The New MoviePass

I’ve stated like a hundred billion times that I have a MoviePass and I love it, it’s an absolutely insane value for someone that goes to as many movies as I do. I also believe that unless something dramatic happens MoviePass will soon run out of money and cease to exist. The folks over at MoviePass also seem to believe this as they recently announced some upcoming changes to the service. Let’s go over them quickly because while most of this is nice and convenient there’s one that sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

I’ll start with what I like, bring-a-friend and a premium option for IMAX and 3D showings. The bring-a-friend option will allow MoviePass users to add another ticket when they use the MoviePass app and as I understand it has the additional ticket be charged to whatever payment method you use for the MoviePass. So, for example, say I’m on a date (It’s a reach, I’m aware.) and me and my date are gonna go see a movie, as it stands now when I go to the ticket stand I have to do two separate transactions. One to buy my ticket with MoviePass and then another to buy her ticket (Or another for her to buy her own ticket, its 2018 girls don’t need men buying their tickets for them.) With the bring-a-friend feature I can compact that all back down to one transaction so this to me is mostly a convenience thing and that’s nice. I don’t need MoviePass to pay for my dates, but it’d be nice if I wasn’t fumbling at the ticket office for 20 minutes just because I brought someone along with me.

Next up is a premium feature to allow MoviePass users to see IMAX and 3D showings using the service. It’s estimated that the premium feature will cost an extra 2-6 bucks a month (per this Business Insider article) and again that seems reasonable, I don’t care for 3D showings so as long as I can opt out and keep my 10 bucks a month plan it’s all good.

Now, this last one really rubs me the wrong way. “High-demand” pricing. Basically, users could be charged extra to see certain movies at certain times if MoviePass thinks it is going to be really popular. Again according to the same Business Insider article I mentioned earlier the extra charge could be as little as 2 bucks but could also go higher. It ain’t about the 2 bucks though you know? It’s the fact that this company has decided that the money they and their customers agreed to isn’t enough. It’s the very idea that this company can decide that even though you agreed to pay 10 bucks a month for this service that they can just charge me a little more to see the newest Marvel movie just because.

Screw that nonsense. Mitch Lowe (CEO of MoviePass) said that they were doing this to encourage people to go see movies on weekdays rather than crowding an opening weekend, which is really weak reasoning on it’s own, but also added that that it will help ensure, “…that we can continue to offer a valuable service and support the whole enterprise…” and that’s the real reason isn’t it? He knows his company is bleeding money left, right, and center so lets us just start charging extra for big movies because screw our customers am I right? It’s only about getting enough subscribers that we can start bullying the theatre chains and studios into giving them money in the end.

It’s not even that big of a deal in raw dollars, even if they charged me an extra 5 bucks to see Ant-Man 2 and Mission Impossible: Fallout in July I’m still going to get some crazy value from my MoviePass, but this just feels like I’m being done dirty, so it’s just aggravating. Oh well, we all knew this thing was too good to be true didn’t we? Something had to give. I still don’t think it’ll be enough to make the company sustainable, but AMC’s new subscription looks pretty good and actually somewhat sustainable. Later.

#100

This is the 100th post on this silly blog of mine. Some might think this would be a good time to stop and reflect, but I’ll be honest. I have no interest in doing something like that. I’ve had this blog for nearly 4 years now. I originally wanted to pass 100 within the first year. I’m not satisfied with only now reaching 100. Maybe once I get to 1000 I’ll come back and do some reflection, but right now I don’t want to look back and pat myself on the back. I want to keep writing at the pace I’m going at right now, I like the rythm I’m finding right now, and while I’m not totally satisfied with the actual writing, I am happy that I’m not obsessing endlessly about making it perfect to the point where I get so frustrated I just publish whatever and end up pushing hot garbage out. That was not fun to write and I can’t imagine anyone much fun reading it.

