RSS

Monthly Archives: September 2011

Three-De-volution

The 3D revolution, which has been devolving for about three years now, continues its rapid decent into the dustbins of history (it is not coming soon enough in this critic’s opinion).  On September 27th, Sony took a bold stand when it announced that it would no longer foot the bill for the 3D glasses that have been provided for the past 7 or 8 years to those willing to pay the $5 added upcharge.

The question remains, however, as to who is going to pay for them.  Somebody has to, right?

What happened from Sony’s end is that they want the consumer (that’s you and me) to buy their own glasses.  In hard economic times, it seems feasible to them that we should buy our own glasses rather than recycling them.  This doesn’t make the National Association of Theater Owners very happy.  They issued a statement in response to Sony’s announcement which said this:

(Washington, D.C. And North Hollywood, CA – September 28, 2011) Recent press reports indicate that Sony has decided to stop providing 3-D glasses to consumers and wants moviegoers to buy their own glasses. NATO believes Sony’s suggestion is insensitive to our patrons, particularly in the midst of continuing economic distress. Sony’s actions raise serious concerns for our members who believe that provision of 3-D glasses to patrons is well established as part of the 3-D experience.

While each exhibition company must make its own decision as to how to handle its business arrangements and how to respond to this development, we are concerned that Sony’s attempt to change this business model would unilaterally upend long-standing industry practices. Since the onset of the digital 3-D revolution in 2005 it has been understood that exhibitors would bear the weight of technological and facility modification costs related to 3-D, while distribution took on the cost of 3-D glasses. Any changes to that understanding must be undertaken through the mutual agreement of both sides of the business. The recent uproar over four studios’ unilateral decision to radically shorten the theatrical release window for their failed DirecTV premium VOD experiment vividly illustrates the downside of movie studios announcing fundamental changes to business models without negotiating with their exhibition partners first.

Sony would be well advised to revisit its decision.

The question now is, what does that mean for the consumer?  Will you buy the 3D glasses?

<== Back to Armchair Cinema

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 09/29/2011 in Blog

 

Ten Years After

Today marks the end of the first decade since the events of September 11, 2001.  So here we are, ten years after, as we stop for a moment on our day of rest and remember the most horrifying event of our time.  With that, we also reflect on the events that have transpired, remember those we lost, and ask ourselves the uncomfortable question of what lies ahead.  Safe to say, we view our world as far more uncertain than we did before that day.

It has been said many times that September 11th is one of those monumental moments of history that reaffirms the sad and undeniable fact that evil exists in the world, that there exists among us those who will go to great lengths to tarnish this quiet bargain that we have made with one another to get along and be good to our fellow man.  Like Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination and The bombing in Oklahoma City, this is one of those events that marks history and changes how we look at ourselves and the state of our world. Or, as one journalist put it: “It divides history into ‘before’ and ‘after'”

The towers themselves were completed in 1976.  Within their 25 year lifespan, they had become a symbol of man’s insatiable desire to reach higher.  It was a beautiful and ridiculously tall structure that reflected the city around it in its windows, a mountain of glass and steel, of architecture and simplistic design . . . and they made two of them!  After September 11th, the towers would become a symbol of our vulnerability, a symbol of our deepest fear, a symbol of blame, of anguish and of deep reflection.  Their tragic end came only eighteen months into this new millennium; Eight years after a botched attempt to blow up the World Trade Center; six years after a similar tragedy in Oklahoma; and only three months after we put the man responsible for that tragedy to death for his crime.

On that September day, and throughout the sad months that followed there was a sense of confusion and disbelief. These things just don’t happen here.  Not in America.  We aren’t use to chaos and terror on a grand scale.  We get hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, but not this.  Until that day, no foreign entity had attacked the American citizenry on our own soil within our lifetime.  It shook our faith that we were immune to such disasters.  No one wants to believe that the world is that random.

What impressed me about the whole thing though, was a process that began on September 12th.  America went back to work.  We went back to our lives and just keep on rolling.  We cried, we hurt, we mourned, but we got up every morning and put our feet on the floor and kept going.  That is uniquely American.  We have suffered before but it only makes us love our country all the more.  Lives can be taken, buildings can be knocked down, evil men can triumph, but no one can take away our spirit.  We’re Americans.  We’re made of some pretty tough stuff.  There’s just no one else like us on earth.

Today, I feel a sadness as I reflect on that tragedy, but as I do I also turn my mind to something else, to the strange and somewhat naive reminder that despite such a tragedy, the world doesn’t stop spinning.  Life goes on and so do we.  September 11th is one of those tragic events that will be etched in our memories until all who were there are dead and buried.  But we move on.

There is a singer I have come to admire.  He is a Hawaiian singer who went by the name of Iz.  He was the man responsible for that lovely ukulele rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.  He passed away in 1997 and there is an inscription at his grave that today seems fitting, and a little bit comforting:

Facing the future I see hope
Hope that we will survive
Hope the we will prosper
Hope that once again we will reap
the blessings of this magical land
For without hope I cannot survive
Remember the past
but do not dwell there
Face the future
Where All our hope stands.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 09/12/2011 in Blog