I have a sky package and I have o say I wouldn't be without it. Sky movies is great with a constant array of films available. You have lots to choose from and can watch them on demand at your convenience. However Sky box office is a function which comes with all sky packages and gives you the option of purchasing movies fro a fee of around £4.99. This price is very steep and is a lot more than most video shops would charge. Obviously you don't have the bother of gooing to the video shop and getting the dvd and then returning it however I think you definately pay for this privaledge. Saying that it is great to have all those films available to you at the click of a button. It is really easy to use the function and ordering a film takes seconds. If you have children you don't need to worry, there is a password function that stops you ordering the films unless you know the password.
The most annoying thing about the service is that the films you pay for are available a month or 2 later on the normal sky movies. So if you pay for them you will be kicking yourself the next month as you could have watched the same film for free. Also you will have already seen the movies so will be bored by your standard sky movies package as you will have already watched the new movies released that month and will have paid for them needlessly. This is why I wouldnt suggest using this function. You should simply be patient and wait for the films to be released the next month.
You kind of feel a little bit sorry for Forest Whitaker as he may well have won his second Oscar for The Butler if it wasn’t for a glut of black issue movies last year, the first black men ever to do that. At one point Idris Elba thought he had it sewn up for Best Actor when given the chance to play Mandela in the coincidental year of Madeba’s death. But he cocked it up and left Forest clear. But then Cheitwel Ejifor came along with 12-Years A Slave and blew them both away. But with the British actors hand firmly on the statue none other than Mathew McConaughey of all people sacked him on the 10-yard-line and dived over for the touchdown for ‘The Dallas Buyers Club’ at the last, another ’issues’ movie. I haven’t seen that one yet but I hear it’s the best of the four.
The Butler is based on the true story of Eugene Allen, a black gentleman who served no less than eight presidents at The Whitehouse over a 30-year career, right through from Truman to Ronald Regan. The film was written and directed by black Lee Daniels, Precious his only other notable movie. The black director bit is relevant as this is very much Black America’s perspective of the political events in those turbulent three decades that sow the story together here, some liberties taken in both that narrative and the facts. The Reagan family was not best impressed by Daniels representation of their dad as ‘indifferent’ on race. The film also marked the return of Oprah Winfrey to the big screen and her first performance since Beloved (1998). It also saw Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave back together on screen for their first since 1977 (Julia). In fact there is quite an eclectic cast here.
A young Cecil Gaines (Aml Ameen) works and sweats hard in the cotton fields of Alabama. He has to as its 1928 and he and his family are slaves. When the demented white owner commits a heinous act against them his dad Charlie (Isaac White) tells the kid to escape and find his own way in the world.
Cecil breaks into a hotel looking for food, fortunately the black head waiter who catches him sympathetic. The kid needs a break so he lets him stay, where he works hard and soon offered a job at the Excelsior in Washington DC as head barman. There he meets the Washington Elite, many with very low opinions on Negros, America still racially split. But one day his luck is about to change with the promotion of promotions, headhunted to work at the Whitehouse.
Gaines (Whitaker) is now thirty, working for his first president, the departing Dwight D Eisenhower (Robin Williams), hence his appointment. The one thing the house of staff boss insists the most is staff do not talk politics, somewhat ironic, and hold their tongue. Truman doesn’t take to the black staff, who are paid half what the white staff are. But they are not always below stairs and serve everyone in The Whitehouse and have unique access and very proud of their jobs.
With civil rights protest and violence raging across America, Gaines youngest son (Michael Rainey Jr) is getting politically active, much to the disdain of his father. Cecil keeps his head down and serves the white man as that’s the best way to provide for his family, a comfortably off Negro in the Washington DC suburbs with boozy and brash wife Gloria (Winfrey) and their two sons keeping him happy, younger sone Loius (David Oyelowo) off to fight in Vietnam for the Nixon Administration. But it’s when JFK arrives in The Whitehouse that things start to happen on the Civil Rights front, an issue pulling the Gaines family further and further apart as Presidents come and go.
