSIVENESS AND FINDING A LITTLE COMMUNITY OF LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE.

NO, THIS COLUMN IS ACTUALLY ABOUT THE OPPOSITE OF THAT.

BECAUSE WHAT HULK'S RECENT EXPERIENCE AT THE NEW BEVERLY DID WAS CLARIFY THE EXACT AND WHOLLY-UNIVERSAL REASON THAT HULK WILL ALWAYS CHOOSE TO SEE A MOVIE IN A THEATER, ANY THEATER, OVER THE OPTION OF STAYING AT HOME.

YES, THERE ARE SOMETIMES GOOD REASONS TO WATCH A MOVIE AT HOME. SOMETIMES IT'S A FUNCTION OF PURE EXHAUSTION AFTER A LONG DAY AT WORK AND CURLING UP WITH A LOVED ONE. AND HULK FULLY UNDERSTAND THAT RENTALS OR NETFLIX STREAMING IS THE LIFESAVER OF MANY NEW PARENTS WHO SIMPLY CAN'T AWAY THE YOUNGIN(S). BUT THIS IS NOT REALLY ABOUT THOSE CAVING OUT OF A FUNCTION OF PURE NECESSITY... THIS IS ABOUT THE LARGER CULTURAL TREND OF PEOPLE OPTING FOR THEIR HOME THEATERS INSTEAD OF AN ACTUAL THEATER, SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE IDEA OF IT BEING "A BETTER EXPERIENCE."

... HULK WOULD POLITELY LIKE TO CALL BULLSHIT.

THE OFT REASONS CITED FOR IT "SUCKING TO GO TO THE MOVIES" ARE FAMILIAR AT THIS POINT. PEOPLE TALKING. CELL PHONES. TEXTING. BRIGHT LIGHTS FROM TEXTING. COMMERCIALS. PREVIEWS. NOT-SO-GREAT FOOD. RISING COSTS.  THE OVERALL DIP IN MULTIPLEX QUALITY. TO BE FAIR, A GOOD NUMBER OF THEATERS HAVE REALLY TRY TO CORRECT ALL OF THESE TRENDS IN RECENT YEARS AND DOING A BANG-UP JOB. BUT ASIDE FROM THIS TURN, THE REAL IDEA AT THE CORE OF THE DISSATISFACTION IS THAT PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH THE ASSHOLES OUT THERE WHO ARE RUINING THE MOVIE-GOING EXPERIENCE IN SOME WAY. AND YES, IT'S TRUE THE COMFORTS OF HOME AFFORD THE ABILITY TO GET AWAY FROM ALL THE ASSHOLES. IT IS AT THIS POINT THAT HULK WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST ANOTHER, QUITE UNPOPULAR POSSIBILITY:

YOU MIGHT BE THE ASSHOLE.

PERHAPS HULK SHOULD EXPLAIN... NO, HULK NOT OUTRIGHT ACCUSING YOU OF BEING AN ASSHOLE, NOR IS HULK JUST TRYING BE DEMURE ABOUT IT. IT IS AN ACTUAL SUGGESTION. A MERE INVITATION TO LOOK INWARD AND ASK YOURSELF IF YOU'RE REALLY SEEING THE SITUATION FOR WHAT IT IS... BECAUSE IF YOU REALLY PREFER TO WATCH MOVIES AT HOME, IT IMPLIES THE FOLLOWING IDEA: THAT YOU SO CANNOT DEAL WITH THE BASIC IMPOSITIONS OF OTHER PEOPLE THAT YOU WILL EASILY FORGO WHAT IS NOT ONLY THE BEST WAY TO WATCH MOVIES, BUT ESSENTIALLY DISREGARD 3,000 YEARS OF THE CULTURAL NEED TO GATHER AROUND THE PROVERBIAL CAMPFIRE.

BUT PERHAPS HULK NEEDS TO QUALIFY THAT STATEMENT TOO.

IT IS THE BASIC HUMAN TRUTH THAT BEHAVIOR IS INFECTIOUS. LAUGHTER. SADNESS. TENSION. AWE. TERROR. SWOONING. SUCH EMOTIONS WERE MADE FOR GROUPS. THERE IS A PALPABLE ENERGY THAT FILLS THE ROOM AND DIRECTS IT BACK AND FORTH WITH ASTOUNDING CLARITY. AND MOVIE THEATERS, WITH THAT PERFECT DARKNESS AND LINE AFTER LINE OF SEATS, ALL FILLED WITH WATCHING, NAY, EXPERIENCING THE SAME EXACT THING... IT'S THE PERFECT CONDUIT. THERE'S NO BETTER WAY TO COLLECTIVELY EXPERIENCE SOMETHING, WHICH IS THE MOST WONDERFUL WAY TO EXPERIENCE SOMETHING. BECAUSE OF THIS WE HAVE BEEN DOING IT FOREVER. THE SAID PROVERBIAL CAMPFIRE, WHERE STORYTELLERS AND PERFORMERS HAVE BEEN DELIGHTING HUMANS FOR CENTURIES. PASSING ON THE SAME TALES ABOUT THE SAME BASIC TRUTHS IN WAYS THAT FEEL NEW, VITAL, AND REAL.

THINK ABOUT YOUR PAST. THINK ABOUT ALL THE GREAT MOVIES YOU HAVE SEEN. HULK WILLING TO BET THAT ALMOST ALL YOUR BEST MOVIE EXPERIENCES HAVE BEEN IN THEATERS.

AND REALLY HOW COULD THEY NOT? CINEMAS ONLY AMPLIFY THE JOY

FOR THAT SIMPLEST OF REASONS, HULK GOES TO THE THEATERS EVERY TIME HULK CAN. AND SURE, HULK GOES OUT OF HULK'S WAY TO GO TO HIGHEST END THEATERS THAT ARE GREAT ABOUT CHECKING FOR PICTURE / SOUND QUALITY, BUT THAT'S JUST A FUNCTION OF DRUTHERS. WHEN THOSE KINDS OF PLACES NOT AN OPTION, HULK WILL ALWAYS CHOOSE A MOVIE THEATER ANYWAY.

SO WHAT ABOUT THOSE TIMES HULK GETS TREATED TO THOSE ANNOYING PEOPLE WHO TALK OR USE THEIR PHONES? WELL, USUALLY HULK POLITELY ASK THEM TO STOP. MOST OF THE TIME THEY JUST DON'T THINK THEY'RE BOTHERING ANYONE. IT MORE RARE THAT YOU ENCOUNTER ACTUAL BELLIGERENCE (ALSO HULK IS BIG AND SCARY AND NOT ONE TO TRIFLE WITH). BUT MUCH, MUCH MORE TO THE POINT, HULK ARGUE THE ANNOYING PEOPLE BEHIND ARE PART OF IT. THEY ARE IN PLANES. BUSES. DMV LINES. STORES. YOU NAME IT. THEY ARE PART OF THE COMMUNITY, EVERY COMMUNITY FROM THE DAWN OF EXISTENCE UNTIL THIS VERY SECOND.

MEANING YES, THERE ARE NOT ONLY EVERYWHERE, BUT THAT THERE IS ALSO NO WAY TO ENJOY THOSE MOMENTS OF JOYFUL CINEMATIC GREATNESS WITHOUT THE INEVITABLE ASSHOLES THAT COME ALONG WITH IT. AND IF HULK BEING HONEST, SOMETIMES HULK WORRY THAT FREQUENT COMPLAINTS OF "ASSHOLES" OR "MOVIE-TALKERS" ARE JUST THINLY-GUISED RACIAL COMMENTS. HULKS ENCOUNTERED A FEW CASES WHERE THAT WAS MOST CERTAINLY TRUE OF THE PERSON TALKING... WHICH NOT ONLY COMPLETELY DEPLORABLE, BUT KIND OF DUMB BECAUSE A LOT OF HULK'S FAVORITE THEATRICAL EXPERIENCES HAVE BEEN IN WHAT SOME-SMUG MOVIE EXECUTIVE MIGHT REFER TO HAS "URBAN MARKETS." AGAIN, IF A CROWD IS ALIVE THEN THAT ENERGY SWINGS BOTH WAYS AND THEY WILL BE RIGHT THERE IN THE MOVIE WHEN IT'S BEING GREAT.

