Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Are movie theaters about to become obsolete?

There's a horror movie called "Red State" from Kevin Smith (yeah, the Clerks/Mallrats funny guy "Silent Bob" Kevin Smith) that's available On Demand right now.  But here's the thing: it's never really been in theaters.  It debuted at Sundance last year, and has been shown only 22 times in select locations across North America.  On September 25th it'll be back in a few theaters, allegedly for one night only.  But right now, it's available in just about every living room in the country.

And that got me thinking, why do we even need theaters anymore?  Most people have huge HD TV's, and the option to order movies in their home whenever they like.  You can eat whatever you want, drink whatever you want, and watch whatever you want at whatever time you like without leaving the house.

So if you were releasing a new movie, why not just eliminate the middle man?  Why not sell it right to the viewer in their own home?  Either On Demand, or even over the internet.

Now I'm going to take this even a little further.  I things movies themselves may become obsolete.  They are too long.  People have too many options/choices for entertainment.  I have HBO/Starz/Showtime, and all the movies they have available to me whenever I want, but all I watch are the shows.  Curb, Entourage, True Blood, Dexter, Californication, Weeds, etc.  It's way easier to only commit to 30-45 minutes of TV viewing at a time.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The "Moneyball" movie has no business not being awesome

Until recently I had never read the book "Moneyball."   All I knew of it was a basic one sentence plot summary: that it's about the Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane targeting cheap players with high On Base Percentages in an attempt to win games and stay competitive, despite a low payroll.  So when I heard there was a movie coming out, I was very skeptical that a book about analyzing baseball statistics could actually translate to the big screen.  Well, I just finished reading the book, and let me tell you, there are actually TONS of plot lines in it that make for a great movie.  Just to name a few:

- Billy Beane as a failed "can't miss" prospect turned GM who hired players the opposite of himself

- Chad Bradford making the Big Leagues as an underhand pitcher, in part because his father suffered a stroke which limited him to throwing underhand

- the author chronicling the A's during the 2002 season in which (SPOILER ALERT!!!) they had a miraculous 20 game win streak (that I remember well), punctuated by blowing an 11-0 lead in game #20, then winning it 12-11 on a walk off HR by Scott Hatteberg (that I had totally forgotten)

If this movie isn't great I am going to be so pissed.  There's also a million more things in the book I'd like to discuss.  The logic to it fits my brain perfectly, and a lot of the ideas in it about baseball are arguments that I make on my own all the time.  But that's another blog for another day.

Actually, this blog I wrote back in April about the problem with another wild card team is very Moneyball-esque.  And come to think of it, so are my thoughts about the Sox leaving 16 men on base against the Yankees in a game last week.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Goodbye Summer

Thanks for playing.  See you next year.

Good stuff tomorrow, I promise.  Oh, and if you know where this is then you probably feel the same way I do today.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What's the deal with Grilled Cheese Trucks?

I had never seen nor heard of these in my life before.  Then one day last week I saw two of them in Boston.  And they weren't affiliated with each other, they looked totally different and were obviously separate businesses.  Is this a thing?  Are they new?  Do they have them in other cities?  Have they been here all along and I've just missed them?  And if that's the case, how did I see two in one day?!  And neither one was parked and open for business, they were both on the move, and during the middle of the day on a Tuesday no less.  What's going on?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I think it's bad business for college football to start this weekend

It's the end of summer.  A holiday weekend.  Everyone gets out of town and heads to the beach one last time before fall.  Nobody wants to be sitting around watching football this weekend if they don't have to.  Why not wait one more week?  I'm curious to see the difference in nationwide TV ratings/attendance numbers from this week to next.

And that's "The Big House," Michigan Stadium.  Capacity 109,901, the largest in the country.

Friday, September 2, 2011

How long till we have technology that can stop natural disasters?

So I meant to write this earlier in the week right after Irene blew through, but other things (mainly baseball games) kept pushing it back.

On Sunday afternoon, during what was supposed to be the peak of the storm, the movie "Armageddon" was appropriately on TV (and it's still awesome, by the way).  And that got me thinking: the film came out 13 years ago (I know, wow), and at the time, the technology in it seemed reasonable.  Think about that.  There were no ipods then.  The Internet was just becoming mainstream.  Most people didn't even have cell phones.  So if 13 years ago, in the dark ages of technology, it seemed plausible that we could save the world by landing on an asteroid in space and blowing it up, shouldn't we be able to stop natural disasters in 2011?

I guess floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes might be tough.  I'm not really sure what to do with those.  But hurricanes, tornadoes, basically anything that fits into the "storm" category, I think we should be able to beat.  I'm drawing on technology used in "The Matrix" and one of the "Ocean's Eleven" movies, I think Ocean's Twelve actually.  Anyway, in each movie they use some sort of very powerful electro-magnetic wave/pulse to shut down the power in both the attacking machine spaceship, and the entire city of Las Vegas, respectively.  So I think it's about time somebody invents something along those lines used for hurricane and tornado protection. You just shoot it into the eye of the storm and watch it slowly disappear.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I discovered two great things at Fenway last night

Since I'd had so much success getting Sox-Yanks tickets the night before, I decided to try my luck again last night.  This time when I strolled up to the ticket window they had $50 seats available in a section I'd never heard of, called the "right field roof box terrace."  I sat there a few years ago (for Jon Lester's no hitter actually) and it was several rows of metal bleachers.  Well now it's completely redone, and it is awesome.  It's basically the same thing as Monster seats for a fraction of the price.  You've got a swivel chair, a ledge in front of you for your food/beer, plenty of room, and easy access to bathrooms and concessions.  Plus a great view from high above.  The whole area kind of has the feel of a beachfront boardwalk, and it's not crowded at all because you get a stamp on your hand for that section only.

And the second great thing I discovered: the panoramic photo option on my cell phone.

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