Saturday, August 11, 2007

IMAX Is A Movie, Too

Some of my friends decided to give up movies upon returning from Seminary in Israel. I don't have a problem with that. I, however, having gone to Seminary in America, have nothing against seeing the occasional movie.

Enter the newest Harry Potter installment. My friend, who feels the same way I do about movies, told me how she plans to take her little sister to the IMAX theater to see Harry Potter. "I have no problem going to the movies, but Shprintzi, our mutual friend, (not her real name) says she won't go to the movies anymore, and she wants to come with us, so she said she'll only go to an iMax theater." My friend is no fool. She continued, "Which, honestly, I don't get because it's the same thing as going to the movies." "THANK YOU!" I shouted into the phone.

Whom does this "Shprintzi" think she's fooling?! A movie is a movie is a movie. The general argument against movie theaters is the atmosphere. It's the same darn atmosphere. It's the same content. Maybe a different location, but it's a movie. This kid has no problem renting countless movies from Blockbuster, which are not as clean as Harry Potter. In fact, she's seen more movies this year than I've seen in the last 6.

Don't get me wrong; I respect those who can sincerely give up movies for the right reasons, and actually adhere to it. But when you claim that going to the movies isn't something frum people should do, but then insist on seeing Harry Potter in the IMAX, you're an idiotic hypocrite.

Maybe this just means I have no pride, but I feel like if I was in Shprintzi's position, I'd just say, "I know I wanted to give up movies, but I just can't resist Harry Potter. I really just want to see it in theaters." That's it.

Shprinzti, you're not fooling me. You're not fooling your friend. You certainly aren't fooling G-d. You're fooling yourself.


At 8/12/2007 12:43 PM, Anonymous a senior said...

here here

At 8/12/2007 1:10 PM, Anonymous big bro #2 said...

Completely disagree and here's why. Each of us must set personal limits on what we do. Just because I may go to movies does not mean I'd see a really filthy film. You'd say, "Why not? You go to movies anyway, so what's the difference? The answer is, you have to draw the line somewhere, and this is where "Sprintzy" chooses to draw the line.

And who says that the movie theater atmosphere is the problem? Maybe it's the content of the movie. And if it is the atmosphere, you have to admit that it's different in the IMAX theater than in a regular one.

This all-or-none approach is a common tactic of the yetzer hora. Hey, you're not perfect, you talk loshon hora, you watch TV and movies, so God hates you anyway, so you might as well eat a cheeseburger.

Sprintzy draws the line at IMAX theaters. Nothing wrong. She's not trying to fool God. At least she's not seeing garbage in the theaters. If anything, the atmosphere at home is better, which answers your Blockbuster argument.

At 8/12/2007 6:28 PM, Blogger Kaila said...

while i agree that seeing harry potter in an imax theater is still technically speaking seeing a movie, i believe there is a difference between imax and regular movie theaters. just think to yourself the last time a movie with a nude scene was shown in an imax? i personally have never heard of this, though i don't regularly check the imax listings, so i may just be underinformed. i think that if certain types of movies are not shown in a place the atmosphere will be different than say, if you went to see something family friendly in a regular movie theater.

as for fooling people, i agree with big bro. "shprinzy" may be limiting herself. in a while, she may cut out imax as well. some people can't go cold turkey, even if they went to sem in israel.

my major problem with this post is that you used the name shprintzy. i expected a little more creativity, michelle. shprintzy is getting boring as a generic name, and i feel bad for those girls who actually ARE named shprintzy. so do us a favor and switch to something like geraldine, ok? maybe wilhelmina... if you don't like those, i have more :)

At 8/13/2007 11:54 AM, Blogger Semgirl said...

Michelle...Chill out..we all say and do silly things and make crum rationalizations....

There are much bigger things to get so passionate about...

At 8/13/2007 5:08 PM, Anonymous a senior said...

alright after reading the second comment i see the logic about drawing the line at something but its 'shprintzy''s thought process thats is the problem. i may be wrong but the 'shprintzys' i know have all the wrong reasons if only they were thinkin about these gedarim rather than plopping everything into steriotyped categories like bad=theatres good=anything else that isnt called the movie theatres

At 8/13/2007 6:15 PM, Blogger Kaila said...

who says they all think good= anything that's not called a movie theater? someone who is trying to cut back may be choosing what she considers to be the lesser of two evils. imax theaters are not as common as movie theaters, and if i am not mistaken, they are more expensive. this results in A) the "shprintzy" in question going less often, as it is less affordable, and B) less teenage couples smooching loudly behind you, as it is less affordable and why pay more to do the same thing in an imax that you could be doing in a regular theater?

i'm sure there are other interesting minutae that make imax going somewhat different than movie going.

i have no doubt that some people do stereotype such things, but i prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt in some cases. cutting back on something one feels is wrong is never a bad thing to do, and if shprintzy is not hurting others by going to an imax, i say let her.

