Hey, look who it is!

Why, it’s Ashleigh – my former assistant/occasional vegetarian dinner companion/arch-nemesis.  Notice something different about her? That’s right.  She’s married!

After trying to duck me for the past three months, my persistence (and phone calls at all hours of the night) finally paid off and she agreed to meet me for lunch at a neutral location: Chez Meme, a place we used to order from all the time back when we were working on Stargate.

Just like old times.

We both went with our old favorite, the pear, brie, and walnut on baguette.  Boy, that took me back.  I even ate some of her fries.  It was just like old times!  Anyway, between the sandwiches and the desserts (a creme brûlée for her and a chocolate marquise for me) we covered the recent exciting developments in our lives (my wonderful year in Toronto, her summer as a Qingyi with the Peking Opera).  We also talked Stargate and she mentioned how much she missed Carl. Carl! She sounds like Akemi who spent all of three months with the guy last year and now speaks of Carl with a fondness usually reserved for family members and beloved pets.  I mean, seriously.  WTF?

After lunch, I walked her back to her car (despite three successive attempts to give me the slip) and we discussed getting together on a regular basis.  She suggested I wait for her call.  I countered with two dinners and one lunch a week.  We settled on I would wait for her call.

Ashleigh, dreamily looking forward to our next get-together.

Came across this article the other day: Tech is tarnishing Tinseltown. It’s an interesting read but with little in the way of surprises, especially for those of us who, for years, have been discussing the changing face of ratings and profit specifically with regard to Stargate: Universe and the Stargate franchise.  The author talks about Hollywood’s recent hard times, the result of plummeting DVD sales and the not-so-coincidental rise of internet streaming services.  And, as much as many in the industry don’t want to admit it, it aint gonna get any brighter.  DVD will NOT be making a comeback and attempts to stem online piracy, even if successful, will not  usher a return to the glory days.  As the article points out: “Not one of the media sectors restructured by the Internet or digital technology has managed to rebuild itself to its previous size. Not recorded music, radio, or newspapers.  More and more it looks like it’s Hollywood’s turn to get a haircut.”  The reality is that, rather than force the technology to fit the long-standing paradigm, we need to throw the old paradigm out the window and rebuild by embracing these new technological developments; find a way to exploit and maximize rather than reshape.  The bottom line is consumers value convenience.  They want to watch what they want when they want and – increasingly – how they want.  And whoever figures out the best way to deliver that stands to make a lot of money.

A reminder to all you masochists members of our Supermovie of the Week Club (in which we review and discuss a different superhero-themed film each week!) that our guest reviewer, and Supermovie of the Week Club host Cookie Monster, will be dropping by on Monday to give us his review of this week’s pick: Condorman.  I know, I know.  It’s been a pretty rough start given that we’re screening these movies in chronological order but just think – we’ll watch suspect movies like Condorman and Superman III now so that we can enjoy brilliant, more contemporary entries like Daredevil and Elektra later.   So track down a copy of Condorman and take part in Monday’s discussion.  After all, you wouldn’t want to miss –

THIS!

24 thoughts on “February 25, 2012: Lunch with my former arch-nemesis! It’s broken so fix it already! A Supermovie of the Week reminder!

  1. I guess the big question is – what form will any new system of media delivery take, which ultimately both pays for development of quality production and is convenient for the consumer. I was wondering about this even back after Brad Wright’s address at the Vancouver convention last year. Besides breaking the sad news about SGU, he went on to discuss how he felt the industry was in such a great state of change and that within a few years the whole model of content delivery would have to be different. It got me thinking and wondering if what we think of as “free TV’ today, will wind up being the AM radio of the video entertainment world. Will ALL worthwhile content be strictly on a user pay basis? But if so, are there enough people actually WILLING to pay anything when digital media makes things so easy to ultimately get for free? Anyway, certainly interesting times, although if you’re in the entertainment industry “Interesting” perhaps is not the right word.

    I’m having some difficulty renting “Condorman” through iTunes – it keeps coming up with some kind of error immediately when it starts to download. Hmm, hope that’s not some kind of sign. I have iTune’s best minds working on the problem, though. If they can’t get it resolved, I think the Disney web site also has it available for rental streaming.

    So nice to see Ashleigh again!

