Monday, August 02, 2010

The End of Movie Convenience

Mike's Movies, my local movie rental shop, is closing at the end of August.

I am a bit of a serendipitous movie renter. There are times I am sitting on my couch on a lazy weekend afternoon and I decide to rent a movie I enjoyed when I was a kid. Just for kicks. I mean, there are times when you just want to watch "Sixteen Candles," and that time doesn't happen enough to warrant buying the movie. I own "Bourne Identity," for example, but not "Sixteen Candles."

It would seem that my habits in movie rentals are a bit arcane, or at least not common. Because local movie rental houses are going out of business. With Mike's Movies leaving, there is no other movie rental shop in my neighborhood or anywhere nearby.

Reluctantly, I signed up for Netflix and am in the middle of the free trial. I like the concept, and so far, the service has been easy to use. I am in the middle of season 4 of "The Wire," for example. I send back in a DVD, and in a few days I have a new one with four new episodes to watch.

Netflix does not have a good solution to my serendipitous movie watching tendencies. You can watch certain selections from Netflix online, and I can connect my computer to my HD TV. But many of the movies I want to see quickly, like "21," are not available online. I have to add them to my queue and wait.

I think I will stick with Netflix. But the days of randomly watching "Sixteen Candles"? Well, it looks like they are over.

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