Jola Naibi

Writer and amateur photog. I seek to inspire and inform with the words I write and share and the photos I take. I have written a book of short stories: Terra Cotta Beauty, and I am working on a lot more. Reading and writing fuel my energy. In reading, I explore this vast and diverse world, in writing, I employ my over-active imagination and address the 'what-if' questions that life often throws at us.


Coming Soon to a Computer Screen near you!

By on February 7, 2007

It has been years since I went to a movie theater to see a movie…I only ever watch movies either on pay per view or on HBO for a number of reasons.

First the idea of paying $15 (and above) to see a movie when you can pay $3.99 and watch it multiple times -albeit a little later- makes little economic sense to me.

Also, it seems that the sooner the movies have been released, the sooner you see them on TV. One movie that I debated on seeing in the cinemas was Wimbledon (starring Paul Bettany and Kirsten Durnst) – the combination of my passion for tennis and a romantic storyline…too hard to resist if you ask me. Maybe I took too long deciding because the next thing I know I am watching the movie on HBO and recently I saw it being shown on TBS or TNT…regular cable!!!

The other reason I have not been to the movies is the lack of time…finding the time to organize a trip to the cinema seems like an awfully difficult task at this stage of my life. You have to find a cinema, drive there, find adequate parking, fight the urge not to buy anything consumable once in, especially since the prices skyrocket to twice what you pay for them outside.

Well, it seems that the movie industry has decided to cater to the whims and fancies of people who think like me and don”t see their movies in the theaters. With this new revolution, pretty soon everyone will be watching movies from their computer screens. The American TV industry already jumped on the bandwagon – if you miss the latest episode of your favorite primetime show (Lost and Heroes) … you are guaranteed to watch the full episode online the next day (with less annoying commericals ) –

Well, recently more and more movies are being released for download only (legal download that is). A few short clips were airing on during a few months last year but the most visible recent movie release for download is an 81 minute film starring the legendary Morgan Freeman and the superb Paz Vega (who was excellent in Spanglish) called 10 items or less. You can download this and other movies from ClickStar.

Clickstar is a digital entertainment company which is partially owned by Morgan Freeman and it aims to provide movies online as a way of getting the movies straight from the directors to the audience. 10 items or less is the first movie to be released from them and although I have not seen it yet, I assume I will be less convincing in getting anyone to see it than the stars themselves who are in the following clip

In other news, anyone watching the intense rivalry between video rental companies NetFlix and Blockbuster must be sitting on the ringside and enjoying the scene. First there was Blockbuster which was the unrivaled service provider in terms of renting videos the only snag was you had to return it at a certain time otherwise you are slapped with huge late fees. That reality hit home for me a few years ago when I had to cough up the equivalent of the price of a DVD player for late fees when someone rented a few movies under my name and skipped town. I remember handing over the money to the cashier together with my rental card fuming and promising myself never to rent videos again.

Then Netflix came on the scene…now you could rent videos online -in short take as long as you need – and better still not have to worry about the late fees, since you could keep them as long as you wanted to. All this is done through the mail…what more could be better than coming home from a hard day at work/school and finding a movie with your favorite stars in it. Well…not wanting to be outdone, Blockbuster, came up with the same service and their tag line was this time instead of waiting for the post to arrive you can drive to the nearest blockbuster and return the movies that you could keep for as long as you wanted without the late fees. It seemed like the Blockbuster deal was better than what Netflix offered until recently when Netflix has announced that it will be providing a new service which would let its customers stream videos for a fee as oppposed to the DVD by mail service that it provides. How is that for original!

So it’s time for movie lovers like me who can’t make it to the movie theaters to sit back and relax, because in this digital age, the next movie will be coming soon…to a computer screen near you.