Started taking the niacin again. It burnses us it does, but it only hurts for a while.
Periodically, I harp on the signs of death that I see in the Hollywood movie system. There are a number of factors that contribute to this, from the number of people that purchase DVDs, the expense of the "theater experience", the crap that passes for studio movies these days... then there is this Slate article, which points out the short-sighted studio system eating its own tail.
Movie theaters are in trouble. Running on small enough margins to begin with, they really can't withstand large drops in revenue. It's why you rarely see anything but chain movie theaters anymore; all the mom-and-pop places have gone out of business because they can't compete.
But the Hollywood system is also spewing out a lot of crap. Nobody that I know of considers the Fantastic Four a critical success, but it made money. It's a successful film in Hollywood parlance.
Hollywood doesn't make movies. Hollywood makes money. Movies are just the tool to do it.
Then if we look at broadcast television, we see another facet of the profit uber alles motif, which is the reality TV show. The reason these shows exist is because they are (relatively) cheap to produce, being in the tens of thousands of dollars per episode, as compared to the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars required on "quality" programming.
Don't get me wrong: not everything sucks. There are some good TV shows, and there are occasionally some good studio films. But there's far more crap out there than good stuff, and the trend is becoming more crapacious.
At the same time, the bigger-budget indie films are becoming more and more prevalent. There is some real genius and experimentation happening there. And my personal favorite, the extremely low-budget indie stuff is getting more and more distribution into the DVD rental chains.
The tide is turning.