EVERY KIND OF PERSON IN THIS WORLD CAN BE PART OF THE MOVIE-GOING EXPERIENCE. THE CHEERING FANBOYS. THE BORED TEENAGERS. THE FIRST DATES. THE PRETENTIOUS STUDENTS. THE COUPLES CLINCHING TOGETHER DURING HORROR MOVIES. THE INCONSIDERATE CELL PHONE GUY. THE OTHER LOUD POOPYHEADS. EVEN THAT ONE DUDE WHO WAS TOTALLY MASTURBATING IN THE BACK OF THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB (HEY, IT'S A STORY!). HULK EVEN LOVES SEEING MOVIES WITH CAPTAIN AMERICA FOR WHEN HE INEVITABLY STARTS BITCHING ABOUT ROTTEN LIBERAL-SKEWED HOLLYWOOD. OR WHEN TONY STARK IGNORES A GORGEOUSLY TOLD STORY TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE RUSHED FX WORK OR COMPLETE LACK OF BOOBS. AND IT'S ESPECIALLY GREAT WHEN THOR WHEN HE GETS DRUNK AND FALLS ASLEEP HALF WAY THROUGH. THEY'RE ALL APART OF IT TOO.

SO WHAT GOING TO A THEATER REALLY MEASURES IS ONES ABILITY TO ROLL WITH THE MOST-REGULAR-OF-PUNCHES SOCIETY HAS TO OFFER. HULK ARGUE THESE MINOR INCONVENIENCE ARE SMALL PRICES TO PAY FOR THE MOMENTS WHERE WE ALL IGNORE THESE STUPID DIFFERENCES BETWEEN US AND LAUGH, CRY, AND SWOON TOGETHER UNDER THE INFLUENCE AND BEAUTY OF CINEMA. BECAUSE TO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THOSE UNIFYING MOMENTS IS TO MEAN SOMETHING FAR WORSE...

IT WOULD MEAN YOU ARE ALSO RESIGNED TO MAKING IT WORSE.

WHEN PEOPLE WRITE ABOUT WHY PEOPLE IN MODERN SOCIETY ARE TURNING SUCH MAGNIFICENT ASSHOLES IT IS BECAUSE WE ARE SLOWLY ERODING THE BASIC NEED TO CORDIAL. YOU NO LONGER HAVE A BUTCHER, A BAKER, A MILKMAN, OR A MAIL CARRIER. THEY ARE INSTEAD A STREAM OF FACELESS PEOPLE. INTERCHANGEABLE MEANS TO YOUR OWN SELF-CENTERED ENDS. THERE IS NO RELATIONSHIP. AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT, WE NEED THOSE RELATIONSHIPS. THEY SERVE TO FUNCTION AS THE OIL FOR OUR SOCIETAL COGS. AT THE CENTER OF THIS INTRICATE SOCIETAL MACHINE, WE HAVE A PULSE QUARTZ, THE BEATING HEARTBEAT OF COMMUNAL ART. WE HAVE STORIES, THE SINGLE MOST VITAL PART OF OUR COLLECTIVE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING. SOMETHING THAT IS BOTH OUR HISTORY AND OUR FUTURE, THUS NEEDED FOR OUR PRESENT. IT IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF NOT-BEING-AN-ASSHOLE. NOT BEING A RAW AND UN-MOLDED HUMAN BEING.

WHAT DO WE TURN TO NOW? HULK LOVES THE CRAP OUT OF OUR NEW CULTURAL OBSESSION AND APPRECIATION OF VIDEO GAMES... BUT IF WE BEING HONEST HERE, DO COMMUNAL VIDEO GAMES TEACH US HOW TO GET ALONG? EXCEPT FOR THE RARE CASES OF LEGIT COORDINATED TEAM PLAY OR PORTAL 2 OR SOMETHING, MOST OF THE TIME THEY TEACH US TO SHOOT EACH OTHER THE FACE AND CALLING EACH OTHER "FAGGOTS." A GREAT VIDEO GAME OFTEN BREEDS CONTEST AND DIVISIVENESS.