  2. Nice to see Ashleigh again! We need to see some wedding pics! The pear and brie on baguette has me craving one now.

  3. About this piracy thing. I don’t know the hollywood view but in countries like Austria piracy for personal purpose is actually allowed. Means you are allowed by law to download movies anytime you want, because statistics show, that the piracy committed by everydays person is actually not hurting the companies at all. I can only speak for myself since I have seen none of such figures. (Although they must be good, if a whole country legalizes it) I’ve never bought much dvds. And I wouldn’t buy all the movies I’ve watched in my life. All the movies you would buy are the ones you would’ve bought before. For me it’s basically like this. I watch a movie and then decide, if I want to buy it. It actually makes me buy more movies, because I know what I get. For example my brother, my dad and I have a movie collection just because of that fact and I posses all dvds of Stargate (OF COURSE!!!) although they where extremely expensive in Germany and because I watched the English versions first, which where obviously not available in Germany.
    It’s always been like this that big company cry about how bad they are doing when they fail there jobs to actually do something about a problem and rather just watch how everything goes down the drain. Being able to excuse the whole thing with: “It’s the pirates fault” is also a great excuse and does well in the media.

    With the Internet the general idea that everything depends on everyones good will has returned and I for one will buy all the good movies that are out there… in time, when I have the money. Also, I will buy all the Naruto, Bleach, D Grey-Man, Vinland Saga, Übel Blatt, One Piece, etc, etc Manga. I’ve enjoyed them so much that the authors deserve that.
    Piracy is a thing of the poor. And I personally don’t see the reason to buy a movie online when I have to pay productions costs of “dvds” when I don’t get the dvd. So I will not use the online services until they have fair prices. Many of my friends of the same paygrade (which is none, lol) think the same way.

    I get that from a companies point of view it’s difficult. But they haven’t lost anything with me for example, because they never had anything to begin with.

    So that’s that. 🙂

    Birdy

  4. ASHLEIGH!!!!!!! You look great!! Marriage suits you well!

    Now, as my girl on the inside, you must dine with Joey as often as possible…and be sure to sneeze on his salad…or cough heartily on his foie gras. He just loves it when you do stuff like that. 😀

    RE: Changing technology & entertainment. I’ve been struggling with this one for a while, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t care anymore. If something is easy for me to figure out (such as buying a DVD), I’ll watch that movie. I haven’t figured out how to stream movies (mostly because I just don’t care), and my computer is sometime slow…and I have a small screen (which I need due to space restrictions), so it’s just not something I’m interested in.

    In other words, when the stuff I have now dies, I don’t think I’m going to replace it. I want to stock up on some favorite movies and shows, and then…then I’m seriously thinking of disconnecting from the world of entertainment. I don’t have the patience to learn all the new stuff, I’ve invested too much already in the old tech, and I’m sick of Apple and Microsoft and everyone else changing the way I like to do things. I’m sick of being a slave to corporations and their latest technology. In fact, I’m only hanging onto my satellite for Psych and rugby coverage…for now. Sure, there are other shows I like to watch, but I don’t HAVE to watch them. I also have Mr. Das to consider, and he does watch far more tv than I do, but he would probably switch to steaming because he’s a guy, and he likes technology.

    Me? I rarely ‘watch’ anything anymore. Yes, I have the show on, but I’m not paying rapt attention to it. I’m playing solitaire, or tinkering with one of my many hobbies, or folding laundry, or whatever. Five minutes after a show is over I can’t even tell you what it was about…that’s how interested I am in it. Mostly I have the tv on for background noise…a bad habit, but one I find hard to break. (*winks at Sparrowhawk)

    And I’d much rather be doing other things. I’m enjoying metal detecting. I love to play with my Japanese garden. I have my bonsai and now getting into terrariums. I have a pile of books to read. I love combing the beach for fossils, and the occasional shark tooth or arrowhead. In other words, I want to DO things, not watch other people doing things while I’m sitting on my fat behind.

    And that brings me to another thing. I am disliking tv characters more and more. Reality tv has turned even original content shows into dramafests. I don’t hang with people who are always fretting over their relationships and screaming at each other, so why in the world would I want to invite them into my livingroom in the form of a tv show? I honestly do. not. care. who you’re sleeping with, or who you’re upset with because they said this-or-that about you. These tv characters do not represent me, my friends, or what I like. In fact, these are the people I AVOID in real life. They annoy me. The only show I really love is Psych, because that IS me, and my husband (he’s Shawn, and I am totally Gus 😀 ). And I love my British mysteries, but I’m happy to watch them on DVD. Just got Season 5 – which is really Season 1 – of Midsomer Murders. I believe there are something like 90 movies so far, so that will keep me busy for a while. And I really don’t need more than that.

