We have discovered Netflix. This is amazing on two levels: Because we are so low-tech when it comes to anything related to the television set, it’s surprising to all who know us that we know what Netflix is and how to use the Roku remote. And also because we are the last people in the Southeastern United States to discover that watching good movies together as a family is much better than watching whatever is on TV.
We did it before Netflix, but we had to either wait until a good movie was on AMC or make a trip into Blockbuster, which I try to avoid. Walking into Blockbuster is a reminder of all that can go wrong in a free market economy. Blockbuster, in its heyday, was putting the little, creepy neighborhood video stores out of business left and right, luring us in with their giant Twizzlers and multiple copies of the newest movies. They peaked at the No Late Fees Ever policy, which was like nothing we had ever heard of anywhere at any time. (No late fees? Do you people have so much money that you can just throw it around like that? I’m fine with that.) Now king of the video world, Blockbuster sat back and lit up a cig and took a long rest. Their stores started to get slightly dusty, their employees stopped smiling and saying their lines and started shouting across the store to one another, “Zak! I told you to pull that. Your break is like over.” They never had the movies anyone wanted. They didn’t have much of anything. They squandered their empire. I now hate to walk into the place.
Occasionally we would download a movie onto some screen or another, but it was inconvenient. Crowding around the computer was too much togetherness even for me, and I’m a hugger. Movie watching was becoming a downer.
Then we got turned onto Netflix. My husband went crazy lining up our queue with old classics, great comedies, movies we always wanted to see but never wanted to waste $10 to see in the theater, and even a foreign film with subtitles.
I discovered that watching a romantic comedy actually won’t make me get stomach flu symptoms. Also, that Burt Reynolds should go back to the gray hairpiece immediately. He looks so much younger as a silver fox.
Some more conclusions that I’ve come to, now that I’m a movie expert:
- Daniel Day Lewis should make more movies and Anjelina Jolie should make fewer. Doesn’t she have some babies to adopt or something?
- Denzel is the man.
- For a movie to be an “indie film” it has to have unknown actors in it, very artsy camera angles and lighting, women with no makeup on, and lots of people smoking.
- Jane Lynch actually is in everything. I think I saw her in a crowd scene in Do the Right Thing. And she played a cow in Temple Grandin.
- There is no such thing as The Good Old Days in movie making. Despite how you remember them, old movies are simply not as good as the most mediocre movie made today. I finally watched High Noon and Rebel Without a Cause after years of being told I was an idiot because I hadn’t seen them. They were OK. Both Gary Cooper and James Dean could have done much better in today’s Hollywood, I’m sure.
Because the movies are now basically free, I don’t feel so bad spending two hours watching a movie that I didn’t really want to see. I guess I’m expanding my horizons without wasting money, which is the best way to expand your horizons.
Next up: The Station Agent, about a dwarf in New Jersey, and Charly, which I saw in middle school. After that, I’m open to suggestions.