The Unwashed Masses

I’m doing something different with the comics starting this week. A bit of an experiment, or rather a continuation of The Experiment. I could certainly use your feedback and your support. Please take a few minutes and READ MORE here.

The thing I hate the most about going to movies in the theater, especially popular ones, is the people. Specifically the teens. I HATE YOU TEENS! I HATE YOUR STUPID PRETTY BUT STILL AWKWARD FACES! I am an adult, and as such I believe I have a right to live a life totally devoid of teens. I am all for teen segregation. They already have their own schools. Why not their own restaurants and movie theaters?

“George Hurt You” shirts are in the store!!! Let the healing begin. 

Show Us On The Trilogy Where George Hurt You - funny star wars t-shirt, george lucas shirt, star wars parody

There was a kid in line behind me bitching THE ENTIRE TIME about how “fucking retarded” this particular movie theater was because he stood in the wrong line for an hour and missed his showing of Avengers and no one did anything to stop him from doing such an incredibly stupid thing. To be fair, the theater was so incredibly packed that it was difficult to tell which line was for which showing. This kid, however, allowed himself to stay in the wrong line for over an hour PAST the start time printed on his ticket. Movies do not start an hour late. They are not concerts. Iron Man and The Hulk are not getting high in the green room while Thor gets his Mjolnir hammered by some Asgardian groupie. At one point he called his mom to complain that he was going to be late getting home because of how stupid the theater was and how he doesn’t want to just leave because he already spent like $20 (certainly hers, not his) on snacks. I should not have to endure such teenage dumbness just in order to see a film on opening weekend. Can I pay $5 more to sit in the Adults Only theater? Does that theater serve booze? Who wants to invest in this idea? It’s quite possibly the best idea anyone has ever had.

So what about The Avengers? Quite simply, it was a triumph. It rivals Iron Man and Spider-Man 2 for the title of “Best Super Hero Movie Of All Time” (I do not count The Dark Knight in this category because I just don’t. It’s its own thing.) Without question it is certainly the best Thor movie, the best Hulk movie, the best Captain America movie and the best Iron Man sequel produced to date. And the Hulk… Jesus the Hulk. I have NEVER liked any incarnation of the Hulk in any form of media, filmed, televised or printed. Yet give this character to Joss Whedon and he uses him with such precision and skill that he steals not just every scene he’s in, but quite possibly the entire movie. The use the words “the Hulk” and “subtlety” in the same sentence seems contradictory, but that’s what it was. As a matter of fact, every single thing I loved about The Avengers stemmed from that Whedonesque subtlety that I’ve grown to love so well. A throw away line here that is anything but a throw away, a bit of body language that goes almost unnoticed but tells an entire story. God dammit, Hollywood! Do you see now what we’ve been trying to tell you for a decade?

I want to write a thesis deconstructing the ways in which Michael Bay and Joss Whedon destroy downtown Manhattan. The ham fisted wrecking ball vs. the artist with the soft touch. In the end, the city is still rubble, but the way it got there could not be more disperate. I am not exaggerating when I say I fell asleep during the climactic battle of Transformer 3.  I honestly could not tell what was happening on the screen for the last half hour of the movie and I just lost interest in fighting the boredom. The last 30 minutes of The Avengers, however, might be the most fun I have ever had in a movie theater. Oh, and did I mention The Hulk? HULKHULKHULKHULKHULK HULLLLLLLLLLLLK!!! Seriously, it was that good.

COMMENTERS: Post your thoughts on The Avengers in the comments. SPOILERS MUST MUST MUST BE TAGGED or your comments will be deleted and you will be banned from commenting. DO NOT RUIN THIS MOVIE FOR ANYONE.

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  1. Thank you for your beautiful and totally not spoilery description. We were going to see it this week regardless but now we are going tomorrow. I'm so excited!

  2. I dunno about you, but where I love almost all of the theaters DO serve booze, and while children are not BANNED, per say, in my experience the drunkiest ones are the ones where children are, ah, discouraged. I once got ejected from a midnight screening of Harry Potter because I drank two pitches of beer and tried to compete against an eight year old in a spell contest and told them to fuck off. Jesus I wish that was made up. Anyway, I saw Avengers yesterday, on a Sunday afternoon, with children abound, but my cocktail and the greatness of the movie got me through it all.

