DirecTV or not DirecTV (or Netflix is in the wings)

I received an email today from DirecTV listing the current pay per view offerings for this week and saw a movie that Michelle said she wanted to see. OK, OK it’s Mike Myers’ “The Love Guru”, call me a wuss but I’m gonna enjoy it too.

So I went to my Tivo to set it up to record and I noticed a new flag on the confirmation screen indicating that the PPV movie will expire at Noon tomorrow. Since I seldom watch a movie I’ve recorded in even the same month I recorded it much less the next day, I was somewhat perturbed.
So I went to the DirecTV website and looked this up and can see that my recording will probably last for a long time provided I don’t view it. Once I begin playing the movie, the clock starts ticking and I will have 24 hours within which to finish viewing.
There are plenty of movies that I will start to watch and then decide to finish days or weeks later. I don’t have an issue waiting to see the ending and I can remember the beginning well enough that I don’t lose anything across that gap.
What I have now is my satellite company (or, more probably, the content provider behind them) dictating how I will view my recording.
One of the reasons I use PPV is for exactly this freedom. Renting a movie from a Blockbusteresque source comes with the explicit contract that I need to return this item in a day or a week depending on popularity. But PPV has always been more ephemeral than that and the added flexibility (plus the lower cost and avoided trip to the store) have always been of great value to me.
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Posted under Movies / TV, On the Home Front, Opinions, Retail Experiences, Tech Stuff, Utils / Tools

This post was written by Marc
on October 19, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Cloverfield – Wow

I finally had a chance to watch “Cloverfield” after having recorded it on my Tivo ages ago.

All I can say is… “Wow”.

The hardest thing about watching that movie was the constant movement of the camera used to simulate someone using a hand-held video camera for THE ENTIRE MOVIE. Fortunately, after watching two years worth of videos shot by my mom when she was in Morocco from cars, in souks and bouncing around the various Atlas mountains, my stomach (and middle ear) were already steeled for such videography (sorry mom!).

I *loved* the attempted character development and I really appreciated the novel approach to having us be just one more character in the movie. I also liked that there was absolutely no attempt to explain what the monster was or where it may have come from. All we had was confusion and some snatches of CNN-style coverage on a TV set now and then to offer some up to the minute scenes of what is going on.

Of course I would kill to have the battery life that the little camera in this movie had 🙂

Even though I’m not much of a film noir kind of guy and there are plenty of loose ends at the end of the film, but I really enjoyed this film from end to end.

Posted under Movies / TV, Opinions

This post was written by Marc
on August 31, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Wildest Police Videos – Who thinks those special effects are helping the show?

John BunnellHoly cow! My TIVO offered me “Wildest Police Videos” today in the suggestions section so I thought I’d take a peek. The special effects are even worse now than they were before when I gave up watching it a couple of years ago.

I really enjoy watching the type of videos presented in this show, and host John Bunnell, while a little big on himself, is an entertaining enough host/voiceover. But who is the genius who thinks that every time a car moves there needs to be the sound of screeching tires, or whenever a tractor trailer is shown that we need to hear a truck horn sounding.

Also, I think a good quarter of television viewers these days must have some kind of DVR unit now where they can replay these videos as they see fit (if not, and they want the replay ability, they can buy one). I think it would be useful to replay the action now and then for some crucial segment to make a point, but pointlessly replaying the entire video segment by segment over and over again is obviously just trying to fill up the timeslot with no value-add to the presentation. Even cutting to the host and having him stand there and describe the action is preferable to those terrible effects.

I finally got fed up with the excess and just deleted the program without even getting half way through it.

What is really needed is to have the already great action sequences with John’s description of the circumstances (largely what he’s doing now) and then, to fill in the time freed up by not replaying each scene a half dozen times, have some follow up to the action. You know, “Was sentenced to 5 years in jail.” or “The policeman was injured but returned to work after 3 weeks.”.

This stuff is already sensational enough, it doesn’t need any help. Just some context.

Posted under Movies / TV, Opinions

This post was written by Marc
on January 16, 2008 at 11:37 pm

Kevin Smith Protests Dogma

How can you NOT like Kevin Smith? The man’s an absolute genius. Dogma is one of the most (simultaneously) funny and thought provoking film poking fun at the dogma that surrounds the Catholic church.

It’s just too funny that he insinuated himself into the sorry crowd of protesters in his own home town of New Jersey. Hmmm.. do you suppose they might have recognized him had any of them actually… I dunno… *seen* the film? 🙂

And I’m a big fan of Alan Rickman’s work, especially when he’s playing a humorous character. He is GREAT in this film as he was great in “Robin Hood” as the evil Sherrif of Nottingham.

Posted under Amusing, Movies / TV

This post was written by Marc
on November 3, 2007 at 5:26 pm

Sarah Connor Chronicles

Woah, I got chills. It *looks* promising…

I just wish it was a mini-series instead of a full blown series.

But can the franchise survive without California’s Governor?

Posted under Movies / TV

This post was written by Marc
on June 1, 2007 at 7:20 pm

My Box in a Box for You

On the heels of the other viral “X in a Box” videos is this offering, “My Box in a Box for You” on It’s pretty well done and good for a laugh if adult themes don’t make you uncomfortable.
There is so much indie creativity out there I’m seriously considering getting rid of my DirecTV subscription.

Posted under General, Movies / TV, Opinions

This post was written by Marc
on January 9, 2007 at 8:03 pm

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

2/5 stars

Can anybody tell me why I like Cate Blanchett? I mean she’s not typically attractive, the first time I saw her was in the movie “The Aviator” and I was very taken by her portrayal there of Katharine Hepburn. In this quirky movie again I found her character to be odd but very likeable.

The movie itself seemed completely undirected. I haven’t done any research into any grand purpose or message that it was trying to portray, but it drifted around a lot. Mich liked this movie a lot more than I did, she enjoyed its lack of predictability. I would suggest that if a logical flow of events (even if only in retrospect) is your thing, then this movie may not be for you.

Odd and I had no idea really of what the point of the story was supposed to be…

Posted under Movies / TV

This post was written by Marc
on July 9, 2005 at 5:18 pm