I love the movies. With so many great Hollywood hits to choose from, who doesn't? But as much as I like taking in the latest blockbuster on the silver screen, sometimes I'd prefer to watch one in my living room on my TV. Which is why I have long wished that my two favorite things—top new releases and warm, cozy surroundings—could somehow be combined. This is the 21st century, for Pete's sake! Shouldn't there be some way to watch premium movies at a low, low price in the comfort of my own home?
Television technology has been improving for decades, to the point where anyone anywhere in the country has access to hundreds of quality cable channels at the touch of a button. Shouldn't watching the hottest films, with today's hottest stars, be just a click away, too?
While I'm grateful to live in a world where every night can be movie night, there's still room for improvement. For example, who can take time from their busy lives to return DVDs to the rental place before getting hit with a late fee? Or those mail-delivery services—it seems like I have to wait an eternity for my selections to arrive! I say American ingenuity can take us the extra distance and bring all the first-run smash hits to my wide-screen TV within moments of me placing my order.
Which, by the way, should be as easy as 1-2-3.
Don't get me wrong: I love TBS's Dinner And A Movie and the outrageous, laugh-out-loud romps on Comedy Central. Still, I can't help but fantasize about a broadcast technology that would allow me to order all the family-friendly hits and nonstop action blowouts I want, uncut and commercial free, whenever I want them. I believe this should be possible given the size and resources of the corporations involved. The same people who bring us phone service and Internet access often deliver TV programming as well, right? So why not provide heart- stopping action, psychological thrillers, and foreign favorites for a minimal extra fee?
I'm no expert, but I bet they could make a chunk of change with some kind of service that offered customers premium movies on a demand basis. In fact, they could call it "On a Demand Basis," or "As You Demand It," and people would go nuts!
Imagine for a moment this vision of the future: Your great-grandchildren take the maglev shuttle home from a hard day monitoring the solar-wind aggregation pylons, plop down on the tetrafoam couch in front of a 168-inch vidscreen, and choose from dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of top movie titles from all the big-name studios. Sounds great, doesn't it? But why must this dream lie so far in the future, if wise men want it badly enough and begin working on it now?
It's not like I'm demanding 24-hour music channels or free HD over here. I'm a reasonable adult, not some half-baked crackpot foaming at the mouth and ranting "Show me James Cameron's record-breaking epic Avatar, let me pause it when I have to go to the bathroom, and translate it into Spanish while you're at it!" That is obviously the fever-dream of a madman. But even if Hollywood hits on demand did require a multi-billion-dollar government initiative on the scale of the Manhattan Project, wouldn't it be worth it? Imagine the significance of achieving such a cultural landmark!
†Those smug Blockbuster Video guys sure would sit up and take notice, I'll tell you that.
It doesn't have to stop with Hollywood hits, either. If my idea is viable, it could be used for once-in-a-lifetime events like superstar concerts or big-ticket sports matchups! But let's take baby steps and first figure out how to make runaway blockbusters like Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time starring Jake Gyllenhaal just a click away.
Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm just a hopeless dreamer, asking the stars to make the impossible possible. But who knows? Perhaps someday I'll be able to sit down with my family and enjoy a premium movie with a fresh hot pizza and six-pack of Pepsi. Which, by the way, I would happily pay to have brought to my home if such a business model could be developed.