Why do we still go to the movies?

“He’s this way, on the way to the movie theater.”
“He’s this way, on the way to the movie theater.”

It’s summer. If you’re a kid, that means it’s time to go look at a dead guy your buddy found. If you’re a farmer, that means carrots. And if you’re a movie producer, that means pouring millions into loud, dumb-as-a-bucket-of-whey-protein blockbusters. (Or a remake of that movie where kids go look at a dead guy.)

Why do blockbusters coincide with summer? Because, historically, movie attendance has always been up in the summer because theaters were the first buildings in town with air conditioning.

But it’s not like anyone doesn’t have air conditioning these days, or that there aren’t other air-conditioned options. So why do we still go to the movies instead of, say, the local dialysis center or Ruritan clubhouse?

Good question. I’m starting to wonder myself. Maybe it’s time we stopped, and here’s why … Continue reading Why do we still go to the movies?

Your Week in Seriously Times: Mar. 4 – 10, 2012

The story of the Wilhelm Scream is the story of White America.

Rampaging girl scouts, spider webs, metro bears, movies, clear cola, and petty theft … If this week were made into a movie, it’d gross $300 million domestic and an additional $600 million worldwide. (People who don’t speak our language are enamored with our explosions and American flags.) Here’s the recap:

  • One’s a loose cannon who plays by her own rules. The other’s a loose cannon who plays by her own rules, which sound suspiciously like the rules of our first loose cannon. Together, they’re fighting crime, one Samoa at a time. Coming to a door near you: Girl Scouts. (Mar. 5, 2012)
  • Bears have discovered exfoliation technology, which means it’s only a matter of time before they uncover tweezing and hot wax. Point is: are you sure you’re hugging a human being right now? (Mar. 7, 2012)
  • Take it from Snee: What do the Wilhelm scream, three-point landings, and exclamations of “It begins!” have in common? They’re all ruining otherwise OK movies. (Mar. 7, 2012)
  • Thanks to the goodness of Coca-cola’s heart (and now PepsiCo, too), we will never have to relive the debacle of 1992 – 1993, otherwise known as the Crystal Pepsi Crisis. (Mar. 8, 2012)

Movie Pet Peeves

Between the podcast I do and the reviews I write here, I watch a lot of movies. Like any fan of cinema, there are films I love, films I hate and the vast majority fall somewhere between those extremes.

But, no matter how good or bad a movie may be, there are certain elements that I dread popping up. Imagine you’re invested in the story on screen, sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering how the plot is going to turn next, when suddenly — BAM! — you’re ripped out of, say, Middle Earth by some cliché you’ve seen in a million other movies. Frodo turns back into that kid from North touring New Zealand with Rudy.

This article is a plea to the sound editors, stunt coordinators and screenwriters of the world. These might be cool inside jokes to your friends in the industry, but they’re sucking the life out of your films.

Read where I break down why the Wilhelm, the three-point landing, and “it begins” gots to go at either: