My Netflix Anxiety Defused

I think I imagined that if I signed up for Netflix, even the super cheapo $9.99/month, 1-movie-at-a-time plan, I’d have movies showing up at my door every other day. I feared that I’d never go out and do anything because I’d always have a movie waiting for me, begging me to watch it.

It turns out that the one movie at a time frequency is a lot slower than you might think. Even with the closest distribution center in San Francisco, if a movie arrives on Monday, I watch it that night, and put it in the mail on Tuesday, my next movie won’t be slated to arrive until Friday (or Saturday more likely).

This means, in the best case scenario I’ll have at most two new movies to watch each week, followed by a week with one new movie, etc. That still works out to about 6 movies a month or $1.67 per movie, considerably cheaper than the Rialto at $9.25 a pop or video rental at 3 or 4 dollars.

But honestly the feature I like the most is my web-accessible Netflix queue. I’ve queued up 80 movies I’ve been interested in seeing and given the low cost, my tolerance for taking risks with independent, foreign, and documentary films (the movies I like to watch anyway) has increased considerably. Plus whenever it occurs to me that there’s something I’m interested in seeing, the distance between me and a web browser is usually short enough that I can add it to the queue and forget about it.

Seen so far: American Splendor, The Station Agent
Up next: Shaolin Soccer



OOOH, what did you think of the station agent?

Okay…I finally folded to peer pressure and signed up for NetFlix. We’ll see what happens during my first 2-week trial. I may end up having to cancel cable and internet to save money, so this could be an inexpensive alternative (since all I do is watch movies on my cable anyway). I will miss the Daily Show and reality t.v. come fall.

Katie, I thought the Station Agent was terrific. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but I really got into the characters, and the train culture, and the emotional drama and loneliness. It’s a movie I’d buy to watch again later and really savor.

Yeah, the Daily Show is clearly very important, I wish there was an alternative distribution mechanism to cable.

maybe one movie a week is more like it. shaolin soccer which was slated to arrive friday sadly has not even arrived today (saturday).

Shaolin Soccer is awesome. B and I saw it in the theater. Enjoy!

You gave Ocean’s Eleven only 2 stars? You’re on crack. It’s at least fun enough to deserve 3 stars!!

Shaolin finally came today. It was a lot more slapsticky than I expected, but still pretty cool. And Alice, you’re right, Ocean’s Eleven is worth 3 stars.


you crack easily under pressure, my friend.


I agree about Ocean’s Eleven. That movie was so perfectly entertaining ya COULD call it a masterpiece. But I don’t think you will.


I agree, there was something really spare and strong, unpleasant but real, in the networks around the characters. Glad you liked it.


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