I like movies. All kinds. I like watching them and talking about them and recently I have gotten into documentaries, but that is another story.
On this the day of the Oscars however, I am thinking about how much worse the experience of actually going to the movies has gotten. One would think that in the face of increased competition the movie studios and theaters would try harder to attract customers. Instead they have come to the conclusion that I am going to sit there and watch half an hour of crap before the movie starts. I don't know about other people, but I don't respond well to being force fed advertisements while strapped into an airplane seat, but have you ridden the train lately?
I don't respond well to the previews that cannot be turned off on DVDs either. And when the movie on Netflix just starts -- without advertisements or previews -- I get a warm feeling of calm and satisfaction.
Yes we have more options than ever before and no, the movie studios are not giving me any compelling reason to go to the theater. My house being a mess and my wanting to get out of it and go to a movie does not count as something the movie studios has done to be more competitive -- but if you give me a minute I bet I can come up with a reason my messiness is their fault.
There is one exception however. Just about every big city now has a handful of theaters that have comfortable chairs, serve food and drinks, and charge a fortune -- but they have reserved seating, so you can hang out at the bar right up to the start of the actual movie. That way if they are silly enough to try to force advertisements on you, there is an escape. I really hope this trend continues and the number of movies available at this kind of theater goes up.
Oh, and one more thing, there is a scene in Argo where the army guy at the airport picks up the phone and just dials Hollywood from Iran -- in 1979! Come on, really!