There are many reasons why I don’t like seeing movies on opening weekends: the crowds, the stress, and the hassle of finding a good seat. However, there's one recent trend in movies that I absolutely cannot cope with: The Applause. The earliest I remember someone clapping at a movie was at The Phantom Menace. As soon as the herald orchestra music blasted from the loudspeakers people went absolutely ape-shit. I was a naïve fourteen-year-old in 1999, so I decided to join the celebration. But similar to how I felt when I first realized I was praying to an invisible magician / omnipotent wizard, I felt embarrassed that I was applauding something that wasn’t there: anyone who gave a fuck about my applause. For all that clapping people did before Phantom had even started, it sure didn’t make rest of it any better than a steaming pile of George Lucas CGI techno-diarrhea. Congratulations for blindly accepting the hype superficially created with action figures and “limited edition” Pepsi cans/Doritos bags.
If I were in the marketing department for a major studio, I’d get the contact information of everyone who clapped during a movie. Then I’d send them a letter every week that says, “Go see (insert movie here). Why? Because I fucking said so! He’s a coupon for someNational Treasure 3 edition JuJu Bees.” Who are these people praising or expressing approval of when they clap at a movie? Unless you’re at a special premiere or cast & crew screening, they’re clapping for the sake of no one except themselves. Not only that, they look at me like I’m a jerk for not applauding. Are people joining in on the applause because of peer pressure? Has the movie going experience been turned into the Chinese Communist Revolution? If I don’t clap at a picture of Chairman Heath ‘Mao’ Ledger am I going to get reported to the secret audience police? Gasp, will someone blog about me? Perish the thought. Every movie I see, it gets worse. When I went to see Hancock, some dickhead started clapping at the previews…FOR DEATH RACE. Thank god everyone laughed at him.
While I’m not comparing the content of The Dark Knight to Phantom Menace, I do expect the same (if not more) amount of applause and the sad thing is I know exactly when it’ll happen: Applause #1: first light dim before the previews. Me: mildly agitated. Applause #2: Intro. Me: annoyed. Applause #3: Batman’s first appearance Me: pissed. Applause #4: Batman punches his first victim in the larynx. Me: “Hey, that was pretty badass. I’ll let that one slide.” Applause #5: Heath Ledger’s first appearance on screen, met with a resounding cheer. Applause #2: Intro. Me: annoyed. Applause #3: Batman’s first appearance Me: pissed. Applause #4: Bat
Me: Standing up from my seat and shouting, “You stupid god damn assholes. Even if he wasn’t dead he still couldn’t fucking hear you! Stop clapping you dumbshits!”
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