Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscars Experience Ratings 'Crash'

This is a definitive treatment of just how many people actually watched the Oscars last night. The answer: not many, and in fact ten percent fewer this year than last.

For the record: I haven't watched the Oscars for years--and I haven't gone to more than one or two movies a year for the last five years. Why not? Because they're trash, that's why not. Except for such gems as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and the Lord of the Rings series--why, you could count the number of really good movies on the fingers of one hand.

And while I'm at it, let me remind everyone why several Christian commentators have declared that going to the movies--that is, going to a public cinematic exhibition hall--is sin. Even if a non-sinful title (like The Lion and the Witch) is in wide release, if you go to a public exhibition hall, you're supporting an establishment that, at other times and on other screens, shows flat-out eye poison. These commentators draw this analogy: you would not go into a tavern if all you were drinking was ginger ale--because you can drink ginger ale in a setting where liquor is not allowed, and that is where you should partake of it.

Now we all know that if you're at the movies, you're in a room where all you perceive is the particular title for which you bought a ticket. As a result, you are not supporting the other, less edifying titles that the theater is showing. That's true, but you are supporting the exhibitor, who always gets his cut of the box office--and many Christians want to make a statement to that exhibitor that they either limit themselves to family-friendly fare, or they can count their families out of their customer base.

And given that most of what Hollywood churns out these days is junk, I can't blame them--especially when not going to a public cinema might mean only that you have to wait awhile to see your gem of a title, when the studio releases it to home video. And if the Internet cranks up to the point of offering movies on demand--well, that might just kill the local movie house anyway.

I don't have an answer to the larger question of "shall we refuse to patronize the local movie house even when they show the good stuff?" But I have this much of an answer: if Hollywood is going to keep on churning out raw sewage, then I couldn't care less what they think is award-worthy. I just won't go. You'll find me in church, listening to, and making, good music, rather than allowing anyone to manipulate my emotions as shamelessly as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and its member producers, directors, and "stars" (as in falling and fallen), routinely try to do.

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