Review: Moviepass and Recent Movies

Moviepass and I have a love/hate relationship.  It is hard to rationally hate a program that allows you to see 4 movies a month (or a movie a day, depending o your plan) for a fraction of the regular cost.  And yet.
Most people who have Moviepass, myself included, still somehow manage it.

Why?
Because the customer service is straight out of the seventh circle of hell.  Imagine the speed of the DMV and the helpfulness of, well, something extremely unhelpful.

I’ll share my own personal story, but if you want details there are tons of anecdotes online of various customer service fails.

Having heard about Moviepass while in France, I was very excited to sign up when I returned to the US.  As I understood it, Moviepass was a risky business venture that would allow one to see a film a day for a fixed price (approximately $10).  My guess is that they operate this way in the hopes of raising theater attendance enough the theaters come to rely on the new influx of viewers, and are willing to give into Moviepass’ demands. A cut of the ticket or concessions sales, perhaps?
Anyway, I have no idea how that’s working for them or even if it is actually their planned course of action.

When I got back to the states Moviepass had just stopped offering one-a-day passes in favor of four movie a month passes and access to some radio channel.  The two plans are approximately the same price.  When I first saw this on the Moviepass website, I emailed asking if it were no longer possible to sign up for the film-a-day option.  After a week and a half with no answer, I subscribed to the only plan available to me- the four film a month one.  It has been just over a month since my account was activated (ten days later, when I received my card).  I have never used my radio account (as pretty much expected).  Maybe another week later, around the time I got the Moviepass card, I received an email back from a customer service representative, telling me that they had checked my account and I was subscribed to the four-film option. No shit, Sherlock. That’s because I didn’t receive a response for more than half a month.
Shortly thereafter, Moviepass beginning offering the unlimited option again. I emailed explaining my position and saying that I would like to switch plans.  After another rather extended wait, I was told that that was not recommended and that I could wait until my three months of plan had elapsed and then could switch.  If you cancel your plan before it is completed, you must wait something like nine months before you can sign up again.
So yes, Moviepass, super bad customer service.
Also, not my complaint, but the complaint of many others- they have a tendency to change the conditions of your contract without giving you the option to opt out, without forewarning, without any price change.
Meh.  It’s a first world problem to the tenth degree but it’s frustrating and rude.

Films I’ve seen since I got home:

No spoilers.

A Quiet Place: I wasn’t super into the trailer but heard so many good films I had to see it. They were all true, it’s amazing.  And worth seeing in a theater, the eerie and tense silence of everyone in the audience is a really interesting atmosphere.

Solo: Not so great, guys.

Deadpool 2: I liked Deadpool better, in large part because it was such a breath of fresh air and had never been done before. Of course, a sequel doesn’t have that advantage. The humor was still good, if you liked Deadpool the first you’ll probably like this, and it was a fun watch, but I don’t need to see it again.

Will You Be My Neighbor?: Mr. Rogers is a prince among men and we should all emulate him.

American Animals: I have very mixed feelings about this film and it’s subject: the true story of four college freshmen who plan and execute a heist on one of their campus’s rare book library.  They’re both disgustingly entitled and kind of sympathetic. The soundtrack is great.  Some interesting film and narrative choices are made that slow down the action and pull you out of the story a bit, but they ultimately make the film much more unique and interesting and give it more depth.

Hereditary: An amazing amazing film. Scary, yes. But there are so many layers to it, so many readings and so much subtle foreshadowing that you only notice in hindsight. Ultimately a viewing experience that left me feeling respected by all involved in the filmmaking process, which is pretty rare. And it’s a film for which close-watching really pays off. Like you feel rewarded watching it by all of the little ties you notice. Brilliant.

Coming up next?

Incredibles II.

 

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2017 Films I’m Looking Forward To

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I saw The Big Sick the day before yesterday! It was pretty good but not as excellent as I was hoping it would be. It’s hard to get a romcom right- I mean it’s hard to make an intelligent romcom.  Without spoilers, a few of the things I found lacking: a number of the best jokes were used in the trailer, and I found myself wishing I hadn’t seen the trailer so I could appreciate the film more.  Kind of says something negative re: rewatchability.
Also, the movie, despite being a romantic comedy, is too much about the male main character, Kumail Nanjiani. Given that the female protagonist is in a coma for the majority of the film (not a spoiler; that’s the premise), it’s an easy hole to fall into. But even when Emily’s parents (Holly Hunter!) show up to stand in for her, the film still leans into being a coming of age story for Kumail Nanjiani (which, he did do a lot to make this film happen, so I can see how it focuses on his experience).  The romantic plot line and family merging took a backseat to his personal development, to the extent that Emily’s coma feels more like a plot device to trigger Kumail’s transformation, rather than the premise of the film.  And even though she’s based on a real person, Zoe Kazan’s Emily  (through no fault of Zoe Kazan’s, who had to spend most of the film being  coma patient) comes across as more manic-pixie-dreamgirl. Probably as a result of the script more than anything else.
But it was a good movie. It was funny and quick, even if it was not as insightful or deep as I was hoping it would be. Continue reading “2017 Films I’m Looking Forward To”

I Loved Baby Driver (Spoiler Free)

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I loved Baby Driver (trailer here!) extremely much but it kind of took a backseat to other things going on in life. Things like 1) AMERICA (‘MURICA) and 2) FRANCE and 3) TRAVEL to the quiet wilds of Pennsylvania.

So now let’s get down and dirty and talk about Baby Driver because it’s really excellent (assuming you like any one or combination of the following: heist films, gangster films, action, car chases, and/or music- should be most people, I think). Continue reading “I Loved Baby Driver (Spoiler Free)”

Hell or High Water: Movie and Music

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Vive le Proletariat!

I wasn’t expecting to like Hell or High Water very much.  Just look at the picture- it’s such a very guy movie, with the rugged West, rugged facial hair, guns, and even rugged-er cowboy hats.

But actually I liked it because, despite failing the Bechdel test (and every other female inclusion test) with a resounding plop, it’s super anti-capitalist! Continue reading “Hell or High Water: Movie and Music”