    And then there’s premium cable shows. Some of these I might like, but they push the sex too much, and that just makes me very uncomfortable. I’ve said it before – to me (and outside of a bit of joking), sex is a private, intimate thing that I really do not want to see other people doing. Makes me feel too voyeuristic, and I get very embarrassed for the actors (sex scenes always screw up my suspension of disbelief because I can only think about the actors, and not the characters). And I also get a bit offended that it’s just assumed that every viewer wants a big, steamy sex scene. Maybe they do, but I don’t, and I have the power to turn off the tv.

    So, technology is just hastening the death of entertainment for me. Not just with movies and tv, but even with music. I’m too old school, and I would rather have the tangible product than fuss with a computer all day to get my music, my movies, and my tv. I want it the old way – just turn on the radio, or the tv, and get what I want. I had SO MUCH MORE TIME back then! The computer isn’t making my life easier, it’s not giving me more free time – it’s doing just the opposite. And it’s bombarding me with information that I am just unable to handle. I have too much of a life in the real world to waste time trying to figure out the newest technology, or to sit for hours searching for stuff I want to watch (including reading reviews to see if it’s worth my effort in the first place). So, if there comes a time when I will have to actively search and download/stream every show, I just won’t do it. It’s not that important to me. I have other things I’d rather be doing. I don’t need Hollywood.

    Boy…I sure woke up on the pissy side of the bed, didn’t I? 😛

    das

  5. Nice to see Ashleigh! Does she have enough time to be your full-time nemesis again? I sometimes worry because you don’t seem to have a nemesis right now, what with Ashleigh off living her life and Tara in Toronto.

    The book industry is also going through massive technological changes right now, trailing on the heels of music and movies/tv. What’s really interesting (and by interesting I mean sad and frustrating) is that no one seems to be learning from what other entertainment industries go through. Surely after what happened with music the movie/tv industry couldn’t be surprised it happened to them. And surely after the music and movie/tv changes, the book industry couldn’t be surprised it happened to them. But no one seems to have made any plans for the future, and in fact most of the powers that be are fighting desperately to cling to the old ways. I understand that change is hard, but the business end of entertainment keeps falling more and more behind the technology.

  6. Great to see Ashleigh, and especially appropriate you meet up with her since we’re discussing superheroes. What is a good superhero without a proper arch-nemesis after all? Just a guy in tights showing off…
    As I get older I feel a greater appreciation for the changes my father lived through. From radio as the main home medium, with serials and repeating movies, to modern multi plexes and movies on the go, I feel I’m a decade behind the times. I haven’t the imagination to predict the way things will go, but I am preparing to hold on tight for the ride, perhaps waving a flag and going “wheeeee: as I’m hauled through the 21st centurie. Still working on getting Condorman to download(I REALLY don’t want to sign back up to netflix, but I’m considering it). with luck I’ll be ready tomorrow, though I’ll probably post tuesday morning, as it’s a work day tomorrow.
    Thanks for sharing, and looking forward to Cookie Monster’s post. Meantime, doggie’s giving me the woeful eyes and guilting me into an early trip to the park for a run….

  7. Congrats to Ashleigh! She must a have a great sense of humor to put up with your blog shenanigans 😉 .

    I totally agree with you about DVDs. Just looking at history will bring you to that conclusion. I mean, how many people do you know with cassette players or VCR’s that still use them (1 or 2)? We started streaming movies because when we rent a DVD it’s always scratched. It became such a hassle to take the movie back and get a replacement DVD.
    Just to clarify, you don’t consider Blu-ray discs a DVD correct? If so, you are probably right but to me, a disc is a disc.

    I can’t find Condorman 🙁 . I suppose I’ll just be happy reading Cookie’s review.

  8. Tell Ashleigh we miss her and to take one for the team and have regular lunches with you so we can see her more often!

    ROFLMAO at Tam Dixon. I am not sure Carl would appreciate the “greyhound eyes” but I do! He does. 🙂

    We fell in love with Peter Dinklage in The Station Agent and try to see all his work since. I think he is perfect in Game of Thrones.

  9. Hi, Ashleigh! Congratulations! It’s so nice to see you!

    I can’t find Condorman on Netflix, so I’ll just “enjoy” it vicariously through Cookie’s review. I’m actually looking forward to Daredevil and Elektra. I liked them the first time I saw them.

    The entertainment world is constantly evolving: stage to movie theater to TV to videotape to disc to streaming. Change is not bad or good, it is merely change.

