And I thought I was harsh for asking a guy to turn off his cell phone. A man was shot because he was talking with his son during a screening of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Christmas Day, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Reportedly, 29-year-old James Joseph Cialella told the unidentified victim's family to be quiet and threw popcorn at the man's son. After exchanging words, Cialella allegedly got up to confront them, the victim stood up, and Cialella shot him in the arm with a .380 caliber gun. As other theatergoers ran for safety, Cialella sat back down to watch the movie. (Think about that for a second.) Police arrested Cialella and charged him with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and weapons violations.
Coincidentally, at a Christmas late morning screening of the same movie (albeit in Dallas and not in Philadelphia), I got upset at a guy in the row in front of me for checking his cell phone -- with a big bright screen -- during the opening scenes of the movie and promptly asked him (nicely) to turn it off. He did. But what if one of us was packing a gun? Not to minimize the seriousness of the situation, but wouldn't it be better if everyone got some freakin' manners?! Sheesh.
The incident took place at the UA Riverview Plaza Stadium 17; police were called about 9:30 pm, which means the 8:40 Button screening was barely a half hour into its 2 hour, 47 minute running time (allowing for the usual 15 minutes of ads and trailers). One web site claims that "the crowds are often noisy in the auditoriums during the movies. Many Philadelphians attend movies earlier in the day to avoid the noisy crowds, or avoid the Riverview altogether."
As I was finishing up the post, I asked Philadelphia resident -- and one of my very cool bosses -- Scott Weinberg to take a look at the story to get his typically savvy input. He suggested adding the Top Disrespectful Reactions, and provided all but the last, for which I'll take blame:
1. Who brings a kid to a three-hour drama?
2. Who brings a gun to a Cate Blanchett movie?
3. Did the guy actually think a bullet wound would shut the other guy up?
4. Why doesn't the Riverview have metal detectors already?
5. Maybe now people will shut the hell up in the movies.
6. Hey, they don't call it "The City of Brotherly STFU or I'll Shoot You" for nothin'.
7. What would Rocky Balboa do?
Meanwhile, I wondered what the father and son were talking about so early in the movie. What scene provoked discussion? What warm intimacies were being shared?
1. "No, son, I said you were wrinkly at birth, but not like that!"
2. "Hey Dad, are you really my Dad?"
3. "Will I grow up to look like Brad Pitt?"
4. "Was I raised by a poor black family?"
5. "But I wanted to see Marley and Me!"
Feel free to share your thoughts on the story, serious or otherwise.