Last Saturday, after spending eight bucks to rent two movies for five days from Hollywood Video, I decided to abandon the brick and mortar video emporiums (emporia?) in favor of internet-based Netflix.
One of the movies I rented, “Coffee and Cigarettes,” was so excruciatingly arty I could barely stay awake through the whole thing. I was obliged to apologize to Technogeek for choosing it. I must say, it takes a certain evil anti-genius to put Tom Waits and Iggy Pop on a screen together and make it boring.
The other movie, “Garden State,” was more entertaining, in spite of the appearance of Natalie “Wooden Star Wars Babe” Portman. And the sound track rocked.
It wasn’t the movies that turned me to the online world (as if I didn’t already spend most of my time there), it was the eight dollars.
Netflix works like this: you pay a flat monthly fee to rent all the movies you want. You can have up to three at a time. As soon as they get one back (and shipping is included in the fee) they send out the next movie in your queue.
So here’s my report:
The web site, Netflix.com, is easy to use and works smoothly. I had no trouble figuring out how to sign up or how to manage my queue. My only complaint is that the site is too selective in what it decides to show me when I’m browsing. For some reason it keeps recommending Johnny Depp movies. On second thought, that’s a good thing. But still, an alphabetical list of everything they’ve got would be useful sometimes.
The cost: so far, it doesn’t cost anything. There’s a two week free trial. After that, it’s 17 some bucks per month for unlimited three-at-a-time rentals. And you can keep the movies as long as you want with no late fees.
The service: I signed up late Saturday night and had my first three movies on Tuesday. On Wednesday I mailed back the one we’d watched (“Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”). Thursday I received email from Netflix indicating they’d received the disk I sent back and shipped the next one. That’s pretty darn speedy.
There you have it. Transvestite Rabbit gives Netflix 5 carrots.
About “Sky Captain…” well, it wasn’t my choice. I foolishly told Technogeek my Netflix password, so he has access to the queue. If you are a big action/adventure film buff, you will enjoy watching “Sky Captain” and catching all the spots (about every three minutes) where another movie is referenced/ripped off/paid homage. And it wasn’t nearly as bad as “Coffee and Cigarettes.”