Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rented my first XBL movie

I'm going to admit right now, unless it's ALIENS or ALIENS related, I'm not really a movie fan. But that doesn't stop me from watching the occasional flick.

To date, I've refused to wait for the download and to pay money for a movie rental that's a mere 24 hours once activated. For the money, I'd think 72 hours would be a bit more fair, matching rental stores. On the other hand, my friend tells me that pay-per-view is similar in price but offers only half the time. Interesting.

I figure Batman Begins would be a good trial run, since I wanted to see it, but had little faith in a non-Keaton version. Clooney and Kilmer were awful in my opinion, and even Batman Returns was a bit lame. But Batman has always been a favorite of mine since the comic book "Batman vs Predator".

For Batman Begins, it was $3 for SD and $4.50 for HD. Since Blu-ray isn't exactly the most amazing thing to me, I figured I'd save download time and money and just stick with SD. I started the download, and went out for some errands.

I have no idea how long the download took, but I was ready to go after I got home a couple hours later.

For being compressed and the "lowly" 480p, the movie looked great. It was better quality than a lot of downloaded films I've seen, and the 1.5GB size was impressive. The movie itself was better than expected, although it misses the magic of the original movie. For a film that I expected to be a one-viewing deal for me, the whole experience was near-perfect.

My suggestion for these films in the future: the price is right, but extend the duration of the rental. 14 days means nothing if only 24 hours of it is usable. Keep the 14 day time frame for use but extend the viewing period to 72 hours. Then I won't feel like my lack-of-trip to the video store is in vain.

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