All the #StarWars things.


I know I posted about this before, but a lot has changed since then.

All the Star Wars Things

(-o-)

So, if you were going to try to watch it ALL in chronological order, except the Lego cartoons, would it go like this?

  • Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars – Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars (animated microseries)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (3D CGI movie)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (3D CGI series)
  • Star Wars – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars: Droids (animated series)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars Rebels
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special
  • Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (made for TV movie)
  • Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (made for TV movie)
  • Star Wars: Ewoks (animated series)
  • Star Wars – Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • The Mandalorian
  • Star Wars Resistance
  • Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars – Episode VIII: The The Last Jedi
  • Star Wars – Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

Forces of Destiny and Galaxy of Adventures are messing with me by jumping all over the place.  Does Blips belong there too?

Shut up about canon.

|-o-| [-o-] |-o-|

Also, would be fun to see in the mix:

  • Fanboys
  • Laugh It Up, Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy
    • Family Guy: Blue Harvest
    • Family Guy: Something Something Something, Dark Side
    • Family Guy: It’s a Trap!
  • Robot Chicken: Star Wars
  • Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II
  • Spaceballs
  • Spaceballs: The Animated Series
  • Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back

Light it up in the comments.  Maybe someday we’ll continue Star Wars movie nights.  Peep all my Star Wars related posts.

 

At my signal, unleash a $3 VHS cassette.


So, browsing one of the local flea-market/yard-sale type groups on Facebook, I discovered this post…

Gladiator on VHS for sale. Only $3.00 American!

Gladiator on VHS for sale. Only $3.00 American!

As you can imagine because I’m blogging about it, many questions came to mind.  It’s hard to even know where to begin.

We’ll start with the obvious.  Who would pay $3 for a VHS cassette of any movie, let alone this movie?  I mean Gladiator was a good film… but here is a shortlist of better values available online…

This is just for physical media.  I didn’t even look into streaming.  I get that not everyone is set up to stream and that some people (myself included) like to put their hands on physical tangible media.

Who has a working VCR?  OK.  I do, but I’m odd.  It’s a VCR/DVD-recorder, and someday I will transfer all of my VHS tapes to DVD (which is already a dead format).  Who is still watching video tapes?  I mean, watching the old 4:3 aspect ratio drives me nuts these days.

The other side of this… who goes through their stuff, decides they can part with this, and assigns a $3 value to it?  I mean, I could see if this was a collector’s item.  I have Star Wars on VHS and I’ll probably have it forever, but The Gladiator?   Sure, it was a good movie… but not that good. Why were they even still making video tapes in the year 2000?

What do you need that badly that costs $3?  This wouldn’t be worth the gas money or the bus fair to meet someone to make the sale.

I have been strapped for cash, but never would think to list what essentially amounts to garbage for a negligible value on a Facebook flea market group.  If this sells, I really have a lot of stuff that I need to be listing for under $5 amounts.

Kyle Dine and Friends | DVD Review


I posted a review of Kyle Dine’s DVD on Amazon, and wanted to share it here…

Kyle Dine is an incredibly talented and extremely creative children’s entertainer.  He also wields the utmost authority on living life while coping with food allergies as he has multiple food allergies himself and is a successful world-travelled musical educator.

These expertly crafted videos are full of incredibly fun and catchy age-appropriate songs and lessons about having food allergies.  How to avoid your trigger foods, hand washing, always carrying your auto-injector, and how to quickly reach out for help if necessary are just some of the topics not only touched upon but driven home by Kyle and his puppet friends.  

As an adult with a severe food allergy I am so glad that this type of resource is available for the ever-growing “club” of the food allergic.  As a parent of a child with food allergies, this is an invaluable tool to help teach a toddler turning into a pre-schooler about the importance of not eating food unless it’s OK’d by mommy or daddy, and for her to let us know immediately if she is having a reaction.  Luckily she loves to wash her hands, so we’ve got that covered.  These lessons are delivered in the fine tradition of children’s programming like Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers, and they work.  Both of my kids were moving to the music upon our first viewing!

