Magic of cinema at risk?

28 10 2005


M. Night Shyamalan is speaking out against eliminating the delay between the theater release of a film and the sale of the DVD:

“I came here to tell you that what you do is something sacred. Nobody has benefited more from DVD sales than me. I bought my house on DVD sales from ‘The Sixth Sense.’ But take away my house. That’s not why I do what I do.”

“If I can’t make movies for theaters, I don’t want to make movies,” Shyamalan told The Times. “I hope this is a very bad idea that goes away.”

Vigoursly opposing Shyamalan’s view is Steven Soderbergh who is planning on releasing six high definition films simultaneously in the theater, on DVD, and on pay-per-view TV. He believes that the film business is “…outdated and, worse than that, inefficient.”

I enjoy going to the theater to watch the latest sci-fi epic on a huge screen, loud surround sound, with hundreds of strangers who have the same interests as me. I guess you could call that cinema “magic”, but I’m really tired of paying an arm and a leg for it. After paying for two adult tickets, large popcorn (Caley must have popcorn) and a large pop, you’ve spent over $20. If you said that for the same price I could buy Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on DVD the same day it’s released in theaters (November 18th!), I’d be all over it. Most people, and by most people I mean almost everyone that enjoys watching movies, have home theater systems. Granted we all can’t afford HDTVs just yet, but watching a DVD on my system at home is still an adequate way to view the art of motion pictures.

I’m interested in what everyone else thinks about this. Would you buy the DVD or go to the theater?

Referenced from Director Warns of Big Screens’ Extinction –



5 responses

29 10 2005

1. you need to start using your wife’s large purse to carry the coke’s in with you (that saves you $4)
2. you need to start making out with random girls that work behind the counter so you get free popcorn (apparently this works, i saw firsthand last night — saves you another $5)
3. you need to break out some old student IDs — just cause you’re married and have a kid doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be getting a discount (i have some extras if you need one — $3 down)
4. write to your local politician that you need a dollar theater (seriously the only good thing about erie — cause with this one, i just knocked your date down to $2 on a weeknight, $1 on tuesday, and $3 on a weekend)
5. and if none of this works for you, i suggest renting your FREAKING ADORABLE kid out for the night to cover the cost of the movie for you guys. i’d pay $10/hour for him. ;o)

29 10 2005

now my real comments — i think the truest part of that article was M.’s comment that he “assured his audience that his movies are made to be viewed in theaters. DVDs, cable and all other ancillary markets are just ‘souvenirs,’ …that are meant to enhance — but not replace — the theatergoing experience.”jeff, you also said it yourself (probably without even realizing it), “watching a DVD on my system at home is still an adequate way to view the art of motion pictures.” adequate. that’s what it is. i won’t argue that, but it’s not the best way. movies are made with a large screen, surround sound, a huge audience, expensive popcorn, etc. in mind. if you give people an “adequate”, but cheaper, option, you lose that experience.there are some movies that you just have to see on the big screen. this summer john and i rented “saw” and like it, but we saw “saw 2” last night on the big screen and the experience was TOTALLY different. (well, more like i saw 75% of “saw 2” last night, the other 25% of the time i watched the side of john’s head or the inside of my sweatshirt.)i’m probably the last person that should argue against this because i go to the movies almost never, but just because i’m a poor law student doesn’t mean i would advocate simultaneous dvd release. people need to not expect instant gratification. is it really that horrible to wait one month or whatever the time period is, for that movie you just have to see to come out?just because the movie companies made CRAPPY movies this summer and tanked at the box office, doesn’t mean they need to change the system. it means they need to remember how to make GOOD movies. of course i don’t want to pay $10 to see herbie, fully loaded. but the movies i did see this summer — war of the worlds, march of the penguins, batman begins, etc. — were worth the money.i mean, really, if you get rid of the movie theater experience, what incentive do i have to ever get a boyfriend again?

29 10 2005

p.s. prize for two longest (consecutive) comments ever.

29 10 2005

p.p.s. why does can’t i separate paragraphs on your comments!?!??! there were some breaks in there!

29 10 2005

wow, rené- nice essay there.

i have a response to your numbered comments: if jeff were to do #2, he would no longer have a wife whose purse he could put his cokes in. also, the large purse is for the boxes of junior caramels we bring.

and finally- i refuse to pimp my freaking adorable baby. free babysitting, on the other hand, i could never turn down. and as i learned tonight, i am able to leave him for a few hours with people who are not his oma. go, me!

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