Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lowering our expectations: watching movies on cell phones

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 11:22 AM

One day, I fully expect someone to shove their thumb in my face and say, “Hey! Look at these Star Trek previews!”

If I then broke their thumb, would I be convicted by a jury of my peers?

As I have gotten older (okay, I hate that hackneyed phrase as much as you do), I have become ever more appreciative of the art and skill which goes into the making of movies - and even certain television shows, if I can be so honest.

Like most people, I suspect, movies were just there when I was a kid. I have written at great length - enough to bore entire stadiums full of people, probably - about watching television in Germany when my father was stationed there in the early 1970s.

But it is true that when your viewing choices are narrowed into a stream, where before you had a pond to wade in, you begin to pay more attention to what you are watching. No longer were they “just movies,” but the results of vision and hard work.

Sometimes the hard work pays off, and sometimes it just sort of sits there, hoping that people might be drunk when they watch it.

Outside of theaters, I have have watched movies on all sorts of televisions and in all sorts of circumstances:

Clunky color TVs

12" black-and-white portables

Fuzzy reception

Running outside to turn the damn antenna - yeah, you punk kids have got it easy these days!

And, of course, most of the time the picture was full screen, not wide screen. And the movies were cut up by commercials, with nudity and swearing removed for the dainty among us.

Enough of wallowing in the past though, Abbevillian Reader; let’s talk about watching movies today.

Some years ago Tracy and I bought a large TV for the living room (one of those clunky jobs that should probably be traded in for a slimmer model one day) and watching movies has become almost a theater experience for us again - plus, of course, you can pause a DVD while you go to the bathroom. Just try asking a projectionist to do that . . .

I am flummoxed by the idea of watching movies on cell phones, though - hell, even on laptops, really. I might understand watching the news on a cell phone (no, really not) but a movie? And lose what the film-maker has presented to us, all for the sake of novelty? Convenience?

I fail to see the attraction, unless it would be one of the crap movies that the Sy Fy Channel likes to run. Megashark versus Legoman
, perhaps?

When I talk to some of the more enthusiastic phone movie watchers about this, they look at me as though I have landed from another planet, or traveled through time - true, in a sense - from the 1970s.

I love movies. I love them so much, in fact, that I can pretty much say that I will never feel the desire to see an epic film on a device that I also call the grocery store on. I want the movie experience.

I want the dark room, and my goodies spread about me. I want to notice and appreciate the glory of a director’s hard work, or the wit offered up by the writer. I don’t think I’ll ever be so bored that I’ll want to watch Lawrence of Arabia on a tiny screen.

Incidentally, here is a neat video on why the wide screen format is much better to watch a movie on, and how those of us who watched movies for many years in full screen mode were literally not getting the whole picture. It runs on Turner Classic Movies, so you may have seen it.

If not, it’s a dandy video to watch.


Paying respect to my old RCA TV

In January of 1988 I bought myself a 25" color set, which is still in pretty good condition. While the set in the living room has been repaired twice since 2002, this baby has never been to the doctor.


Quote of the Day

“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is you never know if they are genuine.” -Abraham Lincoln

Tags: ,


Speaking of Http://,

  • What is sauce for the Pope should be sauce for the Right-Wing Gander

    September 24, 2015
    Arizona Republican Paul Gosar said that he would not attend the Pope's appearance before Congress today - cuz he don’t to hear no talk about global warming. /more/
  • An Ode to Minimum Wage Jobs . . . and the skills they require

    September 8, 2015
    In recent years I have come across a great deal of venomous contempt - both online and in print - towards not not only the idea of raising the minimum wage, but in all too many cases, directed at the men and women who work for such wages. /more/
  • Donald Trump: Voting Dalek

    August 22, 2015
    Back in 2008, Radio Times (Britain’s version of TV Guide, only cooler) had a terrific cover - Daleks crossing Westminster Bridge, and proclaiming, “Vote Dalek!” Watching Donald Trump’s Friday night address to his adoring fans brought this image back into my thoughts with frightening clarity. /more/
  • Hairy, The Bounty Hunter

    August 18, 2015
    “I’m a bounty hunter,” he told me, furtively looking around to make sure that no one could hear us. /more/
  • Coloring books for adults? Yeah, right . . .

    July 28, 2015
    Maybe if it was a Star Trek coloring book, I might be down with that, but the current craze for coloring books for “grown-ups” leaves me just a little cold; if it takes one of the current offerings to bring out an adult’s “creativity,” chances are said adult may not have much creativity to begin with. /more/
  • Shades of Darkness: S&M and 1950s marriage

    February 11, 2015
    Often, watching a presentation through the lens of a camera brings home an essential truth that just sitting in an audience fails to do. /more/
  • Congressman Steve Womack declares war on flag desecrators

    January 9, 2015
    Personally, I think that grotesquely overweight people wearing American flag-T-shorts is a form of flag desecration, not to mention car lots using gargantuan flags, waving - or not waving, depending upon the wind - to sell cars is flag desecration, but I’m not sure that Arkansas Congressman Steve Womack would be inclined to agree with me. Actually, I’m not really sure what he does personally consider to be desecration, since he doesn’t actually go into detail in the latest issue of his farcically named “From the Front” emails which goes out to constituents. /more/
  • Grocery Scanner Hell

    January 5, 2015
    The bulletin board outside the office at the grocery store in our neighborhood is probably the sort of thing that should be kept out of the sight of customers - in an employee break-room, perhaps, or even in the office itself. /more/
  • Fayetteville: An Alternative History - the television series

    October 25, 2014
    It all began with the idea to make an hour long documentary, getting folks in from all walks of life, who have helped change their community, either politically or spiritually. /more/
  • No Muslims allowed? Really? You can tell just by looking, can you?

    October 23, 2014
    Patriots far and wide have been cheering like folks at a buffet when a new trough of baked beans has been served by the news that Hot Springs shooting range owner Jan Morgan has declared her business to be a “Muslim free Zone.” On her website, in her piece “Why I Want My Range to be a Muslim Free Zone” - - Morgan lists her reasons, which include: Like so many non-Muslims, she claims to have read the Koran, understands it, and is familiar with the verses which command Muslims to do terrible things to those of us who refuse to “submit” or convert to Islam. /more/
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Richard Drake

  • The Syrian Refugee Crisis and hating on Catholics

    As is usually the case in these matters, the most venomous among them lack the integrity to use their real names.
    • Nov 23, 2015
  • Eternal Paranoia is the price of Liberty

    It’s a glorious time to be paranoid in today’s world. As if the idea of hordes of Syrian refugees battling it out with decent Americans on Black Friday weren’t bad enough, one has to contend with illegal immigrants, the climate change hoax, Political Correctness and the War on Christmas, which seems to begin earlier every year.
    • Nov 18, 2015
  • More »

Most Shared

Top Commenters



© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation