...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Movie Miscellaneousness

Happy Monday!  Here's a rundown of some movie-related subjects that have surfaced over the past couple of days:

1. i can has blooray?
  I birthday-gifted myself the LG-BD670 Blu-Ray player.  I tested its visuals with Baraka and its sound with Fight Club (you don't need a link to this).  I approve, thus far.  But I'm not buying the new Star Wars set (not linking to that, either, but for other reasons).

2. Breaking Bad on Netflix (streaming)
Previously only available on disc, Netflix gained streaming rights to Breaking Bad's last three seasons!  Finally, I can start catching up on that show.

3. The Wire, Season 1 Disc 1 arrived on Saturday.  My wife doesn't know this, but I was about to drop $124 on the entire series.  I've been that desperate to watch this show since its first season.  I'm a total Wire virgin.  But not for much longer.

4. Netflix/Qwikster - In some wider-reaching news, last night Netflix officially announced that it is splitting its DVD service off into its own separate company, Qwikster.  Some background:

Two months ago, Netflix released a press statement that it was dividing/expanding the fees for its disc rental and streaming services.  The statement provided very little explanation.  Their customers who weren't informed until a couple days afterwards, suddenly found their total monthly fees jumping 20-50%.  Online outrage was extreme, as it always is, and the company had to hire extra customer service reps to handle the complaints.  But most effectively, customers actually left.  Then one of Netflix's largest streaming providers, Starz, did not renew their streaming deal.  In its following quarterly statement, Netflix fell short in its revenue and customer estimates.  The stock price followed, losing 24% last week alone, on its way to being the biggest S&P loser of the week.  Then today's announcement was made.

I can't decide if that image is vaginal or ocular. It's a weird design choice, Qwikster.

Before this kerfuffle started two months ago, Wired Magazine was a huge supporter of Netflix's business model.  Not so much since these events.  Here are a few short articles with their takes on the developing issues:
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/09/netflix-quickster-separate/ (from this morning)

I have enjoyed Netflix's DVD service for years.  Their catalog is amazing.  My queue is perpetually 300+ deep because I keep finding films I've always wanted to see.  And for the sake of the art form, Netflix has brought independent, cult, foreign, classic, and avant garde films to the widest audience yet.

Their streaming library is about 1/4th the size of the disc selection.  That's largely due to the continuing difficulty for any streaming service to get rights to studio owned films.  But the available selection has been growing, especially with full seasons of TV series.  It's great to have so much available on demand on multiple platforms.

But my fee has gone up almost 50% over the last three years without a single alteration to my account status.  I'm not a fan of that.  I'm also not a fan of this most recent price hike and the poor way it was handled.  For now, I remain with Netflix and Qwikster (ugh, crap name).  But the moment I find a better streaming deal with Hulu, Apple, or Amazon, I'll be the next customer to leave.

5. Not Movies - The Glenrothes - And finally, in not-movie news, I'll be reviewing four bottlings from The Glenrothes over the next couple of weeks.