Author Topic: Going to the movies versus watching them at home  (Read 6436 times)

Bill Binkelman

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Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« on: October 04, 2011, 03:27:02 PM »
Over the last two years or so, I find more and more that I don't take the time to go see movies in theaters much any more, except for blockbusters and even not so much those any more. My TV is modest (37 inch LCD 1080i/120mHz), so it's not like I get that great an experience watching at home. And here in Mpls, you can still see movies on first run, at matinees, for as cheap as $5-$6. I can't really explain what is driving this shift in my behavior.

I am shocked at the big action flicks I haven't seen in theaters recently (which is how these films should be seen, right?), when I used to see ALL "big event" pictures that way. For example, I didn't go see Captain America, or X-Men: First Class, or Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, to name just a few of the summer biggies. I just can't seem to get motivated to get in the car, drive the 20 minutes or so to theater, get there at 10 minutes prior to get a decent seat (I'm picky that way), etc. I'd rather wait and get it at redbox or through netflix. I know when I upgrade the set to a 50 incher, which I hope to do next year sometime, I will be even less inclined, since then my blu-ray player will really make a difference.

I also admit that with how rude people are now (cell phone conversations, talking loudly during the movie, coming in late, bringing bratty kids, talking back to the screen), that also enters into the equation.

So, how many of you here have switched to watching more movies at home and less in the theaters? Am in the minority or are more folks opting for not going out but staying in and waiting until the films get on DVD or streaming?
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darren bergstein

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2011, 04:11:13 PM »
I, too, have noticed similar changes in my movie-going habits, for some of the same, but also other, reasons. For my wife & I, it's more about not having the time or being able to find adequate baby-sitting that is really the obstacle, for the most part.

However, I'd augment my response by saying that most of the 'major' Hollywood films released in the past couple of years (I'm being kind here) have, frankly, sucked. Most everything has truly degenerated to sequels, prequels, endless remakes (christ, there's yet *another* Three Musketeers bowing soon; what does that make, roughly 5, 8 versions of the same damn story???), variations, in short, crashingly few things that are original, or at least seem worthwhile enough to plunk down $22 (!!!).

As a massive film lover, and writer/critic thereof, this situation does sadden me, and, as a result, I too have more or less gone the on-demand route via my Fios options when I want to watch something. It's still a choice, though, and even then the choices seem nil; I know there are numerous films out there I regret missing (and I'm not just talking about the big event films, most of which this year were *hideous*; I loathe the Transformers series—pretty much detest anything Michael Bay, one of the great hacks of our time, touches anyway—but sorry I missed the X-Men prequel, which is available on-demand now), but, again, time constraints made seeing them about impossible.

All of the above being stated, I have every intention of seeing the upcoming Thing prequel... :)
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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2011, 04:11:49 PM »
I used to go to the movies at least once per week, sometimes twice.

6-7 years ago I got a fairly modest, hulking HDTV, back in the days before streaming HD and BluRay, and plain old DVD was enough to convince me to give up the movie theater. I'd rather see a movie months after the theatrical release, if I can avoid rude people talking, texting, kids playing, and all the kind of distracting crap Bill mentions above. I still went to the theater every couple of months for major "event" movies.

A few years ago I upgraded to a 1080p front projection TV and BluRay. There's no "tube" so you can project the picture as big as you want, within the limits of the size of your room. I think our screen is something like 140 inches, and it makes for a movie-viewing experience just a notch below the sounds and visuals of the movie theater. Once you factor in the audience distractions mentioned above, the ability to pause and rewind, and best of all the ability to sit there with food and drink of your choice, the home theater experience to me is far more enjoyable than "going to the movies."

Now I'd say we only bother going out for the truly big blockbusters, maybe once or twice per year. Even then, we try to avoid showtimes or theaters where we know we'll have a problem with screen-talkers.

I could really be perfectly happy never going to a movie theater again, except for maybe a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show, for nostalgia's sake or something like that. I'd be far more likely to go to a little arthouse and watch a Cronenberg retrospective or some old Samuel Fuller than to want to cram into a Regal Cinemas theater, pay $25 for snacks, and then sit through a half hour of commercials.
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APK

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2011, 04:18:39 PM »
I'm always more happy with watching movies at home with a good beer or wine and interesting snack and watching it when I want and with only a select few people and my dog Ginny and stopping it if we want and starting again when we want and continuing tomorrow if we want. I don't mind cinemas too much but if I get uncomfortable sitting so long in the same way I have no options, and I think a good movie is also great on a smaller TV if its a good one. I don't need overblown sound levels or a huge screen or popcorn and coke and people talking and choking on the popcorn and their kids whining and mobiles going on and off and the driving there and back. Heck I don't even like movies much ... unless they are bloody good and worth my time.
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LNerell

