So I haven’t been to an actual movie theatre in ages. I think the last movie I went out to see was Men in Black. The first one. Yeah, that long ago. It’s not that I don’t like going to the movies; I do. It’s just the movie experience has changed.
It used to be years between when a movie was released in theatres and when it would finally show up on network television. With the introduction of VHS, DVD, and now, Blue-Ray, pay-per-view and direct downloads, the way we enjoy our movies has radically altered. Indeed, we are spoiled by our technology.
And then there’s the people. You know the ones: The cellphone addict who can’t turn it off for five minutes; That guy with the REALLY LOUD ANNOYING VOICE WHO WON’T SHUT UP NO MATTER WHAT AND THINKS IT’S OKAY TO KEEP TALKING BECAUSE IT’S ONLY THE TRAILERS AND NOBODY WANTS TO SEE THEM ANYWAY; The one who comes in ten minutes late and has to sit in the seat right in front of you even though half the theatre is empty. You know — your average, everyday folk.
I don’t like crowds at the best of times. While I enjoy sharing an evening with like-minded individuals, I certainly don’t want to share whatever it was that Ebola Joe just coughed up on the back of my neck. Cover your damn mouth.
To top it all off they expect me to pay for all this. After gas, parking, admission and snacks, I’ll wind up paying five times as much as waiting to rent it. That’s a lot of money for something that might potentially suck. And I don’t get to pause it if I need to go to the bathroom.
Still I can’t help but think I’m missing something. I feel perpetually out of the loop by cultural references I’m not getting for months until after they’re already played out. The technical quality of cinema itself has improved over the years making my poor little television struggle to keep up. I miss the chill of an air-conditioned matinée on a sweltering summer day. Maybe I’ll even take a date and sit in the back row, if you know what I mean.
With great movies coming out like Avengers and The Hobbit I may actually get up off the couch and go outside for a change. I think the key to success is to make good art and to stick to your vision. Your audience will find you, no matter what it is you create. And if you manage to inspire that inner geek, they will go out of their way to give you their admiration as well as their money. While it’s true the cinema has become what I like to call “The fast food movie experience”, it may be time to give it another chance. I’m going to get some popcorn — but only if it’s real butter.
Also, Joss Whedon is the man. HULK…SMASH!