Showing posts from March, 2021

Is Space Trying to Kill Us?

  This past weekend, a giant asteroid named Apophis zoomed by Earth at a comfortable distance of over 10 million miles. Its next pass on April 13, 2029 will be a different story. It’s estimated to pass at a distance of only 19,000 miles from earth, much closer than the moon (which is about 239,000 miles away) and even closer that some of our satellites (which hover at about 22,000 miles). Scientists, at this time, do not believe it will hit Earth, but may travel through a “gravitational keyhole” or what I like to consider an Earth hug that sets up an uncertain future. Space is the ultimate serial killer, indiscriminate and always comes back with more trouble. If all this sounds like a sci-fi movie, you are right! In the recent film Greenland , Gerard Butler plays a man trying to save his family from a giant asteroid and an extinction level event. Asteroids often break up or pull in smaller asteroids while traveling in space, so the movie portrays the impact of several pieces and one g

The Scandalous $19.99 Rental and the End of Cinema

The pandemic shut down movie theaters, the movie industry was in a profit standstill, and thus the $19.99 Premium Video on Demand (PVOD) rental was born. VOD rentals typically range from 99¢ to $6.99 so the markup on PVOD titles was exceptional, even more so when you can purchase a digital movie for an average of $14.99. Some balked, some paid, and now consumers are watching industry titans at war. On March 20, 2020, Universal drew first blood making by making  The Invisible Man  available for home viewing a mere 3 weeks after its theatrical release, a bold unprecedented move that wrecked the nerves of the (flailing?) industry. Until now, a gentleman’s agreement on release windows for mainstream movies was strictly obeyed: first-run was always in theaters, 3 months later on to the home rental market (VOD) and physical BD/DVD sales, a few months later they go to premium cable networks, then 2 years later onto free broadcast networks. Netflix and other streaming services have since chang