I thought briefly about talking about where I wanted to go next with this blog and then caught myself. Every time I’ve made some big plan for what kind of content I was going to make I just end up not doing it so I’ll stick with the making it up as I go sort of vibe I’ve been rocking right now. Besides it’s kind of fun to figure out on the fly exactly what I’m going to talk about on a day to day basis.

That’s all I’ve got for this, no fanfare, just a realistic acknowledgement that this is only a beginning for me. Later.

Shoutouts

I just wanted to write a quick post to thank the people who gave me suggestions for things to listen to and eat on my upcoming road trip. (I’m currently on the road, that came fast.) First up big thanks for Brad who brought up the idea of Audio books, something that hadn’t even crossed my mind. I didn’t end up going with anything he recommended, instead I decided to dive head first into some politics with A Higher Loyalty, former FBI director James Comey’s book. I was sold on this book pretty much as soon as I realized it wasn’t just about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. If it had just been a rehash of that nonsense I would’ve skipped, but I’m genuinely intrigued by the mans career as a whole.

Next up Emma made a great suggestion with a Spotify playlist titled, “Have a Good Day.” Def gonna be a lot of car singing with this playlist. Also the sunflower seed suggestion is definitely one I’m gonna take into consideration for snacks.

Lastly my OG music nerd Chris for pointing me in the way of some… uhh hold on let me look up exactly what genre these groups are… Punk… folk punk… yeah folk punk! It’s a genre that’s very new to me but it’s pretty great to jam to. I especially like Wingnut Dishwasher’s Union, not just because it’s one of the best band names I’ve ever heard, but I also dig their music. So big thanks for that.

Also Rulon, you didn’t actually provide a lot of advice, but I have to admit you got me with the, “listen to all of Taylor Swifts songs” thing.

That’s really all I got for today, I’m making the drive now. 12 hours on the road alone… I’m sure it’ll be fun and I won’t lose my mind. I mean I’ve done it a bunch, I didn’t go insane any of the other times… right?

The Most Insane Press Conference.

Alright, another week and another round-up of movies I saw over the week…

Oh who am I kidding, not one single person is interested in a movie round-up this week. Infinity War looms on the horizon and that is all anyone cares about. Have you heard about Disobedience? It’s a movie starring Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz. It’s about two secret lesbian lovers in the Jewish Orthodox community in New York. Not one peep about that, you’d think at least a few outlets would be mentioning something like this. Nope, and you know why? It releases April 27th, the same day as Infinity War, its doomed to be utterly buried this weekend so why talk about that when there are 100 billion trillion stars of the new Avengers movie to interview?

Did you see the press conference they had for the movie the other day? It was bananas. They’ve got all the major actors, the Russo brothers who directed Infinity War, and Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe.  So like 30ish people up there is already nutty for a press conference. Then Jeff Goldblum is there as well just to moderate this thing. How big does a franchise have to be to get Jeff Freaking Goldblum to MODERATE A PRESS CONFERENCE for you? I’m genuinely asking, cause it’s somewhere between Marvel and Harry Potter.  The insanity didn’t even stop there, they also had one of those bingo things with the balls inside it.

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One of these things!

Why is that there? Well as Mr. Goldblum explains, he’s going to pick a ball out from the thing and on it, it has either the name of an actor/actress or a category like “from Wakanda” or “Wears a cape”. If an actor/actress’s name comes up then the crowd gets to ask that person a question, if it’s a category than someone gets to pick actors whose character fits into the said category. There are so many people in these movies that they have to use bingo to determine who gets asked questions and how many. It’s just pure insanity to me.  I mean I did watch the whole thing, I mean of course I did, I was so taken by the premise of it I had to see how it all unfolded. Honestly, I was pretty disappointed because most of the questions were just bad attempts to bait actors into giving up plot details.

I’ll link the whole thing here if you’re interested in watching this absurdity yourself.

It’s pretty obvious by now that I’m excited about this movie. It’s the culmination of ten years and 18 movies, it’s a big event no matter how you slice it. Even if I wasn’t nerding out about all the superhero stuff I’d be nerding out about the absurd scale of this whole thing. It’s going to be an event and I can’t wait to take part in it.

