movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Mon May 20 2013, 05:06pm | 9 comments
That movie that you haven’t yet had a chance to see because it just opened? You can preorder it on DVD and blu-ray right now:
We are close to the day when even blockbusters are available on demand the same day they open in cinemas.
Seems fair enough to me. Why shouldn’t you come out of a cinema viewing and buy the DVD right then? (Oh, wait, then cinemas would have to add actual value rather than relying on the old scarcity-based economic model…)
I dunno, a decent sized auditorium will have a screen with more square footage than my house, and a much better sound system than I’ll ever afford. And I have a hard time blaming theaters because people are assholes.
I dunno, a decent sized auditorium will have a screen with more square footage than my house, and a much better sound system than I’ll ever afford.
Yeah. So they can add value. But instead they go for the cheapest machine-herders rather than projectionists, they don’t fix the sound when it goes wrong, they leave the 3D dimmer in place when showing 2D films… they’re driving themselves into the ground.
“We are close to the day when even blockbusters are available on demand the same day they open in cinemas.”
I just flashed to that scene in Spaceballs where there discussing Mr Rental!
Who knew that satire would end up being so accurate.
Tell me about it. I went to see Star Trek at The Empire in Leicester Square, in 3D. £19 for the ticket (no extras, ticket only). Such a waste of money. My first time at The Empire and was expecting something better than average given that it hosts premiers. Man, it was bad. Theatre smelled of old cigarettes and had terrible seats. The 3D glasses were cheap warped film, the film was muddy and hard to see and the sound mix was way out – couldn’t hear speech over background audio (and in general, it was deafening – my ears were actually ringing afterwards). I’d have been better off buying a DVD and watching it in my living room!
Went and saw it for £10 in 2D at a Vue, instead. Soulless, but comfy, stink free and I could hear the dialogue.
Hmm. I’m afraid my theater experiences of late put me in the minority. That, or people who are happy don’t speak up?
Digital projectors (which my theaters all have) don’t appear to need a “projectionist”. Just someone who can connect the hard drive and press the right combination of buttons. I’m sympathetic to the loss of projectionists, though, as it was one of my grandfather’s careers.
DPs are fine when they work. So the cinema employs one caretaker whose job is to change the drive caddies, and one-tenth of an actual technician who knows how to do the maintenance and fix the thing when it goes wrong. Is he at another cinema today? Or he doesn’t work weekends? Too bad – maybe if enough people complain you might get a refund.
MAJ, this isn’t the first time a studio’s done this — in fact, most of them do it a few days or a week after the film hits theaters. Disney did it for Alice in Wonderland and Oz The Great and Powerful… hell, Paramount did a few days after Stardust hit theaters. (And that was back in 2007!)
I watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan on a theater screen last night. How? My coworkers used their digital projector with my Blu ray copy. It looked pretty close to a good 35mm projection–no pixelizing! Blu ray is 2K as are a great many films. As I walked home after the movie, I thought about the little disc in its case I was carrying, and was astounded that the amazing cinematic experience was contained within.
Oh yes, things are converging in the world of movies and technology!
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