Saturday, January 03, 2009

What Happened to the Movies?


With all the recent bad weather we became victims of cabin fever. We avoided the stores starting the week before the 25 because of the crowd. Add to that the nasty road conditions and then you get the two of us looking at one another for several days.

We decided that maybe a trip to the video store was in order. There was a time when we would see every art film that hit the theaters in Portland. Since then there had been promise that local cinemas would dedicate one of their screens or one day to art films and that promise fizzled fast. We no longer go to Portland on leisure often enough to keep up on what is good and what is not. I haven’t been to a theater in the last five years; sad but true.

As we strolled down the wall of recent releases I was shocked at the movie wasteland. The wall was filled with films that were in the theater for a week; if that long. There was nothing outstanding. They were mostly chick flicks and movies for 16 year old white boys. After looking for nearly an hour I left with the new Morgan Spurlock documentary, Looking for Osama, which was cute at best. I was pleasantly surprised by my wife's selection, Stranger Than Fiction. I groaned when I saw Will Farrell as a cast member, but this is a really good film. It has Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson and Tom (hasn't been in a film in 17 years) Hulce. This is a quasi narrated film. It's worth a look.

12 Comments:

Blogger Donna said...

We don't do movie theaters because Cliff has to have captions to understand what's going on. I signed up for Netflix for awhile, but it seemed like we only enjoyed about one out of every four movies that came our way, so I decided to save that $4.99 a month. Neither of us misses Netflix.

4:08 AM  
Blogger dalia said...

stranger than fiction is on my list. at 4.99/mo i would certainly do netflix, even if i only liked one movie - it's still cheaper than trying to go to the cinema (13.50 a pop!)

B has downloaded a bunch of movies for me, so i watch what he gives me. if i make requests, he'll find them for me as well... i'm not a huge movie buff, so the stash i have right now is more than enough.

4:32 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

You need Netflix. Movies will come to your door. And better yet, TV series from BBC will come to your door.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Thanks for the tip - I'll add it to my list. I can't watch most of the movies the boys bring home - too violent (or just plain dumb...)
What is it with young guys?

6:48 AM  
Blogger Uncle Walt said...

I have a theory that those dumb action flicks fulfill (at least partially) young men's genetic need to endanger themselves. Same with "extreme" sports.

Used to be, they would just "head west" or hop a "tramp steamer" for unknown territories, adventure, and daring-do.

Too bad ... of all the Louis Lamour books made into movies ... nobody's made a movie out of "Education of a Wandering Man".

9:01 AM  
Blogger Trop said...

I love Stranger Than Fiction. It's one of my favorite movies.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

with the ioncreased number of reliable movie download sites now up and running, a trip to the video store has become a rare event for me. The past few days I've downloaded:

Gran Torino
Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Valkyrie
Seven Pounds


Benjamin Button, despite all the hoopla, is tremendously tedious-coming in at three hours I was so glad I was able to lay in bed and watch it instead of going to a theater and wasting the bread to get bored to tears.

9:19 AM  
Blogger CB said...

Sneak peek at my Sunday article http://watch-movies.net to watch ALL of the current movies in the movie theaters PLUS thousands of other movies.

No, it is not illegal. You are not downloading the movie, you are watching movies that are already showing somewhere, out there. It is only illegal to download these movies.

ZMTL.com where you can buy current releases movies, yes BUY, starting at $1.99 for iPod downloads up to $4.99 you then burn them and keep them. Totally, completely legal and they have foreign films, BBC series, etc...

By the by, if you pay the $4.99/month for Netflix you can also watch somewhere like 12,000 movies and TV series from BBC classics (yes, even Benny Hill) to current Lost episodes, streamed right to your laptop/desktop. No downloads (can't keep 'em).

12:28 PM  
Blogger CB said...

Whoops, glad I caught that here, first. That is http://www.zml.com/ for the movies to own.

Great for a personal library. Not so great for gifts unless you have the whole dvd labeling setup, dvd cases etc...

12:35 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

One nice thing about living out here in 'Satellite Dish USA' is that we're positioned well to get a number of foreign channels. Also being close to the border means we get Quebecois & English Canadian TV. Makes it much easier to find material to watch, especially art films. Very important to us in winter when the drive to one of the many Arthouse Cinemas here triples in duration. Summer stock is a joy here, so many good shows at acting training places.

2:17 PM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Heck, dvds are getting so cheap now you can afford to buy whole seasons of teevee shows for nothing. The wife and I will start talking about a show and I'll get on amazon or half or ebay and find it cheap... better than movies, we think.

2:24 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Donna, Personally I don't like theaters. There is always someone making too much noise.

Dalia, I have trouble committing 90 minutes on a gamble that I'll enjoy it. I've seen more films that I didn't like than those I've liked.

Auntie, a monthly commitment is a bit much for me as well. There are only a couple films I'd like to see.

Beth, I think Walt answered your question.

Walt, a "tramp steamer" and daring-do? Damn, sounds like you were born in the 1800's. Too funny!

Trop, I love narrated films. Fight Club, Bliss...

Anon and CB, I'd rather watch from home as well, but I don't want to watch on a computer screen.

Mike, I recently ditched the dish. I'd love to get Canadian TV, but Dish Network charged a lot for that extra service.

Darev, somehow the ones I'm interested in still cost a lot. But sometimes I do find deals on ebay.

5:16 AM  

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