I’m not going to see it opening weekend. I’m traveling up to Canada to see family later this week and even with how excited I am to see this movie the idea of having to actually pay full price has me hesitating. Curse MoviePass for not working in Canada! Why have you conditioned me to not spending money to see movies? Now I must wait to see this movie and the whole time I’ll be worried about spoilers.

Although maybe I shouldn’t worry about spoilers though. Maybe it could be an interesting experiment to go into a new Marvel movie having already been thoroughly spoiled by the events of it. It would allow me to focus a lot more attention on whether or not Infinity War is actually all that good or are people just losing their minds about how X died, or that they couldn’t believe Y lived, and Z hooked up with X before they died, etc. It might be interesting to see if it can hold up post-spoiler. Then again my instincts tell me that it’s a bad idea and I’m just asking to have my experience downgraded for no good reason. I wouldn’t have to worry every time I use Twitter/Snapchat/Reddit/Facebook/YouTube/The Whole Internet that I’m about to have the movie spoiled for me though. That sounds kinda nice. Idk, I’ll make my mind up about purposing spoiling the movie for myself while I’m driving for 12 hours tomorrow.  Should be lots of time to think this one through…

 

I Feel Pretty

Aight let’s get something out of the way. Going into this movie I expected it to be bad, and that’s not an entirely fair thing to think going into any movie. I don’t think it’s a huge deal but I do think it’s important for me to take note of biases like that before talking about a movie. That being said let’s move forward.

You can watch a brief version of my thoughts or read a little more in-depth down below.

I Feel Pretty is a new comedy movie starring Amy Schumer, the movie follows the story of Renee Bennett, a girl who just doesn’t feel like she’s pretty enough. One day through the magic of a head injury Renee believes that she’s become unequivocally beautiful and to her the image in the mirror confirms it. Surging with confidence now Renee begins to make all her dreams come true but yadda yadda yadda we’re all painfully aware of where this story is going. It’s a very simplistic Rags to Riches story, and that’s fine so long as the movie is funny though right?

I guess that leads directly to my big question for this movie, “Can I Feel Pretty maintain it’s laughs or does it get bogged down with other things?”

The answer is… it can… sorta…kinda? Let’s look at it this way, there are a lot of genuinely good laughs to be had in this movie, unfortunately those laughs mostly come from the basic premise of, “boy oh boy isn’t that Amy Schumer awkward and lovable sometimes?” and it’s just not enough to carry a whole movie. That’s not to bash on Schumer at all, I actually think her performance was pretty solid and heartfelt, it’s more of a problem in the writing department because they don’t seem to know how to really utilize the rest of the characters in the movie. That basic premise of Schumer’s awkwardness = hilarity also gets fairly stale as the movie progresses which leaves most of the final act’s jokes feeling very flat.

Ok before I go on I just have to bring something up. There are these two time-lapses of the New York cityscape (I’m pretty sure that’s a word) that are just randomly inserted into the movie and serve no actual purpose. They don’t advance the story, they don’t show character development, they don’t even set up a joke. They literally just tell the audience, “Hey it’s the next day now”  and that could’ve been done by just cutting to the next scene so yeah, no real reason to have those in there other than someone thought, “Those time-lapses that Casey Neistat does in his videos are really cool looking, we should do it on our movie!” That’s just a nitpick from me, but I need to make it really clear that it bothered me a lot.  Ok back to the movie.

Remember when I was talking about the final act of this movie? Let’s go back there for a minute. I’m pretty used to comedy movies having pretty lackluster finales because they stop the jokes to hit on whatever the message they were trying to deliver and most of the time it feels a bit forced, but I Feel Pretty’s finale is like really really forced.  Sort of like the movie decided, “Ya know we all know where this is going let’s just cut some corners and get to the good stuff ok?” It’s not ok movie, cutting those corners took me completely out of the movie and made it impossible to really get behind the bigger emotional moments.

