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Archive for February, 2013

War of the Worlds, 1953

I finally got around to seeing the Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds. It was ABC’s Saturday night movie last week. It took two and a half hours to show the entire movie thanks to commercial breaks. I loved every minute of it.

In this age of DVRs (and VCRs before them), DVDs and video on demand, it was kind of nice to not have to look for the remote to pause the video when I needed to go to the bathroom or fix something to eat or drink. And it reminded me of how exciting it was to watch blockbuster movies on TV after we’d missed them at the theater.

In the days before video tapes and movie rentals, Saturday and Sunday nights on ABC, CBS and NBC were the only shot we had at seeing a movie once their theater run was over. That’s how I got to see Planet of the Apes, after my older sister told my mom that it had nudity and we were banned from seeing it when it played the Grand in Thibodaux. (The nudity turned out to be a man’s butt, which is something my brother and I saw every time we went to the public pool in the summer.)

I liked the Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds. I loved Tim Robbins in it better than Tom, but all in all it was a pretty good movie.

And if I hadn’t liked it, I wasn’t out anything and I could change the channel. I think I liked that most of all.

War of the Worlds, 2005

There’s something to be said for a life with a timetable. That’s why I prefer network TV to cable and wish the networks would start showing football bowl games again. (If I ever run for public office it will be to break up the monopoly that ESPN has on college football.)

I like that the network news comes on at 5:30 p.m. and no one is shouting.

I was speaking with a friend a while back and his 6-year-old nephew interrupted us to say he wanted to watch a show and needed his uncle to find it for him. That kid’s generation has no concept of “That show’s not on right now.”  I think they’re set up to be disappointed frequently in life without that knowledge.

Good things come to those who wait, especially those who have a TV antenna made from wood scraps and old metal coat hangars.

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