BP Double Bill: Ice Age-Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)/Murphy’s Romance (1985)

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Like TV dancing contests and Sarah Palin, dinosaurs score in all key demographic categories.

Son, in my day, all you need was a cowboy hat and a smile and the audience was with you.

Son, in my day, all you needed was a cowboy hat and a smile and the audience was yours.

First things first, never write a post that says the hiatus is over and then go on an even longer hiatus.

But there is one defense. Last month, my HDTV went belly up after just three years. (A Toshiba 42HP66 if you are curious) leaving me with little incentive to watch movies, except on my computer–which I find sort of excruciating. TV programs are one thing, movies are another. Even TV shows I love, such as 3o Rock, go down easy on a monitor–but movies, especially now, demand a bigger screen, some panorama, and quality sound.

These days, however, when I go to a real movie theater, it’s usually for my 4-year-old daughter. During the holiday, I took her to see the third Ice Age movie. I had wanted to take her to see Up–Pixar can do little wrong in my eyes–, but reviews on the net suggested it was too violent and somber for her. (And yet the film is called “Up.”)

Now, after 80 minutes of listening to Ray Romano and Queen Latifah play two Woolly Mammoths, I wish I had gone ahead and gambled on Pixar.

But getting to the heart of the matter: The inescapable fact that big-studio pictures are marketing vehicles first. (And if you ever had any doubt, this article in the New Yorker will vaporize it.) And that I am even bother to restate such an obvious notion shows that I am well on my way to becoming the kind of old coot I was always fearful I would become. It’s irresistible to claim that “in my day” things were better–and a true sign of age is when you truly, with all your critical heart, believe it. You’re convinced of it and of the belief that any objective analysis would bear that out. (I can claim the 1970s and the 1990s as “my day” but never mind….)

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