Sunday, November 27, 2011

Prices For 3D Movies: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Movie ticket prices are high. That's nothing new. I go to the movies all the time, so for the most part I'm desensitized to the exorbitant fees charged at today's theatrical cinemas.

But last Saturday while going to see the new Harold and Kumar movie with my buddies Kevin and Jeremy, I was in for a rude awakening when I went to purchase my ticket.

"That will be $16," said the woman behind the movie counter.

That will be $16.

And my jaw hit the floor.

At first, I thought that the failing U.S. economy that's been around me for the past four years had finally hit home. Or that the California town of Burbank -- where we were seeing the movie -- had suddenly come up with some sort of movie tax to pay for new local parks. Or, as I asked Jeremy when I heard the price for the ticket:

$16? What, does it come with a blow job afterwards?

Needless to say, I was stunned. Floored. And a bit scared. Until it was explained to me that the reason for the extra fee was because the movie we were seeing was in 3D.

Here's my thing with 3D movies: I like them. They're cute. The 3D glasses can get a little annoying at times, but the technology in general has come a long way since the red-and-blue spectacles of the 1980s. 3D movies can be a lot of fun with the right film and a nice twist in general.

But every movie today, it seems, is becoming 3D. I mean, not every movie is Avatar. Most of the time, 3D is pointless. Toy Story 3? Pointless. Clash Of The Titans? Pointless. The latest Harry Potter? The first six were in 2D and they were fine. Why mess with success?

Harold and Kumar? Look, the 3D in this movie was cool. At times, I really did feel like the Wall Street protesters were pelting me with eggs, or Neil Patrick Harris was covering me with confetti. But I didn't need the extra effects. I would've been perfectly happy seeing it in 2D and paying $11.75.

All I'm saying is this:

The movie industry is bad enough. High prices for movies. Crazy prices for junior mints. The slow -- sloowwwwwww -- implementation of self-serve soft drink dispensers (to date, I only know of one theater near me that has this). Do you really need to take the next step and charge crazy fees for a 3D experience?

For $4 less, I'll see Harold and Kumar in 2D and pelt myself with my own eggs.


And now for this week's:

Someone built a home on top of a volcano.

It's yours for $750,000.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Annoyance Of Movie Reviews: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I know, I know. It's been a long time since my last blog. I'm sorry for that. Two main reasons for the hiatus: 1) I had been working a ton of hours at my job. Days, nights, weekends. My head was spinning. However, I've recently changed roles, going back to writing and editing to earn my living, so now I'm actually back to a normal work schedule. Life is good. :-) And 2) Truthfully, I needed a break. I had been doing my blog week in, week out for more than four years now -- I can't tell you how many friends of mine started their own blogs during that time, only for them to fall by the wayside -- and needed to recharge my batteries.

But I'm back now. I hope you missed me terribly. :-)

As I write this blog, I'm sitting in my living room listening to my wife Ramona and my father-in-law Jim go back and forth about which movie we should see this afternoon. They both have their respective Internet devices -- Jim with his iPad2, Ramona with her Mac laptop -- looking up movies, times, descriptions, and most importantly:

Movie reviews.

Now I'm sure I've written about my annoyance with movie reviews in the past (I just don't feel like looking for it right now). I just don't find them useful at all. If I want to see a movie, I see it. I could care less what someone else says. They don't know what I like. They don't know my tastes. Why the hell should I care whether they liked it or not?

The problem today, however, has evolved. For not only do you have critics reviews, but you now have the reviews of regular moviegoers as well. As I type, Jim and Ramona are going on and on, saying that while "Twilight: Breaking Dawn" scored 82% with regular moviegoers, it rated only 37% with the critics. Or that "In Time" rated badly across the board. Or that both "Ides of March" and "J. Edgar" scored great across the board, but seeing either of those films would mean that Jim would have to go against his inclination to not see political films.

The problem with the world today is this: Choices. We have way too many of them. Back in the day, movie theaters showed four movies and the only critics anyone cared about had a TV show. But today with the Internet and various smart devices, everyone's a wannabe critic. And as a result, we're pushing to the back what we really want. We feel that if we want to see a movie that's not well received, something's wrong with us.

It's like getting a milkshake. Before, you only had vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Now you have 181,000 different milkshake options. But if you want vanilla, you feel like there's something wrong with you. Because why would anyone want plain vanilla when he or she could have vanilla-caramel-strawberry-tree nut--mocha--peanut brittle--passion mountain-swirl?

Me? I like what I like. The only opinion I care about is mine. It makes for less stress and both an enjoyable movie and milkshake experience. So next time you're thinking about movies and milkshakes, the only thing that matters is what you want. Your needs. Your desires. Your happiness.

Then start a website and write about how only your opinion matters and everyone should listen to what you have to say.


And now for this week's:


Justin Bieber is not the father.

Big shock, I know. Personally, you have to figure that Usher would've had multiple conversations with the young lad about this kind of thing.