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Are you movie mad? No, I don’t mean crazy for a Harold Lloyd comedy Crazy movie from 1932 about a young man with little or no acting ability trying desperately to be in the movies. I mean, are you crazy about movies period? I must admit that I am a cracker for movies. So, everyone who considers themselves movie crazy raise your hands. Yes, that’s almost everyone. Why are we crazy about the movie? Why do we live in a movie obsessed society? Hey, what are movies anyway?
Films are ideas and/or stories presented to an audience through emotion through sound and a continuous sequence of images. Thanks to Google Search.
How popular are movies? Well, the keyword “movies” boasts 1.1 billion and growing searches on the Google search engine alone. And the keyword “movie trailers” has garnered a whopping 127 million plus searches. Watching movie trailers on the internet has become a popular past time for many. I know my husband is one of them. He loves watching his movie trailers.
This past year alone has brought in a staggering 29.2 billion dollars worldwide box office revenue for 2009 alone. Movies are watched and made all over the world. The language gap has been abolished due to the addition of subtitles. Now we can all share in the overall movie experience. As well as being universal, films are made for everyone, young and old. Why you can even see at most generations of Disney movies or children’s shows. There is something for everyone regardless of age.
We celebrate movies and we celebrate the stars in our movies. We bring them into our homes in the form of TV shows dedicated to stars like ET, ET Canada, Access Hollywood and TMZ to name a few. We grab supermarket tabloids like The National Enquirer and Star scanning the latest celebrity gossip and stuff them into our shopping carts when nobody’s looking.
We have Oscar parties like Superbowl parties and even betting or at least announcing our opinion on who will be the winners of the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, MTV Awards, etc. Then there are the classic TV shows like ‘Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous’ that we turn on faithfully oohing and aahing over the content like it’s fine wine. The show ran for over 10 years (March 1984 – September 1995). What a run! What a concept! In fact, we got to tag along and troll over the stars’ extravagant homes, lifestyles and dream vacations. Today, you can watch similar shows like MTV’s ‘cribs and VH1’sA Great Life of….’
If you’re more of a homebody you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to see a film. You can literally channel movies through your regular cable TV or on specialty movie channels like Thrill, The Movie Network, HBO, Movie Central, Showtime, Turner Classic Movies, etc. And that’s after you click on the TV movies of the week, movies recorded on your PVR or send your kids to the video store to rent one of this week’s new releases. Oh, and not to mention you can buy movies from your brick and mortar video store down the street or even online on eBay or Amazon.
How do we get our golden tickets to these grand palaces? We buy cereal boxes and cut cardboard vouchers, we use our airline miles points or redeem reward points to turn cash into movie tickets. We fill out contest forms in hopes of being chosen as the lucky few to attend previews of our favorite movies before they even hit theaters. We also line red carpets around the world and tune in to celebrity interviews on our favorite daytime and evening shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, Oprah and Regis & Kelly.
What beats the movie experience? Nothing. We queue for our tickets, buy our favorite merchandise, grab the latest Famous or Tribute magazine to read lightly before our movie (while eating our real butter popcorn or a bag of licorice). The lights dim, the screen expands and the picture and sound arrive at the same time. We anticipate the movie previews while watching the nuisance commercials and then there they are. Those big beautiful attractions that come in all their glory. We whisper yes or nod or give a thumbs up to our friends sitting next to us for the next movie adventure we plan. Then, if we’re lucky, that is, the guys will get to hear the THX sound effect bell that roars around the theater. (Hey guys you can hear it on YouTube or download it as a free mp3 or ringtone). Then the wait is over. Who! And the adventure begins…
Again, why are we crazy about the movie? Could it be because movies are cheap; cheap date; or an economical family outing. Can the encounter be enhanced even more through the Imax or 3-D experience. Or does it go deeper. A chance to escape from the real world if only for a few hours. Movies evoke emotion be it excitement, laughter, fear, sadness, inspiration, faith, love, etc. Maybe you’re on an unpredictable adventure, uncovering a mystery or watching a family deal with loss. Film takes us away; anywhere we want to go. Even the theater itself is an experience as we have discovered. The lights, sound, feel, big screen, oversized fabric chairs, convenient cup holders, popcorn and munchies from the snack stand, etc. The movie experience touches all our senses. What movies have moved you emotionally lately?
The movies are one place where you can choose what you want to see and feel. If I want to be happy I’ll go see a light comedy. If I want to be thrilled I’ll go see a thriller or horror. And if I want to entertain my niece and nephew I’ll go see the latest animated film, etc. , musicals/dance, sci-fi, war, documentaries, westerns, biopics, chick flicks, detective and mystery, disaster, fantasy, film noir, guy movies, melodrama/weepers, road movies, romance, sports, supernatural, etc. .
Movies bring people together. They are something to talk about at the watering hole in your 9 to 5 job, chat with your Facebook friends or discuss in forums. We can talk about the worst movies we’ve seen or our all time favourites. We can quiz each other on movie trivia, quotes and songs. We can read or write reviews on movies, search for movie ratings and buy books on movies. We can even send the latest Hollywood gossip to our email inboxes or go online to read blogs such as Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy blog.
Is there any other benefit of movies apart from the whole entertainment experience? Actually, there is. Many professional therapists use films to help people in crisis. There is a therapeutic movement using — you guessed it — movies. It’s called Cinema Therapy. Cinema therapy is used because it is readily available (there is a film theater in almost every city) and the subject of most films is familiar to everyone. It also improves the relationship between the client and the therapist. Who doesn’t want to talk movies.
Other benefits include the release of emotions such as when we laugh during comedy our laughter releases stress, tension and/or pain. A tear jerker that makes us cry releases built up / blocked emotions. How about movies that touch on relationships or parenting. These observations and/or lessons can bring us closer together with people, make us analyze our current situations/relationships or make us realize that we have work to do.
And if there’s one last thing that confirms our crazy mindset about movies, it’s our wish or longing to be in a movie and/or meet a movie star. Well, this is just — you can do both. Have you heard the term television or film extra? If you want better than a bird’s eye view of the making of a movie and to come across a movie star or two sign up to be an extra. You’ll be paid, fed, on set and maybe bumping elbows with your favorite movie star.
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