Watching a clip of the yet-to-be-released movie The Last Stand on Festival of Films, I found myself talking to the mini-Schwarzenegger on my computer screen: “How do you keep that accent after decades of living in America?” Not soo-prisingly, he did not ree-spond.
I also talked to Kevin James and Salma Hayek as they chatted in the clip of Here Comes the Boom. I said to them, “Wait. What? You two are supposed to be a couple? Um, nope.” At least when I watch free movies online here at Festival of Films, I don’t disrupt the movie for anyone else.
But for some reason, there are certain movies that end up being quite interactive, and by that, I mean that the audience feels compelled to express themselves as the action soars. They laugh, moan, sometimes even chat about the action, and — for these movies, at least — nobody is bothered by this practice. I usually can’t stand it when people talk during the movie, explaining what just happened or what they think is about to happen, but some movies actually seem to lend themselves to communal communication.
Case in point: Taken 2. I just saw it earlier this month, and there were more women in the theatre than men. At first, I thought this was odd, but then I remembered: I’m a woman! Oh, yeah! Well, as for me, I came to see how well the sequel held up to the first one. I came to analyze the elements of plot and character development… Ah, what the hell. Who’m I kiddin’? I came to visit my next ex-husband-to-be, one Liam Neeson. He of the perfectly imperfect nose and always-tortured expression. Just plain guh-rowwwl, as we say in Jersey.
So, that explains my presence in the theatre today. How to explain all the rest of the women? Some are Liam Neeson groupies like me, but many of them seemed so caught up in the action, they were howling with glee any time a villain got offed and were expressing disdain when Liam’s character’s wife was tortured.
In fact, the woman behind me didn’t speak per se throughout the film, but she was absolutely a part of the action. She may as well have been in the movie!
She said, “Mm, mm, mm,” when the bad guys talked about revenge. She intoned, “Mmm, hmmm,” when she agreed with the words of peace Liam’s character speaks toward the end. She even clicked her teeth in disgust when the main character’s daughter is menaced by miscreants.
What is it about certain movies that demands a response from the audience? I mean, we know what to expect from a sequel to Taken. Um, I guess somebody gets taken and Liam Neeson proceeds to clean the criminals’ clocks. Pretty pat formula, but it still works.
I think it must be our need to occasionally be a part of something. We feel validated by the mutual act of being moved by a movie. We love to be at the theatre, and we feel we belong there, so that’s why sometimes, we’ve just gotta express ourselves. I have to believe there will be another movie in the Taken franchise, and I’ll be back — along with all the others talking back to the screen.
And Liam, have your people call my people. We’ll do lunch. Maybe a movie?