HOME ARCHIVE 2018

I made it to the movies to see ‘The Post’

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

I made my annual trek to the movies the other day. I should go more often, but it is so much easier to dial up a movie at home.

Theater movie box office revenues are on the decline, partly because a lot of people choose to watch movies in the comfort of their homes, like me. And also because there were some pretty lousy films released in 2017.

I set up a high-definition projection system at my house and can watch movies, or anything else, on a 110-inch screen (measured diagonally).

The theaters have a better system and sound, but I cannot lie down on my couch and stop the movie whenever I want to get a snack or go to the bathroom. Watching movies at home has its advantages.

I don’t mind waiting for a movie to leave theaters and be offered on Netflix or Amazon. Meanwhile, there are other good movies to watch. And there is always HGTV, where I can watch all the home improvement projects that I’ll probably never do.

I went to the movies once in 2017 and can’t even remember what I watched. I returned recently because I wanted to see “The Post.”

There are one or two movies that I think are really worth seeing in a movie theater annually. Many of the offerings in 2017 were mediocre. Which is why AMC profits dropped and Netflix profits increased. There are many other people who think like I do.

But, I decided that I wanted to see “The Post.” Being a writer and ournalist, that was an obvious choice. Plus, I vaguely remember the Pentagon Papers stories in the New York Times. I was a teen at the time, and my priorities were focused in other directions.

What better way to get a refresher course than having Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep reenact it for me a few decades later.

The movie was thoroughly enjoyable. I went to the matinee showing, which is cheaper, but would have paid full price for this one; that’s how good it was. There were around 20 people in the theater, and nobody coughed, sneezed or sniffled.

That’s another problem I have with crowded theaters. I don’t want to be subjected to someone else’s illness because they sneeze or cough into the air.

I also like talking during the movie, which I cannot do too much in a theater. And, during the boring scenes, I like to look at my cell phone, which I definitely would not do in a theater.

The nice thing about “The Post” was that there were no boring parts, not in my opinion as an amateur movie critic, anyway. But it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Today’s teenagers may have a hard time being drawn into a movie like this. To them, this is something they learned in history class, not something they lived through, saw on the news, or read about in real time.

It was also great to see how they used to set type on those big bulky Linotype machines and watching those giant multi-story hot-type presses in action. The story takes place in 1971, pre-word processing or computer monitors. Stories were written on typewriters, and editors marked up the copy with a pencil to make their changes and corrections.

Those were the days when we couldn’t zip-zap information around cyberspace, which is a lot easier than keeping track of paper copies of stories and then setting them to type.

There was no WikiLeaks. The Pentagon papers actually got their own airplane seat and made it to their final destination by taxi. But I have given away too much of the movie already.

Oh, the golden age of newspapering. It’s a lot easier now. The nostalgia was an added bonus. Go see “The Post.” You’ll love it.