How could I forget Inception? That cast…
I’m not the first one to comment on how abysmal the Hollywood movie offerings are this summer, but I think it should be mentioned as frequently as possible in hopes that the Hollywood execs will listen. I thought last year was bad – when the highlights were Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe, but they are fine art compared to this year’s crop. When sitting in the theater last week watching trailers before The A-Team (which I am ashamed to admit paying money to see), I was actually intrigued by The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Yes, a Nic Cage movie based on a Mickey Mouse cartoon actually looked decent, because the other trailers it accompanied were so unbearably awful.
The A-Team – wow. I’m becoming accustomed to going into the theater with low expectations, but even my low expectations were not met. That movie was bad, ya’ll. The only saving grace was Sharlto Copely, who was pitch perfect as Murdoc. Copely was cast in The A-Team based on the breakout success of last year’s District 9, the ONLY movie that came out last summer that was worth the money I paid for it. On 1/6 the budget of your typical Hollywood “blockbuster” it managed to have a great story, kick-ass action, AND killer special effects. Is it really so hard to reproduce?
This summer’s offerings point to yes. So I’m looking around for the one movie that’s going to save the summer for me this year like District 9 did last year. The only thing that looks promising is Predators. Aliens + Adrien Brody + Laurence Fishburne = potential awesomeness. Please, I need something. Otherwise the highlight of this summer might be Twilight, and as much as Taylor Lautner taking his shirt off cracks me up, I need something a little better.
What are you looking forward to?
This week’s Bloomberg Businessweek has an article on Sony and other TV manufacturers’ move into online video content. From BW:
Over the next few months, Sony and its competitors will introduce a new generation of Web-connected televisions—and services that will stream movies, TV shows, and music over the Internet and onto those sets. The idea is to make it easier for consumers to bypass cable and effectively create their own personal TV channels.
That may sound a lot like what many people already are doing by tapping into YouTube, Hulu, and other entertainment Web sites. What’s different is that Sony and the other manufacturers are hoping to go after advertising dollars as well as subscription revenue and pay-per-view fees. Instead of using computers and mobile devices for their daily dose of free television, viewers would pay Sony or another company to watch on much more expensive equipment.
At least that’s the plan.
My first thought after reading this paragraph was “Huh?” Why would I pay Sony extra to watch something I can watch online?
As I continued reading, I saw how Sony thinks this makes sense. 1) They’ve lost $1.4 billion over the last two years. 2) Online video revenue will only be $180 million in 2010 vs. the $51 billion that will be generated by broadcast and cable TV advertising. Sony wants some of those ad dollars and this is the first step that they hope will lead to them delivering advertiser pitches directly to consumers through their TVs.
But there are so many things wrong with their point of view, mostly, how is this good for the consumer? I’m already annoyed with Comcast that I have to pay $40/month (the discounted price after I threatened to leave when they bumped my bill up to $65) + watch ads + pay extra for pay per view and premium channels. The season 3 premiere of True Blood could be streamed off the internet on the same day it aired on HBO. Takeaway? Not only do I not need to pay for all the channels and shows that I don’t watch, I don’t even need to pay for the ones that I do.
The numbers above, though, answer a question that I’ve been asking myself about Comcast, namely, why can’t they offer an a la cart plan that allows me to pick the channels/shows/movies that I want to watch rather than signing up for all of them. Personally, I rarely turn on the TV for anything other than watching shows or movies using On Demand. But looking above its clear that Comcast is going to hold on to that advertising revenue for dear life, and the only way they can do that is to sell me a bunch of channels that I don’t want.
But I think we learned from watching the music industry implode that forcing customers to pay for things they don’t want when there are easy alternatives is not a good long term strategy.