Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This Week in DVD and Instant Watching

Jack Reacher: I know a lot of people still think of Tom Cruise as a big deal, and this novel series has its fans, but the name sounds too much like Arthur Treacher to me, and that just takes me out of it. Maybe if The Rock were playing him, I could take this seriously. Then again, "The Rock IS Jack Reacher" sounds like an altogether different kind of film, doesn't it?

Mama: It's not uncommon for an actress to win an Oscar, then find a trashy horror flick hit theaters months later. For Jessica Chastain, it's "Mama."

Safe Haven: I think it is time for two things to happen: 1) Nicholas Sparks' name should go before the title in all Nicholas Sparks movies, and subsequently 2) We can officially pre-judge and make fun of Nicholas Sparks movies the way we do Tyler Perry efforts.

In the Hive: I really know nothing about this movie except that it was directed by Robert Townsend, and I am somehow comforted and pleased by the fact that he's still getting films made. That's all I wanted to say.

Superman Unbound:  Get yourself ready for the big screen disappointment coming this summer with a direct to video animated feature. These things almost never let me down.

Have Gun Will Travel: The Final Season: Talk about "Slow and steady wins the race." It's ridiculous that it's in split season sets, but still, the whole series is finally out there, and that's a good thing.

In Streaming, the big news was the brouhaha produced by Netflix dropping thousands of titles from its Instant Watching roster, or letting them expire. A false report that Warner Brothers was poaching them for its Warner Archive Instant service spread quickly. There were a lot of big pronouncements about the future of Netflix. My own queue shrunk by over 30% overnight.

There wasn't nearly the same amount of noise when many of those titles reappeared a day or two later.

Me, I was overjoyed. Yeah, some of my mad watching spree of April was "wasted" in the sense that I scrambled to catch a lot of titles that didn't actually go away, but, hey, the expiration date gave me a deadline and prompted me to actually SEE a bunch of those movies sitting in my queue for so long.

And many of the returning movies are in fact the ones I most hated to see go: Monograms, Allied Artists, and other miscellaneous pre-1970 catalog titles. This is the stuff I wish Netflix carried MORE of, so when the great May 1 Massacre occurred and company reps were quoted mentioning exclusivity this and choosy this, I was worried. Many pundits saw this as an end to the "all you can eat" approach and a move to a more selective model Netflix would use, and we all know what happens when media entities change their focus: The older stuff is the first to go.

That's why I was so gratified to see a lot of those old movies come back. What irritated me most about this whole affair was not the loss of so many movies in the first place, annoying as it was, but rather the snide commentary in the media about the lackluster nature of the departed--a judgment seemingly based on nothing more than the fact that they were "OLD."  That kind of coverage doesn't bode well for the prospects of Netflix looking into more adventurous avenues of rare and obscure catalog programming instead of spending millions on original series.


subishi said...

dude, you have no idea how much i flipped out when i found out that tom cruise was playing jack reacher. one thing that is consistent throughout every reacher book is that he is 6'5", 250lbs, with a 50 inch chest. to even begin to SUGGEST that tom cruise is any of those things - or even half of them... omg. what a fuckup of casting. i WILL NOT see this movie due to the casting, despite my continued fandom of the books. - genevieve

Rick Brooks said...

So...not up for a sequel, I take it?

subishi said...

sequel, schmequel.