Where have all the good movies gone? The Netflix queue should not be a cause of anxiety and fear after all. The former lament is probably usually taken pretty lightly, however, with films, like literature, we can see places we may never see, learn about things we are not familiar with, and meet people we would have otherwise never known or considered. I have been watching a lot of old movies (I have been addicted actually) lately. Thank goodness for TCM (Turner Classic Movies) because otherwise it is really hard to find classic films. Blockbuster is bankrupt and Netflix does not have the greatest selection. There is everything from the piercing Jezebel, to the hilarious Arsenic and Old Lace, to the terrifying Psycho and the frightening in a much different way The Ox-Bow Incident, to the heartbreaking The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, to the thoughtful Wild Strawberries. What do we have on this side of the coin? The only movies recently that may even be considered for awards are Woody Allen’s redemptive, whimsical Midnight in Paris, the quiet, humanistic Win Win (with Paul Giamatti), and the fantastic finish of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (a long shot for the Oscars perhaps but one never knows-why hello Lord of the Rings finale). On a quick side note, it is frustrating also how small indie films only go to select theaters or big cities, as if the general public would not appreciate a smart, poignant film over another blase hit-you-over-the-head action film. I am personally tired of the gross-out horror films, campy superhero comic book movies, and the worn-out, forgettable rom coms. With most films now basically not even earning a 50% on the quick movie review go-to site, Rotten Tomatoes, it is not even worth the trek to the movie theater. Many movies that we may see in previews do not make it to the big screen and instead just go straight to DVD anyway. The problem is, though, that going to the movies is an escape. With everything going on in the world, just taking a break to go to the movies is underrated. Plus, unless you are one of the rare people in the world that has a home theater, everyday annoyances and distractions make DVD watching at home a bore. Another problem is that I guess you could say that a good movie nowadays is as rare as a good character role for an actress. By “good” I mean seldom is there an independent, strong, or even conniving role for women. There were more of those in the 30s, 40s, and even 50s almost unbelievably! We are supposedly close to equality between men and women but many of the actresses today are stuck playing either the girlfriend or the mother. I digress. Maybe it is the economy (even affecting those millionaire producers-gasp!) but hopefully films will once again become well-made, thought-inducing, and satisfying.