My earliest memories of going to the movies are of total chaos. Imagine a large, old-fashioned movie theater on the main drag of my hometown during a Saturday matinee for grade schoolers. The theater is packed. There is a cartoon, an episode of a cliffhanger serial like Buck Rogers (to be continued the next week), then the main feature, often a black-and-white western. The kids are not quiet. When they finish their popcorn, they fold the box flat and sail it out over the crowded theater. Soon the air is filled with gliding popcorn boxes. The noise and chaos didn’t bother me at all. Oh, but it was fun!
Yesterday I started watching the Stars Wars movie that is first in the series in chronological order. I was surprised how poor it was, dependent heavily on special effects and quirky characters. The plot was as weak as day-old coffee and so lame that even the good actors couldn’t overcome the hackneyed dialogue. I could only manage thirty minutes of the movie before turning it off. There are a million better ways to be bored.
I often start a movie without finishing it. A waste of money for sure, but also for me an indication that there are not many decent movies being made these days. I’m not interested in movies based on comic book characters, so that excludes seemingly half the movies made these days. Include the re-makes and there doesn’t seem much room left for original movies.
Going out to see a movie used to be one of my favorite things. When I lived alone in Washington, DC and had yet to make any friends, I went to the movies at least once a week and enjoyed myself even if the movie wasn’t very good. Now I never see a movie in a theater. It’s not because there are no movies I’d like to see (not many but there are some), it’s because the sound is often overwhelmingly loud, an assault on a person’s senses. So I no longer subject myself to movie theaters. I wait until I can get the DVD from the library or from the one-and-only, surviving DVD rental shop left in town. I may never again set foot in a movie theater.
There is a lot of junk available on the internet. Truly awful movies that exploit all possible human weaknesses. I’ve gotten sucked in by too many such movies. In my defense, I can say that I’ve rarely if ever finished any of the trashy movies, but I have to guard against temptation.