    I really sympathize with das and her media burnout. Hundreds of TV channels to choose from and thousands of hours of streaming and I spend less time consuming those things. But my kids more than make up for it. Perhaps it’s a generational thing. As I get older, I’m more particular about how I spend my time.

    On the other hand, I still buy discs (DVD not Blu-Ray) because I want to watch movies (or TV shows) when and where I want them. Streaming content comes and goes seemingly at the whim of the supplier. I also buy print books for the same reason. Or maybe it’s just habit… (*wink*)

  10. Was hunting for Condorman and it is not on Netflix.
    But, it is on Amazon – $1.99 for a 48 hour period rental.

  11. DANG IT! My train of thought was derailed.

    My conclusion was: just because new forms of entertainment delivery come along doesn’t mean that the old forms go away.

    There. That’s where I was going with all of that.

  12. Hey Joe…looks like you need to work Carl again. 🙂 You two seem to work well together. Gotta love Carl. 😉

    Wow…you just depressed me saying that DVD sales will not make a comeback. I’m somewhat digitally challenged when it comes to downloading movies and such. Also…I can’t afford the programs or equipment to do so. My only way to see old movies or old TV shows is threw DVDs. This economy stinks. 🙁

  13. Joe, I wanted to write and say thank you (!) for what you created in Stargate Universe – i just watched again, the first three episodes – “Air” and am blown away by the musical scoring, the performances of the ensemble of talented actors and the expression of the storyline. The work stands repeated viewing and still impresses.

    As a vegetarian Cowboy (yes, it’s true there are some of us) – I am amazed at the richness and diversity of your eating habits – it’s something i don’t share – being food is more of a nutrition aspect, than a finer point of life.

    Thank you for sharing and offering a peek into your life, there are those of us who enjoy living vicariously through your experiences.

  14. Personally I think Blu-rays killed the entire home video market. The transition between DVD and Blu-ray was completely botched on the part of the industry. Especially with all the fighting with HDDVD. It took too long for an industry standard to emerge and prices to come down. Plus, i think a lot of more average consumers don’t even see a huge difference between DVD and Bluray. They just look at the price and go with the cheaper one knowing they already have a dvd player. Looking forward, we may even see a future without a mainstream optical format depending on what companies like Microsoft and Nintendo do for their future game systems. It’s an industry in a botched transition.

    Also, Internet services are all still in their infancy and people don’t trust them. It’s going to take a lot more work on the part of the industry to find internet replacements. Heck, i was just reading an article the other day where someone had their Amazon account banned and lost access to part of their kindle content that they purchased. I don’t personally feel that same sense of ownership when buying digital goods.

    The industry has their own part to play as well with all the special editions, directors cuts, 3d, etc. You never know what to buy into as it’s just outdated the next time the movie studio comes up with their next special re-packaging.

  15. @das – I completely understand where you’re coming from, and I think it’s great to be able to pull yourself away from the TV like that. If everyone would do so, we’d be a happier, healthier population. Likewise, I hardly ever watch regular TV anymore. Other than a couple of reality shows like Amazing Race and Survivor and perhaps a couple of scripted ones, there’s really nothing else left that interests me. The end of Stargate really did seem to be a milestone in that regard, when I realized it was the ONLY show that I looked forward to week to week. Luckily, there’s still reading Joe’s blog to make it worthwhile to get up in the morning! 🙂

  16. Ditto what gforce said!
    Luckily, there’s still reading Joe’s blog to make it worthwhile to get up in the morning!

  17. Interesting comments on digital media. Personally, I try to buy Blu-ray when the price is good. Especially when the movie has cool special effects. Blu-ray looks so sharp and it doesn’t have the pause in the middle of the film. Our Blu-ray player up converts DVD’s to look sharper, so I’m not going to replace my current DVD collection. Technology moves on yada, yada, yada.

    sparced: that’s why I prefer my non wifi ereader. That way I have my digital library on a computer and the store can’t grab books off my reader. I don’t trust the stores either 😉 .

    Debra: Greyhounds are super sweet. One day I’m going to adopt a retired greyhound. I just have the yard or the house for a large dog now. 🙁 .

  18. DVD sales might not rebound be at the pre-streaming levels. But for digital service you need adequate bandwidth with no interruptions. So how many Gigabytes of bandwidth do you have available each month? Considering it’s about 1.5 GB to 2.5 GB per movie even at 720P resolution.

    Never mind the wide-spread use of streaming services might result in service throttling due to overall system bandwidth capacity issues.

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