Did you ever walk out of a movie? If so, for what reasons? Was it the poor quality or something that offended you? Or are you one of those who refuse to walk out of movies out of principle- or for the simple reason that they already paid for the ticket?
I asked my fellow co-writers on The Supernaughts, what their take is on the matter and here are their (and my) answers:
Sagamanus: I pay, I stay!
I’ve never walked out on a film in my life. The sheer brashness of someone doing so, indicates a ton of money to spend and no care in the world. You drive a BMW don’t you? I finish films to the end, even if I don’t like them. Even if I’ve given nary a cent, as it’s on TV. I finish to the end! That being said, let’s relegate this to a hypothetical situation. If I knew what I knew now would I have gone to see them in the first place? Would I walk out if it was the end of the world?
No and yes. I saw both Lost in Space and The Frighteners in the theater and regretted both of them as if I had been staked through the heart. The former is one of the worst films in history from a series that I loved. At least for the longest time. The original pilot in black and white was evocative of Forbidden Planet, a somewhat well-known foundation stone of Science Fiction and a classic adaptation of Shakespeare and the fantastic. It was headed in that direction until Batman‘s campiness bled into it and they wanted its audience. The film however is like infecting yourself with Chicken Pox because you like the feel of scratching them. I’ve seen it once again since and that’s because it was on TV and I was locked in a Ludvico- type harness.
Jackson’s Frighteners are no different. It has the same feel. A “ghost Jungle Book” a la Neil Gaiman before it. I can’t understand people’s fascination with that film as there has never been a good looking ghost on screen until the end of Crimson Peak. Not to mention he just ported them over to Return of the King to save some money. I’ve never walked out of a film, but god damn I should have. I now know better than to see them in the first place.
Dr. Newton Geiszler: Don’t let the bad movie win
No matter how bad a movie was, I’ve never walked out of it. The thought never occurs to me until the movie is done and by then it’s too late to do anything about it except go talk about how bad it was. So whenever I hear that thing about people walking out of a movie, I could never seem to understand it. Maybe it has to do with the fact that if I go, I feel I would let the movie “win” so to speak. Maybe the movie has a terrible, slogging opening and the rest of it is quite good. And then there is the fact that maybe the movie isn’t bad, only that it’s not quite what the audience expected. The closest I’ve experienced to a walkout is when I went to watch Noah and the room was packed with old ladies and old men, y’know the type, the ones that sit on the couch to watch their soaps and Joel Osteen. The ones who always talk about how those “immigrants” (it’s always in quotation marks whenever the “immigrants” are brought up) are coming in and taking up all the space. They were all expecting the same old retelling of a familiar biblical tale, with the soft lighting, strawmen having their arguments rendered null, and the smug, sanctimonious attitude pervading the movie. Russell Crowe impaling men left and right is when a pair of doddering old women started to get up and leave, thinking to themselves that Hollyweird has committed sacrilege on a familiar story. I guess what I’m trying to say is, despite the fact that I can just walk before the thirty minute mark to get my refund, I just stay there on principle.
Now if you ask me whether or not I flip the channel if a bad movie comes on TV, I will most definitely flip that damn channel.
Stalkeye: Walking out, no – sleeping through, yes!
Personally, I can’t say that I have walked out of a theater but I can do one better-as in fallen asleep during a movie and yes, in the theaters.
I remember way back circa 1998 when my friend and I was excited about the live action adaptation of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. Although we didn’t read the comic that often, we were huge fans of the animated HBO series. Unfortunately to our dismay, the movie sucked on all levels. The contrast between this and the critically acclaimed TV- series was a major difference. The story was watered down to an extent as if it was made to sell action figures for kids.
All the dark myopic elements from the series was abandoned and John Leguizomo’s portrayal as “Clown” was lackluster at best.
That explains why both of us suddenly dozed off for a good 42 minutes (in between checking our watches). What a fucking boring ass film and what’s sad is that there was good casting with the actor, Nicol Williamson who plays Cagliostro. (previously, he was known for his role as the enigmatic Merlin in Excalibur).
Michael Jai White looked the part as Al Simmons but the brotha needed serious acting lessons and aside from the wasted efforts of the actors, the CGI effects didn’t help much however, I was impressed by how Spawn’s symbiotic cape was utilized. But the action scenes got ridiculous at times, like him doing a somersault while firing SMGs at no one?!!?
