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Bill Bryson - Lost at the Movies

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Essay title: Bill Bryson - Lost at the Movies

In the chapter, “Lost at the Movies”; pages 113-116, we are introduced to the movie culture. His family went to see Jurassic Park: Lost world and he couldn’t believe the thought that was put into the movie. He could not fathom how a huge prehistoric dinosaur could go unseen through a huge city and suburbs. The movie made $92.7 million in the first weekend. Bryson comments “…for all its $100 million-plus budget, contains about $2.35 worth of actual thought…” (114) The movie Speed 2 was created by the directors’ dream. He dreamed the ending scene and worked from it backwards, which shows how much thought was put into it. The movies are not as good as they use to be when he was a kid according to Bryson. Not only do you have to pay a ridiculous amount to get in but once you get in then they try to sell you high priced beverages and snacks. He recalls when the big time theatres would have one large screen to show the hottest movie during that time. Bryson comments on the pictures screens “The screen had the dimensions of a large beach towel and was so ill-placed that everyone in the first three rows had to look almost straight up, as if in a planetarium.” He also feels the same way towards the sound in the theatres. Bryson’s analysis of the movies theatres of today are partly true, while mainly they are inaccurate and do little to show the outstanding qualities of the present American movie theatres.

Bryson does have a point in the fact movies are over priced. This is why movie stars make the money they do. At around seven dollars a ticket and popcorn a drink bumping the tab up to nearly fifteen or twenty dollars, it can get expansive. Most want to see the new movies during matte and pay outrageous money. The best times to go are during the day or whenever nobody really goes to the movies. They are the most expensive when they know people are going at night during the peak times, but who are we kidding this is when we all go. We all hang out with friends at night and on the weekends not during the day when we are at school or our day jobs. There are always the cheaper dollar movies, but this is just it cheap. They are never new movies and the facilities are not as good as a Lowe’s Theatre. Everyone wants to see the new blockbuster and see that new action movie with the amazing effects. Even at the dollar movies however the drinks and popcorn is still evidently the best money can buy at five bucks a pop. These theatres are good for the typical something to do. They offer adequate screens, sound, and movie selection while still hitting your pocket at the concessions. They must use real twenty-four karat gold butter. The trend seems to be smuggling your food in, eat before you go, or starve to death. However, there are people that go just for the popcorn. That is an expensive favorite food to have. Trying to wean your self off that habit could end up being a smart healthy and financial choice. People say why not wait for the movie to be released on video and the usual responses are: “I want to be the first to see it” or “I want to see it on the big screen with the amazing sound”. This is understandable is a few extra bucks worth these features; certainly. Most people go for the alternative of watching movies at home.

The movie environment is something that must be considered. Why sit at home watching that new action hit on a little thirty-two inch television from the early 90s, when you can go to the local theatre and watch it on a huge hundred inch or larger screen with the latest sound and some comfy chairs. This way you can feel that huge explosion rattle your insides and the flash light up the entire room. For all the hot shots that have the big home theatres, many are envious of you. However, for a fraction of the cost they can kill your home theatre at the theatres. If movies were this sophisticated back in the mid-60s would be hard to believe. Technology has grown and so has the movies. Watch a movie from the 1960s and a new release and show the differences. You could write a book on it. They even make remakes for this reason. It is a new way to see a movie in its entirety. Bryson comments on the smells from movie theatres in the 1960s “…I am sure there was a dead horse in there somewhere, and certainly

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