“The Avengers”, is raking in over $1 billion. The movie has gotten rave reviews and is officially the early summer blockbuster. I’m sure it is great. Everyone in my immediate and virtual community feels the same way: “The Avengers” is the movie to be seen on the big screen this year.
Image credit: Marvel.com
I will see “The Avengers” soon, just not in the local cinema. Okay, I can hear every comic geek and movie buff scream, blasphemy! I get that some movies are just meant for the theater: the sound, the big screen, the popcorn and the stadium seating. I agree, but the theater experience just isn’t for me anymore. My technolust has gotten in the way of former simple pleasures.
With decent home theater systems and high definition video delivered to my home, I am spoiled. If you own an HDTV, have you found yourself rubbing your eyes when you look at standard definition on another television screen? HD is the standard today. Wherever you are, there is some type of HD around you. Even in the old mom-and-pop hardware store, there’s a small HDTV playing behind the counter.
At one time, I was the first in line at the local AMC theater to watch the movie of the moment, especially when the Star Wars prequels were released. The moment I installed my very modest home theater and HDTV that all changed.
The big, silver screen in the local theaters and IMAX are great, but it comes at an eye-gouging price. I am a father of three and some days I feel I have to apply for a loan just to take my boys to a movie. Attending a movie is quite expensive if you’re not attending a matinee. The big screen isn’t as clear as an HDTV in my opinion. The screen is huge, but I spend most of my time focused on screen artifacts instead of the movie itself. The digital animated films look better to me, but that’s just cheating, right? I didn’t see the movie “Red Tails” in the theaters, but I do have it at home in HD. Can you tell me if the silver screen looks as good as this snap shot? I took this with my cell phone so the true HD image has most likely deteriorated.
Check out the light reflection in Terrence Howard’s eyes. Notice the natural imperfections of his skin. This is some serious and beautiful detail here. Having the video processor capable of refreshing the screen at 120hz or better makes the viewing even better for action-packed films.
Most movie goers argue the audio quality of the theater surround sound systems beats home theaters hands down. Yes, I love surround sound in a theater. I don’t own a 7.1 sound system, but my very modest 5.1 system produces optimal sound. Even with variables such as wattage, room size, and most importantly speaker placement it’s pretty good. Since my living room is for a 1200-square foot apartment, my space is rather small. I don’t need a souped-up amplifier for full sounding quality, but with proper speaker placement the sound fills the room.
Finally, there’s the movie theater environment. Don’t you just love the “turn off your cell phone” announcement? Try watching a blockbuster film in the theater and you’ll have to compete with the flickering AMOLED screens of cell phones, ring tones, and chatter. My last experience included a little kid behind me with a runny nose. The poor kid didn’t even have a tissue. So we turned around and offered his mother a tissue for her son. The mother used it for herself! She was totally oblivious to the sniffles every 9 seconds throughout the flick. I get asked if I watched a matinee when I bring this scenario up. Matinees are great because they’re less crowded, but it isn’t often I can take the kids to a matinee unless it’s a weekend. And if it’s a weekend, more than likely other parents will have the same idea because it’s less expensive and equally crowded. Purpose defeated.
There you have it. I have not seen “The Avengers” and I will not see this movie in the theater. The upcoming releases of Prometheus and the Amazing Spiderman will be off my list as well. With adequate technology, I can experience a comparable movie theater experience at home. Amazon.com offers a Sony BDV-E780W home entertainment system that seems to be plenty powerful for a home movie enjoying experience. It includes a Blu-ray player for 1080p high definition picture. This could be a pretty good investment to potentially ditch the theaters. Audiophiles may feel the sound quality isn’t properly decoded, but in general, average consumers can’t tell a difference between an MP3 file encoded at a 128kb rate versus a 256kb rate. Therefore, these speakers just may do the trick.
What are your thoughts? As readers of aNewDomain.net, I think it’s safe to say “The Avengers” was a must-see on release day. Do you better enjoy a theater experience or a home theater experience? What is some of the tech you’re using for your home theater set up? Home theater PCs or set-top boxes? Separate AVRs and speakers? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you.