Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Just a little Movie Crack

So I'm addicted to Netflix. I'm so addicted I should get ad revenue for this blog posting. We just started the 'flix (allow me to truncate?) a scant two weeks ago, and I already cannot imagine my life without it. I justified the service--which delivers two movies via mail to your house as fast as you can watch them and send them back for a monthly fee of $15--as a sane alternative to the cable that of course I no longer have. (An absence that means even this very moment we are getting a new pope and I know nothing about it, nothing. Although I do hope the guy from Africa gets it.)

Netflix is intentional television watching writ large. I can't watch mindless tv endlessly like I used to, but now I have a weekly fix, an important element in the quest to keep me from getting all academic and stuffy. (I use the word "quest" in homage to my last Netflix selection: "Monty Python and the Holy Grail.") My tube time is as carefully controlled as a government approved steady-drip IV--no risk of overdosing--and all this at a cost lower than basic cable. Truly we live in a remarkable age.

My favorite thing about Netflix (aside from the obvious: no late fees, no trips to the video store, blah blah blah) is all the random and forgotten movies on the site that you can browse through, stumbling across your childhood favorites. They have 40,000 movies, which means they have "Flight of the Navigator" and the complete 8 hour set of "Anne of Green Gables." This is a gold mine, people. (Tell me you know about "Flight of the Navigator.")

You also get real customer testimonials about the films. Like this one on the aforesaid Anne of Green Gables mini-series:

"I didn't see it till last year while I was watching a PBS fund-raiser. I am a 40 year old man, Sci-Fi fan, computer geek, Love Heavy Metal, fast cars, and my gun collection. But this movie touched my soul more than any movie I have ever seen in my life! I rolled with laughter, I cried puddles of tears, I cheered, jumped up and down, RAN to the bathroom during the breaks, and LIED to get my best friend off the phone quick!"

(I did not make this up.)

Good stuff. Netflix has allowed that man to avoid creeped-out looks at the video store when he tries to rent a kids' movie about a twelve year old girl without having kids of his own. It has also allowed me to rent all the Sex and the City I can handle and check out that new show "The L Word" that everyone is talking about without trying to convince James of their merits at the video store (a futile undertaking). Up next in my queue: "Bridget Jones and the Edge of Reason" (yeah, he doesn't know about that one either), "The Italian Job," "The Manchurian Candidate," and "The Sound of Music." Liesel in the house.


At 3:35 PM, Blogger jameson said...

I do now! And sometimes, she even lets me pick.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger joyandpain said...

So, only one movie per week? I always worried that with Netflix I'd be watching movies more than I ever watched cable. I'm nowhere near able to give up cable, I'm still totally amazed you did! I need to watch poker greats.

Maybe you'll enjoy B.Jones if you go into it not expecting much. It was a big disappointment after the first.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous trent said...

Netflix ostensibly has "Beyond Therapy" (rated 2 out of 5 stars, if i recall) but the first time I ordered it, it never arrived, and the second time it arrived cracked in half. You having better luck?

At 8:00 PM, Blogger scs said...

Oooooo! I hadn't even thought of tracking down our career-making epic from netflix. But I will try to do so now and let you know how it goes. Maybe I'll also order "An Unmarried Woman" with Jill Clayburgh.


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