How To Train Your Declining Movie-Going Audiences


Directed by: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

Voices by: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson

Release Date: May 20 (in theaters everywhere)

When DVDs started hitting the shelves about a decade ago (yes, it’s been that long), I remember scoffing at their so-called superior quality, stubbornly clinging to the symbol of my youth, the VHS tape. At the time, the difference seemed slight. OK, so you didn’t have to rewind after each viewing , and there were never any lines of static bisecting the screen, but at the same time, if you stopped the movie somewhere in the middle, it stayed there. You didn’t have to memorize how much of the running time had elapsed, or what chapter you were at. Since when do movies have chapters anyway?

With the wheel of time propelling us further yet into the future, a new change in image quality is upon us: super-awesome 3-D. Nowadays, everything is in super-awesome 3-D. First, Avatar, now the World Cup, and coming soon, Step-Up? Really? It’s not that I don’t like super-awesome 3-D; it’s cool, and putting on those funny glasses makes it feel more like you’re about to embark on a ride at Disneyland, but when a movie is released in super-awesome 3-D, it makes it really hard not to go see it in super-awesome 3-D. I mean, who went to go see Avatar in super-boring 2-D? I won’t go as far my younger self to say that the difference is slight – there is a difference – but I’m still trying to figure out whether it’s really necessary or just a gimmick conceived by the film industry to make up for its revenue shortfalls.

Anyway, so I saw “How To Train Your Dragon” last week with my girlfriend, in super-awesome 3-D of course, and found myself paying 26 bucks for two tickets. And all the sudden, I felt like I was back in New York. The movie was good, but what I liked about it wasn’t so much the visual effects (I could have easily gone to see it in super-boring 2-D and saved myself the ten bucks), but the fun story and the way it was told in an easy-to-watch, lighthearted way. In the end, the story and how it’s told, that’s what makes a movie. And in 20, 50, 100 years from now, when films are uploaded to your brain and experienced in dimensions beyond our imagination, that’s still what’s going to count. I hope.


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