I always hate it when someone uses the dreaded phrase "normal viewing distance" which is completely subjective, vague and ambiguous. Normal to my parents is sitting 15-20 feet from the tv, normal for me is sitting 8 feet away, normal for some of my friends is 5 feet away. What's "normal"?
The real problem is that it's not viewing distance but field-of-view that's important for discerning resolution. Watching 10 feet from a 26 inch is not the same was 10 feet away from a 60 inch tv. It's helpful to recast viewing distance into multiples of screen size, most home theater enthusiasts sit between 1.5-2.5 * screen size away from their tvs for that immersive experience. At that viewing distance hd is clearly superior to sd (assuming that you have reasonable eyesight). If you sit further away than about 3 * screen size away then hd and sd will look the same.
This is based on the human eye's ability to distinguish between two lines if they are separated by at least 1 arcminute apart. Most people that buy hdtvs buy in the 40-46 inch size range and sit typically between 8-10 feet away from the tv. That means that most people who buy an hdtv (as long as they have 20/20 eyesight) will see an improvement with hd content over sd content.
To say that those that watch blu-ray mostly use netflix and itunes is speculation, and as someone who watches lots and lots of blu-ray I think it's not quite right.
Itunes is for overcompressed garbage that is nothing compared to the pristine high bitrate beauty that is blu-ray, in fact streaming hd content from any online source doesn't even compare to dvd. Videophiles do not turn to online content for their hd fix. It's for the good enough crowd and trendy hip journalists only.
Thanks to netflix' recent rate hike on blu-ray access there is almost no price difference between netflix and in-store. Despite the increase in price for blu-ray access on netflix, some new bd's still have long waits that make you wait patiently for several weeks before you get it. This is what I do:
If I really, really want to see it multiple times in hd-- amazon preorder
If I want to see it asap, but don't want to pay to own-- in-store bd rental
If I want to see it and it must be in hd, but I can wait a month or two-- netflix
If I want to see it, I don't want to wait but don't care if it's in hd-- redbox
If I want to see it, I don't want to wait but don't care if it's in hd and redbox doesn't carry it-- in-store dvd rental
I think that there must be plenty more people like me that feel that there still is a place for the brick and mortar rental stores. Don't compartmentalize people into the in-store crowd, the netflix crowd, and the itunes crowd... in reality people use multiple sources for their entertainment.
If you didn't like the "modernized plot" they opted for, don't watch it.
Actually it's not modernized at all. Gigantic ship/entity destroying everything in it's path was in Star Trek 1, 4, 8, 9, and 10 and of course many scifi movies. Time travel was not only heavily used in all of the tv shows but was also used in Star Trek 4. Seriously the plot was so tired and cliche that it doesn't take long to figure out where it's headed. There are ways in which this movie feels modern and that is in that there is less talking, lots of cgi and poorly choreographed fight scenes that involve jerking the camera around so you can't see what's going on, and of course just being a reboot, remake, prequel etc makes it "modern", this seems to be the decade of unimaginative movie making. Heck the previews before the feature were from Transformers, GI Joe, and Terminator 4! Redressing an old show/movie with new cgi doesn't remake the storytelling, sorry but Star Trek 11 is not as radically different from other Star Trek movies/shows as everyone is making it out to be.
I'm not surprised to see people think it's different, just as I'm not surprised that teenagers (as a teacher I know this for a fact!) are not aware that the current bulk of horror movies are remakes of 80s movies, and the action blockbusters are movie versions of cartoons. I would like to see scifi/fantasy/horror/heck just an action movie that's not (a) a remake, (b) a reboot, (c) an unnecessary prequel, (d) based on a comic book or (e) based on a series of novels targeted at young adults. Would it be too much to ask for some originality?
Get some exercise. Take multivitamins and get a good nights sleep.
In particular B vitamins can really improve your energy levels, especially B12.
Any viewers for whom the movie experience was their first Watchmen exposure want to weigh in?
That movie was my first exposure to Watchmen, and IMO it's not that good of a movie. It lacked a cohesive plot. Telling the backstory through all of those flashbacks made it feel like an episode of Lost, and took the attention away from the main plot. The flashblack mechanism didn't even work right because there were too many characters, and too much emphasis on things not important to deliver character or plot development effectively. I guess I can't blame 'em. The whodunit mystery and the evil plan are trite. The movie is not complex or subtle, it's just bloated. And the choice of songs completely lacks subtlety. Think about it-- "The Times are a changin'" next to a montage showing how the times changed, "The Sound of Silence" at a funeral, "All along the Watchtower"... wait do I even need to go on?
Now the fanboys say it's supposed to be deep, thinking movie because it deconstructs the superhero archetypes or whatever. Now ask yourself this question: why is that important for a movie seeking a broad audience? Answer: it's not! And to top it all off, most of the acting was poor.
Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and think what nobody else has thought.