Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Be Kind Rewind

Today I watched "Be Kind Rewind" where a video store rights to keep its doors open in a DVD society. Even though they were a complete pain in the butt to deal with, there's something classy about a VHS tape. Everytime I watch "Clerks" I just get this nostolgia for two for one rentals at Schnucks and $3 for a five day Nintendo game rental. This was before Blockbuster started charging $7 for what they consider a 5 day period.

The demise of the VHS rental and the grocery store rental center hurt our culture. Rarely will someone get to peruse an aisle and rent a movie based on its cover. Netflix is in place to let you know what you will like. There seems to be a lack of stumbling upon a good movie nowadays because everyone is trying to shove the large comedies like "Old School" or the blockbuster summer movies like "Spiderman 3" down your throat. I frankly feel ripped off.

And where's the society of film enthusiasts urging each other to check out the latest Bergman film, or discussing the demise of Woody Allen's comedy while standing in the comedy aisle. I find myself force feeding people movies I deem worthy, just so I can discuss them.

I miss when my most irritating part of video rental was when the previous renter didn't rewind the film, or when I would tape three movies onto one VHS tape and I had to try to get to the start of the middle film. I mean, how much money was made off of those quick rewind machines? They came late in the VHS life. And VHS head cleaner. Or what about when your VCR ate the tape and you had to carefully pull it out and respool the film? People don't have to earn their movies anymore. You can pop them in and have subtitles, scene skip, and special features at your fingertips.

DVDs only have a limited amount of time left. Blue Ray has won the war and Netflix is switching their library to a digital format. Will we be able to brag about our DVD collection, or will everyone have every movie at their finger tips over the internet?

I'm all for digital most things, but I feel you lose something when movies and books become electronic copies only.