Its good fun and although over sentimental at times to draw a larger audience it’s still a movie that has a message. How much of it is true is up for debate with those liberties taken. We do know Ganies only had one son and he was not radical. But it’s that eclectic and mega cast that really raises an eyebrow over the films integrity. Robin Williams playing Dwight D Eisenhower seems to be an in-joke over playing the same role in night of the Museum and then we have Alan ‘Hans Gruber’ Rickman as Ronald Regan. The oddest of all is John Cusak as President Nixon? Seriously? It seems every liberal Hollywood actor wanted to be in this and have been found a job.
It did a useful $176 million dollars from its $30 million budget and clearly a solid date flick that perhaps played well in those liberal black states of America. It’s almost a polemic and pretty much all of the white characters are two dimensional racists with only JFK coming up smelling of roses. But black Americans did get a horrendous deal back then so why not tell their story? Two strong black directors did indeed do that and one of them, Steve McQueen, became the first black director to win an Oscar. That’s what the Civil Rights struggle the film weaves into the narrative was all about, the film finishing with Obama in office.
The black actors are excellent and how good is Oprah. She hasn’t lost her acting chops. Forest is restrained but powerful through out and also good performances from the younger cast, Maria Carey unrecognizable in the film, as she was in Precious. As I say the white presidents and staff are there as punch bag and this film is seen through the eyes of Black America of that turbulent era. The conflict in the movie that adds punch is Gaines willingness to stay dignified and subservient to white and his masters to survive and keep his pride, whilst his son hates him for being that passivity and not exploiting his role in The Whitehouse to help the struggle.
I guess this would not play well at the annual Republican Party film night and that’s the point. Winners write history and whilst Obama’s in power the black filmmakers and actors feel empowered to proudly tell their stories of growing up in Black America, hence Oprah steeping back into the movies to enjoy that emancipation made complete by Obama.
Sky box office is a paid service from Sky. It has a okay range of films, but it could be better. The standard price for a film is around £3.99, this is a fairly reasonably priced for recent and new films. Sky have put this service on every Sky box, although you have to pay its a clever idea, you don't have to buy it from the shop, although you can only watch it once ( or at least its that way on my normal Sky box, not sure about Sky+ or Sky HD )
The films are good. They are quiet new and are good for a night in, if you are bored at home at night time and cant go out or don't want to, you don't have to! You can just get it straight from the box. The only thing is, if you like some older films (like me), you can't get them. They only play certain films at certain times, so there is not much flexibility there. If you like to keep up and watch new movies it is very good though.
There is only really one flaw which is if there is heavy rain, or a thunderstorm etc. you could end up wasting your money if the box cannot get signal. If this does happen to you, you can't get your money back and you don't get to watch your film, its like throwing money down the drain!
So if your about to buy something from Sky box office, I would first check; If it was raining, That your box is definitively not about to become unplugged or If your going to have a power cut because if any of these happen you can't get your money back for what you missed. But, it's not all bad, you can get a nice film for the night or even during the day. But overall, it is a useful thing but it does have its flaws.
Sky Box Office is a service that seems to become more and more redundant with each passing year. With the proliferation of Internet streams and the ability to watch entire films and live sporting events at a moment's notice, why would anyone pay Sky's exorbitant prices?
Back in the day, it was a great idea, and I remember in 1997, my parents paid the £3-4 it was for me to watch the new Star Trek film at the time, and it was more convenient for them than going out and renting it. However, it is ever-increasingly showing up as a product of its time, and feels very much stuck in the past, with its "show times" and "screens" giving the feel of a cinema which, in a world that is increasingly about instant gratification, isn't necessarily what viewers want.
I don't think Sky's charges for a film are TOO bad, although I would never personally use it myself as I normally have seen every film before it hits SBO. It's not really anymore than you'd pay for a rental, and I believe (at least back in the day) you were able to watch it again that day for free if you wanted.
