Here with an update of sorts: the battle seems only to have expanded. If it wasn’t class action time six months ago, it is now.
But let’s keep it real. What is this about, really?
Local governments smelling money in the air from big tech companies. Since they are seeing decreased fees from Cable TV providers, it’s time to look at the new source of revenue: streaming!
With little precedent, it may take years to understand the implications of these cases. Companies will likely appeal any decision, and unless the Supreme Court takes up one of the cases, states will be covered under a patchwork of lower court rulings. But an increasing number of local governments see these fees as an opportunity to recover money from the services that are slowly replacing cable TV. “They need money now, and they’ve got this law on the books,” says Bergmayer. With the status of streaming services in flux, they’ve settled on an optimistic approach: “let’s go for it and see what happens.”
I’m not on the side of local government on this one. Neither should anybody else that wants to see their monthly streaming fees stay low and simple. Given, Netflix and HBO Max are getting up there, but most of them are $10/month or less.
This also reminds me why I’m not a big fan of Cable TV: it’s those onerous fees, the bulk packaging of way too many garbage channels that we never watched and the painful reminder that new customers were treated to better deals than existing customers — constantly.
It’s one thing to run a promotion for brand new members, but shouldn’t loyal customers who don’t cancel and return repeatedly be treated to a better lower price over time? This would improve retention and reward customer loyalty. Instead, companies act like new customers are more important. They’re not. They’re probably less important than those who pay month after month, year after year for the service and never cancel.
I digress. A big, loud “Boooooooooo!” to this whole local fees being passed along to streaming. Glad to see Netflix and Disney (a la Hulu) lawyers are in defense mode circling this one. Deep pockets fighting back …
Our preferred places to watch movies from most to least:
*Theaters are where we watch almost all new movies that come out. Television (#2) is where we watch the most movies.
In our opinion, there is no better experience than watching movies on the big screen. Yes, you don’t have the comfort of being at home, but there is something magical about the giant screen, the social environment — hearing others laugh, cry, applaud or (gasp) boo. Movie theaters have the best popcorn. Yes, it’s overpriced by design. Some newer theaters have the super luxury reclining seats (love those). The sound is fantastic in the newer theaters and there are some additional cool movie experiences like 4DX that you can’t (inexpensively) get at home.
Now, it is possible to have a really, really expensive home theater comparable to the theater experience, but unless you invite friends, family and neighbors to watch, it’s going to come up short on the social side.
We aren’t movie theater snobs. Not expecting others to enjoy watching movies where we most enjoy most watching them, but this post is to talk about where people watch movies. We’re sharing our situation and are curious and want to hear your preferences in the comments or trackbacked/pinged from reader blogs.
Since August 2019, we both have the Regal Unlimited Pass, so we pay a monthly fee and can watch all 2D movies with no additional cost. We’ll happily pay the surcharge to watch specially formatted movies in the best visual format (EXAMPLE. a movie made to be watched in 3D, we’ll pay to watch in 3D).
Now when it comes to overall movie volume, there just aren’t enough volume of movies to watch only/primarily in the theater, so the most movies we watch in term of sheer volume is on our television.
75+ movies a month watched volume. That includes all new in theater movies (12-15+ movies per month) and 60+ existing library rewatching and/or movies not seen before and streamed. You might watch more or less movies than us, but if you figure the average movie is 100 minutes (for simple math, might be a little higher than average), that’s 7,500+ minutes or about 125 hours of movies a month … 5+ days a month spent watching movies!
Yes, we watch a lot of movies every month. Our TV regularly has a movie or TV show playing, pretty much around the clock when we’re awake and home.
We only have one television — 52″ 3D, high def — set. We don’t have the newest model high definition model. Haven’t felt the need to upgrade to the newest, greatest pixel TV yet. Maybe this Christmas it will be time to upgrade. Going to be tough replacing our 3D-capable TV. Easily our favorite set we’ve ever owned and we paid less than $500 buying it from Wal-Mart on a special deal.
Most movies we watch are streamed through Amazon Prime and various add-on channels (Kara has a subscription to the Lifetime Movie Channel, for example). Right now, we are paying additionally for Starz, but we rotate subscriptions around every few months to the main premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, etc).
We sometimes watch on the PS4 Blu-rays and DVDs that we own. Our current collection is around 250 or so movies. It has been as high as 700+ movies at one time, but we’ve sold off a bunch. The only movies we buy in physical media any more are collector’s sets and/or highly rewatchable movies.
Computer / Laptop
We don’t have a laptop right now that can play DVDs, so unless we spring for an external USB Blu-ray and DVD player we can’t take along any of our owned movies. It’s just less hassle streaming, even though the picture quality isn’t there.
When we travel is the primary time we watch movies on the laptop. The other situation is when Kara wants to watch Lifetime Movie channel, I’ll watch something different on my laptop.
Something newer I tried recently was watching Shudder + Discord chat event. This kind of social movie watching with others across the internet is best experienced on a computer. Or at least a computer for the chat part and beamed to TV for the movie. I do windowing for movies while on the computer (see screenshot at the top of this post), also to allow others to watch something differently, if they like, on TV.
