Thursday, January 31, 2013

One more step into the digital age


Elizabeth Zelvin

I got an iPad for Xmas, and as a result I’ve finally signed up for Netflix. That puts me, what, five years? ten years? behind everybody else. I haven’t been in a hurry for a couple of reasons. One, we have a lousy television. Do you know what a large percentage of most movies is filmed at night? I notice, because unlike your high-definition flat screen, ours shows a blank black screen during those scenes. My husband, who watches a lot more TV than I do, keeps saying he’s going to get us a good one. But like the Arkansas Traveler, who couldn’t fix the roof on a rainy day and couldn’t fix it when it wasn’t raining either, he’s too busy watching football to go shopping. And once the football season is over, his interest in staring at the tube will wane.

Two, I’ve been watching Movies on Demand, which comes with my HBO. At least, I think it does. I originally signed us up because I wanted to see True Blood. Like many in the mystery community, I take a lot of vicarious pride in Charlaine Harris’s success. My husband and I, big Aaron Sorkin fans since West Wing, loved the first season of The Newsroom, also on HBO, and are eagerly waiting for the next. But except for a few carefully selected shows, I really like movies much better than TV. It cost a lot less to see a movie a few months later on TV than in the theater: $4.99 for both of us vs $27.50 for two tickets (one adult, one senior) at any of our neighborhood theaters in Manhattan.

This holiday season, we spent the money for some movies that cried out for 3D and the big screen, sometimes the IMAX screen ($36.50, even with the senior discount), such as The Hobbit and Life of Pi, as well as some that served as holiday entertainment and preparation for the Oscars. We even saw some art movies that may not make it to the small screen, notably The Sessions and The Intouchables, both wonderful films and both, oddly, about paralyzed men and their uninhibited caregivers.

But then I got the iPad. And it’s football season. So I got my Netflix, and I’ve having a helluva good time watching some of the shows I’ve been hearing DorothyLers talk about. So far, my favorites are Inspector Lewis and Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch. To my disappointment, I haven’t been able to get Inspector Morse on Netflix. I was looking forward to revisiting the episodes (about half) I don’t have on VHS (which I’ll no longer be able to view once we get that spiffy new TV). But Morse’s former sergeant and his new partner are equally clever and engaging, and Oxford, brilliantly photographed, is even more beautiful in HD on the iPad screen. As for Sherlock, with Martin Freeman as an able and engaging Watson, he’s my favorite post-Conan Doyle Holmes ever, along with Mary Russell’s husband in Laurie R. King’s great series, and the most convincing onscreen since Basil Rathbone. (It’s okay if you don’t agree.)

A bonus: I’d heard about Benedict Cumberbatch, but I didn’t realize until I watched the first episode that his Watson was the guy who plays the Hobbit. Now I want to see the movie again to see how that knowledge affects my feelings about Bilbo Baggins. To tell the truth, even as the good doctor, Martin Freeman is rather hobbitlike in appearance: on the small side with fairly large and pointy ears. There was a barefoot scene in Episode 6, and I thought his feet were fairly big too. That’s okay. I’m having a grand time with my iPad, and my husband can watch all the football he wants.

5 comments:

Sandra Parshall said...

You're way ahead of me re: Netflix. We have two HD TVs with connections for plugging into the internet, but I've never done it and I still don't know how to connect to Netflix through a TV. I don't want to watch movies on my iPad. I went to the Netflix site recently and couldn't find any information about pricing or how it works, whether we would need a new device to connect the TV to Netflix, etc. All I got was a screen telling me I had to sign up for a month's trial before I could get any further information. I'm not sure at this point that I want to deal with a company like that, but is there another site that has the information?

As for HD TVs, you can order one through the internet and have it delivered. No need to go out shopping. The prices are a fraction of what they used to be.

jrlindermuth said...

I'm with you, Liz--movies over TV anytime. And my preference is to watch them on the tube--no outrageous admission prices, no expensive refreshments, no crowds and you can watch in your jammies if you want.

sabrina elias said...

This is a testimony that i will tell to every one to hear. i have been married four 4years and on the fifth year of my marriage, another woman had a spell to take my lover away from me and my husband left me and the kids and we have suffered for 2years until i meant a post where this man Esango Priest have helped someone and i decided to give him a try to help me bring my love Husband home and believe me i just send my picture to him and that of my husband and after 48hours as he have told me, i saw a car drove into the house and behold it was my husband and he have come to me and the kids and that is why i am happy to make every one of you in similar to met with this man and have your lover back to your self. His email: esangopriest@hotmail.com he is a good man and straight forward human

sabrina elias said...

This is a testimony that i will tell to every one to hear. i have been married four 4years and on the fifth year of my marriage, another woman had a spell to take my lover away from me and my husband left me and the kids and we have suffered for 2years until i meant a post where this man Esango Priest have helped someone and i decided to give him a try to help me bring my love Husband home and believe me i just send my picture to him and that of my husband and after 48hours as he have told me, i saw a car drove into the house and behold it was my husband and he have come to me and the kids and that is why i am happy to make every one of you in similar to met with this man and have your lover back to your self. His email: esangopriest@hotmail.com he is a good man and straight forward human

Andrew Lotts said...


I was desperate on trying to turn my life around. I talked to ogbefispell@gmail.com about which spell would be the best for me help me get the house we wanted. The results have been great and we hope to close escrow next week. I know this would have not been possible with out your help as the property had gone off the market and after your spell it suddenly was back on the market a week later. Just amazing, Thank you so much ogbefispell@gmail.com........
Andrew Lotts Springs