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Brian B
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During a grand marketing blitz to take advantage of Netflix's corporate missteps, Blockbuster gave me a free year of DVDs by mail, presumably so I'd say good things about them to everybody who reads my tweets. I've been using Blockbuster's DVD-by-mail service only since September, but even though I'm not paying for it I'm considering canceling. Why?

1. There's no distribution center anywhere near me, the closest being 800 miles away in another state. After dropping a watched DVD into the mail, it takes between 7 and 9 days to receive the next DVD in my queue. Blockbuster's service is unique in that it allows members to drop off watched DVDs to a physical Blockbuster store, but all the Blockbuster locations within 40 miles of my home went out of business 2 years ago.

2. Blockbuster's site is unpleasant. It's not quite GoDaddy.com unpleasant, but it seems to be trying. A confusing amount of information is crammed onto each page, and not attractively so. If you're not careful, rather than adding a DVD to your borrow-by-mail queue you might accidentally purchase a physical copy. Should I mention that the cover images provided for each movie look like low-res scans, akin to the dregs of an unsuccessful Google Image Search? No, it would probably be petty to mention that.

3. The discovery element is missing from Blockbuster. Blockbuster's primary concern is that you are constantly aware of the newest releases that just graced cinema screens, those cinema screens being the ones that have had nothing projected on them but Hollywood dreck. If you watch a B&W noir, there will be no recommendations forthcoming of other B&W noirs you might enjoy. You know, maybe I'm incorrect, maybe there is some small amount of discovery when using the Blockbuster site: While searching for films starring http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Wyman I learned, for no apparent reason and with no connection whatsoever, that in 2008 somebody made a movie named National Lampoon's Stoned Age.

4. That films like Citizen Kane and Casablanca are rated less than five stars on the Blockbuster site says something about Blockbuster's target audience, methinks.

When Netflix announced its new pricing structure, I ditched the DVD plan and stuck with Watch Instantly. Sure, I was disappointed (and, yes, that Qwikster nonsense was befuddling), but I'm sticking with Netflix. Why?

1. Though I'm often frustrated to discover a film I'd like to watch is only available on DVD, I currently have 242 titles in my Instant Queue. I've heard people complain that there are only a couple of ten thousand titles available for streaming. A COUPLE OF TEN THOUSAND?! I think that's plenty to hold me for a long while.

2. The Netflix algorithm will sometimes offer humorously baffling suggestions (For what possible reason, Netflix, do you think I'd enjoy Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey?), yet it regularly presents me with films I will readily place in my queue, some of which I didn't know existed and shudder to think I might have gone to the grave unaware of.

3. The Netlix site has undergone a few facelifts since I've been a member, but it's always been easy on the eye and easy to use.

4. I can watch movies over the internet. Are you hearing me, people? MOVIES OVER THE INTERNET. On a laptop, on a tablet compy, on a smartphone, on a TV with a Wii plugged into it. If you'd told me 20 years ago I could watch movies this way, I'd have said, "Godzilla!" and stared into space for a long time with a stupid grin on my face.

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Sadly, not available on a shirt.
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http://nateronniger.com/ is, without a doubt, the world's greatest living painter! And I don't say that because he painted this on wood and wrote my address on the reverse and stamped it and mailed it (daringly sans envelope) to me. I AM COMPLETELY OBJECTIVE. Click to embiggen and BEHOLD!
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