Where is my FREE Time? Fallout 4, Jessica Jones, More

Help! I am overwhelmed with entertainment goodness. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Jessica Jones

I am loving Krysten Ritter in Jessica Jones on Netflix but fear it may be too dark for my honey. It is definitely too adult for the granddaughter so I can only watch it when I’m by myself and don’t have work to do. I am only three episodes in but I unreservedly recommend it.

Man in High Castle

Jenny and I are really enjoying The Man in the High Castle on Amazon but again it is too adult for the granddaughter so we can only watch it when she is asleep (so one episode a night if we are lucky and stay up a little late). Ditto the recommendation here – go watch it!

Fallout 4

I got Fallout 4 on release date and have gotten to play it some but, again, it is too adult for the granddaughter so I don’t play it when she is around. My marriage is also way more important than the game (duh!) and it is only single-player so I don’t play it while my wife is home either.

The game is wonderfully immersive. the only thing that breaks the spell is that you end up picking up EVERYTHING that is clickable as all the junk is actually useful. I actually found myself paralyzed at the start when you have to choose your stats as there are no throwaway stats and not enough points to distribute.

Still this is really just a complaint that my life is wonderful so umm I’ll stop here and enjoy these things as time is available.

James Bond Week – Hulu

Hulu of course has nowhere near the depth or breadth of the movies available on Netflix. However someone in their programming and procurement office is pretty savvy.

Hulu

At the beginning of the month, just in time for Spectre, Hulu acquired the exclusive rights for a slew of Bond films. Connery is well-represented, with Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, and Diamonds are Forever – even the non-canon Never Say Never Again. Only his first, Dr. No, is not available. Goldfinger and From Russia With Love are justifiable classics. The others are worth watching just for Connery though Never Say Never Again is a very lazy remake of Thunderball.

From Russia With Love

All seven Bond entries from the Moore tongue-in-cheek era are here: The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, Moonraker, The Man with the Golden Gun, and Live and Let Die. Both Dalton’s The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill are available. Heck, they even have George Lazenby’s single outing as Bond, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. That one is worth watching for the absolutely radiant Diana Rigg.

The more recent Brosnan and Craig entries are not on Hulu but 16 movies of the franchise is 16 more than Netflix or Amazon Prime have.

Mockingjay Double

Unfortunately I will be missing the Mockingjay double feature but both Hulu and Amazon Prime have The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One streaming in time for the theatrical premiere of Mockingjay Part Two. Netflix has….umm…the not really a satire Starving Games so good luck with that.

Friday This ‘n’ That – FREE 3D & YouTube Red

Epic Theatre Hendersonville

  • Intriguingly, the Epic Theatre chain has dropped their surcharge for 3D movies. I’m not a big fan of 3D movies as I find that in most movies, it serves simply as a distraction. It is supposed to make things more immersive but I find it has the opposite effect. Having said that, it is nice for patrons to have a choice without the exorbitant upcharge. Bravo, Epic!

YouTube Red

  • Borrowing a page from Hulu’s book, YouTube has introduced YouTube Red, their new ad-free service. It is $10 a month unless purchased through ios (ios charges $13). I already pay for Hulu and Netflix as well as receiving Amazon Prime because of my wife’s joy at receiving packages quickly (you can see why I don’t need cable). I can’t see shelling out for this but I can see it being useful for others (my granddaughter really enjoys toy unboxing videos).
  • This does bring up the possibility of a troubling new trend. Start something for free, get people hooked on content, then crowd the site with ads, finally offer to remove the ads if they pay each month to remove them.
  • Which brings us to microtransactions. They were an anomaly until several companies proved that you could make a fortune giving your game away and then making progress nearly impossible without a tiny tiny purchase of some in-game commodity. Now even games that cost $60 will charge you for planned but not yet released expansions, variant costumes, etc.

Spectre

  • Please pardon me as I’m off to see Spectre!

No Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Buy!

I love going to the movies (duh!) but it’s expensive. I try to finesse every FREE ticket offer and discount to keep my costs down and allow me to attend more often.

Spectre

Best Buy currently has an endcap of single James Bond titles for $7.50 each. Each one contains not only a Blu-Ray but also a digital HD copy AND $7 movie money towards Spectre.

The $7 Spectre coupons are also on many of the Bond films at Target. Many Targets also have cheap Bond Collections with digital HD copies (but no Spectre coupons).

