Sunday, July 22, 2012

Catching Up Is Hard To Do ...

I am a Redbox virgin no longer.

I cut ties with Netflix last year, on principle. Screw you and your 60% rate increase, bub. I'm a screener, not a streamer. I want DVDs by mail, not modem. Thanks for all the good times but buh-bye.

And with that, my DVD viewing came to a screeching halt.

I don't subscribe to any premium channels – my DirecTV bill is high enough as it is – so I fell far, far, far behind in my movie viewing.

I would pop into Blockbuster from time to time and nab $5 flicks. (There are some movies worth the $5 gamble based on opinions of people I respect.) But then Blockbuster went away.

Occasionally, DirecTV would offer a premium-preview weekend and I would select a few films to record to my DVR. But mostly, I would scroll through the menus and think, "This is what they're airing to entice me to become a customer?" "Premium" is relative.

And yet, day in and day out, I would walk into the grocery store and there it would be, the big red kiosk, so cleverly named, and folks lined up before it, credit cards at the ready, selecting and swiping and going on their way. Movies from a box. For a buck. I was intrigued.

But not intrigued enough to sign up. Until last night.

I was itching for something to watch and somehow, the time just seemed right. I was going to the store to pick up a few things anyway, so I decided to visit the Redbox site, peruse my options, and figure out what I needed to do.

I opted for a double feature: "The Descendants" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." I'd been meaning to see both since they were in the theaters. Reservations made online, I headed to the store and swiped my credit card unsuccessfully.

Oh. I had it turned the wrong way.

I swiped again. Nothing.

Oh, I had to touch the "Rental" field on the screen first.

Eventually, with a bit of somewhat laborious whirring, the machine disgorged my discs.

Huh. Nifty!

Home, I set up on the couch with a bowl of Bing cherries and two remotes.

And I learned a couple of things:

1) It is entirely possible to eat too many Bing cherries in one sitting.

and

2) "The Descendants" had the most misleading trailer ever.

I cried. A lot.

Today, I watched "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."

Well, "watched" is a bit of a misnomer. I "sat through" "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." I "pondered giving up on" "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."

The cast is amazing and Ciaran, adorably, has a bit of a tummy on him in this role, but the ... pace ...... of ......... it ............ is ................... g......l......a......c......i......a......l.

"Oh. ... My. ... God," I said to my screen. "DO SOMETHING."

Honestly, if I had seen it in a theater, I probably would have walked out. It clocks in at 2:07 but it could have been shorter. It should have been shorter. I'm all for cerebral films. I care not a whit for most special effects. But oy freakin' vey.

I am pleased, however, to have returned to the world of renting. And I look forward to many more double features to come.

Now that I know how to use the machine.

I have quite a backlog to slog through.

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