  3. I was hoping it wasn't over-hyped and left feeling that it might have been under-hyped. I have not enjoyed a movie like this since maybe "The Fellowship of the Ring".

  4. I completely one hundred percent agree with you that it can be and should be compared to Transformers 3 garbage of a battle. I almost felt like Joss Whedon watched that scene, then rewrote and shot the entire movie just to show up with at Michael Bay's doorstep with a preview copy and yell "THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT AMATEUR. WHEDON OUT." And I loved the flow, the forward progression of the movie and the way that EVERYTHING MADE SENSE.

    • Jesus Christ that long shot during the final battle. It was like ballet. Explodey, smashy ballet.

      • What was great about the (massive) damage to Manhattan was that it was all incidental. Things running into buildings. Energy weapon fire pockmarking streets. Idiotic office workers standing next to huge windows while a battle rages outside. It was beautifully done …

        … even as the battle with Our Heroes raged in singletons, pairs, teams, dynamically shifting, with plenty of time for character moments and *every single hero getting their bruises and moments of glory.*

        Yes. This.

        • #SPOILERS

          I love how Transformers 3 has like one building falling as their main set piece and they hype the shit out of it and Avengers has like EVERY building falling and they don't even care. That's not even the best part. "Oh yeah, buildings are falling? Some giant thing crashing into Grand Central? Big deal. Look what Hulk does to Loki."

      • I've seen it twice so far, with plans for a third, and I've been thinking about that one long shot. Both times, that was the shot that had me bouncing on the edge of my seat like a little kid with too much caffeine, and I didn't even do that when I was still a little kid with too much caffeine. It transported me back to a time when I was a ten or twelve year old kid, sick in bed, reading comics. That scene is a double splash page, and the camera is your twelve year old eyes darting around the page, absorbing each detail of the giant battle, seeing what each of your favorite heroes are doing. Thank you, Joss Whedon, for turning me into a kid again for a little while.

        • "That scene is a double splash page, and the camera is your twelve year old eyes darting around the page"

          Ok, now I see that scene in an entirely different light. You might be on to something. I wouldnt be shocked if that was the inspiration for the whole thing.

          • If you watch it again, and I suspect you will, keep this in mind during that scene. It increases enjoyment, and I didn't even think that could be possible!

      • #SPOILERS

        There is one continuous shot where it goes from Hawkeye to Black Widow to Ironan bouncing lasers off cap's shiled and finishes with Thor and Hulk crashing a giant eel ship. It's cinematic perfection.

  5. Avengers was just outstanding – easily the most fun I've had at a movie in a long time (probably since Iron Man). This is one of the few instances that I can think of in my 38 years where a film actually lived up to the build-up.

    • I still can't decide if it's a better movie than Iron Man. I watched Iron Man for maybe the 20th time yesterday and every single scene is still perfect. I think maybe the argument is moot because The Avengers COULD NOT be as good if the character of Tony Stark hadnt already been established. I dont know if the two can be measured by the same yard stick.

      • IM is a fantastic single-character movie. Avengers is a fantastic ensemble movie. The two are different beasts, and Joss (blessed be his name) understands this.

        So I disagree that it was the best Iron Man movie, or the best Thor movie, or the best Cap movie. But it was the best movie with the three of them (and Hulk and Hawkeye and Black Widow) together one can imagine.

  6. Only 6 beers, Eli?

    Pfft. That's what giant lady purses are for. I brought two six-packs and four tiny bottles of wine.

    Avengers drinking game as follows:

    Each participant gets a hero. Each time that hero's name ("Iron Man," "Captain America") is mentioned, you drink.

    When Stan Lee appears, you drink the entire tiny bottle of wine.

    Protip: Make sure a professional gets "Thor." Since that's his actual name AND his hero name, that person will end up plastered.

