Hooray for Hollywood! NOT!!!

Ole Tinsel Town has hit a rough patch and I for one couldn't be happier. As ticket prices have risen by nearly 4% attendance has hit a 24-year-low, according to The National Alliance of Theater Owners (NATO). How many families of four or five can afford to take in a movie these days? And have you see the prices at the concession stand?

My wife and I shelled out $34 to see the new Star Wars film in 3-D a week or so ago at the AMC at the Dartmouth Mall. I couldn't tell you which film I saw prior to that. We don't go very often because not only is it ridiculously expensive, but the product generally stinks. Most films today seem to rely on computer-generated graphics to make them appealing.  God knows the writing and performances do little to attract much of a crowd these days.

In addition to bad films and bad actors, I'm going to go out and a limb and suggest that most Americans are fed up with the elitists in Hollywood. Those who depend upon the consumer to earn their daily bread should refrain from moralizing and dictate to their benefactors. If they choose to take to the bully pulpit they run the risk of endangering their celebrity status and therefore their ability to make a living.

How many times will you call me a racist or Nazi before I stop giving you my money?

Back in the day when real stars made real films in Hollywood, the studios were careful to keep the performers from endangering the product by annoying the masses. Stars were glamorous and films were fun back then.

Perhaps Hollywood could return to the good old days when it was the job of the performers to entertain and not lecture the crowd. Maybe then it could focus on producing a better quality product and entice folks back into the theaters.

(Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon-3 p.m. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.)

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