I love Netflix, don’t get me wrong, if I didn’t have it I’d literally have to empty my bank account to see all of the films I do, but am I the only one who gets frustrated with their lack of upgrading to Special Editions? Criterion fans especially get the shaft, as Netflix tends to keep inexpensive original studio DVD’s rather than upgrade to the more pricey, but far more satisfying, Criterion SE’s. Yesterday I received “Chungking Express” in the mail, thinking it would be Criterion, since the pic on the Netflix page was the new Criterion box, but it was the old studio release, which I refuse to watch now that there’s a Criterion disc out with a new print and commentary track. Anyway, I’ll never dump Netflix, it’s still a Godsend for me, who has no art-based video stores within a reasonable driving radius, but their old selection of bare-bones studio DVD’s is forever frustrating.
Yes, I definitely agree their old-selection could definitely use some work. I mean, they don’t have The Magnificent Ambersons, Greed, Hotel at Marienbad, Chimes at Midnight, Nobody’s Fool and Blood Simple. And the last two aren’t even old films.
The only other complaint is that they don’t ship out films on Saturdays, which cuts down on a lot of movies that you could actually be receiving, but instead you have to wait until Tuesday instead of Monday.
Don’t worry, they’ll update soon enough, probably. They seem to be pretty good about stocking Criterions once it becomes an option.
I do find myself a little annoyed with it every now and then, though. Blood Simple is my favorite example. I realize it’s difficult to find, but come on, Netflix is one of the biggest rental companies operating. Surely they found at least one copy of Blood Simple they can share with the rest of the world? Oh well.
Also, the shipping thing. I have the three at a time plan, and I only get six a week maximum. Sometimes less if I don’t have time to watch them all immediately after getting them. If they shipped on Saturdays, it would be helpful, because if it’s after Wednesday and you haven’t watched a film yet, you’re not going to be able to send it back and get the next one. Wednesday is the cut off date for watching and exchanging, which I find rather restrictive, especially since my Queue is packed all the way up to 500 with paper lists nearby listing all the film I want to see but don’t have room for on my Queue yet.
But it’s a great website. Complaining about Netflix is like complaining about your spouse. Sure they have some minor flaws, some more irksome than others, but you’re still perpetually grateful that they exist and would be lost without them. I would know absolutely nothing about films if Netflix wasn’t exposing me to them, and for that I’m forever in their debt.
I agree with Michael about Netflix being like a spouse. Great analogy! But isn’t Thursday the last day to ship out a movie? It may be because I live close to a shipping facility (coincidently where I had Thanksgiving dinner was in the same location as their headquarters.)
What irks me about Nefflix is their “availability unknown” status. Why even have the movies on there then? The movie I’ve been dying to watch is L-Shaped Room.
Well, compared with Blockbuster Online and other services, they have a much greater selection of independent films and special editions. So oh well.
I got really annoyed with the fact that with multi-disc sets, you have to order each disc separately. And the titles I wanted most always took for freakin’ EVER. I eventually gave up on Netflix … I like the idea better than the execution, and I’d rather support the good independent video store in my town.
For me, the shipping process goes like this:
Day 1: Send it
Day 2: Wait
Day 3: Receive new movie
I guess not everybody has that, but that’s how it is for me. Theoretically, if I watch one really early in the morning and put it out before the mail comes, I could do it on a Thursday, but that never happens. So I have to watch them Wednesday night or else I don’t get the chance to exchange for the rest of the week. I did manage to watch a film this morning (Saturday) and beat the mail, though, which is always kind of satisfying.
Also, the Availability Unknown is kind of dumb. I know they don’t have it, they know they don’t have it, so I don’t see what the pretense is for.
But, again, I would be nowhere without Netflix. They can screw up all they want as long as I keep getting six or so new films a week.
i’ve been on the blockbuster program since it started, and i’ve been pretty satisfied. not only do they have criterion editions through the online service, but the store closest to my house has them too… it’s nice to have a constant barrage of movies, given that i can have my local store mail back what i’d just gotten, AND take one home from the store to keep me busy until the next one comes in the mail.
I don’t know where I’d be without my netflix subscription :)
Ugh, Netflix is evil. Though, I do realize it is the only option for a lot of people. Though, they don’t carry a lot of movies only available in boxed sets.
But why evil? Do you actually have a video rental store next to your place that has films like I Vitelloni, Ikiru and The Virgin Spring? I would say almost everyone wouldn’t
I love Netflix, but I hate it when one or more of the films I’m supposed to get has to be shipped from another facility, and so I get less than the three a week that I ordered. Fantastic selection, though.
I agree that some people don’t, but a lot of people do. I happen to work at a video store that has all those movies. And I’ve lived in other cities that had similar videostores that carried Criterion titles like those, in addition to just amazing stuff.
A lot of people like Netflix for the convenience, and I suppose in the end we will probably all have Netflix, or LoveFilm, or what have you.
I used to have Netflix, before I got tired of the sterile, impersonal feel to it. That, and when OOP titles got stolen, they were gone for good.
Besides these things, I know that a lot of independent video stores are having to permanently close their doors because of huge corporate global powerhouse billionaires like Rupert Murdoch, who owns Netflix.
I don’t have much of a problem with the shipping structure of Netflix, it’s generally a three day cycle for me, watch, ship, receive, keeping usually at least one disc on my desk while the other two are in process. Besides, if it takes an extra day, shipping to a location other than the local distributor, it gives me a chance to get to my own massive collection, which sometimes goes neglected as I focus on the Netflix discs.
