Monday, September 16, 2013

Watching Movies At Home




I don't know what's going on in the rest of the world concerning video rentals and watching movies, but here in the U.S. video rental places are basically extinct. Streaming movies through sites like Netflix and Youtube is how people watch movies now.

Technology is changing things so rapidly, that kids who are 3 or 4 years old now may not even know that places like Blockbuster existed. (Much like what's happened with 'record stores' which sold not only records, but cassettes and CD's, and even 8-Track tapes for a while, but I'll write about record stores in another post) Video rental places have been phased out.

What was it like to watch a movie at home back in the good-'ol-days?

Imagine it was a few years ago, and that me and my girlfriend were at home and not wanting to go out on a Friday night. And, we decide that we were both in the mood to watch a movie. We didn't just pick up a remote control, hit a few buttons and like wizardry, voila! there was a vast selection of movies available to us. We had to get up, get dressed, and drive to the video rental place. It was an involved process that was closer to going to the movies than it is to watching TV the way Netflix is.

We'd  get to the video rental place and hunt for a movie in real life. The things that went into choosing a movie were more involved. We would read into the meaning of the title more and notice the font even, we'd study the cover artwork and read the synopsis of the film on the back. All of these things were important, because if we didn't like it we couldn't just hit a button, stop the movie, and move on to another selection. There was much more care, thought, experience, and intuition that went into renting a movie, and sometimes I kind of miss it.



Even if you got a movie and you though it was somewhere between pretty bad and horrible, most of the time you'd stick with it to the end. Because that movie, and maybe one other movie was all you had (Unless you were the person that would rent like 4 or 6 movies at once.). So, you'd give the movie more of a chance. If you loved the movie you would just fall into the normal and delightful catharsis you experience while watching an enthralling movie, but if you didn't like it you'd try to empathize with what the director was going for more than you would while watching something on Netflix. On Netflix you can judge quickly and harshly without consequence.

That's all I have to say about that.

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