Sunday, December 11, 2011

HOW I ENDED UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THREE MOVIES AT ONCE, WHILE STILL NOT WATCHING "LOUIE"

As I begin this blog, it's 11:05pm, and I am currently in the middle of watching three different movies. If you think I'm being facetious, well... I'm not. Okay, I'm not technically watching three movies at the same time, but that's only a technicality based on the fact that I'm not actually capable of doing that. If I was capable, I probably would be. The three movies are "Even Money," a movie that's a multi-narrative drama about gambling addiction, "Meet Monica Velour," a light Indy comedy about a teenager who travels to see his favorite '70s porn star make a rare appearance at an Indiana strip club, and "Gnomeo and Juliet," which is an animated retelling of..., I don't know, some old play, only told with garden gnomes instead of Italians. In the middle of this, I also watched Terrance Malick "The Tree of Life," for the second time this week, as well as the documentary "Protagonist," and the entire second season of "Secret Diary of a Call Girl". Now that's a lot. Not really for me, but here's the kicker..., I actually didn't want to watch any of these. Okay, a little overexaggeration, I did want to watch all of these films and TV shows, but not at the moment I happened to be watching them. The thing that I really planned my weekend around watching, I didn't get to see, that in turn led to this long filmwatching journey, which I currently find myself, literally in the middle of, in three different films.

Let me first begin with the obvious. If you haven't figured it out by now, although I write movie reviews, I am NOT a professional film critic, in the sense that I don't get paid currently to write these film reviews on this website. I do get money when someone clicks on one of the ads on my site, but that's it, and this is not the kind of thing that ever happens to a professional.

It all started with Netflix. The first thing they did, was jump my queue, where I had the TV show, "In Treatment," up next, and instead sent me a copy of "The Tempest," which I'm fairly positive is in my mailbox right now, although  in my current situation, I'm not in a hurry to go an check. This means, fairly little to me personally, although I want to see the new season of "In Treatment", but I try to get TV shows to arrive on the weekends for my mother, who doesn't have the interest or the capabilities as I do to watch so many films at the same time, however she strangely prefers that I get TV shows on DVD, usually ones that are on cable and can't typically watch on TV regularly. Frankly I want to see these shows too, so I think it's reasonable to continually cycle them in constantly, but since I didn't get the "In Treatment," I thought I do what I had been thinking about for awhile.

You see, I've complained about Netflix, about 20 or 30 times on this blog, for various reasons, usually 'cause they were doing something stupid. They haven't been doing that as much in a while, so I haven't been bothering to waste a blog on it, but one they have been struggling with recently is getting films in stock that were recently released. They altered their practices to lean more towards requested and popular titles in recent years, and rejecting to stock some titles. This leads me to a complaint I made months ago on this blog, that they don't have copies of the TV show "Louie." They have it streaming, but I don't want to see it on streaming. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially since, it's out on DVD, and Netflix, is a DVD rental outlet. I'm not asking here for rare copies of "Song of the South," here or anything like that, just the ability to rent DVDs of a TV show that got major Emmy nominations in acting and writing category last year, and stars one of the best comedians/writers around. Yet, for some reason, they don't carry the DVDs yet. It's been out for months, so I don't know what the hold-up is. I've called them about this multiple times, and there's apparently some kind of disagreement with the distributor. So, with no TV shows coming in this weekend, and some extra time, I did something I haven't done in awhile. I went to the nearest Blockbuster Video.

Actually, the nearest Blockbuster Video used to be a walk down the street, but now that's turned into something called the "Black Mountain Victory Church," which I'm fairly certain is  an empty building someone painted a sign on. Meanwhile, the empty space that resides at the place where I used to go rent DVDs by the way, is still an empty building. I always preferred that place to Blockbuster. Their selection was always too limiting for me, and also I don't approve of their stance on censoring some of their films for content, but I do love being in a video store. So, I was hoping that, the weekend wouldn't be a complete lost, and that I would be able to rent the TV show, I've been wanting to rent for a few months. Unfortunately, they didn't have "Louie" either. Before I took about 12 hours to calm down the blog would have read something like this:

"Why the f*** doesn't any f***ing video store have the g**d*** series "Louie" on DVD? I don't want to buy the f***ing season at f***ing W**-M***, I want to see if I like it first, so let me get the DVD! Why isn't available. Screw f***ing screening movies, just release every f***ing way you f***ing can! When I come back here, "Louie" better f***ing be here, and not just on DVD and Blu-Ray, and Streaming, it better be on f***ing VHS and Beta! That's right, I'm bringing back betatapes b****es! If vinyl can make a comeback, than so can my m*****f***ing  Betamax machine, so you better have it! You m*****f***ing sons of b****es!"

