April Walsh – Delaware County Magazine

Personal Column – Honorable Mention


Now that summer movie season is in full swing, am I the only one who feels a little underwhelmed? And that’s not just because Avengers: Endgame swept all the box office records. Blockbuster season isn’t quite what it used to be.

Then again, blockbuster season is a relatively new concept – in movie history, that is. It refers to films that have people lined up around the block to get in, movies people see multiple times, talk about excessively, must-see films. Most people agree that 1975’s Jaws was the first blockbuster. Besides the fact that it was a legitimately good film, it had an advertising blitz with effort put into trailers and TV spots that tempted people away from the beach (that or drove them away from any body of water) and into an air-conditioned multiplex.


I think we can safely say, in 2019, that the age of cable is dwindling – that goes for both viewership and critical acclaim, as last month’s Primetime Emmy Awards made clear. But the numbers also agree. More people under the age of 30 subscribe to streaming services than to cable or satellite. Speaking as someone *ahem* just a bit over the age of 30, I haven’t had a cable box since 2014.

Why pay for hundreds of channels when you only watch a handful? If a person paid for all three of the biggest streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu), a consumer can get original series and films, broadcast shows after the run, and classic TV all for 25 dollars per month. Even with coming price-hikes, streaming multiple services is still cheaper than cable and, some say, more convenient. You can watch what you want, when you want, where you want – whether on your phone, your tablet, your computer, or your smart TV. If you don’t have a smart TV, it only takes a small device to allow you to stream to any TV.


The holiday movie season is a strange and interesting time for movie-goers. You could be pondering the human condition one night, watching some shoot-em-up action the next, then spend a matinee sitting next to your niece, serenaded by singing snowmen. It’s just that time of year and this year is no different. So allow me to be your friendly guide through this strange blend of Oscar bait, hopeful blockbusters, and family friendly fare.

Obviously, the movie that’s going to be dominating the entertainment news cycle is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. We’ll be doing a deep dive into that next month, but it’s not the only hot property in town. There’s another big movie coming out. It involves catchy tunes, talented performers, and probably the sale of almost as many toys as Star Wars. That’s right. I’m talking about Cats.