Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, July 21, 2006

To walk out or not walk out of a movie;that's quite a question

Recently,there was rather an interesting ruckus at a screening of "Clerks II"-Joel Siegel got disgusted about forty minutes into the movie and not only walked out but made a big loud stink,yelling at his fellow critics"Time to go" and "This is the first movie I've walked out of in thirty fucking years!" Ok,you find the movie offensive yet you need to shout and swear as you leave instead of just quietly stepping out and saving your ire for the review. Real professional there,Joel!

If you click the title link above,you'll get Kevin Smith's take on the whole mess plus a link to a call-in radio showdown between Siegel and Smith(Siegel had no clue that he was talking to Kevin at first,pretty funny!). This whole deal makes me think about my stance on movie walkouts-I've never done it,despite the quality of what's on the screen and while I understand the need that some have to stop punishing their eyes and souls with bad cinema,it feels a tad wimpy to me.

I have actually booed at the end of two movies-Harlem Nights(the pacing of a funeral is more liveler than the action in this flick)and Bonfire of the Vanities(one of the most dumbed down book to film adaptations I've ever witnessed)-not that anyone was around to listen. The point is,I've sat thru quite a few clunkers in my day,on my own dime and even with lame acting,plots that go nowhere and/or don't know how to end and dialogue like"I'm an immortal,not a gazelle!"(and I actually like the movie that bon mot came from),I stick it out to the bitter end or atleast the end credits. It may be masochistic but hey,I prefer to call it committment.

The closet I've come to a walkout was watching Moonlight and Valentino on cable. Midway thru that sucker,I just had to turn off the TV and say"I don't care about any of these people". Also,Jon Bon Jovi is about as sexy to me as Kevin Federline would be to Anna Nicole Smith(the guy has a pulse,after all!). Let me just list a few of these gems that I've sat thru to give you an idea: Vampire In Brooklyn,American Pie II,Queen of the Damned,The Man,Darkness Falls,Billy Madison,and Gus Van Sant's remake of Psycho which made me think of Van Sant's cameo in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,where he's just sitting around,counting his sell-out money-"Jesus,Ben I'm busy!" I even watched Battlefield Earth on HBO and managed to not put my head thru the Tv set or convert to Scientology.

August will be soon upon us and as some of you know,I've declared it Bad Movie Month,due to the abundance of cinematic slop and lack of an official holiday to celebrate. Little Sister had me watch a charming little slice of hell called Firecracker(which I will fully vent upon soon)and while she ment me no harm and found the film laughable,it was hard not to want to punch myself in the eyes to keep from giving into the horror. Of course,she has a Gus Van Sant movie that she depises as well,Elephant(Gus needs to recharge his creative juices,seriously). I haven't seen that one but if it's anything like Gummo(Larry Clark is insanely overrated),I feel so bad for her!

So,is it strength of will or sheer stubbornness that keeps one poor soul locked into a movie seat while others storm out? Regardless,Joel Siegel is a total wuss. If he can't handle some dirty talk and a donkey show,he should stick to making those goofy taglines like"Is the Da Vinci Code Worth Cracking?" and "Matt Damon shines in Bourne Supremacy as Halle Berry suffers from a Cat-astrophe"! Oh,I see what you did there,so funny I forgot to laugh!


PJS said...

Well, a few thoughts here:

I am a walker-outer in extreme cases, but I stand by my claim that this is because I LOVE movies so much. I enjoy great movies, even good ones, even fair ones, so much that I refuse to waste pieces of my life on horrid ones.

As the sundial at Twelve Oaks read, "do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." Sitting through 100% of "American Pie", "Titus", "Armageddon", or even "Superman Returns" would have amounted, for me, to squandering little packets of life.

Of course, in each of these (and some other) instances, I didn't make a big huff, I didn't curse or try to induce my fellow audience-members to join me in my early exit. I simply stood up, and quietly left the theatre.

Joel Siegel, however, was rude and obnoxious and disrespectful of everyone else in the audience. His job (his actual JOB) was to sit through the entire movie, soup to nuts, and make his opinions known in his review. Not to squawk like a Victorian schoolmarm and bail before the end.

I really am shocked at his behavior. In fact, Clerks II is probably the only think I'm vaguely interested in seeing this weekend, donkey show or none.

lady t said...

I accept your claim but hey,I've sat thru Spice World and The Tigger Movie(with Little Sister who was old to vote yet insisted on us going to that thing)and in some ways,I'm stonger for it:)

I would be seeing Clerks II but I think it's gonna be Lady in the Water for me(if these storms don't keep me landlocked)this weekend.