The last thing before I wrap up, let’s talk character motivation. For about 90% of this movie Renee’s big desire is to be beautiful, so she exercises, wears trendy, and is on top of her makeup game. She eats like absolute garbage though. This doesn’t make any sense. Surely someone, as obsessed with her physical image, would be aware that all the exercise in the world can’t make up for eating junk constantly.  It just strikes me as this huge gap in the logic of the movie that I noticed early on and continued to bother me throughout.

Aight so let’s wrap this thing up, despite the significant amount of bashing I just did there I did enjoy this movie, just barely. It’s the kind of movie that if my theoretical girlfriend dragged me to I wouldn’t be upset that I had seen it, but I would walk out of the theatre and never think about it again. Unless I made a review for it then I’d remember it for a few hours more and then forget about it forever. I Feel Pretty is just one of those movies that 2 years from now no one except diehard Amy Schumer fans will remember. For me that’s like a C+, see ya later I’m out.

Car Trips

Aight so I’m heading up to Canada for my sister’s wedding about a week from now and it’s a 12 hour drive each way so I’m staring down the barrel of 24 hours of being cooped up in my car. I’m gonna need some stuff to listen to during that time. Normally I just make long playlists myself and listen to that, but lately, I’ve found that endlessly listening to music is not really all that enjoyable and therefore I really haven’t been finding anything new to listen to. It’s not like I can just listen to the same stuff over and over again. Damn is a good album, but I need a little more. Also driving for really long periods of time listening to just music makes the journey feel way longer and that makes this sorta drive borderline unbearable.

So I need some other stuff to listen to, and I’d like to implore anyone reading this to make recommendations. I’m mainly looking for podcasts or other spoken word stuff, but I’ll still be mixing in some music so if you have something that you just really feel the need to recommend I’ll look into it as well. Also if you have weird little things to occupy your time like driving games or something like that I’d be really appreciative.

Oh, also car snacks, healthy ones. Normally I just eat garbage, but I’m trying to eat healthier so something I won’t feel guilty about.

I’d also ask if there’s anything I should check out on my drive, but I’ve done the drive between Provo and Magrath a bunch of times, there really isn’t anything worth stopping for. Maybe there’s some stuff in Salt Lake City, but that’s less than an hour away from me now, I can just go see whatever it is some other time. Not really something you’d make a stop on a road trip.

This feels a bit odd like I just want other people to basically plan my whole road trip for me and I’m just being lazy. I’m the one that’s actually doing the 12 hours of driving though, and it’s not like anyone has to recommend anything. Maybe I’m just overthinking this. Probably. Later.

Rampaging Through the Isle of Dogs at Chappaquiddick

Alright, last week I said I wanted to move back to individual reviews and then on Tuesdays having just a brief write-up. Well turns out finals are busy so I just stuck with something I had already done. Later.

Kitchen Stuff

Just a little over a week ago I was having one of those nights where I just couldn’t get to sleep for whatever reason. Rather than lay in my bed and allow my frustration to simply build though I opted to do what any normal person might do in this situation. I cleaned my kitchen.

Why my kitchen exactly? Well, for one thing, it’s a total disaster constantly.  I’m not trying to throw my roommates under the bus I played a role in allowing it to get this dirty as well, but basically I stumbled out of bed, made my way to the kitchen flipped on the light, looked out at it and thought, “I’m so done with this, good heavens something has got to give.” or something like that, I don’t record my every thought. Just take a look at it though!

This is just disgusting. So I rolled up my sleeves, got some rubber gloves, and went to work. Here’s where I left it a few hours later.

 

It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s no a habitable place of cooking. If you’re curious about all the food left on the counter is about, it was all the stuff I couldn’t confirm who it belonged to, otherwise I would’ve just put in their respective cupboards.

