A long time ago I had a membership card at a local Blockbuster Video on the south side of Chicago. Eventually I got a little sick of the fact that they carry next to nothing from before 1993 and so I signed up for Netflix.

Netflix was a bit weird for my rather particular wiring – when I am in the mood to watch something I am generally in the mood for it then and maybe not the next day, so adding something to the que or even bumping it to the top doesn’t ensure that by the time I get it I’m still raring to watch it. Still, there was literally nowhere else where I could rent things like The Night Porter, PARENTS, anything by Warner Herzog or Ingmar Bergman* 

So we had Netflix for some time but after we moved my wife’s schedule differed so much from my own that it became rare that we got time to actually sit down and watch stuff together (not that she necessarily wants to see some of the stuff I do) and thus we ended up always having movies for like three months (in some cases longer). Do the math. Selection be damned, it just wasn’t worth the $$$.

Netflix got canceled.

Unsure what to do next (how about watching all those movies ya see once, buy, then don’t watch again for years, eh? Naww, makes too much sense…) there is a Hollywood video perhaps a half a mile from our house so we procured a membership there and that’s been that about the last two years or so.

And I thought Blockbuster’s selection was bad.

I can’t say I’ve been all impressed with Hollywood as a company thus far – I mean the people who work there are cool, but with these chains (unfortunately pretty much the only option these days) it seems there is some policy that dictates that once a film gets to be ten years old it must be thrown away. And with Hollywood there is now the added annoyance that since all the new horror movies (or at least it seems the ones I want to see) are being picked up and released by Dimension Extreme (scary name, eh?) Hollywood is not getting any of them. Thus, I still have not been able to see for myself how awful Dario Argento’s Mother of Tears is, Crispin Glover as the Wizard of Gore has alluded me and now I have to wait until I have the cash to buy Feast III in order to see it.

So, some of you may ask why is it that Dimension Extreme means Hollywood doesn’t carry it?

Here’s the heart of my gripe.

Dimension Extreme is owned or distributed or distributed through, whatever, The Weinstein Company. The Weinstein’s have an ‘Exclusive’ deal with Blockbuster where they do not distribute their movies to Hollywood. This of course gives Blockbuster an INSANE advantage over Hollywood, which has already had rumors of bankruptcy circling its head for a number of years. Now, while I would love LOVE to see the chains eventually buckle enough to allow mom and pop places to pop back up and eek out a comfortable living for themselves, one I just don’t think that’s going to happen and two this kind of corporate favoritism really irks me. The fucking movie industry has already been going through one upheaval after another for a couple years what with all the strikes and new media issues, and the last thing we need is this kind of ‘insider trading’ going on. I understand that healthy business is grown from the soil of competition, but really? Feels kind of monopoly-ish if you ask me.

And here’s another thing – it’s not just the horror stuff. Harmony Korine’s Mister Lonely fell off my radar completely after it left the one or two theatres it was playing in (even here in Lala land) as it was released as a bb exclusive. Bitches! I’ve waited so long for a new movie by Korine and now I have to have the money to buy it or drive way the fuck out of my way and help support a company that we all know has Christian undertones and a history of editing movies.

I guess maybe part of it is the old ‘Root for the underdog’ thing too, but I just can’t get behind blockbuster video at all, even if it means not seeing some of the films when I want for quite some time. I understand Netflix can stream or whatever now to the computer, so this would solve the, ‘but I’m not in the mood to watch that now that it’s arrived’ dilemma, but that’s just a trade off because although I don’t mind watching films on my computer from time to time (headphones are a plus for movies too!) obviously the preferred method is on a larger screen with stereo.

I’ll deal… but if the next Jim Carey movie comes out as a bb exclusive, it’s on!**


* HOUR OF THE WOLF being one of my favorite of the few of his I’ve seen so far.

** This is clearly a joke, as I hate Jim Carey’s movies.