At the same time Denby is bemoaning the death-knell of the theatrical experience, the New York Observer has a much wittier memo to Hollywood up that's based on the opposite premise: That Hollywood actually cares about New York theater-goers. Writers Choire Sicha and Sara Vilkomerson get off some nice zingers, such as "We don't know what conspired to bring Ghost Rider in February. Look, it's Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage-and his head is a skull and it's on fire!" and:
"We're not stupid: No one in Hollywood actually loves Jesus. Things have gotten niche-ean now that the FoxFaith brand has launched. (Good job lifting the phrase "faith-based" from the Bush camp, News Corp.!) We suppose the Christians won't realize it was News Corp.'s Fox Searchlight that released Notes on a Scandal, with Cate Blanchett fornicating with a teen." Ouch.
The New York Observer piece (go ahead and read the whole thing, we'll wait for you) is fun and tongue-in-cheek, but does raise a point beneath its coating of humor -- Hollywood feeds moviegoers the kinds of films that put butts in seats (or better yet, sells DVDs), and that includes New Yorker butts. If New Yorkers really want to make a difference to Hollywood, they can do so by not supporting crap with their wallets. It's supply-and-demand, sadly, no different than how fast-food chains decide which gimmicky items will stick around on the perma-menu. We're living in a fast-food generation, and so long as millions of movie fans are willing to shell out 10 bucks a pop to see predictable crap, that's what we're mostly going to get out of the studios. You get what the studios know you'll pay for.
The Observer's throwdown to Hollywood aside, what would you put in your memo to Hollywood?