I got the Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and Roger Moore collections from Target, along with Quantum of Solace which had a Spectre ticket. I bought The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill, each with Spectre tickets from Best Buy.

So now I have three tickets for Spectre and all of the canon Bond films on digital HD/UV/Vudu except for George Lazenby’s single turn as Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Wal-Mart and Best Buy (and likely Target as well) have Peanuts movie cash on various children’s features (the Ice Age series, the Garfields, Penguins of Madagascar, Epic, etc) as well as on some DVDs of Peanuts specials.

Friday This ‘n’ That – FREE Monsters, Inc.

 

Inside Out

Please accept my apologies for the lack of posts this week. When I’m sick, I’m happy enough to plug away on the keyboard even in a fuzzy state. Unfortunately, my darling granddaughter has been sick all week so I have been taking car of her. She is very demanding and, when I haven’t been doing chores or taking care of things in general, I have been sitting on the couch with her watching Inside Out (Vudu), Monsters, Inc. (ditto), animated Batman (Amazon Prime), Octonauts (Netflix), The Simpsons (Hulu), and ugh play-doh toy videos on YouTube.

Contagion

Anyways, stay healthy folks and avoid this plague like it was the…well you get the idea. Speaking of Monsters, Inc., I got it FREE for connecting my Disney Movies Anywhere account to Amazon. You can too!

Hot Dog! Lots of Regal Offers!

Regal Cinemas

* Tomorrow (9/17), Regal and a number of other chains are offering a double feature: Maze Runner and the new sequel, The Scorch Trials. The neat thing is that Regal (mine at least) is offering the double feature for the same price as a ticket to just the sequel. The double feature starts at 6 with The Scorch Trials premiering at 8. I love double features and marathons but I’ll be working.

* Starting Thursday, receive an Everest patch with IMAX 3D ticket purchase while supplies last. I have found that most theaters forget about this type of promotion so if you go, make sure to ask if they have them.

* Speaking of IMAX, Regal still has the deal where if you see two eligible IMAX films using your RCC card, they will give you $10 off a ticket for a third. I went to see Mad Max Fury Road on IMAX last weekend and it was amazing on the huge screen.

* The first 50 ticket holders to go see Captive will receive a collector’s ticket

* As usual, Regal still has $2 candy Monday and $2 popcorn Tuesday

 

Regal Crown Club

* If you download the Regal app to your phone, September’s coupon (which can be used on multiple visits) is $1 off a hot dog. I’m not sure if this is just regular hot dogs or also the footlongs and the corn dog minis.

Friday This ‘n’ That – The Sinister Fandango

“A bad day at the movies beats a good day at work” – Kevin Smith

I have a really wonderful life but I’m an introvert and periodically I need alone time to recharge my batteries. Usually I get a day a week which is great but it’s been several weeks so I’m a little antsy. Thankfully, today is my day off.

As much as I’ve made my home into a theater, I still get a real sense of comfort from going to the movies in an actual theater. I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps I should work harder on making a cozier theater.

Fandango

I normally only use Fandango with special offers as they charge that pesky customer fee on every transaction, even on their own promotions (EXCEPT for you lucky AMC Stubs members, I’d sure like it if Regal Crown Club would follow suit). Well, they are currently offering a $5 concession gift card with purchase of a ticket to Sinister 2.

Sinister 2

Apparently I’ll go see a bad movie if you offer me FREE grub to go with it. Woohoo! Mini corn dogs ($5.50) for dinner! And a drink from my Regal Crown Club card! Maybe it won’t be so bad. I’ll probably go see a second film with my soda refill.

Film Noir on Hulu – The Big Combo, D.O.A.

 

I haven’t really had much time to peruse Netflix lately. For the next month, I am still taking Canvas Network and Turner Classic Movies’ FREE course on film noir. Netflix’ offerings on noir are pretty much non-existent. Their content from the past quarter century is phenomenal but the further back you go, the fewer offerings Netflix has.

Hulu

 

Hulu, on the other hand, has been phenomenally helpful. Since the course started, I have watched The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, D.O.A., Kansas City Confidential, The Stranger, Pitfall, The Red House, The Big Combo. I still haven’t exhausted their supply of film noir. I also watched two of the most important precursors to noir: M and La Bete Humaine.

