23 June 2005

Revenge Of The Shit

Remember when your parents told you about how,
back when they were kids, going to the movies was
like a cross between Christmas and a day at Disneyland?

For the price of a nickel, you could spend all day at the
cinema (which in those days were truly movie palaces,
secular temples that invoked the kind of mysterious awe
usually reserved for more "sacred" spaces found within
cathedrals and halls of government.)

And they certainly got their money's worth: newsreels
from around the world, short comedy and musical pieces
(aka "two-reelers") and a cartoon that often pushed the
boundries of film technology and acceptable family
entertainment. All of that for the price of admission.
Sometimes it was even a double-feature (a form of
public entertainment now even more rare than the
double-header in baseball.)

These days, movie-goers have the privilege of paying
ten bucks to go to a multiplex designed to fit as many
screens as possible into a space with about as much
charm as your local supermarket.

And if you make the mistake of actually showing up
at the scheduled viewing time, you can look forward
to over ten minutes of obnoxious commercials and
formulaic trailers played at a volume loud enough to
wake Caesar's ghost. If you get there early, you can
enjoy the blatant advertising and P.R. disguised as
movie trivia. [Thanks Coca-Cola!]

And that's after you've spent another ten bucks
on popcorn and soda.

So pardon me if I don't shed a tear for the Hollywood
film industry, which is only now getting hip to the fact
that people are sick of this shit. We'll just take our DVDs
and stay home, thank you very much.