Putting off the RENT

November 23, 2005
A thought by James Berardinelli

Attentive readers will note that I originally had scheduled a review of Rent to be available yesterday, with the review of The Ice Harvest coming over the weekend. It didn't work out that way. From the beginning, since there was a screening conflict, I knew I wouldn't be able to see both in advance. Initially, I thought Rent was the better bet. But then I realized a few things.

Rent is opening at a theater near to me - six miles away, to be precise. All things considered, it's not a bad theater (although it shows commercials). The nearest theater showing The Ice Harvest is about 25 miles away. The advance screenings of both films were shown at theaters approximately 55 miles away but, while there was a $5 parking tag associated with Rent, parking for The Ice Harvest was free. Assuming that my car gets about 25 miles per gallon, and that gas is about $2.00, here's how the math works out:

  • The Ice Harvest (advance) and Rent (at opening): $16.50
  • Rent (advance) and The Ice Harvest (at opening): $24.50

    When you consider it from an economic standpoint, there's no question why I changed my plans. That's just a little insight into why planned review availability dates change. Oh, and the reason yesterday's reviews didn't go up until nearly midnight is because of a lengthy and annoying power outage yesterday afternoon.

    It's the Bandwidth

    Those of you who have checked my reviews for Just Friends and The Ice Harvest may have noticed a small difference. The intra-review images are gone. The poster replica remains, but the pictures have vanished. Ultimately, the value added wasn't worth the bandwidth consumed. An average review is about 8000 Bytes. Pictures and posters take up about the same space. So, by including a poster and two pictures, the size of the review quadruples. It's a waste of bandwidth. So I'll retain the posters to give a "graphic" flavor to the reviews (that was the original intention of adding the pictures).

    Plus, with my intention to expand the site in January, I'll need all of the extra time I can find. While it didn't take much effort to find and re-size pictures, every bit counts. Hopefully, not many people will be disappointed. I remember the firestorm of controversy that my original decision to add pictures created. Maybe this partial reversal will be greeted with less heat.