What I get het up about is the pay-per-view sporting events, such as boxing and wrestling. While the Americans do admittedly get it far worse (having to pay upwards of $40 for wrestling events), I don't find £16 for a 3-hour wrestling show in any way reasonable, and this has generally caused me to either watch clips online the next day, or attempt to find an online stream. So much money for such little time is absurd, and it reaches a fever pitch if you've ever paid for a boxing card and had the main event last two minutes. You may aswell throw your money own the drain.
Hopefully with the run on online streaming, Sky will wise up and make their prices reasonable.
Being a huge boxing fan has left out of pocket on many occasions and not to help matters is the PPV (pay Per View) service offered by Sky on Sky Box Office. In the USA boxing has been a PPV sport for quite a while for some of the huge mega fights over there on both HBO and Showtime's PPV services, in fact fighters can be signed to one of the networks who then control the fighters future fights almost as much, if not more so than their own manager. Though in the UK boxing had generally been on ITV and BBC until quite recently then Sky picked it up with the rise of fighters like Naseem Hamed and Chris Eubank in the 1990's. Later on Sky realised customers that we're already being ripped through and through in the wallet would be happy to pay to see the occasional big fight, the world names, or the really big ones. This was most notable in the Triple Header even that showed 3 of the top Britains in 3 different events one after the other, ever since, we have sadly started to copy the USA's model of putting more and more fights on to PPV.
Of course to most this won't effect you, so before I get back onto a rant about how Sky abuse us boxing fans, lets have a look at what else they offer. Sky Box Office also do a movie service, which is again a PPV service to watch newer movies, usually post release on DVD but first play on TV. Usually these we're the big blockbuster hits from earlier that year or late the previous year. For example at the moment The Wrestler, Bronson, Watchmen, S. Darko and Slumdog Millionaire are showing. Though it must also be said some movies that must have slipped under the radar for myself are there too, such as Parasomnia, Labor Pains and Good (apparently it's something to do with Nazi's). Now this may appeal to some of those who have the money and have seen all of their DVD collection but can't be bothered to go to the cinema, but to us mere mortals who are happy to buy a handful of second hand DVD's the service is effectively pointless.
This really leaves sport as the only reason to even look at the SBO services, which aren't limited to just boxing but to WWE (formerly the WWF for those not keeping up-to-date with wrestling). The WWE major events like Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble and the other similar events are sold at around £15 an event (yes some people do pay £15 to see greased up muscle-men hugging each other ;-)). This is a high cost to be honest though less so when you realise if you're paying for sky sports you do get several hours of WWE every week if your a fan of it, as well as the fact TNA (the major US rival) is also on one of the Bravo Channels, wrestling fans are to be honest, quite well catered for.
So back to boxing, we are lucky to get 1 card a week on Sky sport, usually 1 every 2 or 3 weeks though, on a Friday night focussing on a British rivalry, in fact the one being shown tonight see Tyson Fury v John Mcdermott for the English heavyweight title. The fight taking place at the Leisure Centre in Brentwood (I nearly got tickets for this but work wouldn't allow me time off, sadly I've contracted Pig Flu so I'm off but with no tickets...). This promises to actually be quite a good one with Tyson winning his first belt as a professional and stake his claim as one of Britain's best heavyweights. However when it comes to the PPV boxing they are usually over-hyped none events that play on the public's ignorance towards boxing and their happiness to pay for a name fighter as opposed to a high quality fight. When Setanta was still around what they did was pick up the high quality fights from the USA such as the enthralling Antonio Margarito V Miguel Cotto fight from last year and showed it as part of the now ill fated channels schedule. Instead of copying the same model Sky take a fighter like Amir Khan and put him on PPV with out having him actually being worth the price of the product. A silver medal at the Olympics is all very good but good old Auldley Harrison was a gold medallist and so you can't really say an Olympic medal is worth PPV events outright.
In fact Khans PPV debut was one of the best things in a long time due to the fact he was shown up in less than a minute by the previous un-known Bredis Prescott from Colombia. Those who paid £15.00 for a main event that last less than 60 seconds will agree that neither fighter was worth the money prior to the fight and neither has been worth it since. Khan has since fought Marco Antonia Barrera on SBO in a terribly officiated match that saw Khan win on a TKO due to a cut that was suffered much earlier in the fight and should have been stopped as a No Contest. More recently it played host to Khan's "world title fight" against Andrei Kotelnik from the Ukraine, that was backed up with some of the Olympians on the under card. O the same night and on free to air TV was a much better card for quality of fights, which included future superstars Nathan Cleverly and Tyson Fury, as well as a quality fight with Tom Glover V Jon Thaxton.
