Scott Hardie | October 26, 2002
Like just about everybody by now, I heard of Netflix a while ago, but for some reason I didn't sign up until today. If you rent a lot of movies, it's a good deal: $19.95 a month for all the movies you want, no shipping costs, no hassle. The only catch is, you can only get three at a time. When you're done with one, you put it in the mailer and send it back to them, and when they get it they send you the next one on your list, and the whole process takes 5-9 days. So, with the limit imposed, you really max out at three movies a week. They make money, too, since shipping is only $.37 per disc, so even with a customer renting the maximum number of movies in a month, they still make a dollar per rental. It's a good deal for Netflix, it's a good deal for customers (the ones who watch a lot of movies anyway), so it sounds good to me. I'm catching up on some of the movies that I missed earlier in the year; my first three rentals are The Brotherhood of the Wolf, Panic Room, and Scotland, PA. I can't wait.

Scott Hardie | October 26, 2002
Oh, and I forgot to mention, I can finally see "The Sopranos." Fuck cable.

Matthew Preston | October 26, 2002
Fuck cable yes... that is if you only would have used to it watch "The Sopranos." Do they actually let you rent a whole season as one rental? Or are they gonna pull the Blockbuster crap and make you check out each disc one at a time?

Scott Hardie | October 26, 2002
They only do it one disc at a time, but that's because the mailers that they use only hold one disc. If they sent more than one disc, it would bump it up from $.37 to $3.95 per shipment.

Are any other shows on cable worth renting? They keep pushing "Sex and the City" but it doesn't look very appealing.

Anna Gregoline | October 26, 2002
Jesse and his family have used Netflix for a long time - they love it. I think it's a good thing for a Scott Hardie. =)

Lori Lancaster | October 28, 2002
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Scott Hardie | October 28, 2002
Glad to hear that they actually trust you when you tell them it was lost in the mail.

Scott Hardie | October 30, 2002
Well, my eagerness to see "Scotland, PA" was unfounded. It's god-awful. See my TMR.

K. R. | October 31, 2002
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Scott Hardie | October 31, 2002
GreenCine sounds like it's more up my alley (I'm primarily using Netflix to catch up on all the indie, foreign, and art house films that I missed because they never came to my town), but so far, I haven't found a movie that Netflix doesn't have, and I've already got over three hundred movies in my rental queue. Other than the giving-some-profits-to-charity part, I don't see what GreenCine has that Netflix doesn't. But I will go check with them when I can't find something at Netflix. :-)

Matthew Preston | November 2, 2002
Well, you convinced me. I got a membership to Netflix. I wanted to wait until I was settled into a new place here in the Milwaukee area... but it's simply a matter of logging in and changing my info.
What I didn't realize was that there are other options to checking out more movies. Up to 8 at a time, but of course it costs more. I am starting on a special 2-week trial period so I can only have 3 out a time now, but I may upgrade in the future if it turns out good.

Scott Hardie | November 2, 2002
Damn, I didn't even see that! I am definitely upgrading to the 8-disc version when my free trial expires!

Anna Gregoline | December 5, 2003
I looked up this thread cause I just started Netflix, since Jesse and I have been renting a lot of movies. It's awesome! They email you when it's shipped, and the first three movies arrived on the day they said they would. I've already got 87 movies in our rental list, and that's partially thanks to Scott and his movie reviews with Netflix link. =) Thanks, Scott!

Erik Bates | December 5, 2003
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Scott Hardie | December 5, 2003
Glad to help. Netflix has been a real joy in my life in the past 13 months. I'm guaranteed never to miss a new movie that I want to see, as long as I make a point of adding new theatrical releases to my queue every Friday. I've been able to catch up on TV series that I've missed, without paying retail price for the boxed sets. And Netflix has doubled the number of movies I can see in a year, so they'll get another "special thanks" in my Best Films of 2003 list. :-)

I eventually got tired of the "your movie has been received" and "your movie has shipped" emails, so I filter them out. I do wish that Netflix rented out video games as well, but thankfully there are other companies for that.

Erik Bates | March 24, 2004
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Scott Hardie | March 24, 2004
Alright, fess up. What are your first three?

Erik Bates | March 24, 2004
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Scott Hardie | March 24, 2004
Love the answers. :-)

Anybody else want to share their first three? Mine were The Count of Monte Cristo, Scotland, PA, and Panic Room. Only the first one was good, but all three hold a special place for me because of the association.

