Why I Love the Movies: Reason #31

Reason #31: Movies are short enough to watch without having your butt fall asleep

I need a doctor to explain to me why I can sit for up to three hours in a movie theater without a single toe napping on me, but heaven forbid I spend more than three minutes on the toilet seat before I morph into a grumpy, constipated paraplegic. I’m moving my feet around about the same amount whether I'm in a theater or a restroom, and if anything my backside is getting more exercise on the porcelain throne. So what gives?

Much of my best work is accomplished right here

Toilet ranting aside, movies really are the ideal length for casual entertainment. They're much shorter than books, which is great because it's impossible to stay comfortable while reading anything not written by Dr. Seuss. I also like to lie down while reading so it’s very important to cock the elbows at just the right angle so they don’t suddenly fall asleep. No matter how well you position yourself, however, you’ll always have to keep moving to stay comfortable. For example, I can also lie belly down on my bed with only my head and arms (and book) hanging over the edge. This takes pressure off my arms and lets the blood rush back into them. Unfortunately this has the side effect of making my head swell and I need to return to my original position within a few minutes or risk sporting the creepy red shade usually found on alcoholics. Advantage: movies.

Well played, iStockphoto

Regular readers have probably noticed that I’m a big fan of the comedies, which tend to be shorter than movies in other genres. This is because comedies parlay the unexpected into laughs and it's difficult to stay fresh for two straight hours, or even just one and a half. Conversely, dramas draw their energy from suspense which comes from buildup and anticipation which both require time. As a result, dramas tend to be longer than comedies. I'm about 65% certain that I'm not making this all up.

Early movies were measured in seconds, then minutes, before eventually becoming their current average length of 90-1000 minutes (LotR). I suppose movies could be shortened again, but with roughly two hours of material, audiences nowadays get a far more complex story that can make for a more rewarding and entertaining movie-going experience. And after all, entertainment is the name of the game.

When is a movie too long or too short for you? And how can I poop and keep my legs awake at the same time?


Sarah said...

Hmm no advice on keeping the legs awake.
A three hour movie doesn't always feel that long if the story is exciting. For example: a Lord of the Rings type tale can hold my interest for 3 hours.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

I have about a two hour span, I'm restless to begin with so the entire time I'm watching a movie I'm shifting around anyway but then after the two hour mark (unless it's REALLY good) my attention gets shot to hell.

Cat said...

I can't help you with keeping your legs awake, because the same thing happens to me.

Depending on the movie, I can usually manage to sit through a 2-hour film. Lord of the Rings interested me, so I managed to sit through the whole thing. However, if something's boring? Fuck that, I'm done in 45 minutes.

april said...

I'd be perfectly happy to sit through a 3+ hour movie, as long as its pretty interesting. If it was boring I'd still probably sit through the whole movie though.

As for keeping your legs awake...If you add ~2 cups of 'Old Fashioned Quaker Oats' and ~1/4 cup of olive oil to your every day diet it might help make you spend less time in the restroom (which = less numb legs).

Matt said...

sarah - Excellent point. I suppose the true test of a movie's entertainment value is whether or not it's worth holding "it" in.

silver - Just two hours, huh? That's got to be pretty difficult on because I think a lot more movies these days are topping the 2.5 hour mark.

cat - I've never actually walked out on a movie because I was bored or I didn't like it. Once I left early to go to a different movie and a couple times somebody I was with didn't feel well.

april - That is very practical advice. It sounds kind of yucky though.

Anonymous said...