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Sunday Brunch: New Cinema Releases and On Demand Services

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Brunch isn't really a big deal over here but I love the idea of it - and enjoy going to brunch whilst on holiday. Whenever I'm throwing together ideas for a new story, one of my favourite things to do is go Google Maps-ing for all the nice restaurants in the area. As I have dairy intolerance, I often have to watch what I eat at restaurants so it's not always a fun experience. However, the rise of all those Food Network shows and Pinterest and all the great reviews on Yelp and Chowhound allow me to live vicariously through all you gastronauts. 

So, I thought I'd try and start a new feature (although I'm not good at keeping up features so we'll see) where we go for brunch on a Sunday, anywhere in the world, and have a chat. This week we'll be:

It's autumn, we've had TIFF and Venice, and the London Film Festival is fast approaching, so it can only mean one thing: Oscar season. Hooray. Oscar season means we will actually have choices at the cinema for the next few months. Right now, my to watch list for the next month or so looks like this: The Riot Club, Gone Girl, This Is Where I Leave You, Love Rosie, Before I Go To Sleep, The Hundred Foot Journey. Who has the time to see that many films?! There's also the small problem of finding someone to go with. I'm not opposed to flying solo but only under the cover of the mid-afternoon lull when everyone else is at work/school/in their homes. So my question is: why can't some of these films be released on demand? 

I know some films have been released simultaneously 'in theatres' and at home - Veronica Mars, What Maisie Knew, and the new Amy Poehler/Paul Rudd offering - but I really think this should be extended. I'd quite happily pay £10 or so, the price of a standard ticket, to watch any of the above films in the comfort of my own home. I'd pay more if I could keep it. 

How popular is the cinema these days anyway? Whenever I go (which is becoming more of a rare thing these days) the screens aren't that full and there's never a queue for tickets. The last film I saw was Guardians of the Galaxy in a smallish screen on a Saturday afternoon and I'd say it was 30% full.

Surely by offering these films on demand they would make more money? This would be great for smaller, independent films. I would've loved to watch Boyhood in my own home - especially as I was sick when it came out and there's no way I would've lasted 3 hours (or however long it was) in a dark, cold Odeon screen. 

So, what do you think? Do you still enjoy going to the cinema or, like live TV, are you over it? On demand services have changed the way we access and consume media forever - can we really go back to being dictated to? Told when and where we can watch something we're paying for? Surely, with the amount of choice available nowadays, we have the power? For instance: Let's say If I Stay isn't showing near me? My general feeling is so what? I'll put on Netflix and wait for If I Stay to show up one day. As a result, the studio don't get my money, the cinema chain doesn't benefit from my custom, and Tesco is down a couple of quid (I don't do cinema food - which bright spark thought it'd be a good idea to sell nachos to people locked in a confined space?). Basically, the only winners are me and Netflix. 

Cinema chains, studios, on demand services - it's time to wake up and make this happen, don't you think? 

Next week - we'll talk about shows available on services like iPlayer and whether it's fair to withhold content. 

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