When I watch my four or five movies per week at my apartment during the wee hours of the night, I always have a certain option turned on…closed captioning!. If it is available with the certain DVD, I will no doubt let the captions roll across the screen for the duration of the film. For me, it greatly enhances my viewing experience.
I admit, my hearing isn’t my best sense. I much rather celebrate my superb vision. While I can see the ESPN sports ticker crystal clear from 100 feet away, I commonly ask people to repeat what they say. With some movies, no matter how loud I turn it up, the tone is sometimes so soft that I would need to rewind a couple times to completely understand what was being said. With captions turned on I understand everything the first time through. Yes, I utilize captions for their most basic intended purpose.
However, closed captioning does more than just help the hearing impaired follow the dialogue in movies. It also enables the viewer to pick up on much more than if the captions were turned off. Many times for movies the closed captioning is not just well done, it is also very in depth and all-encompassing. Character mutters, random background conversations, and even song lyrics are all spelled out across your screen. Things that weren’t even meant to be picked up by the most observant, best hearing individuals are made available to anyone who has captions turned on. Sometimes these “hidden” comments made visible by closed captioning are funny, sometimes they are dark, and sometimes they reveal important information. They provide better understanding to the movie, a behind-the-scenes type feel almost.
Finally, just because it is my nature, I like closed captioning because it puts you one step ahead of everything. Most captions appear right before the actor speaks them. If you are at a 6th grade reading level you can read the entire line of what someone is going to say before they even begin to speak the first word. Now I know this bugs the heck out of some people who watch movies with me but I love it. I like to brace myself for what is coming and if I know the dialogue before the character actually engages in it, I feel much more at ease.
People say I totally defeat the purpose of watching a movie when I am pretty much reading it at the same time. But I don’t think they understand me. Like I said above, following along with closed captioning increases my enjoyment of watching films. It helps me relax more and it assures me that I am getting the most out of the movie. If you despise closed captioning, stop by my apartment when I am watching a football game instead. Don’t Blink.