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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Links 6/4

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Due to a weekend-trip hiatus (NYC was great, thanks), this links post is a bit later than usual.  Coincidentally, many of these links seem to have a bit of an LGBTQ theme.
Happy Pride!

Let’s get the smell stuff out of the way first:

  • Auklets are a bird species in which males demonstrate fitness not only by very fancy and sexy crests, but seemingly also by emitting a strong tangerine scent, research finds.
  • Study finds that activation of a certain smell receptor speeds the progression of prostate cancer, suggesting new treatment methods via blocking of the receptor.
  • Department stores reevaluate traditional beauty and fragrance marketing techniques as the beauty industry changes.

All the feels:

Film thoughts:

Current events:

Odds and Ends:

Friday Links 5/18

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Happy Friday! It seems like a pretty good day 9a bit nippy) and I’m looking forward to some exciting doings this weekend.

How about you?

Links and Things

After a short hiatus that coincided with finals period and stress and projects, I am back in the US of A and home in Boston where there are cats and vegan food and gardens that need working it.

And a smallish backlog of links.

Friday Links 1/19

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Happy Friday! I have the day off, which is many kinds of wonderful (not least because I get to go out and buy a pastry and check some travel guide out from the library and maybe find a waterproof pair of boots.)
(You know, the real problem is that I just want these ten year old riding boots to be new again, or to find a pair of Chelsea boots that are pretty similar. But the Vogue right now seems to be for combat boots or boots that are combat-adjacent so I’m having some trouble).

Anyway, links!

  • Collider (one of my favorite youtube channels on the film industry, frequently mentioned on the blog) doesn’t usually discuss anime, but Emma’s here to decode some common visual tropes and gags.
  • More things I’ve learned from my amazing and diverse ISIPCA classmates? Dan from Australia taught me about ‘Firehawk’ raptors, which spread bushfires to flush out their prey.
  • There’s a Star Wars-themed Creperie in Paris. The dishes are named after the planets by which they were inspired.  Not at all vegan-friendly, but I’m so amused.
  • I know I hate on GP’s goop, but this is actually a pretty good article about how our negativity is in many ways an adaptive strategy, a self-defense mechanism to protect us from past threats- and so a lot of negativity may no longer really be necessary (and may actually be counterproductive) to leading happy lives.  I know I sound super woo woo so I’ll stop, but it does resonate with a lot of what I’ve observed and thought re: my own negativity and cynicism.
    But yeah, no, I only skimmed the article.
  • What do I really want? Continuing to love Mari Andrew’s illustrations.
  • Also Poorly Drawn Lines’s send up of this classic Lion King scene.
  • Screen Junkies (another favorite youtube channel on the film industry) presents their annual Screens awards for the best and worst in movies and television.
  • Unforgettable movie style moments. Some (Keira Knightley’s green Atonement dress) would definitely be on my own list (which, hey, will maybe happen someday).
  • I hope you made it through Blue Monday (the most depressing day of the year, apparently) okay. If you’re still feeling a bit of residual down-ness, here are some lovely feel-good movie dance scenes. I still always listen to Dancing Queen when I need a boost. I have to say I think Moses Supposes from Singin’ in the Rain is actually more feel good than the title song, but whatever. Again, maybe this is a moment when a personal list is needed.
  • You’ve heard of the KonMari Method. Maybe you’ve even partaken in some Swedish death cleaning (I’m only 22 and I know I have. One needs to be prepared)- now t’s time for the hot decluttering trend of 2018: American Apocalypse Purging.
  • Another anticipated 2018 film (see earlier post): Love, Simon.
  • I watched I, Tonya and thought it was pretty good (Blades of Glory is still the best figure skating film), but you know what I’d love to see? A film about figure skating legend Surya Bonaly. Because a backflip is almost as difficult as the Iron Lotus.
  • The mindset of men and women re: sex and during sex itself, and how this influences the way women write about sex.  A really interesting read.
  • A very cogently written account of the issues with Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water. It’s always brilliant when you find an article that explains your gut feelings. Beautiful film, serious problems.
  • There’s a Colette film coming! Keira Knightley’s going to star! I’m not sure those two go together! But I love both separately!
  • On Aziz Ansari and sexual assault vs sexual coercion: I don’t believe sexual coercion is sexual assault. But it’s not exactly enthusiastic consent either.  I don’t think it’s too much to ask men to interpret mixed signals, particularly when sexual violence against women is so common and fear of the consequences of refusal is so real.
  • If becoming a perfumer doesn’t work out, maybe I can go into gourmet ice cream.

Saturday Links (and an aside on pastry)

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I am indeed more sane today! It’s amazing what a Chipotle burrito can do to pull back together the resolute American spirit.

And as goes my stress- I had my favorite pastry and a beautiful pear for breakfast today, went to the pastel exhibit at Petit Palais that I was looking forward to, bought a few things that I’ve been searching for (for years), and have a classic financier tucked in my desk for breakfast tomorrow (with a persimmon and maybe some chocolate (?).
So what is a classic financier I hear you ask? The almond one. My bakery had a pistachio-chocolate one (half and half), the almond, and a cherry one.  How does one choose?
Well, I like fruit in pastry, but I usually have fresh fruit with my breakfast (I stole an excellent pear from my landlords today) and didn’t want to be outfruitied.  And then I was considering pistachio, but when I got there realized I wasn’t feeling chocolate.  It’s always best to start with the classic anyway.

So life is good.

Here are my links

Best Films I Watched Over Break

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We’re on the roll again which means a more sparse posting schedule. So here’s an easy list based entirely on fact and doesn’t require the energy of me forming subjective opinions.

The sad thing: I have kept so well abreast of new releases this year that there was nothing novel to watch on the plane. So I watched Moana again (I cried) and then fell asleep watching Dunkirk. Because the struggles of the RAF are so relaxing.

Without further ado

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    Bien sur.
  • Saving Mr. Banks
    The irascible creator of Mary Poppins battles with the demons of her past and Walt Disney’s obsession with animated penguins. Just excellent.
  • The Shape of Water
    Beautiful and atmospheric GdT film that didn’t live up to my unreasonably high expectations but was still sublime.  Beautiful soundtrack, beautiful acting, beautiful images.
  • Undertow/Contracorriente
    I’ve written about this already on my list of my favorite films of 2017, here.
  • A Man Called Ove
    And this would have been on the list (probably) except that I saw it in January. It’s a heartbreaking Danish film about an old man determined to follow his late wife to the grave but whose suicide plans keep being interrupted by noisy neighbors, people in need of help, and a stubborn stray cat.  It gave me feelings deep in my chest.

The takeaway: Irascible adults are the butter on my toast at the moment (Ove, Luke Skywalker, PL Travers). Fittingly, I’m starting on Three Billboards now, featuring the always eloquently irascible Frances McDormand.