Instead, I didn't write that, or say it. I eventually went outside to wait for a bus that didn't come, and go to the nearby Starbucks for a frappucino. Then, I went back into the Blockbuster, signed up for an account, and borrowed the 2nd season of "Secret Diary of a Call Girl," which I just finished, and frankly, was fairly good. The lady at Blockbuster, who seem to be incapable of the level of annoyed I was at her, tried to push on me the Blockbuster-by-mail option they have called, "Blockbuster Total Access". Apparently there's a free trial, similar to Netflix. I haven't signed on, and a quick look at the entire area of Blockbuster reveals, that none of the stores have it in stock. So, I'm glad my focus isn't entirely focused on the suppliers. (Note: It's at this point that I change the title of this blog entry to it's current title. The original title was "BLOCKBUSTER SUCKS WORSE THAN NETFLIX...") Still, it's annoying, and the Blockbuster Lady wanted me to also sign up for a $7.99/month plan where I could rent one movie at a time, and have it charged on my credit card every month. A good deal, but clearly, she has no idea the kind of filmviewer I am. One DVD at a time, way too little for this cinephile who watches three films at a time.

Anyway, the three movies. I started "Even Money," thinking I wasn't going to watch "The Tree of Life," again, but my Mom decided to watch it, after I recommended it, so I watched it again. "Even Money," was on my netflix, and wanted to watch a movie to return to the library tomorrow, which is where I went after the whole Blockbuster fiasco, and there I watched "Protagonist," and about half of "Gnomeo and Juliet." I watched the latter, 'cause I feel asleep watching my library film, "Meet Monica Velour," last night, so I only watched half of it. I'll have reviews of all these movies at a later date, but in the meantime, I'm watching three movies, and I still can't seem to find a copy of the first season of "Louie," on DVD, at any rental location. Okay, so it's not as jawdropping a feat as I alluded to in the beginning of this blog..., in fact, 'feat,' is probably an inappropriate word to describe this... phenomenon, maybe, occurrance? I don't know. Either way, I'm watching three movies right now.

You know what I'm not doing though, renting the first season of "Louie," on DVD. So, to whomever responsibility that is, whether it's the distributors or the suppliers, I want to say something to that person/people right now, whomever he/she/they is/are:
I don't know what you're doing, or the what the problem is, but you're losing customers right now. So, it's available on streaming, I don't care and I'm not the only one. What I said up there, about movies being available to all in any form possible, with all the editing of the curse words, the core message is true. It's a popular, well-respected TV show, that I can't seem to watch in a way I watch almost everything else, and it's bothering the hell out of me. There's no reason for me to have this problem. You're not Vincent Gallo who directs movies only to block them being released for whatever stupid reason he does it. It should be available everywhere, even if people don't borrow/rent it, they need the option readily available, as much as sometimes it's hard to believe, not everybody has a computer, not everybody has one with reliable streaming capabilities, and not everybody likes it even if they do. To not have it on the shelf, either the metaphorical shelves of netflix or the actual shelves of Blockbuster, or whatever other DVD rental outlet happens to still be surviving, and I do surely hope they do, you're doing a disservice to potential fans and customers right now. The least you can give, is the option to see your product, when it's not available at the places where it should easily be available, you're losing money. Right now, a lot of people don't have the means to watch the show, or even the option to decide whether they want to even because of your inability to put it in the appropriate marketplaces. I don't know what the hold-up is, but whatever it is, stop it. Fix this simple problem with the simple solution already and make everybody happy. Thank you.

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