Thursday, June 02, 2005

New Movie for Today

The new movie link for today - over there on the right hand side - is "The Man Who Shot Libery Valance." It's really one of the true greats of American Cinema and a line of dialogue in it has permeated our popular culture in the form of every impression of John Wayne that you've ever heard. If you've ever heard someone use the word "pilgrim" in John Wayne's voice, it's from this movie. Directed by John Ford.

The theater vs. The DVD

It's funny. There's a ton of buzz these days in the press about how the DVD is taking over from the theatrical experience. People are buying DVD's in a way that no one ever expected and avoiding theaters in a way that no one ever expected. So - the natural conclusion is that people aren't going to theaters because they can have this sweet, kick-ass home theater experience at home AND there's all those sweet extras on DVD. Here's my problem with that. I work in the film business - among people who really, really, really dig movies. You know how many people I know who have really sweet, kick-ass home theater set ups? People who have their TV sets finely tuned so that each and every color is presented the way God and Vittorio Storaro intended? People who don't have table lamps reflecting in the TV screen?




Well, the argument goes, the release dates for theatrical and DVD are getting so close that DVD must be cannibalizing the market. Possibly. But I think there's something more to it.

Think about it. People have been gathering around the campfire to hear/watch stories being told since before there were campfires. The modern theatrical experience can surely be traced to the ancient Greeks and earlier. Meaning that people have been going to theaters to see drama for at least several thousand years. Could it really, really be that we're just DYING for an excuse to sit by ourselves in our boxer shorts and watch "Spider Man 2?" Could that really be it? Could it really be that the laws of supply and demand and the communal experience which is thousands of years old, are actually being totally inverted by the existence of the DVD?

Or could it be that the theatrical experience just ain't cutting it? I mean the biggest movie of the year is clearly going to be Star Wars and the best I've heard anyone say of it is, "it doesn't suck." Could it be that it's just not that much fun anymore to pay $10 a ticket to watch commercials, three-act trailers (a whole other post) and then get to sit through a remake of an old TV show?

Perhaps that's why my DVD collection doesn't include any "current releases."