People adore Netflix. For many, the information era didn’t truly arrive until the absolute worst of reality programming was available in catalogued, immediately consumable form. Movie fans (or “cinéphiles,” as some enthusiasts have taken to calling themselves) have long complained about the dearth of new flicks available on the streaming service.
And now there’s a solution … at least for those who prefer the big-screen experience over at-home viewing: Moviepass. For $30 a month, subscribers can catch up to a movie a day in most theaters. It’s like Netflix, except you have to leave your house. Think of it this way—for the price of two movie tickets in our inflation-riddled era, you can see as many movies as you want. In many parts of the country, the subscription pays for itself if you go to the movies three times a month.
Now that the glory of unlimited screenings is upon us, we have to decide what to see. This summer, as with every summer since the invention of the moving picture, Hollywood has graciously provided the summer blockbuster slate.
Available to us are: Michael Bay Presents: A Series of Explosions 4: Explosive, Giant Lizard Disaster Movie, Ensemble Superheroes, and Simians in Dystopia. These are all good fun, but sometimes we aspire to more than sweet pyrotechnics and people who can fly.
It’s a relief, then, that there’s a vibrant independent movie culture for those who are seeking more variety. Take, for example, D.C.’s West End Cinema. In addition to eclectic showings, it offers a full bar and a close-knit atmosphere that’s rare in modern cinemas.
Among their offerings are Only Lovers Left Alive, a darkly comic vampire movie starring Tilda Swinton and John Hurt, and Fading Gigolo, directed by and starring John Turturro as a male prostitute. It’s a sly flick … if you can get over the idea of beautiful women, you know, paying John Turturro for sex.
Every city has its independent movie houses, and many of them will be subject to your unlimited viewing pleasure if you’re armed with Moviepass. Bear in mind, the subscription doesn’t include refreshments. So, if you buy movie popcorn, soda and candy, the theaters will likely NOT lose any revenue.
Michael Nissenbaum is a lawyer by day (and night), and a writer by night (and day). You can follow him on Twitter @gnarsenbaum.