Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Post - Just hit "Print"!

I just saw the Oscar-nominated "The Post", using MoviePass of course! (See "MoviePass - Fulfilling those 2018 resolutions".)

The movie does a great job of bringing back the look and feel of the Vietnam-War era, but I did notice one concession to modern times. Early on, where scenes show the illicitly gathered "Pentagon Papers" being photo-copied. While the nearly room-sized, single-page input machine seemed to correspond to what I remember of photocopiers in those days, the "button" shown being pushed to initiate the copy process was labeled "Print" - something I find implausible in those days. It was "copying" not "printing" after all!

Only a few decades later, when the Multi-Function Peripheral era was beginning, that the idea of reproducing a printed page was just another way of printing!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

My 12th Anniversary on Blogspot

Being someone who is tuned in to timelines and history, I like LinkedIn for its emphasis on anniversaries. While they seem to come along more frequently these days (!), it's nice to hear from friends and contacts who are prompted to "like" or send a note when one of my anniversaries comes up. (It's also a good way to get a reminder that perhaps the old LinkedIn profile is, yes, a little old - anniversaries don't count when they're for jobs or other endeavors that are no longer active, in my opinion anyway.)

This month (January 2018) it happens to be my 12th anniversary of beginning to blog on "Blogspot", i.e. right here! While I have experimented with Medium and other platforms I keep coming back to "old reliable", so the anniversary is valid and any and all likes and comments are appreciated!

Friday, January 12, 2018

MoviePass - Fulfilling those 2018 resolutions!

A deal between MoviePass and Costco was quite popular, and extended beyond the holidays.

Unlike many, I am a pretty big believer in New Year's resolutions. I give them thought in the weeks leading up to the beginning of the year, and don't feel the need to finalize them until sometime after the year has started. I like to spread them around between categories including the more typical health and fitness, professional, hobbies, and to me, the most important, fun!

Like many other to-do-list advocates know, there is great value in making sure at least a couple of my New Year's resolutions are very achievable, if not already in the bag. For 2018, one of those has been obtaining and using MoviePass, which I had become aware of during 2017 but had not acted on. In what seemed like a deal too good to be true, MoviePass requires a modest monthly fee (around the price of seeing one first-run movie), but then lets the holder attend theatrical-release movies (2D only) at the clip of up to one per day for no extra charge. This seemed like something I had to get going on for 2018!

So with the resolution of "get a MoviePass and use it a lot in 2018" I took advantage of an even somewhat better deal (available in December and early January but expired as of the 10th) and ordered a pre-paid annual MoviePass for $89.99 to Costco members. (See graphic and link above.)

So I now have hands-on experience with MoviePass, and can relate a mostly positive outcome but can also offer some advice. First, the good news - as you wait several weeks for the fulfillment cycle to get your MoviePass card (essentially an "ATM" MasterCard debit card) you will no doubt have questions and one will be, "What theaters accept the pass?" From my experience, and in my community, the simple answer is "all". That includes a favorite "indy" (aka "art house") venue and the multiple second-run theaters around town.

The bad news, though readers may not foolishly make this mistake, is the MoviePass is for one person, only. Maybe as the result of being part of a "couple" all these years, somehow I managed to figure the MoviePass I was buying through Costco was going to be good for two people, i.e. two simultaneous admissions. It's not!

When the one-card/one-person rule dawned on me, it was time to order another one for my partner. Not ready to make a commitment to a second annual pass, I ordered a three-month pass directly from the company, for $30. That was several weeks ago, and I expect the card in the mail any day now. However, that's where a final piece of advice comes in - be patient (or more accurately, forgiving.) I found their web site to be pretty glitchy and incomplete, and was faced with an inexplicable error message the first time I tried registering card number two - thankfully, it went through the following day, triggering a confirmation email and initiating the two-week (hopefully) wait for the physical card to arrive in the mail.

(BTW the patience/forgiveness thing was not applied universally. A recent Marketwatch story chronicled frustrations on the part of other would-be users. See "Thousands of MoviePass customers have been charged for cards they never received.")

Four movies in the first 11 days of the year - as captured in this iPhone screenshot. "Check" on this one for 2018!
I promised that "forgiving" advice was my last, but let me add another tidbit or two. Since using your MoviePass is a two-step process, first comes confirming the movie on your smartphone (I forgot, smartphone-less individuals need not apply). Then, interacting with a person in the box office who will swipe your card comes next. Don't worry, all the theater personnel know what a MoviePass is, so don't be afraid to ask for their help!

As they used to say closing my favorite movie-reviews show, "We'll see you at the movies!".