Monday, February 10, 2014

Welcome Back, Old Friend

Image from: Wikipedia
When I was in college, I subscribed to Netflix. This was a world-changing program for me. It was the perfect program for a college kid--they deliver movies TO YOU, and you can keep them as long as you like with no late fees. I watched a ton of anime, obviously, because that's what you do when you're 19, but I also watched a bunch of obscure movies--taped performances of stage plays no longer in wide circulation, obscure straight-to-DVD or TV movies, etc. It was great.

When they split the program a few years back to just instant or just DVDs, my wife and I decided to drop the DVDs part. After all, it was going to double the price we were paying for our subscription, and we really only used the Instant service anyway.

If you read this blog regularly, you might recall that we recently cancelled our membership to MoviePass. It was one of my favorite programs ever because I love love love movies, and there's something about the theater going experience that's almost religious to me. It sounds weird, but theaters are like my cathedrals where I go to pay my respects. Except when goddamned teenagers come in and talk loudly and fuck around on their bright ass phones, but anyway.

The loss of MoviePass has been particularly painful because we can now no longer afford to see the newly released movies that so many people flock to the theaters to see. I haven't seen Frozen, or Her, or Wolf of Wall Street, or American Hustle, or 12 Years a Slave, or Nebraska, or Inside Llewyn Davis, or The Monuments Men. Or a thousand other movies that came out recently in theaters that I reaaaally wanted to see.

We could catch the really really big movies when they come to Redbox...but that would mean standing outside in the cold to pick out a movie. Every time I've used a Redbox, it's been kind of unpleasant. It's not like when we used to have video rental stores where we could go stand inside, wander the shelves, and rent a few movies. It's a much more limited selection, and I hate standing outside in the cold--or the super hot--to get my movie. And I have to repeat that experience to return the movies. And besides, Redbox is mostly full of shitty direct-to-DVD horror movies or shitty direct-to-DVD kids' movies.

After talking about it, we signed up for a free trial of Netflix DVD and Redbox to compare the two services. The Redbox membership free trial includes 4 free movie rentals and access to their streaming service. We checked the Redbox streaming service once...it had mostly the same stuff that Netflix did, only less of it. We still haven't used the Redbox free rentals. Meanwhile, we've watched three movies with Netflix that we hadn't gotten around to seeing--The Perks of Being a Wallflower, In a World..., and The Master.

Instead of paying $60 a month to see movies in the theater, we will pay around $16 a month. I don't get the theater experience, but I can at least see the new releases in a relatively quick manner, and I don't have to worry about standing out in the cold to get it, or whether it'll be too obscure a movie for Redbox.

It's nice to be able to check the mail and find a movie sitting in your mailbox waiting on you. It feels like getting a present, which is nice.

God I love movies.