Steve Dunn | March 24, 2004
I don't remember my first three. I've been using Netflix for about a year, and I love it passionately. Most recently, I rented Thirteen and Kids at the same time, just 'cuz I was in the mood for disturbing movies about kids getting wasted and having sex. (Incidentally, Kids is the far superior film, in my view, on every level. More real, more disturbing, better street lingo. Did I mention it is more disturbing?)

I've been using Netflix to catch up on old movies that are supposed to be great. Unfortunately, I often find myself thinking, "Wow, this film looks like it must be some kind of technical achievement, but it sure is boring!" At the risk of revealing my tastes as hopelessly lowbrow, I thought Citizen Kane, The Seven Samurai, and The Great Escape were all yawners. (Not that I'm against old movies per se - I thought The Bridge Over the River Kwai and Johnny Got His Gun were fantastic). I've got Singin' In The Rain here at the house now, and I have heard many great things about it.

Netflix is also good for music videos and documentaries. I've rented a few Tupac documentaries, a Sublime video (those guys were punk geniuses) and Bowling For Columbine (sucked).

As for cable, some of you sound like you might enjoy the Sundance Channel. Lots of indie films, short films, and cool documentaries.

Sex and the City was a good show, but it got progressively worse every season, as the writers felt it necessary to get "serious" and the direction of 21st century feminism came to depend on whether Carrie needed a man. The first season is hilarious and quirky.

Lori Lancaster | March 24, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | March 24, 2004
The Red Violin (which Jesse teases me about because I sort of ruined the ending by being too excited about the movie)
The Bourne Identity

Scott Hardie | March 24, 2004
It is possible to look up your rental history, unless you have since canceled your account like Lori did. :-\

Netflix is great for old movies. If I can ever break this terrible habit I've developed for watching television shows on DVD and letting the movies sit there unwatched, I hope to work my way through the classics. I like "Citizen Kane" a lot, but it's not the most engaging film ever made. "Casablanca" came out a year later and is much more watchable - what do you think of that film?

I loved "Bowling for Columbine" both times I saw in theaters. Though I have not seen it since, it is not holding up well in my memory, and I think that's due to the changing world not even two years later. The nation's politics has gotten so acrimonious that to conservatives, Moore's arguments are no longer worth any consideration, and to liberals, he now sounds like he's speaking dogma instead of saying something revolutionary. This is perhaps Moore's idea of an ideal political divide, but not mine.

John E Gunter | March 24, 2004
Steve, how did you feel about the Magnificent Seven? Granted, it's got some things in it that reflect the time it was made.

Like the story by Steve McQueen, "Guy falls out of the window of a building. As he passes each floor, the people keep hearing him say, so far so good." Now, I don't know exactly how tall buildings were back then, but there were no skyscrapers, so he couldn't have done that for too long.

Anyway, I've not done the Netflix thing, because I don't rent that many movies. I know it's a good idea, but just don't watch that much TV or DVD as the case may be.

Steve Dunn | March 26, 2004
John - I haven't seen The Magnificent Seven in a long time, but I think I liked it when I saw it. I'm sure the Seven Samurai blew people's minds when it came out - and I can tell Kurosawa created some amazing visuals with VERY old-school technology. My modern eyes just had a hard time relating to the narrative.

I thought Bowling for Columbine raised some interesting points (for example, why is there so much violence in the USA compared to Canada, even though we have essentially the same culture and the same number of guns?) My problem with it is that it was basically a documentary about Michael Moore - the self righteous ego-trip aspect of it was too much for me to bear.

Two scenes in particular were nearly enough to make me shoot my television, Elvis-style. First, when he accompanied the disabled kid to K-Mart headquarters to raise hell about the fact that K-Mart sells guns and ammo. Moore conceived the incident, then filmed himself carrying it out. Ooooh, look how brave and controversial Michael Moore appears in Michael Moore's movie!

Then, after the ambushed Charlton Heston at home (I thought Heston was very gracious to talk to him at all, under the circumstances), when he's leaving the house, he stops to place the photo of the dead girl at Heston's doorstep... then he walks away, thoughtfully, plaintively, looking back, wiping away a tear, overcome with the poignancy of the moment he conceived and then filmed himself carrying out. Ooooh, look how sensitive and sincere Michael Moore appears in Michael Moore's movie!!!

Don't even get me started about the factual inaccuracies and misleading editing in the film (for example splicing together two different speeches to make it sound like the NRA was giving the rhetorical finger to the Columbine victims at their annual convention).

