Saw 300 this past weekend. I went in expecting prettiness and lots of Heroic Last Stands, and that’s exactly what I got, so I was happy with it.
Wasn’t so happy with the theater-going experience, though. Two rows in front of us there was a kid, who looked to be around 8, playing his gameboy DS. For the entire movie.
Now look, we have kids. I know how hard it is to get out and see a movie when you have kids. I’m not unsympathetic.
With that out of the way: First of all, you don’t bring an eight year old kid to see 300. I don’t care if your parental standards differ, blah blah blah; I’m gonna make a moral judgment here and say your standards are wrong. Can’t find a baby sitter? That sucks. I’ve been there. You know what I did? I stayed home. Suck it up.
Second, if you must bring your kid to a gorefest like 300, the least you can do is make him observe some common courtesy. And again, I am not one of those single jackasses who gets offended every time a child makes his or her presence known in public. I have a very high tolerance for screaming toddlers in restaurants. When I go to Star Wars MXVLIII: The Feckless Director, I go prepared to contend with the constant babble of a hundred preteens on candy-fueled sugar high. What I am saying is that there is a time and a place. And if an R-rated movie is the place, then it is time to tell your kid to stop making bright flashing lights directly under the screen, or else it’s going to become Daddy’s Gameboy.
So I did something very out of character: I actually yelled (well, stage-whispered) at a kid in a movie theater. Which produced the satisfying result of having the kid and his family look back at me momentarily, and then go right back to what they were doing.
I couldn’t be sure, but it appeared to be the kid’s mom who, periodically throughout the movie, leaned over to compliment some particularly impressive feat of Pokemon wrangling. Way to reinforce good behavior. You can do it, son! You can catch ’em all before King Leonidas delivers his final speech!