Last night I went to see a sneak peak of The Heat, that new Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy comedy. I'm not making any spoilers for people, because I'm still on the fence about recommending this film. It had its funny moments, but there were way too many rush cuts and as many, if not more, continuity faults.
But the lack of proper editing is not the reason I'm making this post.
Big Brother's Nazi regime was in full force at the cinema for this. We got to sneak in our candy and water, yes, but electronic devices, no.
Because this was a free preview screening for people who "won" tickets (certain freebie websites were giving away passes), 20th Century Fox / Fox Studios had strict rules. The place had to be packed with heavy security (both in uniform and undercover). There were to be no cell phones, record-able media, or ANY type of electronics out, before, during and after the movie. And you can enjoy this free screening under the paranoid and watchful eye of a heavily guarded room, which only had three exits.
The uniforms kept pacing up and down each (very full) aisle, looking at people, and one even profiled a row, to make sure people didn't have their phones out.
And that was while we were sitting there waiting for the theatre to fill up and the movie to start.
They kept making announcements saying that they have the capability to see any electronic device on (which, from my vantage point, they did have what looked to be a night vision goggle), and if they see you with it, they will confiscate your phone and you will be escorted out. As the movie is playing, if you have the device out, and they see you're recording it, not only is your device taken away, they're getting all media off the phone, telling Fox, and you're sitting pretty in jail with a hefty fine. Putting your device on silent or vibrate does not constitute as "off". You have to fully power it down and keep it powered down, or face getting it taken away. Your phone buzzes in your pocket during the movie, because your friend texted you? Adios, phone. Pick it up after the movie.... only if they think you deserve it and they make sure there's no recordings of the movie on it ANY WHERE.
I'm okay with them standing in the back corner somewhere, out of sight and out of mind. But the problem I (amongst a few other people) had, was the fact that they were doing some pretty heavy threats. They kept pacing around, and even a few times during the movie, I saw a flashlight go off... they escorted people out. I'm not making assumptions, but I doubt the 3 times I did see the light, those people were taping. The place was too loud with laughter to get any of the jokes. They went up to A LOT of people while we were all waiting in our seats and told the patron to put the phone away. Nothing was on the film screen, the place was all lit up. The seats were still being filled. The whole issue is the fact that you don't know why the phone is out. The person could have been a parent, and the babysitter was calling (or these days, texting) about something. The patron could have had to phone home for something - like it was an "all of a sudden, I got a call from Joe asking me if I want to go. I'll be home late" type of call. The reasoning is different for everyone.
If you're there to record a movie, you're going to find a different way then to keep a phone out. Plus, if you're savvy enough to record the whole time, on your cell phone, you're savvy enough to already know where it is on the internet to download it. You don't need a tablet version.
In all, as okay as the movie was, The Big Brother guards only proved that the society we are currently living in, is going to get worse over the coming months and years. Especially now that the biggest brother can tap your phones and internet workings, read your words, and possibly arrest you for terror threats.