Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Goodbye to Netflix

Just watched my first movie from Blockbuster By Mail -- Hanna, a movie not yet available from Netflix due to the 30-day embargo. Price of the 1-disk subscription is the same as the 1-disk Netflix w/Blu Ray subscription, but if you return the disk to the brick-and-mortar store you also get some free rentals there. No streaming, but then there isn't streaming on current Netflix 1-disk subscriptions either since they broke out the streaming as a separate service.

Oh yeah, the movie -- Saoirse Ronan acts her little heart out, carrying the film far beyond the flimsy plot and caricature villains. As a character study of a young warrior girl going into an uncertain world that wants to kill her, the film succeeds. Ronan is that good, she gets us to totally buy this unlikely character Hanna and her evolution as a person. As an art film it somewhat succeeds -- the fairy tale allegories, the symmetry of beginning and end, the interesting cinematography, work out reasonably well. Unfortunately it posed as an action movie and while the plot has plenty of action where Hanna can show her stuff it never arrives at any point other than that lots of people who need killing get killed, and lots of people who didn't need killing also get killed -- including, perhaps, Hanna herself (the ending is unclear on whether the gut shot she gets from the Big Bad prior to killing the Big Bad is survived). Ultimately not a successful art-action movie, but don't blame it on Ronan -- she pulls off her part.

In short, well worth watching if you want to see an excellent young actor pull off a role that shouldn't have worked given the flimsy plot around it. Otherwise... (shrug).

-- Badtux the Film Penguin


  1. I think Netflix did themselves a disservice by splitting the two businesses up before they got their act together on the streaming side. Sure, they offer streaming but 90% of what I want to watch isn't there-so why pay for it?

    I ditched them at the announcement of the 60% price increase and haven't looked back.

  2. Yeah, I have canceled my Netflix DVD subscription and have been looking around for an alternative. I am not sure about Blockbuster though because I am *still* kind of mad at them over a late fee from 10 years ago. I've been trying to sign up with GreenCine because they have such a cool selection but have been having some technical difficulties. *sigh*

  3. Yeppers, Anteater. The streaming part of Netflix was a nice extra, but didn't have enough content to make it worth paying extra for it.

    Lynne, what I mostly want from my videos-by-mail subscription is the ability to rent obscure / indie movies that aren't carried by Redbox or in the Blockbuster store itself. Thus far the Blockbuster-by-mail service has had the movies I want to rent, and I'm starting to build up a queue there. The fact that it also gives me access to the new releases coming to the Blockbuster store itself is just a nice bonus (and it helps that the Blockbuster store is only six blocks away from my house too, I suppose). I'll have to investigate this GreenCine thing you mention. I'm still on the 30 day trial period for the Blockbuster-by-mail, the only bad thing I've noticed thus far is that it seems to take several days to receive movies, while Netflix generally got them to me the day after I requested them.

    - Badtux the Movie Penguin

  4. If you like obscure movies, then GreenCine is for you. Or at least I think so. I used to be a customer of theirs because of their great selection. Then Netflix improved their DVD selection so I dropped it. It always took them a long time to get me DVDs but that is because they mail them from California. People I know in the bay area have reported to me that they get discs the next day.

  5. Netflix streaming opened the door, and the price was decent. Now, with my Roku, I can stream not only Netflix, but Hulu+, Vudu, CinemaNow, Amazon and a dozen other sources without ever leaving my couch.

    I am able to watch movies that are still in the theater (I saw Hanna on my Roku while it was still in the theater)

    Netflix needed to get out of the DVD side of things and concentrate on streaming. Their content is limited ONLY because they don't charge per view like Vudu and Amazon do. Perhaps if they offered premium streaming in addition to their current monthly charge, they would have a greater selection.

    I still have my Netflix streaming. I just dumped my DVD "Qwickster" service.

  6. I am soooo behind the times! My Season 8 NCIS (bought from Amazon) came in August, and I won't let myself watch it until my thesis is done. I think the last movie I saw in the theater was "A Beautiful Mind". I'm hopeless...


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