Tuesday, April 08, 2008

MOVIES ON TV

Read an interesting post over at The Movie Blog recently about watching movies on broadcast TV. John Campea was saying that he just realized that he didn't remember the last time he watched a movie on regular broadcast TV - certainly not a recent release from the last five years, anyway. Moreover, a lot of the people on that site were commenting were saying that they actually don't watch movies on TV either! People were saying they'd rather watch their DVDs instead, that there was no point watching movies on TV because it was really inconvenient to rush to the TV any time a favorite movie happened to be on. I have got to believe the reaction on that site was a generational thing. A lot of young people are much more comfortable getting their movie fix by going the DVD route these days.

But the more I thought about it the more I think that this is an interesting topic for discussion. Who really does watch movies on TV anymore? A lot of people truly have given up on broadcast TV and have turned to DVDs in droves for their movies.

Let's face it, it's more fun to view a movie on DVD. They make more of an effort to provide "director's cuts" and special features, and all the other good stuff real movie fans want to see. Plus, you don't get any of the annoyances associated with watching movies on broadcast TV. For one thing, they don't bleep out all the freaking foul language! Can you imagine watching any of the Die Hard movies on TV with Bruce Willis getting bleeped all the time?" "Yippie-ka-yay-mother-bleeper!!!" Plus, on DVD they show all the nudity, unlike the cowards who run broadcast TV who must face FCC fines all the time from these uptights in Washington, D.C.

Now, some channels are cutting down on doing this rampant editing. I notice the Canadian channels will let a lot of stuff go, especially late at night. Even the American cable channels will be more relaxed. But there are still those pesky TV commercials which interrupt these movies all the time, a major annoyance to people.

But the biggest peeve is the fact that people don't want to be bothered to rush home to watch a particular movie at a certain hour, especially one they have seen before. This was the issue that swung the pendulum to DVDs for me.

I'll give you a true example that happened to me. One late night recently I noticed the CBC was running the David Lynch movie Mulholland Dr., which I wanted to see again. But I was so tired and zonked out from a very hard week slaving away at my depressing mainstream media job. I had a splitting headache, so I couldn't watch this movie on TV!! Let me tell you, I was mad as hell at my employers. It was bad enough that the hours at this job were so long that I'd miss my favorite TV shows every freaking weeknight: now even my off-hours were getting ruined! I couldn't even stay up on a Friday night to enjoy a movie on TV!!

Of course, this is a reality for a lot of working people out there who can't be at home whenever their favorite movie or TV show happens to be on.

Bottom line is the very next day I went into St. Vital Mall in Winnipeg and bought a copy of Mulholland Dr. on DVD. Now I don't have to worry about whether or not I am too tired to watch Naomi Watts and Laura Harring on TV. I can watch those two babes go at it anytime I feel like it. Which, of course, is the big advantage DVDs have over broadcast TV as far as watching movies is concerned.

Me, I still watch a lot of movies on TV, especially these older movies from the 60s and 70s that run on AMC, Turner Classic Movies and these other places. Citytv runs a ton of movies all the time, and I like the flicks they'll show on CBC -- they'll even show the odd Godzilla movie late at night. The reason I still tune in movies on TV is because it's a good way to discover something I haven't seen before and it allows me to broaden my horizons as a film watcher. The problem, though, is that these stations keep on letting me down and show the same movies over and over again. Like, for instance, LA Confidential. Or Cool Hand Luke, on multiple channels, too! I don't know how many times stations show Austin Powers, but it seems like a lot. It really does get boring.

Moreover, there are a lot of broadcast stations that don't even run movies anymore! I look at Global TV as a really good example of what's going on. Fat chance you will ever find any movies run on Global! In fact I remember they ran a movie a couple weeks back, and I was really surprised because they showed an actual movie, on Global! (CTV shows a lot fewer movies these days as well, but they will still show the occasional movie late at night on Fridays or on a weekend afternoon.) I notice that these ABC, CBS and NBC stations don't seem to have any room for movies anymore, either. Of course, the FOX and CW stations show plenty of movies but they are all ones I have seen before.

No wonder so many people have quit watching movies on broadcast TV, then, if this is the situation. Anyway, that's all for now: I want to watch a movie I just bought on DVD.

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