Monday, September 26, 2011

Rant #588: "Lion" Continues to Roar

This is a kind of dead season for movies.

We are in the middle of all of the summer blockbusters and the holiday super movies, so the fall is like a dumping ground for a lot of trash that couldn't compete at the box office at any other time.

That's one reason you see movies like "Killer Elite" and "Contagion" in movie theaters now. Do you really think that if there was anything good out there that people would even consider seeing this type of trash?

That is also the reason why "The Lion King" is doing so well right now.

This 1994 movie was a box-office blockbuster when it was originally released in 1994. Hand-drawn, it is the largest grossing film of its kind in history, and came out just before computer animation virtually wiped the old fashioned cartoon movies off the map.

It is lush, it is beautiful to look at, and it is a classic in film making of any kind.

Using bits of the Bible and Hamlet as its influences, the film shows the conflict between Simba and Scar as to who will be the eventual leader of the lions. It is a great film for all ages, features nice music, and the vocal talents of a great assemblage of Hollywood and Broadway types, including Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane and Whoopi Goldberg.

Of course, the film wasn't re-released without a catch. It is now being shown in 3D, the bane of my movie-going existence.

Why? Well, you have to pay more to see 3D films--you pay for a ticket and the glasses--so the box office returns are truly not related to ticket sales, and are pretty artificial.

For instance, this past weekend, "The Lion King" reigned supreme at the box office, taking in $22.1 million, nudging the Brad Pitt baseball movie, "Moneyball," out of the top spot by about $1.5 million.

But it is safe to say that "Moneyball" sold more tickets, because it is not a 3D movie, and, thus, is about $5 cheaper to see per ticket than "The Lion King."

Hollywood gets my goat. Not only do they charge you extra for the 3D glasses, but we have all seen that tub that asks you to return the glasses after seeing the movie. So all you are paying for is a rental of the glasses.

Sorry, I take mine home, even if I never use them again.

I will bet lots of parents took their young children to see this movie. I mean, what else is there for them to see?

"Dolphin Tale," the story of a sick dolphin who gets a fake tale fin, was the No. 3 film in the country, but it got horrid reviews. I guess lots of parents took their kids to see this movie after seeing "The Lion King" the week before.

And yes, it is also in 3D, inflating its sales figure of $20.3 million.

Other than that, there isn't anything out there for families to see, lots of trash before the big movies for the holidays hit the screen.

Me, I stayed home and watched the Yankees this weekend. There's nothing better than staying home and watching baseball than wasting money to see garbage.

And it's not in 3D.

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