“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.
I agree with you on how much better watching movies at home on a decent HD screen is better than what we see in most theaters.
Thanks, Neillund! I’m sure the purists are yelling at me right now. ;)
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I agree with everything you’re saying, but don’t forget the shared experience of being in a theater. There’s something to be said for that.
I used to feel that way at one time, Jlesniak. Maybe now i’m just cranky and can’t seem to deal with everything else that comes along with it. :)
I see what you’re saying Ant. With today’s technology we can have a “movie like” experience in our own home. Who knows..theaters may be phased out much like video stores are succumbing to today. I agree with you %100 about the prices just being ridiculous. Some places offer deals though. The Am Star theater here in Anderson charges just $5 all day Tuesdays..ALL movies, not just for a select few. I will plop down some dough for movie popcorn…but i’ll sneak in drinks and sweets to save a few bucks. There is just something about getting out of the house and maybe meet a few friends and have dinner and socialize. I love the sound and the big screen. Sometimes it is sad that as adults we’ve lost that sense of enjoyment from simple things. Watching a movie didn’t involve choosing between standard, 1080p or 720p or Dolby surround or THX…we watched the movie and just enjoyed it. We didn’t care about all that crap. Yes it’s fun playing NCAA on a hi def tv on a playstation 3, but i can get just as much into a game playing Super Mario on an old Nintendo. For me i love the movie experience. I hope it never dies out.
Thanks for reading, Ken! I’m just becoming a crank in my age, I guess. I used to LOVE Star Wars movie theater experience. Now I’m just spoiled on video quality. But yeah, the experience of a theater can’t be duplicated. The video quality of a movie theater can definitely be bested.
BTW, what’s 720p? (lol)
I agree with you that the home systems are much better than what you can get in a cinema. Sometimes though I just can’t wait.
What I hate most about the cinema experience is the same as most every else. Kids crying, teens talking and texting, 30 minutes of commercials and previews before the movie even starts…etc.
Sometimes though the shared experience can add another level to the move. I saw The Dark Knight the weekend it came out and when Joker said the line, “Look at ME!”, there was an audible gasp from each person in the theater that added a little something to it all.
That was the last movie I saw in a cinema until The Avengers. My wife actually suggested we go see it as a new iMAX theater opened up just down the road from us. We went on Sunday after noon and paid $15 a piece to see the movie in 3D. This was the first modern 3D movie either of us has seen and were thought we got our money worth. I expect to see the new Batman move in the theater because I’m a huge fan but after that, I’m hanging up my popcorn bucket.
Oh the dialog from the Joke was GREAT. He had me at “I believe. . .” line in the beginning at the bank. But I saw that on blu ray and I remember being able to see the PORES in his face paint it was so crystal clear. That’s when i knew I was hooked. The Dark Knight was my first ever blu ray purchased.
Thanks for reading, Dan Phillips!
I feel ya bro! We still go to the movies every now and then not every week like we use to. We get discounted tickets through his job but they go up everytime the theaters go up and now they make us pay the difference to 3D. :( Everything is ridiculously high Thank God for diaper bags and big purses. lol… << That's probably why it's higher now but the average family is 5 now and tha's pricey for tickets and popcorn. They do have unimited reills on drinks now but who wants to get up during the movie for a refill?? Not Me!! Another reason is people bring their children who cry to much and they don't get up to take them out << how rude!!! And if it's a comedy people are still laughing and you missed what was said next and then their laughing again. I'll just rather enjoy in the privacy of my home when I can take as many potty breaks, snack breaks, texting breaks, etc… as I want. Nice Blog :)
LOL at you Honeydipp! Diaper bags, huh? Hilarious!
Thanks for reading and your comments. This debate has truly been fun. :)
While I agree with you on many of your points both technical and personal, there are some movies that absolutely need to be seen on the big screen. Will I go to see the “Lincoln Lawyer” on the big screen? The answer is no. I can easily get the same or better experience at home. Did I go to see Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” on the big screen? You better believe it! While home theaters certainly offer great pictures and even potentially great sound systems, seeing King Kong at a twenty foot high scale is not an opportunity to be missed. I agree the cost is prohibative. Nobody likes to fork over that kind of cash these days without something of value in return. For me, however, the theater experience is a special occasion and demands a special movie, something worth seeing on the big screen, a movie like “The Avengers”. As for all of the texting and crying babies, I have found that in all but the most extreme cases, if the film is good enough that I can tune out all of those distractions. This brings me to my final point. One of the reasons that I do go to the theater is to immerse myself in the movie, without distractions. Let’s face it, while viewing at home is convenient, allowing you to pause the movie, take bathroom breaks, text, walk the dog, etc, it does stop you from fully immersing in the film. If you stop to think about it, when you are doing all of those things, you are really doing exactly what those annoying patrons in the theater are doing, only it’s ok because it’s you in your own home. To sum up, the big screen theater still has its’ place, and if you miss seeing “The Avengers” in it then you have really missed out.