I love the movies. And I’d much rather watch them at the theatre, on a giant screen, than on my laptop or the tele.
But watching movies in New York, especially Manhattan, can be outrageously expensive. And not every movie deserves the $US14 price tag.
So, New York forced me to created a four tier movie watching system.
The first tier: “The $US14 movie”
This is the sort of movie that you’re willing to spend $US14 for. Typically this should have a great cast, a compelling storyline, a director you love, or something you know will be entertaining and only fun on a giant screen. For instance I don’t regret paying $US14 to watch 12 Years A Slave, Prisoners, (more for Gravity because I watched it in IMAX 3D), World War Z, Fruitvale Station or Star Trek: Into Darkness. But I do regret paying that much to watch The Purge, Thor 2, Oblivion, The Grandmaster, and The Great Gatsby. This is a pretty universal tier, most people I know will say “meh, that’s not a theatre movie, I’ll rent it.”
If you’re in Manhattan but really committed to the movie-going experience, you can save some cash by taking a short train ride over to Williamsburg Cinemas which asks for a more reasonable $US8. Some AMC Loews theatres also offer $US8 tickets for morning shows.
The second tier: “The $US3-$6 movie”
These are the movies that you’re willing to rent on iTunes or Amazon, the price can vary depending on whether its HD or SD. Second tier movies are those that you want to watch but can 1. Wait a couple of weeks till it’s available to stream online and 2. You don’t want the $US14 price tag.
I shelled out $US14 for Elysium for instance, but it would probably have made a good iTunes movie. Other great iTunes movies/documentaries I saw this year include Mud, Blackfish.
The third tier: “The Netflix movie”
Third tier movies are ones that aren’t quite free, since you pay $US8 for streaming, and an additional $US8 for DVDs, but are close to it. These are also movies that you’ll have to wait a bit longer to see but that you don’t care about enough to seek it out at the movies or rent as a stand alone through providers like iTunes or Amazon.
The fourth tier: “The aeroplane movie”
Finally, there are movies that you should only have to endure if you’re subjected to terrible in-flight programming on an unbearably long flight, when you have no movies on your laptop or smartphone or tablet, and no books or magazines to distract you, and crying babies all around to keep you awake. I’ve watched some real rotters on long flights to India including Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Red Riding Hood, Sinister, and 6 Souls. But when you’ve been on a flight for eight hours and you’re not even half way home, your brain is like mulch anyway.
Of course there could be a fifth tier that’s reserved for movies that should never have been made at all.
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