I went to Blockbuster last week and rented Eagle Eye. I don’t know which was dumber, going to Blockbuster or watching the damn movie. Both were terrible decisions.
I know that this blog is about 2 years too late, but if Graham can post about a Rick Reilly story a week after the fact, I can extol the virtues of Netflix in 2009. I know I’m not adding any new information to the mix here, but I still know some people who don’t use Netflix so I might as well let them know how stupid they are for going to Blockbuster even once or twice a month compared to using the ‘Flix (as they call it in the hood.)
When I rented Eagle Eye, I paid $4.69 for it at Blockbuster. I assume this is the going rate for new releases. Not only did I pay almost $5 for the movie, but I had 48 hours to watch and return it, else I’d be charged a late fee, or re-checkout fee, or whatever the hell they call it. It’s another $2.25 per day that it’s late. (Yeah, I just called to ask that one question that took about 15 seconds, yet Blockbuster put me on hold for 5 minutes to answer it. I guess Monday morning at 10:17 a.m. is their rush hour.)
Anyway, I think I returned the movie on time (whoever really knows with their random return by noon, return by midnight, what exactly is 2 nights confusion), so the best case scenario is that it cost me $4.69 for a new release. What a deal!
Now, on to Netflix. I’ve been a member for about 2 years now and I just did the math on the movies I watched over the course of 2008. I got 120 movies from Netflix in 2008 and paid $195.57. That breaks down to $1.63/movie. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new release, a TV show, an old movie, etc. $1.63/movie. Even if I went to Blockbuster and only rented old movies, it’d still be at least $2/movie. Now I know I look like a complete loser for watching 120 rented movies over the course of a year (not taking into account the other 50 times I went to the actual theater), but take it with a grain of salt. There doesn’t get to be much cheaper entertainment than $1.63 for about two hours of entertainment. Even Patty in Camden County costs more.
Also, Netflix has twice the selection of Blockbuster. Every Blockbuster is finite. Netflix doesn’t seem to be. The only place I can find a movie that Netflix doesn’t have is at the local cult movie shop, not Blockbuster. Don’t even ask about this obscure movies. I’d rather not talk about my desire to watch half of these. Plus, I can rent parts of a TV show instead of having to go to Blockbuster and rent an entire season and return it in 5 days, or whatever they make you do. (To be honest, I’m not even sure about Blockbuster’s TV show policy because half the time a TV show that ended two years ago is still a new release and costs $5 for three episodes, and the rest of the TV shows cost about the same amount for an entire season, yet you only have 5 days to watch all 10-15 episodes.)
There are some drawbacks to Netflix, but none that I can’t deal. Sometimes extremely popular new releases aren’t available right away, but it’s no problem for me as long as movies keep coming. I don’t have to see Pineapple Express the week it comes out. I guess some people do. I’d rather wait a week or two, if necessary, and be able to keep the movie as long as I want, as opposed to driving to Blockbuster, hoping the movie is in, paying $4.69, watching it and returning it in 48 hours. That’s just me though. Some people might find that’s more convenient. Just like some people find it more convenient to wait in the drive-through line for 20 minutes as opposed to parking the car and walking inside Chick Fil-A and being out of there in 5 or less.
Now here’s the thing I guess that really gets me about people that use Blockbuster, even sporadically. Say you rent a movie twice a month. If you rent two new releases, that’s about $10, assuming you return both of them on time (which no one ever does). For the same amount, you could get the Netflix one-at-a-time plan. You could essentially watch 1-2 movies a week for the same price. Maybe you don’t have time to watch 1-2 movies a week, but you could get the same movie delivered to your house and sit on it for 3 weeks and it’d still be worth it. It literally drives me crazy to think that people are doing this. It drives me crazy to think that I know all this, yet I ended up renting Eagle Eye last week because I was too stupid to wait on my next Netflix movie or watch one of my own DVDs. It drives me even crazier that I choose Eagle Eye. Seriously, what the hell was I thinking? I can’t even be mad at the people involved in the movie. It was my own damn fault for even giving it a chance. Sorta like how Julia Roberts must’ve felt when she divorced Lyle Lovett. (I'm not below a mid-'90s pop culture reference.)
Lastly, even if someone is going to watch movies sporadically, pay-per-view makes more sense than Blockbuster. It saves you the trouble of having to actually drive somewhere, it’s always available, and it’s the same price. Why didn’t I do this? Once again, I have no clue. The moral of the story is this: Blockbuster is for morons, I went to Blockbuster, I’m a moron. Like I said, there wasn’t any new information in this post.