Sunday, October 23, 2011

Movies Not Allowed!

The hottest new book of the season, Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson, will be released tomorrow. In the morning I can download it to my Kindle for $16.99 and start reading it.

Coldplay’s new album, “Mylo Xylot” will also be released tomorrow. In the morning I can download it on iTunes for $9.99 and listen to it.

But how about popular new movies that were released this weekend? Or released within the past month? Or released within the past six months? Can I pay a fee and see them at my leisure? No way!

They’re not available on DVD or Blue-Ray or on Pay-Per-View or streaming to my computer or iPad or streaming to my TV, even if I’ve got a set-top box or subscribe to NetFlix. Even if I’m willing to pay they’re not available.

Because the film distributors, exhibitors, studios and the rest think they must protect their products from people like me. I can see their films without waiting only if I go to the theaters in which they’re on display. Not a difficult process, they say. Just go to your nearest movie theater.

Simple. A half hour ride. A $10 parking fee. Waiting in line to pay $30 for tickets for the two of us. Another $15 if we want some greasy popcorn and a sugar-infused beverage. Finding a seat next to some text-crazy teenager who hasn’t bathed in a week. Staying away from the old lady with bronchitis. Putting distance between us and the squalling kids who won’t shut up. And getting a seat with an unobstructed view of the screen.

I’d gladly pay big bucks if the film dictators would only let me stay home and watch it on my HD TV set. In the end they won’t win. Like book publishers and music moguls they’ll realize that the world has changed and that they have to change with it. But in the meantime I’m frustrated and inconvenienced by their dinosaur-like mentality.

Very frustrating!


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