I find it exceedingly difficult to believe that Bowling for Columbine was the best documentary made that year, thus deserving of an Oscar. Way too much self-aggrandizement for me.

John E Gunter | March 26, 2004
Though I haven't been able to sit through the whole movie, I think you've pinned down my sentiments about Mr. Moore's film as well. There is nothing wrong with making films and even putting yourself in the films, but I really don't like it when some makes a 'documentary' about their own political views.

But that's enough about my feelings about Bowling.

As far as the Seven Samurai, being the film nut I am, made it easier for me to sit through it. Course, if I had viewed that when I first saw Magnificent, I don't think I could have watched it all the way through.

But unless you are into movies, I can see how you wouldn't be interested in watching it. I enjoyed seeing how closely they made Magnificent to Samurai. But that's the film nut in me.

Kris Weberg | March 26, 2004
I view Bowling for Columbine as the filmed equivalent of an angry newspaper editorial or political book, and as such I have no problem with it presenting Moore's views or using staged moments conceived by Moore. And like most people, Moore tends to be the hero in his version of the story.

Surely, through conscious choices of shots, narration, and editing, all documentaries are products of the filmmakers' conception, aren't they?

John E Gunter | March 26, 2004
That depends on whether they are trying to be objective or not. A documentary should be about the subject. Sure you can never be truly objective, as to some extent you color anything you create by your views.

But I've seen many documentaries, especially student made documentaries, that were more about the subject, rather than about the creator’s views on the subject.

Steve Dunn | March 26, 2004
I have no opinion on the platonic ideal in documentary filmmaking. I merely explained why I thought Bowling For Columbine sucked. I thought it was going to contain facts and arguments about guns. Instead, it consisted primarily of disjointed self-serving vignettes with some heartstring appeal, but no discernable unifying theme except maybe that "the NRA is bad, mmm-kay?" The film doesn't even make a case against guns.

I realize I'm in a minority on this. Virtually everyone I know thought Bowling For Columbine was great. Similarly, I am the only person I know who thinks the band Coldplay sucks (or is at best a pale imitation of 80s-era U2). I think the TV show 24 sucks.

I make no claim to having aesthetic judgment of greater worth than anyone else's. And I'm not saying he shouldn't have made the movie. I'm just saying I personally prefer different sort of "documentaries." As in, the ones that permit the audience to think for itself.

Scott Hardie | March 26, 2004
No argument here about Coldplay.

Kris Weberg | March 27, 2004
I think that Coldplay and 24 suck as well. I'm just arguing that "documentary" doesn't have to mean "objective" or "attempting to be objective." Documentaries are just nonfiction movies, and there're countless examples of nonfiction opinion pieces. Why is film not allowed to indulge in this form of expression?

Erik Bates | March 27, 2004
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Kris Weberg | March 28, 2004
I've read, over and over, about how the free gun moment was "faked" -- that you actually get the gun elsewhere after opening the account, and so on. But if that's the case, then how did Moore get the bank to hand him a gun in the bank, as clearly happened onscreen? I mean, if nothing else, the bank employees would have to want to give everyone the impressiont hat oen gest the gun in the bank, right?

Anna Gregoline | March 29, 2004
The basic facts are the same in the movie, even if he exaggerates them. I saw nothing wrong with Bowling for Columbine, especially since so many people jumped all over EVERY LITTLE THING in the movie. Like where he says what the war monument says - in his own words. Well, duh, of course it doesn't say it like he said it. Just frustrated me. Give a movie a chance!

John E Gunter | March 29, 2004
Sorry, but I don't like any preachy movies, no matter who makes them.

There is nothing wrong with a non-fiction film, but when most people are told that a movie is a documentary, they as expecting a film that is factual. But when you are exaggerating the facts, there is the possibility of misleading people.

No matter what the subject, that kind of filmmaking is irresponsible and wrong! That's why anytime you see an article in the paper that is about someone's opinion it's called an editorial!

Scott Hardie | March 29, 2004
Moore doesn't lie outright, but he twists and distorts the truth about as often he breathes. Most of the time he only presents the facts that align with his argument, presenting them out of context or ignoring all facts to the contrary. As a liberal who agrees with most of Moore's politics, I don't like how often he distorts the record, because it makes it seem like we have to lie in order to prove our points or be delusion in order to believe them.

