“Children should be seen but not heard.” Partially true, though I’d like to add ‘smelt’ to the list of unwanted senses. But when it comes to cinemas, I don’t think children should be - full stop. As in, they shouldn’t be in the screenings, they shouldn’t be around the sticky food counters, they shouldn’t be clogging up the toilets. They shouldn’t even be outside the cinema, as you'd be polluted by them on your way inside.
It’s not like I hate toddlers in the cinema. I also hate pre-teens, teenagers and young adults. In my book all of them have lower than average attention spans and a sacrilegious lack of respect for the sanctity of film. Loud, physically offensive, disruptive and stupid, these age-groups should not be allowed to mix in enclosed spaces with the rest of society. As a rule, idiots annoy me, and when little dribbling idiots are actually brought to the cinema by their idiot parents then it’s a double whammy. I watched The Departed in America and some fools brought their toddler with them, who promptly became bored and fidgety. Was it the toddler’s fault? Partially – they should learn to know when to keep still. But how that “good idea” popped into the parents’ heads is a mystery. Idiots.
Anyway, summer holidays mean more horrible children are infecting the public world. Seriously, if zombies were children, then last night was like Dawn of the Dead in a cinema. Worse even – at least the guys in DotD didn’t have to queue behind their foes. And they didn’t have them sitting behind them, idly kicking seats and running around the aisles, questioning uselessly during quiet parts of the film and guessing what was going to happen next. I’d take a room full of zombies over children any-day, and I have serious zombie-fear. Actually, mix a room full of zombies with children and now you’re talking about entertainment.
Of course, if I become a parent I’d probably want my children to experience the cinema, and would despise the ignorant snobs who’d sneer at me whilst tarring every child with the same displeased-brush. But my children, through education and ingrained fear, will be respectful of film and know that the cinema is a special, quiet place where toilet breaks are not allowed. They’ll even have learnt from an early age how to turn their heads and give an angry glare to idiots behind them.
But anyway I can’t help thinking there was another purpose to writing this… oh yeah. I saw a good episode of the Simpsons last night. It was definitely one of the better ones (the most recent series being a bit flat), with some good jokes and the usual meandering, unusual plot. It felt a bit longer than usual and the animation was a little different, but still enjoyable TV.
Oh hang on. Silly me – it was a film, not the usual show! Tisk, how could I have forgotten that? I suppose it’s because it was the same as watching four good episodes in a row. Funny, wry, touching on topical issues, making fun of the Fox network - basically no different to what we’ve seen over the last 17 years or so. There’s nothing much to say other than "yeah, it was a good episode of the Simpsons". There was no real reason to make this film, nothing to separate it from its TV base. It’s just lucky that the TV base is one of the most funny and successful shows around, otherwise this film wouldn’t have made it to CF1. It was only just worth braving the horrible children for, but if you end up watching it at home on TV then there’ll be no great loss to your enjoyment. At least there you can lock the kids in their rooms.