As Movies Fade to Black

I watched the Academy Awards on Sunday evening for the first time in about fifteen years. It’s not that I didn’t want to see the Oscars, but that time and circumstance defeated me. In the world of cable I remain during my sailing time, a solitary standout. No television. Strangely, while Americans have parties for the Super bowl, they don’t even turn the television to the Oscars.

So I watched the entire thing from the red carpet to the last gasp thirty minutes later than predicted. Sad in some ways to see the faces on the red carpet. There’s no special lenses to hide the passage of time (Except for Nicole Kidman who appears to have gotten younger.) Then the ‘In Memoriam’. I knew more of the people in that segment than among the announcers. See what happens when you don’t pay attention for a decade.

The musical numbers have always been a big part of the show. It’s some real entertainment. However, none of the numbers moved me, with one exception. Lady Gaga nailed those songs from ‘The Sound of Music’, and demonstrated a well-trained, strong voice. In an age of lip-syncing, and pitch corrected recordings, this amazed me. Lady Gaga, who has been known for her shock tactics took the high road.

The dresses were lovely; the red carpet statements were banal. The speeches were a little better, but had nothing that will be played again and again. Remember Jack Palance and his one armed pushups at the age of seventy-three? No? Look it up on YouTube.

Overall, it struck me as nostalgic, old fashioned, and bit sad. While they celebrate, their ship has sailed and the future is pushing them onto the slag heap of history.

International video game revenue is estimated to be $81.5B in 2014. This is more than double the revenue of the international film industry in 2013. Video game growth in some segments is running 20% per annum.

No, movies won’t disappear in the next year. Movies are passive. Go to the theatre and sit. They are great for a date. However, ticket sales (not dollar sales) for 2014 were 1.27 billion, down from a high 1.58 billion in 2002. All the increase in dollars came from increased ticket prices. IMAX and 3D pictures have driven this trend.

Personally, and this is from a man whose favorite movie is in black-and-white with mono sound, I’m not sold on the new technology. I’m still adjusting to HD television and not always happy with the result. How many explosions can a single movie contain before it becomes boring?

Oh heck. I’m sounding like an old fart. It must be time for me to buy a new console and hook it to the television; maybe one of those body motion detectors. Then I could consider video games as a cardio workout. Maybe next year I’ll watch the Video Game Awards Show.