At 8/14/2007 6:54 AM, Anonymous Chani said...

I agree with you, Michelle-I had the same question about people who would never step foot into a movie theater, but have no problem going to Broadway shows. Broadway shows may not be as "bad" as movies, but they're definitely worse than IMAX's.

At 8/14/2007 7:13 AM, Blogger Isaac Kaplan said...

Good post Michelle, but I gotta agree with big bro and Kaila on this one.

The only thing I have to add here is a similar example. My friend Yanky doesn't have a TV in his house, for religious reasons. However, he has no no problems watching DVDs if his favorite sitcoms, such as Friends and The Family Guy.

Now, I can hear someone make the same argument about Yanky as you made about Shprintzy: who's this guy trying to fool? After all, those sitcoms are filthy, so he may as well have a TV in his house! And perhaps you can argue that someone with a TV who watches only clean stuff like PBS and C-SPAN is a better person than Yanky, who has no TV but still watches sitcoms.

But let's be realistic. If Yanky has a TV, he's not coming within 10 channels of C-SPAN. The guy knows he has a very big taavah for sitcoms, so although he feeds that taavah, at least he draws the line at having a TV, which prevents him from watching more trash and prevents his kids from being exposed to the garbage on there.

And if Yanky doesn't have a TV and doesn't watch his favorite shows on DVD? I don't see that lasting too long. It's like going on a diet that's too restrictive. Just doesn't work for most people.

I think it's better to indulge a little but draw a clear line somewhere, than to have perfectionist tendencies that can cause great harm in the long run. Tofasta Merubah Lo Tofasta.

At 8/15/2007 11:37 AM, Blogger Notsofrummie said...

Michelle, i finally agree with you on something 100 %. Watching an Imax film is the same thing as watching it a regular theater.

Big bro and all those other fakers who agreed with him and actually think they are drawing the line here, who are you fooling. Instead of renting all that trash, try watching more clean ones. these people are drawing the line on the wrong issues. It doesnt matter where you watch it, it matters what you are watching. If you actually think you are more 'frum' because you watch the same filth at home for a rental price rather than at a big screen, you are only lying yo yourselves.

At 8/15/2007 11:47 AM, Anonymous big bro #2 said...

Not so frummie:

How exactly am I a faker?

First you say that IMAX is the same as a regular theater, then you say that the problem is the contents of the movie. Which is it? Michelle was arguing about the atmosphere of the theater. Your bringing down the content aspect is apples and oranges.

Furthermore, IMAX theaters show cleaner movies, so the content is better. So how exactly is that a problem? And how do you define clean?

Point is, EVERYONE draws the line somewhere. Where you, Sprintzy, or Yanky (from Isaac's comment) draw lines are all different, so who says you're right and they're wrong? It's an individual thing based on one's level. So pipe down.

At 8/15/2007 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's certainly not fooling God...

No, I guess she's not. But do you seriously think that the creator of the universe has a thing about whether or not a particular girl (or, indeed, any girl) goes to the occasional movie?

At 8/15/2007 2:35 PM, Blogger Kaila said...


"If you actually think you are more 'frum' because you watch the same filth at home for a rental price rather than at a big screen, you are only lying yo yourselves."

define 'frum.'

i certainly never said anything about being more frum, and neither did the rest of the 'fakers.' i don't know what your objection is to saying that someone ahould be allowed to cut back on something they feel is wrong or even just not the best thing to do. we're talking harry potter here, i don't see that it's such an inappropriate storyline (unless you argue that the occasional use of the words 'bloody,' 'hell,' and possibly 'damn' are so terrible. oh, and the possible romantic interest between teens). the girl in question wants to see a basically clean movie and wants to see it in a basically clean environment, rather than have the not as clean environment of the movie theater. how can you say that she's fooling herself? she knows what she's doing. i think you're fooling yourself into thinking that all frum people act holier-than-thou. and most of us know we're not.

At 8/16/2007 6:48 PM, Anonymous megapixel said...

imax movies are clean, and usually educational- about nature-hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. its a safe place to take your kids, cuz you know they will not be exposed to bad stuff. except when they say in a deep voice at the beginning "when the world formed the earth's crust 200 million years ago"
so in my opinion, they are okay.
that being said, there are alot of double standards out there, but that is just part of life. ie people who go to ball games but not movies. a ball game's content is kosher, but sharing entertainment and sitting among a bunch of goyim is a different story. so yeah, it's a double standard, and if you were really honest with yourself, you may not go to ball games either (or IMAX) however, as a parent, I find that saying NO all the time is not that good either- sometimes you gotta say YES. so you juggle the lesser of two evils. shprintzy did what I was gonna do - but i heard the movie wasnt that good anyway.

At 8/18/2007 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The girl wants to see Harry Potter. Who cares if it's in a movie theater or IMAX? It's a clean movie (as far as I know) so, what's the difference?
The movie is the same, and the audience is the same.

At 8/20/2007 12:28 AM, Blogger Orthoprax said...


"just think to yourself the last time a movie with a nude scene was shown in an imax? i personally have never heard of this"

If I recall correctly, the Matrix sequels were shown in IMAX theaters and the second did have a sex scene even without any frontal nudity. It also had plenty of other sexual implications with that extended dance scene.

In fact, if I further recall, it even had an entire scene dedicated to forcing a woman to orgasm.


I guess it makes it better when those scenes are three times as large as a regular movie theater.

In any case, I don't have any problem with movies at all and think the whole thing is silly and the IMAX distinction to be arbitrary.

At 8/20/2007 12:30 AM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

"cuz you know they will not be exposed to bad stuff. except when they say in a deep voice at the beginning "when the world formed the earth's crust 200 million years ago""


...Oh wait, no, that's actually really sad.

At 8/20/2007 5:54 AM, Blogger Kaila said...


"just think to yourself the last time a movie with a nude scene was shown in an imax? i personally have never heard of this, though i don't regularly check the imax listings, so i may just be underinformed."

so thanks for informing me.

At 8/20/2007 1:51 PM, Blogger Notsofrummie said...

I never said that Imax movies were cleaner or dirtier. I'm saying the people are drawing the line at the wrong place. People think they are more frum by watching the same movie by an imax or even on dvd, and really think they are drawing the line. The 'occasional movie' is the same for a rental and a movie theater (imax or regular), and obviously relatively clean.

At 8/20/2007 3:21 PM, Blogger Kaila said...


how do you know they're doing it to be more frum? isn't it conceivable that someone can decide to no longer do something or go somewhere because they are not comfortable with the atmosphere? as a teen i decided not to eat at a certain pizza place on fridays not because i thought it assur or that i was being more frum than my friends. i was sensitive to the way the friday afternoon customers conducted themselves. i had a friend who dragged me there twice and afterwords i told her that she could continue to go if she wished, but that i was UNCOMFORTABLE with the atmosphere. does this mean i never went there? no, i frequented the place as long as it was not friday. did i think i was more frum because of it? absolutely not. the language and decorum in the place on that one day of the week was not to my taste. my friend didn't notice. you may be equally comfy going to a movie or an imax, but others are not. that is the point shprintzy is trying to make. she draws the line where she is comfortable drawing it, and as the line is for her and her alone. it is not your place, or anyone else's other than shprintzy for that matter, to say where the line should be drawn. and it is certainly not for us to say what shprintzy is thinking in terms of her own frumkeit. it's one thing if she looks down on others for not doing the same. it's another if she requests to have it done her way so she can be more comfortable.

At 8/21/2007 6:28 PM, Anonymous Sara said...

Even if not everything shown in IMAX is rated G, it is definitely considered more of a family/educational place. I went to a pretty frum school, and they would take us there on trips. I agree with Isaac Kaplan; everyone has their own limits. I know for myself that I'll try not to watch TV, but I like to check out a few shows online sometimes. Does that make me a hypocrite? Maybe. But if you bash that, it's like telling someone whose been dieting for three weeks but can't give up their chocolate fix that there's no point in dieting at all. Every little step means something. So if for someone, the IMAX is ok but they'll draw the line at a movie theater, which is a much lower, harmful environment, that's their step!