I not only recommend this for food allergy families, but I would say that extended family who may not understand food allergies, your child’s friends and their parents, and organizations like schools, churches, camps, & clubs could all benefit from the knowledge and entertainment provided by this set of DVD’s.  This programming ought to play on constant rotation in your family’s pediatric allergist’s office waiting room.

This can and will serve as an incredibly fun way to open the door to creating a fun, safe, and confident approach to living with food allergies.

Kyle Dine & Friends: Allergy Awareness with Songs, Puppets, and Games

Kyle Dine & Friends

 

So, they call it a Babymoon…


Apparently the newest annoying word for some time away is Babymoon.  It’s better than Daycation or Staycation, but still annoying.  The word is annoying, but the actual time away isn’t.  With the impending arrival getting closer and closer, many online pregnancy-related websites & email lists suggest taking a babymoon.  This goes especially for first time parents, as a nice little last fling before all of your apparent freedoms disappear.

We decided a while ago that a nice little getaway to a cabin would be the way to go.  We have been tent camping at Forest Ridge Cabins and Campgrounds before, but had never tried out the cabins.  They always looked quite inviting.  The campground itself is always clean, and the owners are quite hospitable.  The prices are competitive with other places that we checked out online, and really quite affordable.  Important for the babymoon aspect, it’s not that far away.  Cabins are our thing now I guess… since we honeymooned in one in Gatlinburg, TN.  It all just seemed to make sense.

We booked the date a while ago, assuming that since it was spring we’d have a nice warm weekend.  It was a nice weekend, but there was about 5 inches of snow on the ground, and the temperature never got much above freezing.

We stayed in the Allegheny cabin, and it was warm & cozy inside.  We brought along some DVD‘s, cooked some s’mores (with peanut butter cups) around the campfire, and just had a nice relaxing weekend.  The kitchen was stocked with all kinds of cookware and utensils, we made a nice steak dinner on Saturday.  I also made a friend in Oliver, one of the campground cats.  He strolled up as I was waiting for the last log to burn out on the campfire, then followed me up on the porch to hang out a but on top of the hot tub cover.  He liked to look in the window at us, then look away when he saw that we were looking at him.

I think we’ve decided that Forest Ridge is “our place” as far as camping when we’re not going camping at Living Waters.

Check out Forest Ridge on Facebook, Twitter, & Yelp, and check out some of our photos…

The Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Movies


I like movies, and I like rock ‘n’ roll.  You probably already knew (or assumed) that.  These are some of my favorite music-related films.  What are yours?

AirheadsAirheads – Such a great goofy film.  I feel that this one is underrated… maybe it has a “cult” sort of following.  The plot is ridiculous and it’s filled with all kinds of great actors.  It’s got some of the best quotes ever, and is why I will someday demand a football helmet filled with cottage cheese and naked pictures of Bea Arthur if ever given the chance to make crazy demands.  I could probably watch this movie over & over as much as I could watch the Star Wars films over & over.

The cover for Shark Sandwich, one of the band'...This is Spinal Tap – This is a no-brainer.  It goes to 11.  It’s the standard to which all other rock ‘n’ roll films are measured.  It has sustain.  Just let the DVD or Blu-ray or VHS tape or Laser Disc sit on the shelf and listen to it.

Music from the Motion Picture Josie and the Pu...Josie and the Pussycats – Laugh all you want, but this movie is super fun.  If you can’t enjoy this one, you have no soul.  I had no attachment to the cartoon in case there are purists out there that didn’t like it because fans of original things rarely like those things rehashed.  Orange is the new pink.  “3 Small Words” is a great pop song.

Empire RecordsEmpire Records – It’s not really about  band or musicians… but the chaos all over the store is all about rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s filled with great tracks from GWAR, AC/DC, Sponge, not quite Body Count’s “Hey Joe“, Coyote Shivers, and Rex Manning.  Ha ha.