The full card for the Khan fight featured a classic fight shown on the PPV broadcast (Matthew Small V Anthony Hall) but missed out on showing Enza Maccarenelli (who lost to Denis Lebedev ) and future world champion (as far as I can tell anyway) Kell Brook destroy Michael Lomax (as far as I can remember this wasn't shown). Instead concentrating the time slot on Billy Joe Saunders, Franki Gavin and James DeGale (who each won against over matched opponents in either the first or second round). The main event saw Amir spend almost the entire fight running as opposed to engaging and was a relative bore-a-thon a rather embarrassing way to win a world title if truth be told.
Though before people think I am totally against the concept of Sky Box Office for sport they do sometimes have the really big fights that deserve the PPV status. The fight earlier this year between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton for example deserved the £15 price tag for the simple fact it was a genuinely huge fight, it featured the worlds best fighter (I thought he beat Juan Manuel Marquez both times and Floyd was "retired" until the day before the fight) and the long term #1 at the 140 Light Welterweight division. It featured the "linear" titles and the Ring title (as well as the IBO trinket) and had been given a decent under card with a title defence by hard hitting Mexican Humberto Soto, American prospect Daniel Jacobs, Cuban defector Erislandy Lara and Russian middleweight sensation Matt Korobov. This was worth the £15 on hype alone, the fact that the main event of the evening was startlingly short wasn't a problem as the ending was destructive and conclusive, the card was strong enough and overall it was a goo live show.
Thankfully with the rise of the internet and the access to streams that weren't available at the start of the century, we may start to see PPV events becoming more balanced and fewer shows of low quality will be afforded the PPV status. I myself happily admit I'd rather watch a grainy and poor quality stream of a card I don't feel is worth the £15 fee than pay it, I'll pay for the ones worth the fee with no complaints, but I'm not going to feed Sky's greed. They need to sort out the problem or we are going to see a big rise in what is effectively live TV pirating, no long will it just be a problems for film and music company's but also for TV networks. This time they have no one to blame except for themselves.
Sure the service is brilliant when they work it properly, but sadly a reliance on putting so much of MY sport on the service is a downright insult. If I pay for Sky sports I expect to be able to watch boxing on it, if not I'm not going to pay for Sky Sports simple really, I'm not happy to pay twice for the same thing. Sky don't expect that of Football fans, of Tennis Fans, or Cricket Fans, or in fact any other "sport" (WWF/WWE is "Sports Entertainment"). Why is boxing singled out?
SBO? You mean OBS- Order Boxing on Sky
As a movie lover I have to say that a subscription to Sky Movies is very important to me. I am currently signed up on a special offer where I am paying £5 per month for their full range of movies.
I have also on occasion paid for a Sky Box Office movie, although I try not to do this too often. At the moment it costs over £3 to pay to watch a movie, whilst special events such as pay-per-view concerts and wrestling matches cost a lot more. Personally I prefer to wait a few months until I can see them on the Sky Movies channels for a lot cheaper.
Having said that there are a lot of good movies available on the Sky Box Office channels. If you don't want to wait then this month you can see great films such as the most recent Indiana Jones film and also this summer's superhero blockbuster Iron Man. If you can afford it in these times of credit crisis then go ahead and pay for them, otherwise do as I do and wait just a few months and you can see them a lot cheaper.
I have only used Sky Box Office a number of times. Purely because if my friends and I are having a night in and had a little bit to drink we cant drive to buy or rent the dvd we are wanting to watch. It costs £3 per film and it automatically gets put on your monthly bill, thats fine by me but if you are wanting to watch more than one film you might aswell upgrade you sky package for near enough the same price.
