Jan 03

Movies Are Louder Than Ever

extremelyLoud2If you’re Generation X, Y, Z or any other letter, you will soon be experiencing loss of hearing, not to mention turbulence.

Baby boomers: Can you hear me? You’re probably on your second hearing aid and wondering why the hell they haven’t figured out how to keep out the ambient sounds.

But wait! Being a little deaf might not be all bad. In fact, you’re at an advantage in this noisy and getting noisier world. Especially at the movies.

I am not the slightest bit deaf, a gift and a curse, the better to hear, painfully, how incredibly loud movies have become. I’m not talking about the new Tom Hanks film, which is mostly in the modest decibel range — and sweet: I cried at the trailer, and wept at the end of the film. But then, I cry at shaving cream commercials. Those nicks, those scrapes, oh the humanity.

What’s really a crying shame is the colossally annoying noise levels, especially of the trailers for which I am a captive audience. I have to get there early to get a good seat, being vertically challenged and all. And is it just me, or do they pump up the sound the way they do commercials on TV? Whatever.

Good Lord, Watson, What Happened To Holmes?

Sherlock2Case (pun intended) in point: the new Sherlock Holmes adventure, inexplicably subtitled A Game of Shadows. Well, they had to call it something. But Game? Only if you consider Rollerball a game. And Shadows? What shadows? It was all in-your-face action, nothing the slightest subtle about it. Shadows are soft and silent, last time I looked.

I don’t even complain about the violence anymore : I have become a master of watching horrific scenes through my fingers, lowering my hands as soon as the screaming has stopped.

What I couldn’t stand was the *@#!!? N O I S E!!!

Devotees of Sherlock Holmes will find lots of other things here that get their knickers in a knot. Like what happened to Sherlock’s intellectual side, and doesn’t he ever sit still for a minute and think things through? And yes, he is a master of disguises. But every ten minutes? And as upholstery? (You had to be there.)

Okay, we no longer expect him to say, “Elementary, my dear Watson” (although I, personally, wouldn’t mind if he did), but come on, he’s the father of all deductive crime solvers, a precursor to Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Monk, Columbo even! — and this movie made your head spin: with the high voltage volume, not even those great detectives could hear themselves think. It felt to me like an action movie for teenage boys, and hey, if that’s your thing, fine. But couldn’t they turn down the noise just a little for the rest of us who are not teenage boys? Apparently not.

Even my husband, who likes the sound of power tools (sigh) thought it was too loud.  I don’t mean to pick on the Sherlock Holmes movie. Well, maybe I do . . .

Noise Hurts!

The point is that nearly all movies At A Theatre Near You are deafeningly, maddeningly, dangerously LOUD. Yes, dangerous. And not just from the brain cells you lose by watching them. It’s a fact that baby boomers are losing their hearing earlier than previous generations — mostly from the music, sure, but movies couldn’t help.

GaryOldmanTTSSMust They Be Loud To Be Exciting?

No! Take Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,  absolutely wonderful, intriguing and intelligent, with the most perfect performance — very quiet — by Gary Oldman. But to see it, we had to sit  through so many trailers of so many loud movies, I have blocked out the names.

I do remember one: The Devil Inside, and as far as I was able to think, I thought, Do we really need to revisit The Exorcist? Oh, and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Of course, that would be loud. And violent. People magazine says that it’s brutal, and that brutal is good because we really get into the weird and dark world of Lisbeth Salander. I guess.

I’ve seen a few movies not intended to break your eardrums this year: Midnight in Paris, The Descendants, and heard about some others: My Week With Marilyn, The Artist (a silent movie: what will they think of next).

War Horse gets a pass because of all those battles, and let’s face it, war is never quiet. It’s peace and quiet. Remember that? Not if you’ve been to the movies lately.

And I’m not even counting that annoying person sitting right next to you (how did you get so lucky) who seems to be eating a full-course dinner. Loudly. And the guy behind you who has a thing about cellophane. Duh. You open the candy during a quiet part of the movie, Einstein. If you can find one.

And yet. Neither noise nor brainlessness, nor gloom of night for that matter, shall keep me from my appointed movies.

Seen any good ones lately??????

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