My New Pastime and My Old Nemesis
I love movies...ever since we got our first VCR in 1987... I even remember our first recorded VHS tape held Rad, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Adventures in Babysitting. Damn those were the days. I would say with the invention of the VCR, plus my dads similar obsession with movies, we racked up about 400 hours or so of unadulterated, commercial-free, movie archives. After this hobby drifted off into oblivion, the movie collection was just memories... new movies were coming out, sometimes 3-5 a week on hbo/showtime/cinemax. i remember we even sat down and for 2 weeks we tallied all the movies on those three channels for like five different criteria and decided that hbo had the best lineup (as it does to this day) unless youre looking for that late night put a sock over it and pass out kinda night.
The video industry kinda got weird... tons of local video stores opened up shop. i just remember even kroger had a video rental place at one time. and they had some damn good deals too, 99c wednesdays and shit like that. somehow out of the dust that settled after this industry developed, Blockbuster inc (founded 1985) came out of the pool and opened up shop all over the united states. To date they have 8900 stores and of course there is no such thing as a franchise, its all corporate.
is this man not the devil himself (CEO far right)
The problem is, there are clearly way cooler video stores... places in atl include Movies Worth Seeing and Videodrome. Local shops where the employees are not just droning robots who chant "welcome to blockbuster" and "can i help you find anything today?" and they actually have some respect for the industry and genres and ya know, can actually recommend movies to you based on other movies you rent. These local shops will probably be all but oblivious in the next 10 years or so, but I wish they held the majority of the market share, oh well.
So obviously unless your pakistani friend works at Hollywood Video, you have to go to blockbuster to get all your new releases. What is a consumers biggest pet peeve about blockbuster in the whole entire world ever ever? fucking late fees. i cannot rant or rave about the late fees, since its kinda cliche to, i will just say this... if you google "blockbuster late fees" there are about 50,000 results, all people complaining about blockbusters ridiculous late fee policy. if there are so many complaints, and blockbuster is so corporate, what is the possible solution to all this fiasco?
netflix. mmm, just saying the word makes me smile. i feel like everyone who is on the internet or under the age of 30 knows what netflix is, but in case you dont, go here. i personally decided to follow in my fathers footsteps and make a new little hobby for myself. i cant go into it without interpol on my ass, but lets just say it involves this, this, and 8 movies at a time for like 40 bucks a month. when i get the little red envelopes in the mail, its like channuka all over again. 8 presents at a time. with one day to ship and two days to return, we're looking at anywhere from 15-20 movies a week coming through my little factory. the best part is: NO MORE LATE FEES! no more mother fucking shitty corporate profit hunting late fees.
so today, the devil came out with a statement saying Blockbuster vows to go after Netflix. (full article) Unfortunately, this forces me to take action. 2 million people are on netflix right now... and they are expanding their business like crazy. if you live in one of the 40 biggest cities, you can probably get next day rentals. netflix is run on a website, so you have a queue of all the movies you want to rent. you can add, delete, move up and down, anything you want. they get the new releases the day they come out. i had starsky and hutch sitting in my mailbox yesterday and it was released on dvd yesterday. once you rank movies, it starts to give you a whole list of recommendations based on genre, actors, directors. its like six degrees of kevin bacon. my netflix queue has yet to drop below 100. and i already have 200 movies. and they have all tv shows, ie family guy, simpsons, friends, sopranos, whatever. and they have documentaries. and concerts. and foreign films.
So please, from the bottom of my heart to the bottom of your wallet, do not give blockbuster another fucking dime with their late fee shit. you know you hate it, why not just rent through netflix and return it when YOU want to? and if youre really smart, youll cut out that whole buying dvds at target thing all together.