Friday, October 30, 2020

DVD.com in Lock-Down

 When I first experienced the Empty Nest in the late 90s I had more time to watch movies. My older daughter was a bit of a cinephile, and I was fascinated when she and her friends would see a film on it's opening weekend. I liked movies, but did not consume them as voraciously as she. As my idle hours increased this changed. I got used to going to the cinema by myself and trips to the video store were frequent. In 2002 my daughter started talking about something called Netflix. I was skeptical of getting DVDs in the mail, but she signed me up as a birthday gift. And what a gift it was! As I merrily scrolled through the library, adding films to my queue, I realized that many titles I tried to find at the video store or the library were now at my fingertips from the comfort of my home. In no time I eased into a routine of renting 3 movies a week. Quite a value and great entertainment.

 My other form of movie consumption was the cinema. Every weekend I would follow my daughter's lead and head to that room in the dark to see the latest releases. From big studio blockbusters to art house gems, I was a consumer. If the reviews on a film were so-so I would put the title in my Netflix queue for a low risk, high value viewing at home. Over time, I learned how to get the latest releases and classic gems delivered to my door. 

A few years ago, I was approached to be part of a group to promote the newly branded Netflix service dvd.com. Swag arrived at my door and reward points could be earned by posting on social media and participating in activities.#DVDNation #ad I was even fortunate enough to meet the people in this Directors group on a visit to one of the Netflix distribution hubs. Seeing the process of how they turned around thousands of DVDs a day was fascinating. We joked about who had the most movies in their queue and reveled in the joy of our mutual love of film and physical media.

When we went into lock-down in March, the closing of theaters made sense. Though I understood, it left a void in my film world. The comfort that I took in my Netflix subscription was valuable. Movies delivered to my house? Sweet! Since I had been to the hub and knew that they sanitized the discs, I was not worried about exposure. The USPS handled the deliveries like a champ. At first, I leaned toward light fare and comedies, but I was feeling and unsettled restlessness. Renting the 1927 film Wings taught me a lesson. I found comfort in a film made over 90 years ago. The themes of comradery and loyalty, along with some amazing cinematography was very comforting. Then the movie Auntie Mame (1958) was recommended as a movie to watch with the family. Once again I was comforted by a film of a certain age. The movies kept coming and I kept finding satisfaction in films from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. The best part was never leaving the house to get them. The service from the dvd.com hubs and the USPS has been flawless. I have never appreciated their services more. Since March, I have made sure to write my thanks to both the USPS and Netflix on the return envelopes. I hope they know how sincere those messages are. If you love movies DVD.com is the way to go with the best DVD library around and unbeatable service. Thanks so much to Netflix!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Da 5 Bloods

The post-Vietnam war story Da 5 Bloods starts as a reunion and turns into a treasure hunt. There is high drama when the soldiers return to Vietnam to find a treasure. There is camaraderie and betrayal, violence and compassion. This was an adventure I did not expect. The writing, directing, music and performances are outstanding. Worth a look.

Our Betters

 In a story of class and infidelity Our Betters looks at whether the upper class is really better. In what way? The characters are awful, yet make excuses. The subject matter is disturbing, but the performances and costumes are great.

Friday, June 12, 2020

The Shawshank Redemption

 I saw The Shawshank Redemption many years ago, I knew I liked it, but had forgotten many of the details. On a re-watch, this film really holds up. The story of friendship, rehabilitation, perseverance and escape is compelling. The performances are great. I can see why people watch this film over and over. It's that good.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Addams Family

 After listening to interviews with both Angelika Houston and Barry Levinson, I realized that I had never seen The Addams Family. The lives of the Addams' is funny and also rather sweet for a family of horror figures. When con-artists try to get at the family fortune, hilarity ensues. This film is very clever and very entertaining.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Love Story

 Love Story was a book I read over and over when I was in middle school. It was made into the film Love Story in 1970. The brash characters' story of falling in love, captures a clash of class and culture. It takes a tragic turn, but love is always the centerpiece. This film still holds up.


Tuesday, June 09, 2020

13th

Discussing the injustices of racial inequality, 13th is an important film. It focuses on the prison system and the blatant racism in those systems. It is necessary to raise awareness of this history and the times we are living in.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

The Lovebirds

When a couple finds themselves accidentally on the run, The Lovebirds becomes a caper movie very quickly. Trapped is a series of bad decisions, after a disastrous accident, they plunge deeper into trouble as the story develops. This is an entertaining film with charming performances. A decent rental. 

Cleopatra (1963)

The epic story of Cleopatra is told in grand style with an all-star cast. Elizabeth Taylor breathes life into the Egyptian queen in a passionate performance as she deals with the Romans and her love-life. The sets are elaborate and stunning, the story is high drama.  From the battlefield to the bedroom, this epic has it all. This is not just a film, it is an experience.