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2011, 08:46:39 PM »
To me going to the movie theater to catch a film was always a social or date event. My friends and I would all meet up and catch a flick together. As we've grown older most of my friends who I use to go to the movies with have either gotten married so they are less social, or moved away. My current girl of interest (not sure if  she qualifies as a girlfriend yet) is also a musician, so we end up mostly going to music performances, mostly classical music recitals (her main interest) or small ensembles. Actually our first "date" was to see a film, but that was because it was a film that I did the music.  ;D

Like the rest of you I watch most of my movies at home on my 54" TV in my living room, mostly via fios, with the occasional DVD or blueray.
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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 08:57:34 PM »
The last time I watched a movie in a theater was with my nieces, who were in elementary school, to see The Lion King when it first came out. My nieces are now either in college or recently out of college. How much is popcorn now?!!!
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Seren

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2011, 11:58:34 PM »
It's the same here.
We only go to the occasional movie at the cinema - she likes the Harry Potter series so we saw that and Avatar - the rest are at home on our own TV.

I'm not sure whether the ability to pause and rewind whenever we think we've missed something adds or detracts from the experience of the storytelling or not.

I too despair about the remakes, but it also seems that 'across the pond' you also prefer to remake our UK TV series as well rather than watch the originals - does that make things more insular?

SunDummy

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2011, 08:09:43 AM »
I live an hour from a theater, so seeing a movie there is a rare event.  The last movie we saw there was Inception; the only reason we went was because we had to run to town for other errands, and had to kill some time.  I'm not a fan of the theater experience; too many distractions.

We still have a crappy 30" CRT with a shitty little cheap DVD player, so my home setup is not exactly a mini-theater.  I actually like this, because it doesn't tempt me to sit in front of it every night.  I can't stream Netflix here - my internet is satellite, so it's too slow - which gives me even more reasons to go do something productive instead of staring at a screen.

I'm always more happy with watching movies at home with a good beer or wine and interesting snack and watching it when I want and with only a select few people and my dog Ginny and stopping it if we want and starting again when we want and continuing tomorrow if we want. I don't mind cinemas too much but if I get uncomfortable sitting so long in the same way I have no options, and I think a good movie is also great on a smaller TV if its a good one. I don't need overblown sound levels or a huge screen or popcorn and coke and people talking and choking on the popcorn and their kids whining and mobiles going on and off and the driving there and back. Heck I don't even like movies much ... unless they are bloody good and worth my time.

I'll second that.  Except that my smaller TV is NOT a good one.   ;)
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Scott M2

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2011, 08:27:31 AM »
You'd think that your home, filled with all your stuff and phones and family would be far more distracting
than the traditional dedicated big darkened room but it seems to be the opposite now thanks to OTHER PEOPLE.   :o
(and the over-the-top-volume levels)

From Lynn, I've also gotten addicted to having the english subtitles turned on
which helps eliminate all those rewinds based on "Did you understand what they just said? Me neither."

Man! We're rewatching the entire West Wing series now and I'd go crazy trying to follow
all of Sorkin's rapid-fire dialogues without the subtitles on!

einstein36

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2011, 12:37:15 PM »
I definitely prefer watching more and more movies at home due to the rising costs of tickets, drinks, rude people, etc..
but I also think besides the large screen HDTV one needs to have a great surround sound system to mimic the theater so one can truly enjoy the theater experience at home, esp. on Blu-ray:)

Plus..I love the fact, need to pause to go have a bathroom break:)
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judd stephens

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2011, 06:26:14 PM »
To me there aren't many movies that justify the effort and the price of going to the theatre.  Not anymore at least- some of that has to do with priorities but another is the content.   It has to be a pretty strong buzz or personal enough to make it an event worth doing.  Last couple years I've only seen one really great spectacle of a show at the theatre and that was District 9, very much worth going.  Getting burned on some movies you had high hopes for and only turned out decent is enough to make you more cautious.  Ridley Scott's Alien movie next year is an automatic go-to without a doubt, and Samsara is also tempting.   Of course a lot of it depends on what you're willing to value in your life but it really has to be quite the event to get me there anymore.  I mean this as a personal event, since how many things are billed as an "event" these days?

 This year Transformers 3, Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America were all kind of big deals to many.  Not being much of a superhero or comic book fan, it was mostly blah.  Movies like Moon, or Hanah (the latter I haven't yet seen) seem more appealing and what I'd call a buzzworthy movie because of the unique story and setting.  Also a really good sci-fi movie makes for a more interesting and worthwhile theatre experience I think.  Watching the vastness of space or foreign planets and the like are almost made for the big screen.  Action movies aren't really that deluded as a rental choice, and though I love a good zany comedy for some reason laughing with a group of strangers stretches my comfort zone a little- that might sound strange but I feel like I can really enjoy them more and relish each scene from the comfort of the castle.

