2013-06-05 / Editorials

Other Voices

Wait for the DVD
Mitch Clarke

I love movies. I used to love going to a theatre to see a movie. In fact, at one point in my life, I went to a theater four or five times a month to see movies.

I got out of the habit a few years ago, and now I seldom venture inside a theater.

But last week, a friend asked me to go to a movie she really wanted to see. The name of the movie isn’t important, but it’s a remake of a movie from 1974, which reminded me of one of the reasons I don’t go to the movies anymore.

Hollywood, it appears, has officially run out of ideas. Nearly everything today seems to be a remake. It’s bad enough when someone tries to remake a classic, because there’s no way to recreate that magic. Worse, though, is when someone tries to remake a bad movie. It stunk before and now some director thinks he’s going to make his version a masterpiece. Not likely.

The movie we saw wasn’t bad. In fact, it was pretty good. There was actually dialogue between the characters and, you know, a plot, which reminded me of a second reason I stopped going to the movies.

So many movies today have no plot. They consist of four lines of dialogue and then things start exploding.

I’m an old movie buff. I like dialogue and intriguing plot twists. I don’t need a lot of shooting and blood and explosions to enjoy a movie. In fact, if a movie has all those things, I’m probably going to hate it.

“Rear Window” is one of my favorite movies. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the movie takes place mostly in the apartment of a character played by Jimmy Stewart, who, while confined to a wheelchair because he broke his leg, peered out his window to watch his neighbors and began to believe one of them killed his wife.

Nothing exploded. Nobody got shot. Yet the movie kept me on the edge of my seat. (To be fair, the neighbor, Lars Thorwald, did hack his wife to death with a knife, but it happened off camera. Imagine how Hollywood might remake that today.)

Anyway, my friend and I arrived at the theater and purchased our tickets. And that reminded me of a third reason I stopped going to the movies. I should have stopped at my bank for a line of credit first.

It cost $20 for the two of us to buy tickets. And that was nothing compared to the sticker shock at the concession stand. We bought to two drinks and a large popcorn to share. Total price: $24.

For 24 bucks, I could buy four 12-packs of Coca-Cola and a couple of boxes of Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn. Then I could sit on my sofa watching as many movies as I wanted for the next month.

About 10 minutes after the movie started, I was reminded of a fourth reason I stopped going to the movies. Two women sitting behind us — who I assumed also paid $20 to get in — began having a conversation about one of the women’s sons and his prom date.

If you’re going to have a conversation in a movie theatre, at least make it about something juicy, like the affair you are having with your boss. The story of the son’s prom night didn’t do much for me except make me miss part of the movie I paid to see.

So I’m not writing today’s column for you, dear reader. I’m writing it for myself. The next time I get a hankering to go to the movies, I’ve going to find this column and re-read it.

Then I’m going to wait for the movie to come out on DVD.

Mitch Clarke is a native of Blakely. He can be contacted at mitch.clarke@charter.net

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