Lemmy (film)Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch – If you haven’t seen this & you’re even a casual fan of metal, punk, rock docs in general, or even just heard “Ace of Spades” once, you need to see this.  That was a really long grammatically terrible sentence.  Lemmy would kick my ass for pointing that out.  Maybe not.  He seems like a really likeable dude to hang out with if you can get past the stink of cigarettes.

It Might Get LoudIt Might Get Loud – Not a huge fan of any of these dudes… except Jimmy Page is… well, Jimmy Page.  Led Zeppelin is amazing, I’m just not one of those dudes that has all the albums or knows all the riffs.  U2 actually kind or irks me, but the Edge seems like a cool dude & an effect wiz.  Jack White surprised me, but he’s kind of creepy.  Beyond all that, I still enjoyed this movie.  Guys talking about their love of music, the guitar, & playing… it’s incredible.

Walk the Line (soundtrack)Walk the Line – Probably one of the best biopics ever, if not the best.  Johnny Cash was a great man, and an asshole.  It’s all out there.  It’s a compelling story spanning many decades, and really a love story with Jone & Johnny.  The man in black went through a lot in life.

Ray (film)Ray – Ray & Johnny Cash had eerie similar back stories.  Jamie Foxx is a genius in this film.  It’s one hell of a great story.  Ray did it all, from R&B to pop to country.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (soundtrack)Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story – This is hilarious. Watch Walk the Line & Ray first though.  Then laugh hard. (♫ Haaaaard! ♫)

Wayne's World (soundtrack)Wayne’s World – You’re hearing Queen in your head right now, aren’t you?  Well, either that or the theme song.  Excellent!

Detroit Rock City (film)Detroit Rock City – I’m not the biggest KISS fan, but this road-trip gone awry is all kinds of fun.  I have had many less interesting adventures on the way to gigs… just attending or playing.  And, KISS does have some catchy songs… and a great stage show.

Role ModelsRole Models – OK, not a rock movie… but the KISS theme throughout is just hilarious.

CrossroadsCrossroads – The Karate Kid does a guitar duel with Steve Vai.  It’s sort of like  “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” as a movie from the 80s.  Instead of Arnold from Happy Days, you have a Blues player, and instead of Karate you have the blues.

8 Mile8 Mile – The concept is weird… a biopic that isn’t quite.  It’s a great move though.  The struggle to make it as a musician/rapper is very compelling, and Eminem’s a pretty damn good actor… playing himself…  sort of.

Anvil! The Story of AnvilAnvil: The Story of Anvil – This movie makes me want to laugh & cry.  I feel the pain that these cats are going through.  It makes you want to punch Metallica for Some Kind of Monster.  After it all it’s all about friendship & the love of music.  Who can’t get behind that?

OnceOnce – Not really a rock movie, but a cool story intertwined with music, performing, songwriting, and even a love/friendship thing.

The Pick of DestinyThe Pick of Destiny – You can maybe skip this one.  Get the Complete Masterworks instead.  It’s slightly funnier.  These dudes are awesome rock ‘n’ rollers who capture the essence of the spirit of rock!  And they battle demons…

Purple Rain (album)Purple Rain – Musicians, watch this and learn how to own the stage from Morris Day.  Oh yeah, Prince is pretty badass too.  This is a weird 80s film, but it’s one you need to see.

Honeysuckle RoseHoneysuckle Rose – Willie Nelson is awesome.  This movie is about a traveling band that looks a lot like Willie’s… with the lead singer who looks a lot like Willie Nelson robbing his ex guitar player’s cradle to the chagrin of his wife. This soundtrack is excellent if you’re a Willie Nelson fan… highlight being a cover of Leon Russell’s “A Song For You”.