Sometime later on, there was the “Director’s Cut” which did absolutely nothing to improve this clusterfuck of a film. What’s sad is that Spawn was the first major black superhero- movie and what’s even sadder is that the same guy who wrote for the excellent HBO series, also wrote this film .
Huge difference indeed!
I can’t say whether or not it was New Line Cinema’s intervention that led to poor business decisions in regard to this movie but if so, they more than made up for it with the first two Blade movies.
Dee: You Only Walk Out Twice
I always claimed to be one of the people who always finish a movie, no matter how bad/and or boring it is. Sadly, I became very sloppy in that regard and the statement just is not true anymore. At least when it comes to home cinema. How many movies did I leave unfinished? Many.
Sometimes for mundane reasons- the movie is on late night- TV and I am just too tired to hold through till the end. Or I had to return it to the rental store (those were the times!).
But the incidents where I simply decided halfway through a certain movie that it is just not worth my precious time became more frequent in recent years. I have never seen Taken beyond the 30 minutes mark, the same goes for several Resident Evil– sequels and quite a few comedies, either featuring Russell Brand or from the home of Judd Apatow, or even worse, both. Whatever set of particular special skills Liam Neeson has, I will never know and I don’t feel the need to find out, nor do I need more of Apatow’s subliminally bitter views on life.
It’s a different thing with movies at the theatre though. I paid the damn ticket, so I am gonna sit through the whole goddamn movie, pardon my French. Yet, I did walk out of movies twice in the last 20 years.
When I was young and still living in a small town, I went to the movies once or twice a week. Every Wednesday, there was a “surprise sneak preview” of a yet unreleased film at the local cinema, often months before the official start. They rarely do those anymore nowadays, as the studios shit their pants regarding “movie piracy”.
Needless to say, most of those films were unadulterated shit and only a few times a better one was thrown into the mix to keep the audience interested. Still, I went to almost every screening, partly out of pure boredom, partly due to a naive enthusiasm for the medium and partly in the vain hope for seeing something outstanding before everyone else one day.
In retrospect, I should have walked out of more screenings.For example, I am one of the few who can claim to have seen Return to Me (2000), the romantic comedy about heart transplants with David Duchovny and Minnie Driver on the big screen, for what it’s worth. Even worse was Message in a Bottle (1999) though, a cinematic pot of calculated schmaltz with Kevin Costner and Robin Wright -based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, do you need to know more?
In the end, when the script runs out of conflicts and drama, Kevin Costner dies in a storm when he is crossing the Michigan Lake in his sailboat to get to his true love, of course heroically while he is trying to save others. That could have been prevented by taking the bus or a plane, doofus! But the film desperately needed that obligatory “Robin Wright crying” scene, as her on-screen suffering which she honed to perfection over the years is usually the main draw of all movies she appears in. If you let Robin Wright sign on for your movie, you want those sweet tears, preferably in a close-up.
Let’s get to the movies I actually walked out of: The first one was The New Guy (2002), a shitty teen comedy with real-life “Goofy” DJ Qualls. I left the theatre after 20 minutes, not only due to the quality of the movie but also because someone put the wrong mask on the projector and all the boom mics were visible on the screen. Although I suspect that did not really hurt that turd of a movie any more.
And the second time I could not take it anymore was when I saw The Deep End of the Ocean (1999) with Michelle Pfeiffer as mom who thinks the adopted kid of the new neighbours might be her own baby that was abducted by a loon years ago.
Did your face already go numb from reading the plot description? Imagine how painful actually seeing (half of) the movie was. After roughly 50 minutes, me and my friend decided to escape the sappiness-overload of this overblown faux- Lifetime movie and left. We then retreated to the bar nearby and spent the rest of the evening speculating how the movie might have ended. Not to sound arrogant, but I doubt that the film can beat our versions (possibly faint self-praise) or that actually finishing it would have been as entertaining as thinking up possible endings. So ultimately, something good came out of something bad.
What is your opinion on this? Did you ever do it? Are there good enough reasons to justify the action? Or do you regret that you did it? Let us know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!