At 8/21/2007 7:00 PM, Blogger Financial Artist said...

From what I hear the Harry Potter movie sucked. So I wouldn't have wasted my time (bitul zman). You could have seen Rattatoulle, which is rated G and supposed to be excellent.

At 8/21/2007 8:57 PM, Blogger Notsofrummie said...

"the IMAX is ok but they'll draw the line at a movie theater, which is a much lower, harmful environment, that's their step! "

Please tell me why the Imax is less harmful? Is it the people that go there? i can show you some real nice trendy theaters in the city. Is it the movies, but its the same movie their showing at non-imax theaters. Just because your yeshiva took you there, does not mean that all of a sudden its now super cleaner than the regular theater. How about leaving flatbush once in a while and see your "imax theater" isnt that different than a regular theater. I highly doubt your principle of you yeshiva went to every theater to determine whether they were all unclean or not. See for yourself, you'll be surprised. You can watch rated G movies at those theaters as well.

At 8/22/2007 5:44 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

notsofrummie-you hit it on the nail. A movie is about its content.
I think seeing something crude as American Pie is awful regardless of where you see it. In a theatre or in your own home. I doubt it was in IMAX theaters, but if you're only seeing family-friendly movies anyway, WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
And lemme tell you something else, "Shprintzi" is not very selective about the movies she rents at home.
I think it's also about having better things to do with your life. Why do I watch so few movies? Because I have a life. And I have taste. Not necessarily because I'm so "frum."

At 8/22/2007 7:17 PM, Blogger Kaila said...


i believe the point is that shprintzy, whoever she may be, should not have to prove herself to anyone. perhaps imax is not cleaner than movies, but this is a decision that shprintzy has made for herself. it does not affect you, and there is no reason to scoff at her. this may be no different than "i'll go to the movies on tuesday rather than on sunday, monday, AND tuesday." cutting back can be in any number of ways, and what may seem ridiculous to us may make perfect sense to someone else.

again, why is this an issue of "frummer-than-thou?" she's not giving you a horrified look when you say you go to a movie, is she? if she were, i would agree that what she does is ridiculous.

At 8/23/2007 7:21 AM, Anonymous Chani said...

Michelle-if, as you say, Shprinzi is not so selective about the movies she watchs at home, & she is willing to watch Harry Potter in an IMAX theater, but not a movie theater, then it seems like it is the atmosphere of the movie theater that causes her to stay away.

At 8/23/2007 7:50 AM, Blogger Scraps said...

What it comes down to is this: We ALL pick and choose. Frummies do it too. End of story.

At 8/24/2007 9:51 AM, Blogger silent said...

I strongly disagree with the IMAX being the same as a regular movie. The type of people going to the IMAX are not the same type of people as your normal theater. Its mostly kids
with their parents, and usually a younger audience. My wife always says
the whole Chukas Goyim thing which to me it honestly doesnt make sense, because she would allow me to go to a
ball game but would object the theater.

At 8/25/2007 7:29 PM, Blogger Jacob Da Jew said...


Someone, please inform frummies that a movie theater IS NOT A $%&^& WHOREHOUSE!

Esp. when it comes to shidduchim

"Does he/she goes to movies?"

What a retarded question!

More to the point would have been
" Does she/he WATCH movies"

Sorry to burst your bubble, but people usually just sit there and munch popcorn.

At 8/26/2007 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, Why are you so hateful? Isn't "Sprintzy" supposed to be your friend? Wow with friends like you who needs enemies?!
Second, an IMAX is not the same thing as a movie theater! I happen to go to movies at both IMAX and theaters and let me tell you they are different! The IMAX atmosphere is much more G rated than a theater's atmosphere. Anyway, what is it your business what others do? You don't sound so perfect yourself so maybe you should worry about working on yourself instead of badmouthing others!

At 8/26/2007 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get A life!!!! Stop looking at everyone else!!!

At 9/01/2007 5:57 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9/01/2007 5:59 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Anonymous: I know I'm not perfect. Nobody is. But dissecting myself on here wouldn't be too much fun, would it?

And Shprintzi is a mutual friend, and I barely speak to her. We're not close or anything. If you must know.

At 9/25/2007 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

imax is hiddur mitzvah!

At 9/25/2007 6:48 PM, Anonymous iyhbyyou said...

imax is hiddur mitzvah!
(will now give myself an identity)


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