Ya know what the real boon of doing this though? It’s been a full week and the kitchen still looks just about this clean. Apparently having a kitchen you’re not ashamed of has inspired my roommates and I do actually be adults and clean up after ourselves. It’s kind of a miracle. So let this be a friendly reminder to everyone out there who is getting really frustrated with their roommates, sometimes taking the inititive can help you have the apartment you really want and you don’t even have to be a dick about it. If that doesn’t work just try having an actual conversation with them, I’ve heard that’s good too. Later.

New Phone Who Dis?

Well my poor iphone 5 has officially kicked the bucket.

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Technically the phone still works, even though the screen looks so brutal. However, after a drop in the toilet ( before any bodily functions for those curious, silver linings Y’all) it stopped taking a charge. Plugging it in could keep the battery right where it was, so basically I could keep it on life support. That’s no way to live though is it?

So I went down to Wal-Mart yesterday and got myself a shiny new upgrade! All the way to an iPhone 6! WHOOOOO I’m living like a king now baby! Yup, I’m still a full 2 generations behind with smartphones, but really I’m ok with that. The camera on a 6 is good enough, it has internet access, it can make calls and send texts. I really don’t need more from it.

I have been on a pay as you go plan for the past 2 years, so maybe come fall when they have all the back to school deals going I’ll make the plunge and get a really nice phone on a contract, but that’s a decision for future Jonny and it will be future Jonny’s bank account that takes that hit, not present Jonny. Present Jonny likes his money right where it is.

What I’m getting around to is that I have a new phone, so if you want to send me your contact info so I have it just send a text to….

PSHHHHH There’s no way I’m just gonna put my phone number up here on a blog like that. That’s just asking for trouble. I’ll post it on my Facebook because The Zucks already snagged that info and sold it a dozen times, so it really doesn’t matter much if I put it on there. Plus it’s like 6.4 percent less likely that an insane stalker gets a hold of it that way. I did the math on that one, it’s exactly 6.4 percent less likely, and I know what you’re thinking, “Jonny how egotistical of you to think that you would have a stalker!” you are right, and that’s why I made the joke. Later!

Tinder

Ya, you know exactly where this is going. I got on Tinder last week. I also got off Tinder last week. Ho boy is that not a service for me.

This is going to sound oh so condescending but the main problem about Tinder, for me, is that it’s so outrageously shallow. In my brief time with the app, I developed a rule that helped govern which direction I swiped. If a girl didn’t bother to write anything meaningful in her profile, it didn’t matter how outrageously attractive she was that’s a hard left swipe. I mean come on, I want to know more about you than six of your most polished selfies could ever tell me. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I want to make a real connection, not just some dumb fling.

AHHHH YOU MORONIC TOOL I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU ACTUALLY SAID THAT IT’S TINDER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, THE WHOLE POINT OF THE APP IS TO SET UP FLINGS IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A REAL CONNECTION TRY TALKING TO GIRLS IN REAL LIFE REEEEEEE.

Look I’m not faulting Tinder for my bad experience with it. I didn’t think it would go well but thought, “ya know at worst that’ll make a decent blog post.”

I just want to say one last thing about Tinder. That ish is unhealthy. If you’re looking for a quick fling I that’s your business and I’m not here to condemn you for it, but like good gravy, I could feel my mind switching gears within the first hour of using it. Remember my rule about writing meaningful things in profiles? Within that first hour, I was trying to bend those rules, lowering my standards for what qualified as a meaningful profile just because the picture was of a particularity cute girl. I could feel my animal instincts taking over as I ignored smarter thoughts because “wow her hair looks really good in that one.”

Ya know what the crazy part about it all is? It sounds like I’m bashing Tinder, and I am, but if I said this to someone who worked at Tinder, they’d totally take it as a compliment. “What you’re telling me is that our product is working precisely how we want it too? Great! thanks for letting us know. We’ll just continue to do exactly what we’re doing then and almost certainly printing money. Toodles!” I don’t know, something just feels messed up about a business encouraging us to behave in such a way.

Did I really just type that out, and then leave it in there? Wow, I’m just being top notch pretentious today. Oh well, later.