There is another Shudder event tonight — 10/24/2019 — to watch the newest Creepshow episode. Not sure if I can make the time or not, but going to try and be there. Later tonight, we’re going to catch at least one of the new movies opening at the theater.
We have multiple tablets and have done a little streaming on them, but I more often read books on my Kindle Fire currently and play a few games versus watching movies. Am interested in watching more this way because it is less distracting than using a computer, however, I’d need something to prop up the tablet so I don’t have to hold onto it.
I have a couple movies downloaded from Amazon Prime on my phone. This way if I’m somewhere with no internet access, I can watch some kind of movie. Due to the smaller screen size and battery consumption, I’m not too excited about watching movies this way.
Other / Occulus Virtual Reality (VR)
On my Christmas wish list is the Occulus VR. FandangoNow has 3D movies for rent and purchase for this. I’ve tried other VR using my phone and it was pretty cool way to watch a gigantic floating 3D theater screen. I’m not sure whether or not I’d watch more movies this way, but I’m curious about trying to do so anyway. It seems like a cool experience
How Do YOU Most Watch Movies?
Have I missed other ways to watch movies? How do you watch movies the most? At home via owned physical media, streaming, at the theater mostly or some other method?
Horror hasn’t always been about blood and guts being spilled. Perhaps some fans would define the “best” horror that way, but for me the best is whatever makes me feel fear. From a historical perspective, certain types of films have been prominent, also highlighting real life and fears of the time (EXAMPLE. alien invasion and nuclear war).
I’m sure this can, has and will always be debated, but being a horror fan to me, means appreciating, enjoying and being entertained by horror no matter what era it comes from.
HOW TELEVISION HAS CHANGED
Television has changed immensely since the 1950s. That and movie theaters were once the only way to view horror. Television and the edited versions from the theater with commercials added. Soon, came cable TV and soon premium channels like HBO (1972) to break up the ABC, NBC, CBS and independent model.
In 1975 the ability to record TV and then fast forward through the commercials via Betamax (eventually replaced by VHS and then DVD and then Bluray and then UHD) and then, wow, the ability to buy and watch the movies with no commercials.
And then in the 1990s the internet changed everything with TV again.
Today, my TV is getting the content not via antenna over the air or via cable, it’s all coming through the internet. Streaming channels have broken up and divided the massive movie libraries and distribute movies on a rotating cycle (some licenses are here, then there, then there, and then back here, and so on).
BUYING MOVIES HAS CHANGED, TOO
There was a time when we bought and collected DVDs like crazy. We built a library of over 700 movies before we stopped, realizing new, better formats would always be coming out, thus making our current library inferior format (and they did — Bluray, UHD, 4k, soon to be 8k and who knows what else is coming!).
There will be. And in 5-10 years, what Ang Lee used to make his film will not be bleeding edge. There will be something new. Perhaps even in a few years when James Cameron rolls out all his new Avatar sequels.
At some point I realized there is a technology treadmill that I was working to buy the same content in a better format. And, so I’ve mostly stopped the neverending hamster wheel of buying content and focused more on only buying the heavily rewatchable movies. That list is much, much smaller. Those movies I’ll rebuy in better formats and/or just buy to stream for convenience wherever there is an internet connection.
Back to eras. The different eras.
So how are “classics” being defined? Any movie produced in the 1960s and earlier.
1960s and earlier
The era of Hitchcock’s superb movies Psycho and The Birds are classics. Horror in the classics era wasn’t about gore and blood, although there were some bloody horror movies. Depending on how far back we go in time, it was more about the creature, monster, the psychotic killer. Why did they kill and when were they killing vs. showing very much of how the killing occurred. An argument could be made that this type of “leave the details up to the viewer’s imagination remain the most frightening.
1970s – 1980s
In my era growing up, the 1970s and 1980s, John Carpenter’s Halloween and Friday the 13th were the “new” horror and sequels to these films could be expected at somewhat predictable intervals (every few year on Halloween, another Halloween movie). We enjoyed Stephen King and a wide variety of slasher films as fodder for nightmares, it’s the original classic films that jump started my first interest and excitement in horror movies. Showing more graphic gory kills began in these two eras, while in the past the horror was less visual and more psychological.
Then came the 1990s, the torture, game and birth of amateur/found footage horror era. The cringe horror era which seemed to focus more on self-mutilation at the hands of some sadistic mastermind (Saw) and/or a bunch of strangers brought together to figure out how they got to some strange place (Cube). Slasher mashups with mystery and horror (Scream). More of a thinking scary type of horror here. Creative ways to maim and kill people highlighted.
2000s – current
In 2000s and forward we’ve seen more technology/internet horror as well as a continued resurgence in reboots and remakes and more found footage and amateur film “real” horror. I would challenge this era among the weakest and least scary of innovative horror types.
I liked what Rob Zombie tried to do when rebooting Halloween, but it isn’t (and probably can’t be) as good as the original. It might take 100+ years before any worthwhile reboot/remake could be done with any great success. They are trying with Chucky. I think the continuation of sequels, like they’re doing with Halloween is a better path. It’s tough remaking horror when the original — the strong feeling and emotion of the original — burns fresh in the mind of people still alive.