  7. The Sundance Kabuki theater in San Francisco has a 21+ section with 2 bars and at least 3 screens. Almost as awesome as Avengers.

  8. Joel, I hesitate to tell you about this, because suddenly moving to another state can be very hard on a family, but there is a theater where I live that DOES in fact segregate the teens. The building is split down the middle, and all the theaters on the left are 21+, while the ones on the right are all ages. There is a wall between them. Also, it has four types of screening rooms. The General Auditoriums are regular theaters, albeit extremely nice ones. The Grand XL is a 70' screen that is bigger than many that call themselves IMAX. The Living Room Theater is a small to medium sized auditorium where all the tiered seats are leather couches with folding armrests, so they can all become couple seats if needed. The Movie Parlor is, quite simply, the finest theater experience I have ever had. It is cozy and intimate, with maybe 30 seats. All are couches or individual plush chairs. There is a fireplace, framed screens on the wall that show art or video related to the movie until the previews, and stars on the ceiling. The Living Room and Movie Parlor auditoriums are full service restaurants all the way until the end of the trailers, and they have a beer and wine list that puts most restaurants to shame. There is live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The 21+ Movie Parlor has a cedar deck overlooking a lake. As in, you can't get to the deck unless you are seeing a movie in that parlor. It is movie heaven on earth. It is called Cinetopia.

    • As an atheist I don't believe in heaven, which is clearly what you are describing. Try pulling the other one.

        • They also have similar cinemas in the UK (and I believe in Australia as well). At my local cinema you can sit upstairs on a balcony in the "premium" seats for a few pounds more and they are luxurious armchairs and there's a bar. The main area down below teems with teenagers, but I can't see or hear them…

  9. Great film but when I saw it, some kid behind me got in my face and asked me if I wanted to know how it ended.
    On days like that, I desperately wanted to give my self a homemade vasectomy.

    • "Do you want to know how it ended?"
      "Do you want to die alone, screaming, hyperventilating as your sobs use up the last bit of your oxygen? Because my family owns a farm and a backhoe, and I can make you disappear."
      "Psh, dude, whatever."
      "Just pray you parked in the light."

        • I had to sit through a showing with grade-schoolers who would not SHUT THE FRAK UP, nor could their parents be bothered to silence them.
          I don't care that it was my second time seeing the movie; I'm going to shove your precious spawn that has to talk at THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS into the garbage can in the hallway if you don't DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

          Of course, my friend the str8 parent stopped me, and the sperm donor that can't control his brith dropping finally dragged the brat out of the theater about an hour into the movie.
          Thank you people lobbying for no birth control.

  10. And just imagine … teenagers like the one mentioned are the hope and future of this country … maybe even the world. Just another reason to drink to excess and make it all go away for a little while.

    • Yes, the person texting in front of me with the blinding white screen on their phone, especially during the scenes where the movie was dark…I guess all the money you paid ot be in the theater isn't as important as txting your stupid phone.

  11. Marvel/Disney better hold on to Joss Whedon or WB might steal him away.


    Justice League, directed by Joss Whedon, produced by Bruce Timm, written by Grant Morrison.

    • Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me. WB already fucked Joss big time. I believe he's learned from the Dollhouse fiasco with FOX to not work with WB again. Let's keep him in the Marvel Universe where they let him play with his toys, undisturbed.

      • How was Fox's decision to cancel Dollhouse WB's fault? Fox and WB are two different companies.

        • Without bothering to look it up, I can tell you that Joss has always been the servent of multiple masters. He usually produces shows at WB and licenses them to whichever network they end up on (usually Fox). For instance, when Buffy left the WB for UPN it never actually moved. They kept producing it at WB while selling it to UPN. TV is a complicated business.

          • Actually, all of Whedon's shows were produced by Fox. Just go to the Fox online store, you can find all his shows there. Or look at your Firefly DVD, you'll see the 20th Century Fox logo on the back.

  12. I was seriously considering putting a couple of Mike's Hards into my wife's purse, but I knew they would be hot after the hour plus wait in the theater.