Anna Gregoline | March 29, 2004
That's a good point, Scott. I don't want to seem like a wascally liberal. Regardless of the factual content and presentation of it, I think Moore's films have a high entertainment value, and I like them.

Erik Bates | March 30, 2004
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John E Gunter | March 30, 2004
I agree with you Scott.

I just believe it strikes a bad light for both liberals and film makers when something like Bowling gets made and then wins an award. Course, I think the academy is becoming more political with their choices of films they give awards to anyway, so don't even get me started there!

Scott Hardie | July 8, 2004
I just went to rent "From Hell" with Johnny Depp. Netflix suggested that I also rent "Bonus Material From Hell," but you know what, I've already seen plenty of that.

Anna Gregoline | July 8, 2004
LOL! Thanks for sharing, Scott.

Jackie Mason | July 8, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | July 8, 2004
That's Moore's main problem - arrogance. How many documenatary filmmakers go in front of the camera in their own films?

Jackie Mason | July 9, 2004
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Melissa Erin | July 9, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | July 9, 2004
Well, not for F 9/11. He was barely in front of the camera, except for his stunts, which I mentioned.

Gee, was that Fox news, perhaps? Just a guess.

Melissa Erin | July 9, 2004
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Jackie Mason | July 9, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | July 9, 2004
I wasn't responding to the comment he made, Melissa (which I haven't heard and would like to know the full text of), but the promotion of the comment - it makes one wonder these days about who is pushing what news content.

Unfortunately, most of the country isn't involved in the political process, if that's what he's talking about. I would really like to hear the quote.

Kris Weberg | July 9, 2004
And now, some guy is making a new movie called Michael Moore Hates America, attacking Moore's use of ambush techniques and selective presentation by using those methods against him.


Melissa Erin | July 9, 2004
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Jackie Mason | July 9, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | July 9, 2004
I don't think Michael Moore hates America at all! He wouldn't be putting so much effort into trying to help it by changing people's minds then. That's just ridiculous.

Did anyone hear about how Britney Spears' mom hit a photographer with her car?

Melissa Erin | July 9, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | July 10, 2004
She didn't do it on purpose - and yes, it was paparazzi.

Jackie Mason | July 10, 2004
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Scott Hardie | July 10, 2004
Yeah, but they never knew what it was like not to be outrageously wealthy, either. Their fame has netted them a combined fortune recently estimated around one billion dollars. Any time they get sick of the Access Hollywood bullshit and want some peace, they can retire from showbusiness, watch the well for stories like that dry up and disappear, and still have enough money to buy themselves a small country.

Jackie Mason | July 12, 2004
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Scott Hardie | January 15, 2005
Any other Netflix addicts want to link up with me? (link) Send me an invitation at netflix@ this site, and/or post your own address if you want others to link up with you. I have one "Netflix Friend" so far and already it's providing some interesting information.

Amy Austin | January 15, 2005

1) I like Coldplay.

2) Haven't seen a Michael Moore "film/documentary" since "Roger & Me" -- and I agree with John & Steve on the definition of "documentary". But not having seen one of Moore's since they *were* such, I can't really comment further. Except to say that I totally agree with Melissa about the shameless promotion of celebrity political agendas at places that shouldn't have anything to do with it! How cheap.

3) (And back to the subject...) E's had us signed up with Netflix for a while now -- can't remember if it's over a year or not... probably right at. So no idea what the first three were, but I am with you on the merits of it! Having never had HBO myself, I didn't get to see *any* episode of "Sex & the City" while it was on the air... and I am now on Season 6 catching up with it. I had really wanted to check out what all the hype was about and thought myself to be missing out on something rather iconographic for America at the millenium. So, I am really enjoying the heck out of it, even if I am a bit behind the times. And yes, it sucks to only be able to get one disc at a time, but it is so much more than made up for by the fact that I get to see six years' worth of a show in a matter of weeks. No waiting with bated breath for "what are they going to do with *that* storyline?!!" I *LOVE* it.

Which brings me to a tip for you, Scott... actually, you *can* blaze through discs rather quickly -- the trick is to get them in the mail *directly* upon completion/viewing -- don't wait until you've watched all three to send them off in the mail! If you just jog them in -- drop the first one while you watch the second, and so on -- the first of the next set of three will be on its way and already there by the time you get that third one in the mail! You don't have to suffer many gaps, and you can bump it up to at least 5-6 movies/week (if you've got the time to watch them like that... as I do right now) -- it's great!!!