Bill & Ted's Excellent AdventureBill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure & Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey – Well, the first one was cool.  I can’t wait for #3 if it ever happens!  Be excellent to each other.

Other cool movies where the music is integral… Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Rocker, The Last Dragon, SLC Punk, Some Kind of Monster, Bubba Ho-Tep, High Fidelity, Blues Brothers, Rock Star, The Runaways, and many more I’m sure.

Someone, please, make a good Nightfall movie.


If you’re not familiar with Nightfall, it was first a short story by Isaac Asimov later developed into a novel by Asimov & Robert Silverberg.  It’s one of my favorite pieces of fiction.  Handled well, it could be like Indiana Jones meets Star Trek or Avatar and The Da Vinci Code.

Overall the movie could have an Apocalyptic kind of feel… with new beginnings and a b’ak’tun-like cycle.  It would be great if the movie were released this year, with the 2012 hype reaching full fervor soon.  Tie into that some epic sci-fi stuff, archeological mystery, journalism, psychology experiments, a little humor, religious and government conspiracies, disproving long-standing scientific theories (like “hey, we revolve around the sun!”) and blowing peoples’ minds, and even a great philosophical message.  I’d say you can’t go wrong with it as long as you try to stick to the original story as much as possible.

Nightfall (Asimov short story and novel)

Nightfall

It has apparently been made into a movie twice.  I have seen one of them, and I just remember it not only betraying the story but just being crap.  One was made in 1988 and one in 2000.  I looked on Netflix and can only see the one from 2000 and it can only be “saved”, it’s apparently not on DVD in their collection.  So maybe I watched this way back, from a video store or even on a VHS tape.  The 1988 one, I can only find used VHS copies on Amazon, so perhaps it doesn’t exist on DVD.  I just remember it being an inexplicably different planet & having different characters, or perhaps being another “cycle” than the one depicted in the book.  I may have to track them both down for the fun of it.

The book starts out with a little preface saying basically that it’s an alien world, with alien things … but in order to convey the story well, they were going to use the word “boot” instead of making up an alien word to cover whatever appendage the alien did the equivalent of its walking on.  So, while it would need to be an alien world… it wouldn’t need to be too alien.  It would have to be easily related to.

A successful movie would really need to make use of the suns & colors at the times of day & days of the week.  Much like The Crow had bleached overall look or 300 looked like a painting in every frame, the colors of the sky would need to change ever so subtly from red hues to yellow hues as noted in the book.  They could certainly relate to the mood of each scene.

Dr. Isaac Asimov, head-and-shoulders portrait,...

Asimov wrote a great story. Don't screw it up.

Also… don’t alter the damn story.  It’s great how everything’s revealed.  Don’t rename the characters.  Don’t rename the planet.  Don’t get rid of their numbers.  Don’t change their occupations.  Don’t add any characters.  Don’t take the premise & build another story around it.

In a time where Hollywood is making movies that are remakes or reboots of movies only  a few years old… why not tap into some other sources, especially ones from (arguably) one of the best science fiction writers of all time?  From Wikipedia:

The Science Fiction Writers of America voted “Nightfall” the best science fiction short story written prior to the 1965 establishment of the Nebula Awards, in 1968, and included it in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One, 1929-1964.

Do you really need any more proof that this would make a great film if handled properly?  I mean, even this would make a great poster tagline if condensed somehow:

According to Asimov’s autobiography, Campbell asked Asimov to write the story after discussing with him a quotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown!

Campbell’s opinion to the contrary was: “I think men would go mad.”

So studio execs, casting directors, effects teams, directors, & producers… get on this.  Please?

Movies I’d like to see at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont


So, I like movies.  I’ve blogged about some childhood favorites.  I’ve blogged recently about the Hollywood Theater and In Person Productions.  Here I’d like to express my thoughts on what movies I’d like to see on the big screen in a little room over at the Hollywood.  All of these could only be enhanced by In Person bringing in a related actor, writer, director, producer, etc.  I don’t know if they take requests, but that’s not gonna stop me from blogging about it.

Kick him in the nards!

Wolfman's got nards!

Monster Squad Duh. This movie is perfect for the Hollywood Theater in Dormont.  It’s got a cult following.  I hear other theaters are doing it.  Wolfman’s got nards.  (I’ve never seen Dekker‘s other movie, Night of the Creeps… maybe that would be cool too?)  At any rate, this movie is fantastic.  The monsters come alive, they’re so evil and scary.

Boodie twaps!

Boodie twaps!

Goonies    Who wouldn’t wanna see this?  I want to say this was the movie for my generation.  It had a pirate’s treasure, kids as heroes, Sloth, and asthma.  I’m sure I wore out the local video store’s VHS when I was younger.  I’d love to see this on the big screen, in all of it’s sweeping epic glory.

C64

C64

Explorers  ⚡  I don’t think that I ever saw this film on a big screen.  I just saw it on VHS.  I’d love to see it in full-size.  I’d also like to know how many others dig/remember this film.  I mean, it had a Commodore 64 in it… and the kids made their own spaceship.  They made. their. own. spaceship!

Would you like to play a game?

Would you like to play a game?

War Games I still want to try that payhone trick.  How cool was that?  Talking computers?  So futuristic! Reminded me of SAM.  Global thermonuclear war was kind of scary, but I was too busy trying to figure out that modem.

The Crow

Can't rain all the time…

The Crow    This movie is incredible.  I saw in on VHS for the first time.  I’d love to see it in the theater.  It’s a story of revenge, it’s a story of love, it’s a story of some things being stronger than mere mortality.  The images & ideas from James O’Barr’s graphic novel were transferred quite well to the screen here, the violence was actually played down.  Making Eric a guitar player instead of a dancer is probably the only time I’ll ever say “yeah, good move” to a movie changing a comic book or graphic novel story.  T-Bird said “There ain’t no coming back. This is the really real world, there ain’t no coming back.”  But, we all know T-bird was wrong.  So, let’s bring this one back to the big screen.

Slimer!

Slimer!

Ghostbusters double feature    OK, just the first one.  They came, they saw, they kicked some ass… and should have stuck with the cartoon instead of Ghostbusters II.  Maybe we shouldn’t cross the streams.  I think I did see this in the theater, but I don’t remember it.  I wanna see a life sized Stay Puft marshmallow man, please.  (Yes, I actually had a plush one when I was a kid.)

Flux Capacitor

Great Scott!

Back to the Future marathon    A perfect trilogy.  Goofy adventure, faulty science, crazy hair, the old west, 50’s cars, cowboys & Indians, hover-boards, poop jokes, futuristic home-faxing, temporal paradoxes, a Star Wars reference, a Chuck Berry song, ZZ Top in the old west, & Huey Lewis.  What’s not to love?  Oh yeah…  the AMC DeLorean is the coolest time machine ever, and there was a sweet guitar.

We named the DOG Indiana...

We named the DOG Indiana...

Indiana Jones marathon.    Or maybe Indiana Jones month.  Four weekends, four films.  Or, only 3.  It’s OK if there’s only 3.  Unless they hand out Crystal Skull Head Vodka at the event.  These stories are too epic for your TV, they need to be shown on a grand scale.  I can hear the music in my head as I’m typing.  Now you can too, can’t you?  I’m not sorry.  Maybe I can just bring the Wii over & play Lego Indiana Jones while no one’s using the theater?  Please?

Eborsisk

Siskel & Ebert... or Eborsisk the dragon.

Willow    I think I did see this on the big screen, but I’d like to see it again.  I feel like it’s an underrated movie.  It had great effects, a great fairy-tail type story with a literal little guy taking on the evil establishment, and a world in which you could easily get lost.  Also, the villain, General Kael was incredibly scary & awesome, even if he shopped at the same store as Skeletor.

