Culture

Roger Ebert Issues No-Nonsense Solutions for 2011's Box Office Blues

Roger Ebert knows why box office revenues are dropping, and he's more than happy to tell us why. Nothing too surprising -- tickets are too expensive, the theater-going experience has declined, and movies are available in lots more formats, to list a few of his reasons. But it all adds up to a pretty damning case against the status quo. Will studios and theater owners listen, or will the critic's words be drowned out by the billion-decibel roar of the latest disposable 3D crapfest?

Since we're officially in the future, my favorite thing is to watch movies that were set in a theoretical future, and see how the filmmakers' vision measures up to real life. "A Clockwork Orange" is one of the most fascinating to revisit, and this article in The Telegraph touches on the queasy relationship that filmmaker Stanley Kubrick and author  Anthony Burgess  have with the monster they let loose into pop culture. Gotta hand it to them though -- no matter how hard we've tried, the world hasn't gotten any stranger than the one these two men envisioned.

Is it already too late to post this so-cute-it-hurts rendition of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" performed by film stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Dang, the Internet moves so fast. If you require something with a little more edge to it, I'd like to offer up this holiday pantomime performed by twins Stella and Ella (which I took the liberty of redubbing with classic Radiohead). Happy New Year, Word-and-Filmers!

While I'm wishing glad tidings, I'd like to join Movieline in doffing my cap to people who write excruciatingly detailed Wikipedia plot summaries for movies that suck. As a freelance reporter, do you know how much time you've saved me, and how much of a burden you've taken off of my Netflix queue? Here's hoping that next year is even lonelier and more productive than the last!

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