  13. Being in the Dallas area, I'm sure y'all live somewhere near either a Movie Tavern or a Studio Movie Grill. While neither really excludes teens, they do both serve pretty decent food and a fairly large alcohol selection.

    • I have NEVER been a fan of Studio Movie Grill. I find their theaters to be sub par, as well as their food. So each part of the equation suffers and adds up to an undesirable whole. Also they way they do service is very distracting from the actual movie going experience. I would never see a first run movie there.

  14. The cinemas here do that, anyone can get in but as they only handle 30 or so (Gold Class) and you can order drinks and food to be brought to you at pre-arranged times, it works well.

    Additionally, Australia didn't get the print with Shwarma at the end, dissapointing.

    • Absolutely. Like Joel, I've never cared at all for Hulk in any form – until now. Ruffalo was fantastic.

      Really impressed with the casting overall, actually.

    • Ruffalo was the first guy to ever play Bruce Banner as BRUCE FUCKING BANNER, and not SUPER HANDSOME JOHNNY ACTION PANTS. Banner was never supposed to be this suave, steely eyed dude. He was a tortured dork.

      • I dunno, I liked the Ed Norton movie a lot (But I'm an apologist for the vastly underrated Daredevil movie) But Ruffalo was awesome

  15. I nearly cried during the Avengers because I was so happy. What makes Joss Whedon so amazing is that all of his characters can be awesome, all the time. No one had to sacrifice a single shred of awesomeness for anyone else. Also, I loved seeing the different side of Tony Stark; he was downright sensitive to his new pal Dr. Banner.

  16. the idea of a no teenagers or younger movie theater, that serves booze……may well be the best idea you've come up with to date.

    with the exception of the ham-o-matic

    now if only we could use the ham-o-matic to ham-ify the popcorn

  17. you might want to check out the Spoony Experiment Spoiler Free Review.

    Noah (Spoony) descrivebes the movie by comparing it to everything that was wrongg about the Transformers and Fantastic Four films. Not just the Action scenes, but the pacing and character development.. His rant would bea good starting place for your thesis.

  18. If you're still in Dallas, you could try one of the Studio Movie Grills, I've been to the one in Arlington a couple of times for Can't Stop the Serenity and I think one over Plano way. Those are pretty nice–booze and you can get food brought to you (actual food). The AMC at Grapevine Mills also has a movie tavern type thing going on now in some of its theaters too (though if you are going in a group make sure you buy your tickets together because they do assigned seating). That's actually where I went Saturday to see The Avengers (I agree pretty much one hundred percent with your writeup on it too). I mean, the teenagers aren't completely gone in any of those cases, but the setting is a lot nicer and there is booze so it makes it a lot more enjoyable of an experience.

    • On a related note, the AMC at Grapevine Mills has two sections of dine-in theaters… one is called Fork and Screen, and one is called Cinema Suites. The Cinema Suites are a little more expensive, but admission is 21+ (i.e., no teens allowed) and the chairs are nicer.

    • Whats funny is, going through old comics, I used to do this 4 or 5 panel layout ALL THE TIME. I think I just stopped out of laziness.

  19. At a theater near where I live, the two main theaters have balcony seats. You pay a but more but it’s 21+, serves alcoholic beverages, and is an actual balcony.

  20. Hey, next time you're in Baltimore (Comic Con!), try the Landmark Theatre in Harbor East. The place has a bar, a frickin' full bar, in the lobby. Order whatever you want and walk in the theater. Since it's in the Inner Harbor, there are only adults there in the evenings. The teens seem to favor the soulless megaplexes outside the 695 loop.

  21. Do you not know about the Cinebarre in mountlake terrace? 21 and up only, beer and mixers and tasty burgers served to you all night. I've gotten so sick of teenagers and people who bring their obnoxious children that Cinebarre is the only place I go now.

  22. I definitely have to watch this again. Just saw it Sunday dubbed in Portuguese. The voice "acting" could not do justice to lines I had seen in the trailer in English. "I have an army." "We have a Hulk." The pizazz just was not there. No bored-sounding voice actor is going to match RDJ's Tony Stark.
    Also, SMJ's voice was higher than Agent Coulson's.

