Sunday, January 02, 2011

My Eardrums Don't Like Movie Theaters

I'm not old.  I'm a sprite 30-year-old male afterall.  Just one who never attended rock concerts; pumped up the volume on speakers, headphones, or alarm clock radios; or enjoyed ringing ears from tone deaf bar and bat mitzvah/roller rink/wedding DJs.  After a visit to the movies on Saturday, I've learned that the rest of the industrialized world can't hear as well as me and I'm just going to suffer through it.

These sound effects are pleasing to my ears.

Last weekend, me and QP watched "Black Swan" at the Rio's AMC theater.  Among the multitude of previews was one for an action movie full of explosions and wooshes and empty of plot or sense.  Sitting in the theater's prime center seats, we were excited for perfect stereo audio.  That excitement vanished when ads for the concessions stopped and the previews started.

"In a world overrun by movie studios trying to compete with B and T Crowd's awesome 5.1 stereo surround sound-HD-TiVo-PS3-Blu-ray system, was a blogger named B and T Crowd and his girlfriend named QP.  They thought a rare visit to a public theater would be enjoyable for all of their senses, but no one could predict the auditory consequences of the blogger's endearing, romantic, and well-meaning dinner and movie date night."

Boom!  Rrrruuuuummmmmbbbblllle!  ZZZeeeerrrrrrummm!  Ting!  Berrrrrrrcchhhhhkkkk!  Oh my bleeding eardrums from 2:00 forward!

My eardrums didn't appreciate the decibels and bass used for the explosions, bullets, and music. I get it; it's an action movie, the CGI scenes are exciting, and fighting a war against creatures from another world would be loud, but it doesn't have to be that loud.  I covered my ears and still heard the sound effects fine, just without the pain and suffering.

QP asked why the previews were so loud.  I said it's like TV commercials that are louder to grab your attention (at least until the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act is signed), but it'll go down to a reasonable level when the movie starts.  How could it stay this loud for an entire movie?

QP thinks I have super sensitive ears and hear more than most, but then why don't I listen to her?  Ba-dum-bum!

The volume didn't decrease, but fortunately "Black Swan" didn't rely on the sounds of explosions, missiles, and car chases; instead using lots of classical music.  There were still a few sounds that my ears didn't appreciate, but a few moments of discomfort weren't long enough to make us walk out.

In 2011, I resolve to not view another loud movie in a public theater again.  Instead, I'll add it to my Netflix queue and watch it at home.  I'm old enough to enjoy to it just how I want without ear plugs.

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