Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This Week in DVD and Instant Watching

Django Unchained: Not a lot of extras on this, so I'm assuming there's a better edition on the way by the end of the year. But if the agonizing 3 month wait since this left theaters has been too much for you...

I remember when I went to see "Lincoln" with my folks around the holidays. Given the option of choosing the movie, I went with the safer bet, reasoning there was no way I could subject my mother to 165 minutes of Tarantino. But now that it's out on video, I realize, yeah, I don't think I'm all that hot on seeing it, either.

Save the Date: Alison Brie stars as--SOLD!

For All Mankind: The Life and Career of Mick Foley: It's a clever title because one of the personas Foley used in his pro wrestling career was "Mankind." I've lost 99% of you, haven't I?

Stoney Burke: The Complete Series: Jack Lord as a rodeo performer who works the circuit and finds adventure and drama along the way. This is the kind of series I get excited about upon hearing its release, but I've never seen it, and frankly the trailer Timeless put out there doesn't look all that interesting. Still, I'm willing to be convinced, and kudos again to the company for putting stuff like this out there.

Since it's another light DVD week, let's play another round of Rick Gripes About Streaming Services.

I'm paying each month for Hulu Plus, and I enjoy the content it offers enough to keep doing so. I can't see "Modern Family" on demand, so I have to get it this way, so there is that. A lot of the other shows I watch on Hulu, I could see on demand via FIOS, but I am enjoying assorted other content like Britcoms and old-school shows like "I Spy" as well.

(What? Watch a modern broadcast show each week when it's actually broadcast? What is this, 1909?)

The problem is Hulu Plus is by far THE single glitchiest channel of all those on my Roku. Since securing my Internet connection, I rarely have issues with Netflix, nor with the other assorted goofy stuff I watch, but Hulu Plus is almost always an adventure--an irritating one, not the cool ones like Stoney Burke enjoys.

I like watching the Britcoms with closed captions activated, but I leave them on all the time because fiddling with them during a program so often leads to disaster. Even so, I don't think I have ever made it through a complete "Modern Family" without some kind of glitch. Either the captions freeze or lag, I lose my ability to pause or control the program playback for no apparent reason, or worst of all, I get the dreaded total freeze-up and have to do a complete reboot of the system. After that I can usually get through the show without incident, but that's a pretty big pain.

So why do I continue to pay each month for a gitchy service with ads? Ah...well, I guess it's inexpensive enough with enough quality exclusive content _for now_ that I can live with the glitches and the constant temptation to dropkick my Roku into moving traffic. But, jeez, combine the playback issues with the clunky interface, and it feels like a minor league product considering all the major league power behind it.

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