  23. In England, Vue cinemas do "Late Showings" (after 11pm) which are only available to people aged 18 upwards. It's slightly odd to go to a U certificate film (e.g. Toy Story 3) where no kids are allowed in.

  24. This is why I -only- go to the Alamo Drafthouse here in Austin for movies. I can never move away from Austin, or I'd never see movies in the Theater again.

    The food is tasty, you can order good adult beverages, and they have a -very very- strict shut up and keep your cell phone put away policy. No talking, texting, facebooking or calls. You get one warning and then they throw you out without refund. I went to the opening weekend showing packed to the gills and still got to enjoy my movie in peace.


    • I believe they are trying to open one up in DFW as well. There's always the Denton Movie Tavern on University in Denton Tx if you want to drive north to see a teen-free flick.

    • You're getting more options, they have Alamo Drafthouses in New York, Colorado, Virginia and one under construction here in San Francisco. I can't wait.

  25. Saw this the day it came out a couple of weeks ago! So good!

    Could have killed the noisy teens two rows in front though…

  26. Here in the Boston area we have Showcase Deluxe…they have an adults only lobby with a full bar and comfy lounge type seating for pre-movie. Then for movie time you sit segregated from the unwashed masses in a special leather seat with a swivel mini table for your cocktails and a call button for the waitress service…more drinks of course and real food….costs more, sure…but soooo worth it.

  27. Several of the cinemas where I grew up would have bars attached (one in fact being a pub with a cinema attached rather then the other way around) you were allowed to take in proper drinks (i.e. full pints of beer (british pints so a bit bigger also I think our beer is stronger, not entirely sure but meh) and most would have intervals so you could go and get another round in. Teens tended not to be a problem as they knew that if they did something annoying they'd be kicked out (if lucky) or kicked in (if unlucky). Though saying all that we did have the problem of most of the cinemas were single screen and certain films were unavailable for various reasons (the life of brian was only shown in cinemas while I was in university due to being banned for blasphemy) so swings and round abouts,

    I'm really looking forward to this film, saving it for a treat for when I finish my finals so thanks for a good and non-spoilery summary!

  28. Sounds like the US really needs to get Gold Class cinemas. The ones here at my local, you've got the theatres then on one side there's a glass sliding door that you have to get your ID checked to get in. Once in you're in the Gold Class lobby with a bar and comfortable seats. You can then order drinks and food for during the film, setting what time you want them to bring it out to you. Then you go into the cinema and there's about 4 or 5 rows of big comfy recliner chairs in pairs with tables between them and ice buckets in case of champagne.

    Sound like what you're looking for? 😀

    • The US DOES have something like Gold Class cinemas. Allow me to introduce you to Cinepolis luxury theaters.

      21 and over theaters with full bar service (Great craft beer!) reclining leather chairs and waitservice. Fantastic stuff. I can't go to a regular theater anymore.

  29. A million congrats on 5 years of hilarity!! Also, I would sincerely enjoy participating in any green room party involving sexing Thor and doing drugs with Tony Stark and the Hulk. Why isn't this an option in real life?!?

  30. I had three teenage girls in front of my talk about the lesbians in their class and how they'd want to bone the majority of the male characters in the movie. My phone an hour before the movie started so I couldn't even chronicle their stupidity on the Twitter.

    Avengers was fantastic and a testimony to the public's desire to watch (and pay for) well-written stories.

  31. So, I saw The Avengers in our little indy theater. I had the same beer-bucket-contraption as Eli, except instead of popcorn it had ice and instead of being poached in I had purchased it from the concession stand. Mindframe Theater Dubuque Rules!

  32. I would like to take this opportunity to propose, in Eli's grand convention, a discussion on Things We've Smuggled Into A Theater. As such, I would like to lead off same with a treatise entitled "How I Got Two Foot-Long Subway Sandwiches Into A Showing Of Enemy Of The State".

    Long story short, it involves winter, a big coat, and a theater full of people who could not give less of a fuck if they were drinking Vytautas mineral water.

    Thank you for your patronage.