As for the notion that we’re all evil because we support a multi-billion dollar enterprise to feed our film habit and thus put independent video stores out of business is a bit too cynical and unfair for me to get behind. Of course it’s sad when a mom-and-pop outfit gets run over by the convenience and relative inexpensiveness of a big corporation, but that’s business, and the nature of economics; it sucks, but I’m not going to boycott a site that can send me “Le Plaisir” and “Samurai Champloo” in the same week, than “Rio Grande” and “L’age D’or” the next, that’s just silly, and as a dedicated film buff, irresponsible to my studies.
I can honestly say I will never ever ever join Netflix.
because I live in Canada.
Netflix is terrible Their selection is horrible. You can get films at the library for free… That and unlimited is a joke, because the movies never come fast enough.
Their selection is pretty great, actually. They have near every Criterion film (High and Low is curiously unavailable, and I’m not sure why.), and apart from that, they are pretty quick with their deliveries (I’m saying this as a person with one of the longer shipping plans). Their DVDs are usually in usable condition, and the Recommendation system is helpful to me and probably a lot of other folks as well. I personally love Documentaries, but I wouldn’t have a clue where to start looking. Netflix recommends me Documentaries based on the ones I’ve already seen, and I use the Star Rating to gauge how good the Documentary in question is. It’s very helpful. Criterion will always be my go-to site for important, classic, and/or foreign films, but Netflix does a nice job of taking care of everything else.
Where I used to live, 25 minutes from where I am now, it would take 3-8 days to receive a movie after I sent one back. Now it takes 2 days.
My only current gripe is the Saved section. Mine’s huge. I’ll never know when, or even if, Netflix will have those movies in inventory.
Regarding mom-and-pops and libraries, I’ve been able to find some Criterion movies at those places, but no where near the titles Netflix has available. Netflix is invaluable to me. Plus, I don’t have cable (on purpose). Netflix is my DVD pusher.
Depending on how frequent you return the DVDs you are actually rated by Netflix. I live about 10 miles from the nearest Netflix facility. My friend has unlimited and returned DVDs the next day. A new movie he requested was on the “wait list”. I picked the same movie the day after and was able to get it within another day. I usually hold onto mine for a week, sometimes a month and eventually return it. I’m the kind of renter that Netflix gets paid to rent to. My friend is using their free shipping to his advantage. Other times, my movies will still come from the nearest location, and his (same movie) will come from across the country taking an extra 2 or 3 days.
You get rated, and new members, or not as active members, will get priority over real film fanatics because it’s in their best interest.
>I love Netflix, don’t get me wrong, if I didn’t have it I’d literally have to empty my bank account to see all of the films I do, but am I the only >one who gets frustrated with their lack of upgrading to Special Editions?
I use Movie Village which is a movie warehouse in Winnipeg (central Canada) that has all these.
Apparently Netflix is allowing instant viewing on Macs now- they are going to “deploy a player” to all Mac users by the end of this year.
Finally Netflix is going to be Mac friendly. (It took them long enough.) I “rent” between three to six movies from Netflix a week and rarely do I have an issue with movies being delayed. The worst was Mad Men disc 1, which seemed to take forever, but my que is quite long and I play the shuffle game to kill time, going through my list and deciding that I haven’t heard of that film, I wonder why I put it in my que, let’s get it!
My biggest complaint is the Saturday fiasco. It infuriates me to no end!
I would rather do GreenCine, but I live too far away. My Netflix account is currently on hold, but I’ll start it up again at some point in early 09. I’ve never really had any problems with Netflix. Blockbuster’s selection was horrible, though.
Blood Simple has the best DVD commentary I’ve ever heard. It’s hilarious.Jim Piddock sold it very well.
There are a number of widely available films that aren’t on Netflix for whatever reason, and I don’t think they listen to people when they “request a title.” Other than that, I’d be so behind or so broke if not for them.
I wanted to see Criterion’s Shoot the Piano Player and they sent me the older non-anamorphic version. It did not get watched, I sent it right back.
Living in a Mormon infested redneck town Netflix is my lifeline, the local video stores selection is shit and usually badly scratched. I think one issue with Netflix is that when they upgrade to new editions of movies they do not remove the old editions from the circulation, for example, I’ve been watching Twin Peaks and I have got some disks from the new gold edition, and others from the older edition.
As someone who hasn’t been watching films for most of my life (my parents decided that movies that weren’t G were evil early in my childhood, I sort of became disinterested in film after seeing hundreds of not very good family films) the rating and suggestions has been extremely helpful in my rediscovery of cinema. If I feel like I need something that is not in the huge catalog I’ll get it at Scarecrow Video when I visit my friends in Seattle.
Yeah.. indeed a lot of people do not live next to a video store with such great selections, as mentioned earlier in this thread. A lot of people don’t even live near a ‘city’! I generally get 6 a week from Netflix on the 2 at a time plan, which is plenty. A day in between. It’s nice to have for what can be found there, and for other things I seek elsewhere (library, etc.)
My main issue with Netflix is their instant viewing, the picture quality isn’t up to par with the DVDs on quite a few of the films, like for the anime film Paprika the picture is blurrier than a VHS when I watch it on instant viewing.
I can’t use the instant watching, my connection is not good enough to get a clear picture, but the monthly films shown by Criterion have stopped me from caring (besides the instant view selection is so poor I almost never found something I wanted to see) but I might be in the minority here as I usually only watch 3 to 6 movies a week.
@JP Belmondo: I ended up buying Perfect Blue becouse I did not want to see a dubbed version on instant watch and I had really enjoyed the other Satoshi Kon films I had seen, I did freak out a little in the first few minuets as they contained just about everything I dislike about Anime in them.