Feature

You wouldn't download an assclown: A rant on why cinemas are dying

Andy

14th March 2010

Why put yourself through that? Why pay for the privilege of not being able to enjoy yourself? Rather than give myself a brain haemorrhage, a possible criminal record and sanctions from the UN, I'll wait for 5 months. Because then I can buy the Blu-ray or DVD for half the price of a cinema visit.

I can watch it at my leisure, when I choose. In my own home on a 40" plasma TV with 5.1 surround sound. I can have my own snacks, relax on my sofa, pause if somebody telephones or rewind if I want to watch something cool again. When I can do that, why the hell would I want to visit a public space and pay ridiculous amounts of money for the pleasure of having random strangers fuck up my viewing experience? The screens aren't much bigger than my tv now and the sound is a damn sight worse. My house, my rules.

You can sit and talk if you like, ask questions and we'll discuss the film as it goes. But you start firing a laser-pen around my living room or try to target the actors like a chav Predator and you'll find yourself sitting outside surrounded by broken glass and plaster-dust wondering how you got there so fast.

And should you need a toilet break, you won't make me stand up and hold my coat to my chest so you don't tread on it and crush my smuggled snacks.
I mean, come on; I just paid nearly 30 to sit here and I have to smuggle in junk food like a Colombian drug mule hiding heroin up his ass?

Odeon recently had a fight with Disney over the length of time between a film showing at the cinema and appearing on DVD. "We'll boycott," said Odeon. "Couldn't give a fuck," said Disney. "... Alright then," said Odeon and sulkily retrieved their ball and went home.

That wasn't an issue about Internet Pirates stealing the movie and piping it into your PC via terrorists, and muggers and that Chinese bloke in the pub with Avatar already. This is what they should have said: "If you make the release window shorter, people won't bother coming to our outdated, over-priced, smelly toilet cinemas. You have to delay the home-release so they have no choice but to come here unwillingly and part with over 30 to suffer talking, morons, crap food, teenagers, babysitters, the rain, adverts you can't skip and shitty sound quality."

And there is the issue. There is why Hollywood is letting dollars fall through their fingers. Not because Mr Criminal is downloading Rocky VII, but because 95% of right-minded adults think, "Fuck that, let's stay indoors and watch something else; I can buy Alice In Wonderland in Tesco in May for 12.99."

I would go to the cinema if it were priced reasonably, had a strict "No Assholes" policy and actually showed the films I want to see. My local is currently showing: The Crazies; Leap Year; Valentine's Day; The Wolfman; Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief (???); The Princess & The Frog; Astro Boy; and Alvin & The Chipmunks 2.

Maybe one of those I'd be interested in seeing on DVD. Where's The Road? Where's A Prophet? Where's 44 Inch Chest? Where's Ajami? Where's The White Ribbon? Where's Still Bill?

It's a cultural wasteland where I live, and I'll be fucked if I'm going to pay out the arse to watch something I'll hate. I'm not retarded, I appreciate decent cinema. So, like so many other people around the world, I don't bother with the cinema any more. I have far more of a rewarding experience browsing my local HMV or online retailer buying exactly what I want to see, when I want to see it without inviting 300 strangers round to destroy my experience.

Don't blame internet pirates for stealing your profits, Hollywood; blame yourself for pushing an outdated concept. We live in a digital age. I can rent Inglourious Basterds on my Xbox for chrissakes - I don't even have to get off the sofa to buy it. Create a decent cinema with leg room, make tickets reasonably priced and be borderline fascist on your admittance policy. Only then, maybe, just maybe, we'll start coming back again.

Until then, cry all you want about losing millions of dollars; guess who couldn't give a home-rental fuck about it.

The author would like to point out he did download an illegal copy of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith but couldn't bring himself to watch it. "How much do you suck, Lucas, when a fanboy can't even be arsed to watch a stolen copy? Fuck George Lucas."

More:  Anger  Rage  Fury  Assclowns
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