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What has happened to "the movies"?

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The very reason I wanted to pursue the crazy idea of making movies were the summer blockbusters of the 1980's, but today's summer blockbusters feel more like summer marketing campaigns and investment incentives, inspiring only the base desires to sell toys, sell music, sell video games, and sell franchise rights.  Others have discussed and analyzed this topic far better than I could, here are some of them... Good reading for the budding independent filmmaker and independent dreamer in us all.

Here's a lean, powerpoint-esque one-two-punch to the hole our collective movie going souls are falling into:

Mark Harris of GQ wrote this article almost two years ago and what he painfully focuses on brings light to the sad cyclical state of big-budget original storytelling (the kind that inspired so many of us in our youth):

And then there is the ever-eloquent, ever-wise, ever-irreverant Roger Ebert on the responsibility of the movie theaters themselves for the current movie-going experience: