Why I can’t recommend MoviePass (and why I won’t be renewing my subscription anytime soon)

If you’ve read my other posts on MoviePass, it’s clear that overall I was happy with the service and how it was implemented for the first 11 months of my membership. Even with the Countdown Clock, many of you may find that MoviePass is indeed a great value that would suit your needs. The way the Countdown Clock was implemented and announced is only the latest in a string of ethically questionable practices that I have issue with.

Right off the bat, it was pretty impossible to recommend the service to anyone, despite how much value I was getting from it. Whenever I would tell anyone about MoviePass, they would ask, “What’s the catch?” at which point, I would rattle off a list. “So, the very thing MoviePass advertises as their service is pretty much bullshit,” is how people would basically respond to the list of restrictions on the “unlimited” service. I would contend that I didn’t believe it to be an intentional deception; the service was in still in “beta,” and I believed they were working towards offering what they were advertising.

Get back to me when they’re out of beta.

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How does MoviePass work (and what happens when it doesn’t)?

The video below illustrates this paragraph if you’d rather watch than read how it works. To use MoviePass, you open the app and find the movie show time you want. You can browse or search by movie or theater. Once you’ve decided what movie you’re going to, you have to technically purchase the ticket at the theater. I say “technically,” because even though you’re the one making the purchase, MoviePass is picking up the tab. Go to the theater and verify that tickets are available for the show you want to see. Open the app, find the show time and tap it to check in. A screen will appear with the details to verify. When you confirm, your app my ask permission to use your location, because you have to be within 100 yards of the venue to activate your card. Wait a few seconds for confirmation that your card is activated; the confirmation screen will also remind you what your home zip code is in case the kiosk prompts you for it. You’ll then have 30 minutes to purchase the ticket at a kiosk. Make the purchase the same way you would make a credit card purchase (you can even earn points for a theater loyalty plan) and that’s it. Not every purchase went 100% smoothly, but customer service always sorted it out without a fuss. I know this seems convoluted, but it’s actually much simpler in practice.


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MoviePass In Action (Sort Of) at YouTube.

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Why MoviePass Is Bringing Subscription Moviegoing To Theaters

For todays #ThrowbackThursday, here’s a video interview on TechCrunch TV with MoviePass CEO Stacy Spikes from about a year ago. Does any of MoviePass’ users think they have come closer to the product he describes here or further away from it in the past year? In light of the introduction of the Countdown Clock, the section from 4:10-5:05 sounds especially hypocritical.

A hidden MoviePass Countdown Clock limitation

MoviePass recently introduced their “Countdown Clock” to limit movie viewing to one movie per 24 hour period beginning from the start time of the last movie you watched. What they didn’t tell you was this part:


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MoviePass Countdown Clock Issues at YouTube.

This was clearly an inconvenience from the moment I read about it in the announcement. However, I decided to give it a chance and see if MoviePass‘ continuing claim of being able to see a movie a day holds up. Obviously it can’t, because movie theaters aren’t open 24 hours a day, but I figured I would try it and see how long it would take before I missed a day. Even if I could pull it off, I’ve already had to reorganize my life around movie going in this effort (currently on day 11 & counting), which isn’t really the point of a relaxing hobby. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Also be sure to check out the other articles in my series on MoviePass:

A still of the legendary Bigfoot Monster Truck and actor Robert Hayes from the movie "Take This Job And Shove It."

Take This Job and Shove It – Dedicated to Levi Duprey

A lot of people think this song was written for that movie where Ted Striker drives Bigfoot through a brewery, but in fact the movie was inspired by the song, which was a thing they did in the 1970‘s, because a movie based on Pong would suck.

Today is Levi‘s birthday and I picked this song for him because when we last spoke a couple of weeks ago, he told me that he had to quit his fast food job because, long story short, the boss was hassling him over some bullshit. This week Levi started a culinary course, so I’m proud of him for having the confidence to stand up for himself, be who he is and move on to bigger and better things.

I don’t know what show the video embedded below was recorded for, but I love how Johnny Paycheck looks like The Southern Gandalf. Happy Birthday Levi!


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Johnny Paycheck – Take This Job and Shove It at YouTube.

smile from The Lower East Side & Brittany Duprey in 1996 and 2014

Walk In My Shoes – Dedicated to Brittany Duprey

Last night was Brittany’s 20th Birthday. I got her a pair of sneakers, which she seemed to love. Shoes were a fitting gift, maybe more for me than Brittany, because she probably doesn’t remember this. Around her Sixth Birthday, I showed her how to tie her shoes; actually she pretty much had it figured out. She was going to start First Grade, and I was worried that she might not be able to tie her shoes because no one had ever shown me how to tie my shoes, and when I was expected to do it myself, I remember feeling a tremendous amount of pressure. Fortunately, I was able to do it, having learned without trying from watching others. I was confident Brittany would be able to do the same. I told her about my experience and asked her to try tying her shoes. She did with one minor mistake, which I corrected and with her 2nd try, she had it down pat. “I’m glad, because I can’t always be there to tie your shoes for you,” I told her.

The gift wasn’t exactly a surprise because I had to call her to find out her shoe size. You’d think I’d know these things, huh? Well, as it turned out, I wasn’t able to be there for a lot of things, too many in fact. I was proud of Brittany when she was six for being able to tie her shoes and I’m proud of her today for all of the other things she achieved in her life when I couldn’t be there. For these reasons and more, I dedicate this song to her with all my heart.


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Emily King – Walk In My Shoes at YouTube.