Sky state you can tape the film but when i tried it came up with an error so i rang customer serive. They informed me that there is some kind of block which prevents me from taping it. So why give out false information???
The films on box office are usually films that have been out for ages and you've more than likely seen them. They do say you its the newest fims out but from what ive seen the films have been out for quite a while.
I must say it is so easy to use and you can watch a film with out any hassle, so thats probably the only good thing about Sky Box Office.
Sky is a rip off, why not watch sky tv including all the premiership games, and movies for free using easy to load software. I bought from this guy and its awesome - my bills went from thirty pounds to nothing! LOLhttp://search.ebay.co.uk/_W0QQsassZpostcard-manQQhtZ-1
I have been a subscriber to SKY TV for over 10 years, in the main to watch movies (and don't watch sport), however in the past 18 months or so, due to the nature of my work, I barely have had time to catch one on their regular "SKY Movie World" package costing £32 per month. As a result I started scaling back on subscription costs to their basic "SKY Entertainment Package, Value Pack" and decided to watch movies, as and when, via SKY Box Office, paying per movie. The only way to have access to Box Office is to be a SKY subscriber, hence when I scaled back to their Value Pack late last year @ £5.00 per month, I found this to be acceptable, paying for each movie I watched (perhaps 1 to 3 a month) and certainly better than driving 10 miles each way to my nearest BlockBuster shop. Earlier this year, SKY doubled this package price to £10.00 per month (which made me choke then) and a few days ago I received notification that the same package would now cost £12.50 as of January next year! This means in order to have the priviledge of watching just one SKY Box Office film per month, I am paying £16.00 (£12.50 + £3.50 per movie). I feel that this is a total "rip-off" as for the price the only real subscription channel you receive is SKY 1 (which I do not watch), especially as virtually all the the channels offered in this package are now offered "free" via Freeview (see http://www1.sky.com/skydigital_packages/; all these prices are current prior to January 2003 increases). After 10 years, I am seriously considering terminating my contract, who say I now own the equipment, and can watch all the Freeview channels at no extra cost, however, interestingly not ITV2 (which is free!) which must be paid for via their Family Pack, which costs an additional £6.00 per month over the Value Pack - have they got a screw loose?! With Freeview around, their package costs are seriously out of alignment, howev
er, more importantly, I feel that I should not have to pay such a high basic subscription fee in order to watch a Box Office movie. I hear lots of moans from my colleagues and neighbours regarding the cost of SKY, however they do nothing about it (like many companies, SKY rely on this apathy),and living in a village with no access to cable (NTL let you customise their offerings and can offer better value if you get your choices right!), I feel that SKY are really creaming their profits from here. Don't get me wrong, the Box Office facility is very good and works well (especially using the Electronic Programme Guide - EPG), however, SKY have fallen behind in developments like renting DVDs/ Videos via the Internet and post and being able to keep them for a week, and all without subscription. SKY need to be fairer. I have written lengthier opinions, however, the sheer cheek of the matter does not warrant anything longer...
I have occasionally used this service and I felt it was ok but not really worth it. First of all you pay £3 to watch a film. How you do this is go up to the pay-per-view channels which start at 700, find a film on at what time you want, enter the last 4 digits of your viewing card and that is it booked for you. In some cases the £3 get you the one film played once but when a film is on Multiplay then you get the same film played on all the channels from 06:00 until 05:59 the next day. I didn't realise the times and when I ordered a Multiplay I assumed it would be on from 22:00 until the same time the next night. So I really only saw it once at that time. In a way the films are worth it. They are new and you would pay the same at the video store. So this way is better as you don't have to go out. The only bad point is that these films come on the normal Sky movie channels 3 months after being on pay-per-view. So if you pay £14 a month this gives you all the movie channels. That is cheaper than ordering the p.p.v. You can also get sporting events this way as well. I think the prices range from £5-£15. I feel that Sky gets enough money out of me so I don't pay any more.
