Sunday, October 23, 2005


Confidential to Hollywood: Nobody goes to see movies because they suck. No one is going to pay $10.75 to watch a piece of shit movie in a piece of shit theater with astronomically overpriced snack items. Nobody wants to sit through bloody commercials after paying $10.75 plus at least $15 in snacks. People who really care about a great theater experience buy home theater equipment and stay the hell at home.
Take me, for instance. A normal, twenty-something woman who enjoys the arts. I like to watch plays, television, and funny little movies on the internet. I know lots of artsy people (or, people with artsy degrees). There are several movies I'd like to see that are out right now. In Her Shoes, Elizabethtown, North Country, Wallace and Gromit, Good Night and Good Luck, and probably a couple others. Now, the only way I can afford to do this is if I buy a ticket to one showing and spend the rest of the day theater-hopping within the multiplex. I dropped five titles, which, at $10.75 each, is $53.75. If I bring/drag my boyfriend to these movies, it would be $107.50. And we like to eat, so factor that in. For seeing all the movies I want to see, we're well on our way to taking a nice trip somewhere up north for a weekend.
And then there's the problem of other people in the theater. For a while I was on a real bad stretch of wanting badly to kill the moviegoing public. Kristen and I saw Closer last year. A few rows behind us, a girl translated the dialogue-heavy film into Spanish for her boyfriend. The entire movie. By the time the movie was over, I had only half the hair on my head left. Then we went to see Hitch. Behind us sat a cabal of high school girls who would screech their predictions of the plot at the screen. What do people do when they watch programs/movies at home? Do they talk over the whole thing? Shut the fuck up.
So, all told, I'd much rather watch movies at home with people who I feel comfortable telling to shut up. If I need to pee, I can pause the DVD. If I decide life is short and I'd like to go for a walk, I can. If I want to eat a sandwich from Real Deal, I can do so without guilt. None of the movies I see really require a Dolby surround sound setup. Just a screen and some speakers will do.
Maybe if some movies come out with some actual interesting, artistic content and not to function as only a star-builder/-rebulilder/-vehicle/-tabloid-fodder, then we'll talk. Hollywood needs to stop charging theaters so much for the films, theaters need to stop charging so much for snacks and begin a "how not to be an asshole at the movies" education program. Then, gradually, people will come back. But until then, my fellow misanthropes and I will be at home.

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