3D for three bucks

I’ve been waging my own little boycott of 3D movies.  With a family of five, I’m just not spending the extra money to wear those stupid glasses when I get little in return.

Really, “The Smurfs 3D?” For an extra $3 per ticket?

Please.

Even big movie producers are trashing the 3D trend. The New Zealand Herald reports that movie directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, who are working on “The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn,” criticized the poor quality and price add-on for 3D.

The filmmakers say that films are often shot in 2D and then converted to 3D producing a poor quality movie. They are filming their movie in 3D from the start.

Spielberg said: “To show a 3D movie in a similar theatre in a multiplex next to another similar theatre showing a 2D movie, [I'm] hoping some day there will be so many 3D movies that the point of purchase prices can come down, which I think would be fair to the consumer."

 When it comes to the overall experience, Dan Frommer of the Business Insider reported earlier this spring that moviegoers are giving it two thumbs down.

 “Because 3D movies are significantly more expensive to attend, and because only a few movies like ‘Avatar’ have ever really made 3D seem truly amazing,” Frommer writes. “For most movies, it's a lame add-on that doesn't add much.”

I want to hear from you. What 3D movies have you seen that were more a bust than a plus?

Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Put “3D for Three Bucks” in the subject line. Be sure to include your full name, city and state.

This is your chance to become a movie reviewer. I want to start a regular feature within the e-letter in which you review the latest 3D movie release and let us know whether the added cost is worth it. If you see a 3D movie, send me your critique and I’ll pass it along.

Your Honey and Your Money

Askmen.com and Cosmopolitan both commissioned surveys of men and women that, among other topics, explored their attitudes about money.

Here are some of the findings of the surveys, as reported by AOL:

-- Seventy-seven percent of men think women put too much value on a man's financial worth, and 82 percent of women surveyed agreed.

-- Eight-five percent of men said that they would be okay with having a partner who makes more money than they do, and 73 percent of women say that they would be okay with having a partner who makes less than them.

-- Forty-five percent of men have a plan for retirement and either are currently saving or will start saving for retirement soon. But only 21 percent of women have any plan.

Finally, here’s an interesting finding.The surveys reveal that men and women are far apart when it comes to what they consider the ultimate status symbol. Forty-three percent of women think that it is a beautiful home while 26 percent of men said it’s having a successful partner. At 39 percent men ranked family as their number one choice.

Here’s this week’s Color of Money Question:  Are the poll findings in line with the patterns you see in your own life?Send your response to colorofmoney@washpost.com.  Be sure to include your full name, city and state.

Burden of Proof 

There may be a payoff to challenging a debt collection bill you don’t owe, reports the Baltimore Sun’s Jamie Smith Hopkins.

Hopkins found that consumers are successfully contesting and winning judgments against debt collection companies because of faulty or insufficient paperwork.

Consumers have “been sued on debts discharged through bankruptcy. They've been sued on debts they'd already paid off. And some have been sued for debts incurred by other people with similar names,” writes Hopkins.

But then, when debt collectors are challengedto produce paperwork proving a debtor owes the money, they often can’t show a thing.

Maryland's highest court is about to consider a rule change that would make itclear that debt buyers cannot expect a judgment against a no-show defendant without presentingsufficient evidence to back up their claims. A court committee recommended the move in June at the urging of the Maryland Attorney General's Office and the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the Sun reported.

One chief judge in Maryland's District Court said some debt-buyers count on the fact that unsophisticated consumers won't stand up for themselves and judges — hearing no defense — will sign off on claims without realizing they're deficient. Often when debt collection companies buy debt they only get minimal information on the debtor and his or her debt.

So here’s the lesson in this story: If you receive a debt collection notice demand proof that you owe the debt.

Responses to “Social Media Screening”

Last week’s Color of Money Question was: Should employers be allowed to screen job candidates based on their online behavior, even if their actions are not pertinent to the job listing?

Here’s what you had to say about this new trend:

 “Any young person who posts photos on social media that demonstrate their recklessness will have a smaller pool of potential employers,” writes Ellen Mahoney of Jacksonville, Fla.

Phenola Moore of Largo, Md. believes that prospective employees shouldn’t be screened unless the position is in a faith-based organization where morals may be an issue.

“What people do on their off time shouldn't weigh on a person trying to get a job,” she writes. “Some people know how to separate work from play. Actually, it can be used as a form of discrimination against the candidate depending on the person who is reviewing the social media site. It's a very touchy subject and I don't think it is a good thing for those who have embraced social media.”

“Presumably by posting any information on an open forum, as provided by the social media, the individual is expressing his or her thoughts on a given subject,” says Fred Ort of Round Rock, Texas. “It seems to me that a potential employer almost has the obligation to see if the information shared by a potential employee will fit in with the standards the company requires of its employees. Anyone in his right mind could not put damaging information on the social media without the expectation of potential repercussions from those who take exception to the remarks. As long as the company does not engage in overt spying, social media is fair game. If you don't want something known about you, don't broadcast it.”

“Nobody is defending the person who is looking for drugs on the internet, but I’m worried that they might see that I’m a mom and decide that I’m not going to be committed to the job like someone else might be,” wrote Samantha Wigglesworth of Germantown, Md.  “Or they might use it for profiling candidates based on ethnicity, attractiveness, or sexual orientation. Worse still, customers, coworkers and clients can see everything, so until cyber privacy is better I’m taking down everything I can.”

I’m with Samantha. I stick to posting only work-related information.

Debt Defeater

Got a new attitude since becoming debt -free?Tell me about it.

Send your stories to colorofmoney@washpost.com and put “Debt Defeater” in the subject line. Please include your name and where you live.

I want to know how much debt you got rid of and how it feels to be debt free.

You will receive a free Debt Defeater T-shirt if I read your story during my live video chat.

Upcoming Events

I’ll be speaking at the Women’s and Girls Fund of the Mid-shore fundraising event on Sept.15 at 7 p.m. at the Avalon Theater in Easton, Md. This event raises money to provide grants to non-profit organizations that provide a number of services to women and girls in several counties in Maryland. For example a grant to a Cambridge youth center is funding mentoring, tutoring, and after school programs for mothers and children from the low-income neighborhood it serves.

For ticket information, call 410-770-8347 or email info@womenandgirlsfunnd.org.

Tia Lewis contributed to this e-letter.

 You are welcome to e-mail comments and questions to singletarym@washpost.com . Please include your name and hometown; your comments may be used in a future column or newsletter unless otherwise requested. 

 

Michelle Singletary writes the nationally syndicated personal finance column, “The Color of Money.”
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