April 1, 2009

Justify My Netflix: An introduction

So many red envelopes, so little time

Wow! Last week I accidentally came fairly close to losing my Netflix account (forgot to update the credit-card information); and that surprisingly sent me into a full-blown panic, because of getting so used to the service now and the regular stream of movies that are always coming in. But then I realized, it was stupid of me to be panicking, because right there next to my computer were the same two DVDs that have been sitting there for three freaking weeks now; and it's ridiculous to panic over losing a steady stream of movies when that stream has stopped flowing because of one's deliberate laziness. And that of course is the grand irony of Netflix, the simultaneous reason behind why so many people sign up and also why so many end up quitting: because if you're diligent about getting through movies on a regular basis there (say for example two DVDs and a handful of streaming "instant movies" each week, which costs US$15 a month under the current plan), you can literally be watching full-length movies there for less than a dollar per title, as many as you can possibly stand; but the reason you can do this is because of lazy customers essentially subsidizing you, by letting their own DVDs sit around unopened for weeks and sometimes months at a time, basically making their per-movie cost higher than simply going to an actual theatre. And believe me, it's scarily easy to let a Netflix DVD sit around for weeks or sometimes months at a time.

That's why I've decided to start doing a new series of standardized mini-reviews, then, regarding each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix; that way I'm under a constant self-imposed pressure to get these DVDs actually watched and returned, but without such write-ups taking away from the increasing amount of time I now spend writing book reviews. (For those who don't know, back when I started CCLaP, I used to supplement my book reviews with full-length movie write-ups as well; but now that my critiquing chops are up to speed and I'm managing to spit out three or four book reviews a week, it's no longer necessary to do full-length movie reviews to fill in the gaps.) Each little mini-review, then, will tackle the subjects listed below, hopefully in a humorous and informative manner...

Why I added it to my queue
The reality
If I had watched it when it first came out...
Strangest piece of trivia
Worth your time?

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this new series (which starts with 1995's anime classic Ghost In The Shell, which you should be seeing right below/before this introduction); and as always, suggestions for specific movies are more than welcome, by dropping me a line at cclapcenter [at] gmail.com. With God as my witness, I will never let a Netflix DVD gather dust again!

Filed by Jason Pettus at 1:06 PM, April 1, 2009. Filed under: CCLaP news | Movies | Reviews |