Not unlike our gas prices, the penalties for DVD piracy are apparently going up. I recently rented an older DVD (“Network”, to be precise) and because my DVD player was manufactured circa 1995, I was unable to forward through the obligatory federal notices about illegal copying prior to the beginning of the film. Parked on my sofa with my extra large sweet iced tea, I happened to notice that the penalty for piracy on said page was $250,000 and went on about my movie watching. Last week, I rented “Gone Baby Gone” (most twisted movie plot I’ve ever experienced – Ben must have learned a thing or two from the whole J.Lo debacle after all) and noticed that the penalty for piracy this time was $260,000. So here’s my take: if $250,000 didn’t dissuade you from illegally burning those copies of “Dan in Real Life” for your buddies at the gym, would $260,000? The point here is, shop for the best rates before you illegally copy dvd’s. You could save yourself 10G’s.
Although there finally look to be some great flicks out (and a long time coming, I might add) I am for some reason mentally unable to get myself to the actual movies theatre. My litmus test these days is whether I really want to shell out $13 for a movie, plus another $5 for an extra-small coke watered down with too much ice. Standing at the concession stand, my face always gives me away. Says the 12 year old working behind the counter, “only $2 more for the gallon big gulp size, ma’am (ma’am?!). And you get a free refill, too”. As if my bladder can possibly retain 72 gallons of liquid in a two hour time span at this age. What i’m saying is that $18 for one person to spend on a movie is about as steep as the Cliff Hanger game on the “Price is Right” and believe me, I hum that little theme song all the way to theatre #12. Don’t they realize I could have not 2, but 3, glasses of decent red wine at my local watering hole for that amount? At least I’d get a buzz from that 9 times out of 10.
Money notwithstanding, I believe my real issue is one of control. While Canadian audiences are FAR more respectful than American audiences are with regards to being quiet and not talking or answering their phone during movies, I have no control over when the kid behind me who snuck in to see the R rated movie and who constantly kicks my chair is going to loudly scarf down his popcorn and yell over to his friend “what did he say?”. I can neither spread out in my pajamas under my favorite blanket nor hit rewind when I inevitably fall asleep for 15 minutes during the movie as I’m known to do. I’m not saying I’ll never go to the movies again – far from it. I thoroughly enjoyed “Juno” when I saw it and while I wasn’t necessarily convinced that 16 year olds today are anywhere near as witty as the character was written, I also know that a movie about a 29 year old pregnant woman who smokes a pipe could pass as a documentary on being a grandmother in Alabama…and I’m bettin’ nobody would fork over 18 bucks for that one.