MPAA to Movie Theaters: “Fuck You!”

The MPAA proves, once again, they are the devil.  They are urging the FCC to undercut theaters and allow first-run movies to head directly to millions of homes across America, because the movie-going experience to many is too constrictive (I kid you not):

“Many of us love movies, but we just can’t make it to the theater as often as we’d like.  That is especially true for parents of young children, rural Americans who live far from the multiplex and people with disabilities that keep them close to home,”  MPAA Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman said.  “Having the added option to enjoy movies in a more timely fashion at home would be a liberating new choice.”

Wow, the philosophical, economic and political mire this schmuck just jumped into unintentionally makes my head spin. Over the past three and a half decades, incomes have fallen during a time when media consolidation was accelerating. Thus, both spouses have been forced to take up additional work as they’ve lost income. Chances are the pay is not enough to keep up, in part, since good jobs covered by unions were taken overseas. Media consolidation helps to close up theaters as does home video, so you have arthouses, grindhouses and drive-ins decimated. During this same time, you have urban sprawl sending movie theaters to the suburbs where they sit inside or beside malls generally accessible only to those driving. Disabled folks who can’t drive, tough shit. Not many people are interested in funding public transportation out there, because hey, I’m not poor. I live in the suburbs. Those city folks do drugs and have different skin. I’ve got an SUV and I want my God-given freedom for Chinese made crap that will wear out in a couple of years anyway, sending me back here again.

To get those first-runs of Bride Wars and Couples Retreat out to you asap (because we know you’re just shitting your drawers in anticipation of these spectaculars), Big Media is going to use the fantastic technology of SOC:

“SOC, or selectable output control technology, would allow televisions with digitally secure interfaces to receive first-run, high-definition content from a cable or satellite provider.  Using SOC protects content because it essentially disables non-secure, analog outputs to avoid illegal circumvention and distribution of copyrighted material.  These outputs would be disabled ONLY with respect to the proposed new content, and this technology would NOT have any impact whatsoever on the ability of existing devices to receive all of the content that they get today.  Consumers will continue to have access to everything they have today, including DVDs, Netflix, etc.”

So assuming you don’t try pirating this stuff (uh huh), you can’t record it and it comes to you from your cable provider. As one astute commenter wrote: “What is the difference between what this will do and a ’straight to DVD’ release?”

If you go to the article, reading some of the comments high-fiving this idea is a wonderment. I’m pretty selective in watching movies in a theater, but I’ve attended sold-out shows before. I can say honestly, I’ve not had an incident where I’ve had to contact a manager or ask anyone to shush in probably about 20 years. And those who know me, know I attend many movies a year or try to. The last time I was really annoyed by someone near me in the theater was during the action film The Replacement Killers. A couple brought their five-year-old son to watch and he, as I figured, became fidgety and agitated from boredom.

To those irritated by people texting and phone chatting during a movie, guess what? Either don’t go to the movies in Los Angeles (where this seems to be a given, I suppose) or don’t go to movies that look like shit stains in the previews.  Honest to God, do you think after watching the horrendous trailer for Couples Retreat that the movie would be anything other than a catastrophe? I’d be doing anything, ANYTHING, to keep my attention away from this movie. As of this writing, I’ve only seen the poster for Jim Carrey’s Christmas Carol and I’m already smelling the landfill.

I know a lot of people who absolutely love movies and a great deal of them I admire and respect. When these people give me an opinion about a movie, I may disagree, but I listen intently because I know he or she has the passion for it. Not one of these people have a huge “home theater” system. The closest I’ve been to a private one that could double as a true “theater” was the video projection system at the great North and Western split level pad once occupied by Darnell and Calvin in Chicago. Odd Obsession has a great monitor too. But really, no private home theater system could have the sound dynamics of a movie theater, or else they would most likely be breaking noise ordinances.  As much as I like movies, I probably would not like my neighbor cranking up a home theater to deafening levels every single day, especially if he signed up to get his movies via the SOC system.

I’m also wondering how much these privileged individuals are going to pay for these special screenings? If you’re one of those people cheering this on, don’t complain about any high prices for this luxury when you’re got to shit money to pay for it.

Finally, if you’re complaining about the lack of quality for your movies, you’ve got to tell your theater manager about it or else, go to an indie movie theater and support them, go to an indie video store in person (if you’re lucky enough to be in a big city) or online and get your movies mailed to you. Get your classics cheaply through a public library also.

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