All of them are good but I would most recommend these two:

Strange Love of Martha Ivers

 

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

A ruthless, domineering woman is married to an alcoholic D.A., her childhood companion who is the only living witness to her murder of her rich aunt seventeen years earlier.”

“Don’t ever look back baby, don’t ever look back.” – The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

What a cast! Barbara Stanwyck is always fantastic. Lizabeth Scott was born to play in noir. Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas are the male leads.

The Big Combo

The Big Combo (1955)

A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn’t been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown’s girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.”

“It happens to be against two laws: God’s and Man’s. I’m booking her under the second.”

Look for a young Earl Holliman and a young Lee van Cleef as henchmen.

 

Lots of FREE Movies at the Theater – Jurassic World

Vudu

Haven’t shelled out the bucks for Jurassic World yet? Buy one of the original three films on Vudu ($9.99) and score a FREE ticket ($7 Fandango promo code) to Jurassic World (offer ends 6/26).

Avengers Age of Ultron

Wal-Mart still has specially marked boxes of Eggos that will score you a FREE movie ticket. Ignore the Avengers: Age of Ultron packaging – the FREE ticket is good for any movie. Wal-Mart also has an endcap with varios movie moneys attached to DVDs and Blu-Rays.

Jurassic World

I’m not sure how long this offer will last but Amazon is offering the Jurassic World Premiere Pack for $29.99 and you will a $15 Fandango promo code to see Jurassic World, the original Jurassic Park in digital format, and the pre-order for the Blu-Ray combo pack of Jurassic World.

Regal doesn’t understand what BOGO is supposed to mean. They currently have a Father’s Day promotion where if you buy someone (that someone can be you) a $50 gift card, they will send you, the buyer, an additional $10 gift card.

FREE movie tickets for Terminator Genisys have started popping up on Blu-Rays in Target. Unfortunately list on the Blu-Rays is a little high at the moment ($14.99 and up). Expect those prices to come down when they get featured in an ad at the end of June.

Regal’s New Crown Club Card

Regal Cinemas

 

I spent the past weekend at a conference in Atlanta with my wife and granddaughter. I hate Atlanta – too hot, too many people, too much traffic – but while I was there, I got to try out Regal’s new pilot program for their rewards card. It is currently in Beta and I am not sure what other markets it is in (certainly not our Asheville one).

I have to say both that I hate it and that I cannot wait until it comes to Asheville. Periodically, theaters and stores will revise their rewards programs in order to ‘serve you better’. This is typically market speak for we are taking away what you liked about our program and giving you something far worse and cutting your benefits but we’ll make it shiny so you won’t notice (looking at you Best Buy).

Their current program gives you a point per dollar spent, with a lot of caps and restrictions, namely a maximum of 20 box office credits per day (two tickets at most theaters will put you over that) and only a handful of credits for concessions. Every 50 points nets you something (small popcorn, small soda, movie ticket) in a set rotation.

The new program removes the point caps and restrictions (nice) and allows you to choose your own reward (incredibly nice) but makes those rewards much more expensive (gotcha!). It changes the point system to one you can spend and makes it a point per penny instead of per dollar so switching makes you think you are getting a lot more.

What makes the new program worthwhile? Well, in addition to the now overpriced FREE drinks, popcorn, and movies, you can use your points for movie tchochkes! The most expensive thing they had were 27″x40″ movie posters of current and upcoming features for 11,000 points. Some tchotchkes were already sold out like Jurassic World pins and a pretty nifty Mad Max backpack.

I would much rather earn points for tchotchkes than continue to get FREE popcorns that I save for my wife, small sodas that I have to pay to upgrade, and movie tickets where I’m going to go to the movie anyway.

The new program also had bonus points for daily movie visits at three different levels of membership (a la the new Coke Rewards program). Thankfully unlike Coke, the program does not rely on social media to up your level. On your sixth visit, you get Emerald status (250 extra points per day you attend I think). On your 20th visit of the year, you get the highest level which nets you 1,000 bonus points per day you attend. I will say that the points plus the highest bonus level points did not equal as fast as you earn rotational rewards now.

Sadly, while I was in the program for seeing a movie in Atlanta, as soon as I went to a movie on my return to Asheville, it switched me back to the regular rewards program and now I have no access to the beta test. /sigh if only I had spent those points before seeing Jurassic World.

It was fun while it lasted and I look forward to the corporate-wide rollout. With a good enough set of movie merchandise, I could see making Regal my go to destination for the movies.