What a great idea? This service has been avavilable to Sky subscribers for quite a lot of years now! But in my eyes, it just keeps getting better abd better. Basically, Sky Box Office gives the viewer the oppurtunity to watch the latest films about 6 months before they hit the Sky screens (Sky Premier etc). With the old system (Big Chunky Dish - Sky), people were able to ring up a phone number to Sky and order their desired movie very easily indeed. But times were restricted, maybe only be shown a once or twice a night! But now the service, with the New Sky Digital system ables viewers to pay for a movie through their remote control. Not only that their is the option of choosing a time, (some films begin every 15 minutes) and you will find yourself paying it monthly! This is really handy especially if there is a new film you wish to see without popping down to the local Video Rental store! I have found though that this can get a bit addictive through the month before you see your bill anyway! mainly beacuse it is so easy, you do not have to even pick up the telephone! A big downer i have found is that some features like special sporting events are heavily over priced. For example, the latest boxing fights ask for a bout £12-£15 to see the action, which is shown free to Sky Sports subscribers only a week later! But all in all a pretty great channel, for a film now and then! (can get expensive - not like you dont have to spend a fortune already)
Sky box office was a good idea but i think it has let itself down by being to expensive £3.00, against a average price of £2.00 in a video shop. Even if you live in the country side and nowhere near a video shop you may order one or two films a month but thats not what sky want or needs. If they reduced thier price to £2.00 i bet thier sales would treble. The second problem for sky is that all box office films are encrypted so you cannot tape them. The only thing i think they will do well with is the special events like boxing the price is high but if you have a few friends round the house and share the cost it is not so bad.
I do use this service offered by Sky quite a lot. It’s a good way of watching movies instead of waiting a year for them to be shown on terrestrial television. If you have sky digital you will realise that there’s literally loads of channels which show sky box office films. Most movies start at set times which can be 2pm to 10pm. Basically, it gives you the choice and for as little as £3 you can watch one of their top movies. There’s always a good list to chose from, from action, to horror to family movies. So, there’s quite a diverse range of movies available. Some movies are available on multi play, which means that if you buy it you can watch it as many times as you want during that day. So, its best to buy the movies in the morning unless you’re a night person and want to stay up all night. Ordering is quite simple and you either phone customer services and they book it for you-mind you it’s a premium rate number or if you enter the last four digits of your pin you can watch the film that way. Anything you order will be charged to your bank account at the end of the month. It’s a good, efficient service. However, we subscribed to all sky packages including sport and movies due to a clause in our contract when we bought Sky. We paid £38 a month which is a lot of money. So, I don’t see why we should pay for film when we pay already, surely Sky should bring the best movies to us included in the Sky package, since we pay so much money in the first place. My husband is a huge boxing fan but I do not allow him to buy the Box Office fights, we pay enough already and therefore we should get all the best fights free on the three sports channels. Surely, Sky can’t have it both ways, they make us pay a subscription and then make us pay a fee for top events. Although, I have bought a few Sky Box office films I am not happy about it.
Sky Box Office is the best thing to hit the movie scene since movies themselves. Say for example you didn't see a film at the cinema, and you want to rent the video. You would have to wait for a great deal of time before the film is available to rent on video, but with Sky Box Office the film is available fairly quickly. Now with each film starting every 15 minutes you can watch the film wheenever you want for just £2.50, that better most video rental stores. Sky Box Office also now has a great multiplay feature so if you are going out later but someone else in the house will only be in later, you can get the film and both people will be happy as when you get a film on Multiplay you can watch it as many times as you want that day for no exra cost. This also means with films you need to watch twice such as the Matrix you can do that easily. Sky Box Office can be ordered instantly with your Digital remote Control, so you don't have to bopther going down to a video store or even making a phonecall. Sky Box Office is great value and very useful. I rate it 5 out of 5 without question.
Sky Box Office is a Pay Per View service from Sky. You can order movies and sports events easily through you Sky digital remote control. At the moment movies are charged at £3.00. Box Office shows movies before the come onto Sky Premier but after they come out on video. I find £3.00 a movie good because that is about the average price to hire a video from the video shop. With most movies they are sold as multiplay. This means that you can watch them as many times as you want in that day. Spots events are sold for around £12.00, which I think as a bit steep.