New Beginnings

It’s been a while.

I miss writing as a general concern. I haven’t done much of it at all over the past few years, and I would not at all be surprised if my chops are slipping. I’m not really sure why I stopped writing; my passion for film, music, television, literature and gaming in its various forms has not waned, nor has my penchant for critical analysis of these same pursuits. Indeed, it could be argued that my voracious appetite for all things media has increased since my self-imposed exile from amateur criticism.

So what changed? Why attempt to come back now?

Many of you reading this have probably heard of MoviePass, the subscription service that acts essentially as a sort of Netflix for movie theaters. You pay a flat fee each month, and are basically able to see a movie a day for “free” (with the added caveat that 3D and IMAX films are not included, and you cannot see a film more than once through MoviePass).  As far as I understand, it has existed in a couple of different iterations in the past, but the current version uses a combination of a prepaid credit card (Discover) and either a smartphone app (for those with iPhones) or a mobile website (for Android and other smartphone users). You select the film through the app/website, they then add money to the card, and you use it to buy the ticket. Seems simple enough. I signed up for the service last week (it’s $35/month for the Boston area), and received my prepaid card in the mail last night. It should be noted that I’m still somewhat queasy about the whole situation (mostly due to their pretty rough cancellation terms; a lot of people are concerned that if you do use the service to its fullest extent, they’ll just cut you off and stick you with the cancellation fees), and I have yet to use the service at all, but I am cautiously optimistic.

I tend to be pretty obsessive-compulsive when it comes to my preferred film environment. My usual go-to time for seeing movies tends to be early screenings on Saturdays and Sundays, which would allow me to both take advantage of matinee ticket costs as well as reduce the likelihood of the movie-going experience being ruined by the random element of other humans who may or may not have the manners of a raccoon. The last time I saw a film at night on a weekend was when I went to see The Hunger Games the third or fourth week if its release on a Sunday night (I had a free pass), and the (predominantly teenage) crowd was brutal; my vision was distracted countless times by people essentially spending the entire movie on the Facebook app of their phones. Since I have a tendency to try and get other more chore-related things done with early in the morning on weekends (laundry, grocery shopping, etc.), I have found that I ended up missing out on seeing quite a few films in the theater that I otherwise would have seen (examples include The Five-Year Engagement or The Pirates: Band of Misfits). What I like about MoviePass is that it basically frees me up to see films at times that also have a tendency to engender smaller film crowds (i.e. weeknights) without feeling like I’m getting ripped off. I can’t imagine that it would be difficult to go over that $35 a month price tag to get my money’s worth, so I think it’ll all end up working out just fine. I do have a feeling that there will be times during the year that it’ll be difficult to get my money’s worth for a specific month (February, I’m looking at you), but taking into account increased film activity in November/December and during the summer, it should all balance out.

The purpose of this new online venture, of course, will be to act as a sort of combined stat tracker and review site. I’ll do my best to provide at least a short review of each film I see through using MoviePass, as well as a running tally of the amount I would have spent seeing the film in relation to subscription fees paid. We’ll see a year from now if the service is legitimate or not.

So that’s the plan. My expectation would be to start tonight with either The Perks of Being a Wallflower or Pitch Perfect, neither of which I probably would have ended up seeing without the added incentive of MoviePass, so that in itself seems to be a good thing.

Onward and upward, friends.

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