Anna Gregoline | January 15, 2005
Where did the Coldplay reference come from? Is that just random?

Scott, I tried to invite you, I hope it works.

Scott Hardie | January 15, 2005
Hehe... Thanks for the tip, Amy, but I'm way ahead of you. I upgraded to their eight-discs-at-once program ($50/month). I currently have checked out two television discs, two special interest discs, one concert, and three movies, all at once. It's fantastic, and well worth the cost (imo).

Amy Austin | January 15, 2005
ahhhh... you really *are* a movie buff -- and I am "Grasshoppa'" ;>D

Scott Hardie | January 15, 2005
Coldplay was mentioned earlier in the discussion. This old thing keeps getting revived anew, and each time it happens, an author starts responding to old points. There's nothing wrong with that, I just find the coincidence amusing.

I accepted your invite, Anna, thanks. It's neat the way it combines yours with the other person's... What you both liked, what you both disliked, etc.

Amy Austin | January 15, 2005
Well, since the thread's been here longer than I have... had to read it and all. Wouldn't have commented if it hadn't been such a chorusline of "suck"!

Anna Gregoline | January 15, 2005
I re-read it but I missed the Coldplay.

Erik Bates | January 15, 2005
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Scott Horowitz | January 17, 2005
I was just looking. Blockbuster's monthly pass is $14.95/month.. netflix is $17.95/month, and you don't have to wait for shipping.

Amy Austin | January 17, 2005
True, true... but you also don't have to go anywhere (or pay for gas) with Netflix -- and you can pick out your movies on a totally "bad hair day", or in sweats, or even... in the nude!!! ;DDD
Worth the $3 extra to me!

Anna Gregoline | January 17, 2005
Me too. I come home, and there's a movie!

Amy Austin | January 17, 2005
;DDD Yes, and there's *definitely* something to be said for mail that isn't asking for money! Who doesn't like getting good mail???!

Scott Hardie | January 19, 2005
Blockbuster's program also sends discs in the mail. (link)

There are things that I like about the Netflix program that Blockbuster doesn't offer, but mainly I'm sticking with Netflix because of the extremely high customer satisfaction on my part. They've done very right by me over the years and I intend to stick with them as the predators circle around. Blockbuster loses money on the $14.99 program and cannot sustain it; they're using their market dominance to undersell the much smaller Netflix and close them down, then the prices will go back up.

(I will say one thing for Blockbuster that Netflix has sorely needed for a while now: Video game rentals.)

Lori Lancaster | January 5, 2011
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Steve Dunn | January 5, 2011
Coldplay still sucks.

Amy Austin | January 5, 2011
Sigh... whatev. Steve Dunn is still full of it.

Tony Peters | January 6, 2011
I call it the yoko factor...Coldplay was fine until Gwyneth got involved

Jon Berry | January 6, 2011
Guy Richie was fine until Madonna got involved...

...Not sure where I'm going with this.

Steve West | January 6, 2011
Antonio Banderas was fine until Melanie... No wait, he sucked before that too.

Scott Hardie | January 6, 2011
Netflix finally ditched their friends feature after long threatening that it would go away. Few people used it, and it wasn't supported very well with functionality (you couldn't un-friend someone, you couldn't change their name in the list from SH 249538294), and it kept interfering with other features that Netflix built for the site because it added extra code and testing to every project. Supposedly the same problems exist with account profiles, but more people use that feature and have spoken out against Netflix canceling it, so it's probably safe for the time being.

I've merely dabbled in the streaming, but Kelly makes regular use of it. I wish it would let her stream from her profile instead of mine, because it keeps asking me to rate everything that she watched, or asking me to finish watching something that she stopped halfway through. Given Netflix's apparent attitude about supporting old features like this, I don't expect the situation to change any time soon.

Steve Dunn | January 6, 2011
We now stream exclusively. You have to have a solution for putting the stream on your TV, but once it's done you're in business! I watch mostly documentaries, so for $7.99 per month I get more than I could ever want. For new releases it's not so great.

I was joking about Coldplay, not trying to be a jerk. Just referencing back to the discussion higher up in the thread. Meant no offense.

Amy Austin | January 6, 2011
Oh, I know... I was joking, too. Sort of. ;-)

(Jerking: joking in a jerky kind of way? ;-p)

Jon Berry | January 6, 2011
Why must there be so much fighting?!1/1 :'(

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