Netflix has to be one of the best things ever invented. It’s such a simple system that they even explain it to housewifes in Kansas within a 30 second commercial spot. The website – www.netflix.com is a great design, very easy to navigate, and fast to use. The service is really good too, especially when you live near a distribution center, as those of us in the SF Bay Area do. The only downfall is when a DVD gets “lost”. It’s amazing how often this happens, but I seriously doubt it is the fault of Netflix. I would point my finger much more squarely at the Postal Service who see a disc and take a liking to it. Of course, if you’re thieving Netflix discs, you never really know what you’re going to get and honestly, getting 12 copies of the Spongebob Squarepants movie isn’t probably worth the risk of stealing them, but I digress.
So, here it is, this library of hundreds of thousands of films. It’s a dream come true for a cinephile. It’s a complete nightmare for your friends though and here’s the reason why: you’re finally catching up on films you missed. I like to see as many films as I can when they come out, but as work and everything take up more of my time, the amount of time I spend at the theater has diminished. This combined with the fact that people in theater are getting worse and worse (talking through the film, talking on their cellphone through the film, getting in to fistfights) that I have little interest in going to the silver screen anymore. So, I wait for it on video. Of course, this means that I may be getting to it years later on video. For instance, I’ve never seen True Romance all the way through until I checked it out from The Flix a couple weeks ago. After watching it, I start blabbing about it to everyone I know like it just came out. Lame, yes? Such is the curse of Netflix. You see everything you want, but you really can’t talk about it unless its recently been released.
But, if you’re one of the people who know what The Queue is then you’re one of us. The few, the proud, the group that realizes that Repo Man was the only film of Emilio Estevez’s career worth watching, and lastly the redoubtable movie nerds that love film and love what Netflix has done to make it all so accessible.
As a side note, it’s pretty funny that Blockbuster (the crusher of independent video shops and illicit editors of the films they rent) started their own online service. Somewhere along the line they got the idea that this was a market they wanted a piece of, but what they don’t realize is that all the people who use Netflix are all the people who hate Blockbuster and everything they stand for.