Jeff Sampson

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2011, 08:28:06 PM »
Seriously, I can't remember the last time I watched a movie in a theater. Oh wait....I do remember - it was winter/spring of '09. Heh, heh - don't remember the movie, but I do remember who I went with.

Why I prefer to watch at home or someone else's house: (1) Pause works well - whether it's for food, drink, expulsion of same, or restlessness/boredom. (2) No obnoxious neighbors, or if there are I can ask them to leave or leave my ownself. (3) Theater movies are way too expensive. (4) In spite of the cost, movie food sucks. (5) I don't have any movie-going friends in the immediate area who need me to keep them company.

I just remembered that movie. Underworld - Rise of the Lycans. I liked it.
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drone on

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 12:22:49 AM »
Prometheus I'm sure will be my only visit to a movie theatre this year.  Theaters stink unless its an "event.". Sadly, event films are going the way of the dinosaur, with so many insipid action films, cartoons, or remakes clogging up theaters. 

einstein36

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2012, 09:29:19 AM »
I definitely myself hardly go to the movies anymore due to the rising costs of tickets, soda, etc and like you said, the constant people having their cellphones(not necessarly talking on them, but texting during a movie and their screens lighting up in front of you, distracting one from getting into the movie), but if it's something that really really captures my attention, then yes, I will go ahead and pay the price and go see a movie on the big scree, for example, I will be seeing Prometheus next month.
What I mostly do though is rent like you, and have a decent size HDTV(mine is a 55") with an awesome surround sound, because that's the other half of what going to the movie theater is all about is the sound:)...
More and more people are building home theater systems compared to going to the movies just for the reasons listed above, but in return, one can relax at home whilest watching a movie and hey, pause a movie if nature calls:)....
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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 10:32:47 AM »
I like watching at home for the reason you can just stop watching it if it sucks.  In a theaters with friends/family, you're stuck there for the duration.  ;D

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2012, 07:26:23 AM »
Prometheus I'm sure will be my only visit to a movie theatre this year.  Theaters stink unless its an "event.". Sadly, event films are going the way of the dinosaur, with so many insipid action films, cartoons, or remakes clogging up theaters.

Prometheus & The Hobbit are the only movies I have intentions of seeing....however the local performance theater does a summer foreign art movie festival with some obscure and often unknown to me movies which I try to catch when I can.  My netflix habit is in recovery and about the only thing I watch from time to time is the sundance channel which can be really quite good 

jdh

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2012, 08:23:35 PM »
I admit I go to the theatre less and less,not so much because of the pricing,although expensive,nor the phones nor the popcorn ( never touch it)
I go as it is an escape from the home,my office,the world.I want it dark,large screen,an audio experience. I have a 42 inch LCD,Blue Ray,Netflix,not the same in any way. Sorry,watching a David Lynch film on my iPad does not cut it.
My question on this thread is why  ,what I assume are mostly middle aged men on this forum,going to see films marketing towards teenage boys? Such as Green Lantern and Transformers ( was that not based on toys made for 5-9 year olds? )Take this with a bit of irony.
PS-Prometheus,I am there !

hdibrell

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2012, 09:03:34 PM »
My question on this thread is why  ,what I assume are mostly middle aged men on this forum,going to see films marketing towards teenage boys? Such as Green Lantern and Transformers ( was that not based on toys made for 5-9 year olds? )Take this with a bit of irony.
Unfortunately, I am no longer considered middle aged. I have noticed that no matter how old I get, I  am always a boy at heart. How else could I explain that I still get a kick out of fart jokes?
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JeromeDisney

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2012, 05:00:04 AM »
The noly time I bother to go to a movie theatre is when there is an IMAX one around. Otherwise it's DVD's at home. Too many mobile phones around.
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sraymar

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Re: Going to the movies versus watching them at home
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2012, 12:03:42 AM »

A few years ago I upgraded to a 1080p front projection TV and BluRay. There's no "tube" so you can project the picture as big as you want, within the limits of the size of your room. I think our screen is something like 140 inches, and it makes for a movie-viewing experience just a notch below the sounds and visuals of the movie theater. Once you factor in the audience distractions mentioned above, the ability to pause and rewind, and best of all the ability to sit there with food and drink of your choice, the home theater experience to me is far more enjoyable than "going to the movies."

This reminds me of something I saw a few months back at the Billy Wilder theater in Westwood. I went to see a couple of pre-code Jean Harlow films(now there's a reason to go a theater) and in between films there was an intermission so I walked around outside for a bit and came upon this wall outside in a hallway on the second floor and it had this video artwork going on but it was right on the wall like a projection but I looked all over the place for some kind of projection device and couldn't find one. You can  walk right up to the wall too and you don't cast a shadow or in other words the artwork isn't on you. I have read that for some time now there is video paint that you can paint on a wall or anything and it acts like a monitor. That's the future folks although right now its probably a bit expensive.



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