A GREAT MOVIE OFTEN BREEDS UNITY.

SO DO WE REALLY WANT TO CONTINUE TO TAKE STEPS TO ERASE THAT UNITY? DO WE REALLY WANT TO CRAM INTO OUR LITTLE HOME THEATERS AND GIVE UP? DO WE WANT TO LOSE OUR DESIRE TO EVEN STRIVE FOR THAT BASIC HUMAN COURTESY? DO WE WANT TO GIVE UP ON THE PROVERBIAL CAMPFIRE?

MAYBE YOU ALL DO. NOWADAYS, HULK HOPS ON AN ELEVATOR TO EVERY SINGLE STARING DOWN AT THEIR PHONES (WHICH DON'T EVEN FUCKING GET RECEPTION IN SAID ELEVATOR).

IN THAT SPIRIT, HULK WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST A SIMPLE "FUCK THAT." TO REJECT THIS SIMPLE, YET UNDERSTANDABLY HUMAN DESIRE NOT TO BE INCONVENIENCED, BECAUSE DOING SO WOULD POTENTIALLY MEAN MISSING OUT A MUCH MORE WONDERFUL THING. AND IF YOU DON'T RESPECT THAT WONDERFUL THING WE CALL "GOING TO THE MOVIES" AND SEE ONLY THE INCONVENIENCE INVOLVED? THEN YES, HULK MIGHT WANT TO POLITELY SUGGEST YOU MAY BE JUST AS BIG OF AN ASSHOLE AS THE PERSON TEXTING. IT MAY BE AN UNPOPULAR OPINION, BUT HULK HAS NO REAL INTEREST IN A WORLD OF SOLIPSISTIC SO-CALLED "MOVIE FANS." WE CAN SIMPLY DO BETTER.

HULK NOT GOING TO PRETEND THIS SOME GRAVE MATTER OR A DESPERATE CALL TO ARMS. ALL HULK WANT YOU TO DO IS BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU MIGHT BE MISSING (AND THE RELATIVE NOT-SO-BADNESS OF WHAT YOU'RE ACTUALLY COMPLAINING ABOUT). AND THAT AWARENESS INFORMS YOUR CHOICE; ONE THAT IS YOUR RIGHT AND HULK NOT BEGRUDGE YOU IN ANY KIND OF HORRIBLE WAY BEYOND WHAT TRANSPIRES HERE. FOR ALL ITS AUDACITY, THIS ESSAY, IS SIMPLY HULK'S THOUGHTS ON THE MATTER.

SURE, BY STAYING HOME YOU ARE LIKELY ENSURING THAT YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE AN AWFUL TIME AT THE MOVIES, BUT YOU ARE ACTIVELY ENSURING THAT YOU WILL NOT HAVE A GREAT TIME EITHER. YOU ARE CAPPING THE EXPERIENCE... AND THAT'S NOT WHAT A REAL MOVIE-LOVER WOULD DO.

NO, DOING SO WOULD BE A SIMPLE DISREGARD FOR, OR COMPLETELY IGNORANCE OF, WHAT HULK CONSIDER A CAPITAL T-TRUTH: THAT WHETHER, AMAZING, BAD, LOUD, HILARIOUS, STUPID, AWE-INSPIRING, SILLY, ANNOYING, OR COMPLETELY EPIC, THERE IS NO MORE LIVELY EXPERIENCE LIKE SEEING A MOVIE WITH A GROUP OF STRANGERS.

AND SITTING AT HOME WILL ALWAYS BE STERILE AND THE SAME.

YOUR CALL, MOVIE-LOVER.

<3 HULK

Film Crit Hulk's photo About the Author: FILM CRIT HULK WAS CREATED IN A CHAOTIC LAB EXPERIMENT INVOLVING GAMMA RADIATION, TELEPODS, AND THE GHOST OF PAULINE KAEL. NOW HULK HAVE DEEP AND ABIDING LOVE CINEMA.
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