Friday, June 7, 2024

Film Friday: "MoviePass, MovieCrash," Tells a Cautionary Tale

People might remember the quick rise and just as fast fall of MoviePass back right before the 2020s (I know, things are hazy pre-pandemic as that was a whole thing). The documentary, "MoviePass, MovieCrash," follows the company and how it had been around for a bit but in the process of struggling to grow brought in a new CEO and funders who proceeded to wreck the whole thing. It is a fascinating and sad story full of opportunists and fraudsters. It is also touched upon how the founders happened to be men of color (Stacy Spikes and Hamet Watt) and they struggled to acquire funding but once more white guys with questionable business ideas appeared a lot of money seemed to be available--even if that power was then used to force-out the founders run everything into the ground. It's a sad tale but at least there is a bit of a happy ending as (spoiler alert) after MoviePass is wrecked Stacy Spikes returns to help it rise from the ashes and now it currently exists in a sustainable form.

"MoviePass, MovieCrash," is a brisk 90-ish minutes and stands as yet another cautionary tale of what happens when dubious folks do unethical and possibly illegal things in an effort to make money. We've seen it time and time again (Enron, the dot-com bubble, and so forth), and this documentary goes on to make it clear unscrupulous practices may just keep rolling along if some kind of action isn't taken. At least in this case, people got to see a lot of movies in the process of everything metaphorically burning to the ground. Give this a watch on HBO MAX, or as we are supposed to now call it, "MAX."

5 out of 5 Stars.

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