  33. The two teens sitting behind us at the midnight show almost ruined the movie for us – in fact, if Avengers hadn't been so damn good, they would have. If one of them wasn't constantly running her mouth and narrating the movie in progress, the other was repeatedly saying "Awwwwwww" every two minutes anytime ANYTHING happened, as if everything any character said or did was the cutest thing she had ever seen.

  34. I don't know where you live, Joel, but here's a thought… For movies like this that you really want to see, find a nearby – but not too nearby – small town that has a movie theater. It's worth a 2-3 hour drive to watch the movie in an emptier theater.
    Here's another hint: teenagers from small towns often drive to larger towns to see movies… because they assume that since it's a bigger town the theaters MUST be better.
    Seriously, make a trip of it. And then you can spend the entire drive home talking about it amongst yourselves.

  35. What is amazing is that with how destructive the final battle is they wouldn't of been able to do it ten years ago?

  36. Yea, verily, The Avengers kicked all the ass this weekend, Joel! My brother & I caught a 12:30 showtime last Friday, so our audience had none of those troublesome teens. Oddly enough, in my hometown in livermore, The Cinema we watched Avengers was up the street from another movie theater, where they do serve booze! It's like a combination of resteraunt AND cinema, complete with wine selection! Why didn't we go there? Because they weren't playing The Avengers. They only show foreign films & the "artsy-fartsy" stuff. And football games. And San Jose Sharks hockey games.

    • In fact, many movie theatres in Canada offer 18+ screenings and booze. All new Ciniplex theatres I've been to in the last 10 years or so have at least 1 VIP theatre with the 2-person leather armchairs with divider, and a little table between each pair of seats, and they have waiters that BRING THE BOOZE TO YOU! So, anyone in there has to be at least 19, and they jump on cell phone users and will throw them out. And only an extra $5 (so I don't do it for everything, but for movies I really care about). It is glorious to be Canadian. 🙂

  37. To avoid the teenagers and crowds in general, I go to the first Saturday AM showing. Few people (myself included) like getting up early on Saturday, so the theater is not nearly as crowded. Even if stupid people are there, they're usually too groggy/hungover to be complete asses.

  38. Hoel-

    You could avoid the teens if you didn't live where they are bred, in The Great White Suburbia… Although if you DID actually make the 3-day trek into Dallas, I'd still avoid the Studio Movie Grills, as you'd run into a species far worse than Teens… Gluttonous Obnoxoids who think because they can order chicken strips, hot skillet queso and booze drinks served in giant plastic tumblers they can be as loud, opinionated, and smelly as they usually are inside the sanctity of their own crack den living room.


    Although, I didn't follow the usual sage advice of seeing it when the Teens are dormant – I had to see it opening night. Just one firm public announcement of "SHUTTHEFUCKUP!" in the theater three trailers deep took care of any tomfoolery perpetrated by those pesky Teens… Allowed for the more tactful, level-headed and subtle delivery of, "Hulk… Smash." by Capt. Steve Rogers later in the flick to be that much sweeter 😉

  39. 1) The older I get, the more annoyed I get with children and teens. Yes, I have children and grandchildren. I like my offspring. I don't like other people's children…when they don't behave.
    2) The Avengers was incredible. Joss rules as always!
    3) Thank you, Joel for a great comic as always. You rule too 🙂

  40. There are loads of posh cinemas here in the UK, usually arthouse or serious films but they allow alcohol to be taken in, and some have sofas with in seat service.

    Beats those horrible mega-complexes anyday.

  41. We have a theater with adults only, lazyboy recliners, food served by waiters, and …. wait for it… BOOZE! What a night out!

  42. My visiting pattern to HE has always been a sort of once-a-week catch-up. but without making a conscious effort to do so, this shifted immediately to daily visits as soon as there was a thread of continuity pulling me along. It may not work for everyone, but this change pulled me in and engaged me quite a bit more, and pretty much immediately. Devious bastard.

    • Im sorry for your loss, and I support your efforts, but the comments on my comics aren\’t really the place for that sort of thing. Sorry.

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