Friday, March 26, 2010

Movie Ticket prices going up

It wasn't more than a year ago that I was paying $5 for admission to a movie, heck i'll pay more for a nicer theatre and maybe for 3D in the case of a movie like Avatar.

The movie industry is making money, and they know it. Now Yahoo gave me the heads up that movie ticket prices will go up.

It's moves like this that assure me this world will never get out of a recession, because the movie industry is investing in this stupid 3D technology. I was pretty impressed by the 3D in Avatar, but no movie is going to do that much effort again. Oh i'm sure James Cameron will in his "teased" sequel, but there's a reason Avatar didn't win best picture. 3D isn't cinema value, it's a gimmick. Now that gimmick is becoming the standard of the movie industry, as is IMAX.

I've seen three movies in IMAX, and i'm done with that gimmick as well. There is honestly no value in my honest opinion for paying extra for a larger screen (IMAX) or to have stuff pop out at you (3D).

People like to watch movies at home, and the regular screens of a movie theatre are about ten times the size of the average 55 inch TV in a home. So answer me why an even bigger screen matters that much? It doesn't if people are content watching the movies at home.

However 3D doesn't add to a movie, the novelty rarely every holds onto the viewer for long. Now studios see 3D as a way to make more money, the majority of these movies are pop out 3D which is a simple 1 hour of labor to add the stereoscopic effect of 3D. Are we really going to wear glasses whenever we watch a movie, people are too lazy for that including me. Turning on the TV is a no brainer, but reaching for glasses? That just seems stupid to be necessary in your own home, and that also makes TVs too expensive.

Time and time again, even though I am tech crazy I will say this. Technology does not guarantee a good movie, and all this stuff they add to the movie going experience without giving consumers "viewing choices" on seeing a movie will keep movie goers away.

So if these depraved managers want to raise ticket prices, go ahead, because i'll never take a risk with movies again unless I absolutely want to see them. That was one element you have to love about movies, taking a risk and either liking or disliking a movie. That element is gone, and have made movie goers more definitive of their genre. The movies used to be escapism, now its an expensive escapism that you have to be particular about if you want to afford the overpriced popcorn.

I thought of something interesting, perhaps movies want to use 3D to curb piracy. I imagine a pirated 3D film looks awful, but price goes over preference in this economy.

To save the escapism of movie going,the movie industry and the studios, go back on these ticket prices you delusional minds in the industry. The Recession isn't over, and this will only hurt the movie industry which has remain untouched financially.

For me this means I am eating before I go to a movie, because at this point the snacks and drinks should be free with these prices.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Impressions of the Rock Band Network

So, the Rock Band Network has been out for a while now, but I haven't really had a chance to mess around with it too much. However, I recently popped in that copy of Rock Band 2 and decided to take a look. I must say, it's quite impressive.

The RBN is located in the "Music Store" menu as a separate item, letting you easily sepearte the official Harmonix releases from the releases on the Rock Band Network. Once you get into the RBN store, it's sorted a little differently than the main store is. You have a few options here, "Top 10" which gives you the top 10 highest rated songs, "Harmonix Picks" which gives you a select number of songs Harmonix liked and hand-picked for that week, "Browse" which lets you simply sift through all of the songs, and "Random Song" if you'd like to be surprised.

If you choose Browse, there's gonna be a bunch of extra ways you can go through all the songs. by Artist, by Author (The user who charted the song), by Label, by Genre, by Language (yes, there are foreign-language songs on the network), by Title, or by Rating.

The sorting is obviously very deep, and will allow you to find any song on the network you are specifically looking for very quickly. It also seems to be built to handle thousands upon thousands of songs, which makes sense if the network becomes popular enough. At the time of this writing, there have been 168 songs released on the Network, which is quite impressive for only having been out one month.

One of the best parts of the Rock Band Network is the ability to download free Demo versions of songs. When I first heard about this, I was wondering exactly how it'd work, but it's actually quite smart. You download the demo-version, you're unable to use it in Tour Mode, Practice Mode, or Online. The only way you can play it is in Solo or Band quick-play. You can play it as many times as you like, however, you can only play through the first 30 seconds of the song, and it'll cut off and go to a "Demo Over" screen, complete with a "Buy Now" option.

This seems really effective in making people want to throw down their cash right away to finish the song. It also gives people a chance to see how well-charted the song is, and gives them a little bit more to listen to of the song than the initial preview-track at the Store-level.

Another great thing about the Rock Band Network is the support it's getting from artists. I've seen a few big-name artists on here such as Drowning Pool, Bang Camaro, Senses Fail, Third-Eye Blind, All That Remains, KMFDM, and probobly the biggest name so far, Steve Vai! I've also found out about a few unknown artists that I personally really enjoy such as DNA's Evolution with their track "The Heist" and The Hold Steady with their track "Sequestered in Memphis".

Overall, there's some great music in the Rock Band Network, and it seems like it'll keep expanding and growing larger. Maybe someday soon we'll see day-and-date Rock Band Network releases with Artist's releases on itunes or other music download services.