STAR freakin’ WARS marathon    I mean, come on.  Do I even really need to even state a case here?  We have the movies proper, the animated feature film, the Ewok specials.  Play ’em all!  Please, play the Star Wars Holiday Special.  It may have to be some secret underground invitation-only thing so George Lucas doesn’t hunt us all down & destroy us, but it’d be totally worth it.

Those WERE the droids I was looking for...

|-o-|

Never tell them the odds...

Never tell them the odds...

Fanboys  ⚡  See above.  It’s a fun movie.  I’d like to see it on a big screen, it never got a proper release.  I bet you could get more than a few of the actors to come down to the Hollywood.  Let’s do this.  There’s a kid named WindowsWindows, I tell you.  This is a great film for geeks & nerds of all kinds.

Shaun's Plan

Want to go to the Winchester?

Shaun of the Dead    Zombies, zombies, and more zombies… in a romantic comedy?  Yes.  Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, & Nick Frost are geniuses.  This movie is just absolutely incredible.  I bet people would be all about seeing this on the big screen.  We could watch the regular movie… or the one with pop-up trivia.  How fun would it be to see this with a room full of like-minded humorous zombie film fans?

Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, 'Aaaaaaah?'

Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, 'Aaaaaaah?'

Hot Fuzz    Yes.  And, whatever the 3rd movie is gonna be.  OK, the movie is a little slow in the beginning, but it’s absolutely necessary for the ridiculous pacing later in the film.  This is the buddy cop film of all buddy cop films, that unleashes ridiculous action like no other.  It’s great to see a movie that celebrates & pokes fun at an entire genre.

These guys are at the movies every time we go...

These guys are at the movies every time we go...

Gremlins double-feature    I think I saw these in the theater too, but I wanna see them again.  A mogwai would be the coolest pet ever, as long as you don’t feed it after midnight, or let it near your office supplies.

Batman night!    Any/all of them, please.  Why not play some of the serials or Batman: Dead End too?  Batman is the coolest comic book character ever.  He’s smarter and more cunning than all of them combined.  Sure, he’s just Zorro with ears & more toys… but it’s such a great story & way easier to relate to than something like Superman or the X-Men, unless you’re an alien or some sort of mutant.  I mean, there’s a plethora of cartoon movies too.  It could be Batman movie day every day.

Batman Evolution

Batman Evolution

The LONE Rangers?  There's 3 of you...

The LONE Rangers? There's 3 of you...

Airheads    Some day, I’m going to write a letter to Santa, and my wish list will be as follows:  Radio Airplay, a football helmet full of cottage cheese, naked pictures of Bea Arthur, A Zon walnut bass, a PRS guitar with dragon inlays, 67 copies of Moby Dick, and a six-foot baby bottle.  You dig?  Who has ever picked up a guitar, bass, or drum sticks & didn’t love this movie?  If you just thought “me”, you might as well just quit reading now.

He was the patron saint of quality footwear.

He was the patron saint of quality footwear.

This is Spinal Tap    This movie goes to 11, and has incredible sustain.  Why wouldn’t we all want to watch & laugh together?  In 1984, everyone in a band thought this was poking fun directly at them.  And, while it was… that’s why it’s hilarious.

It Might Get Loud

It Might Get Loud

It Might Get Loud    Great movie.  I’m not a U2 fan, and I thought that Jack White was slightly annoying before this… but it was just a cool tale of the evolution of the guitar and the individual players.  It gave me insight into the three guitarists and their influences. And really, who wouldn’t want to be in a room with the opportunity to jam with Jimmy Page?

Berserker

Actually any rock docs or even concert movies being regular would be quite cool.  I just missed Purple Rain, damn it.  Anvil! The Story of Anvil and Lemmy would be great movies to see in the theater.  Why not a whole series of Kevin Smith films?  I love the adventures of Jay & Silent Bob.  Even stand-up comedy films might be cool as long as they don’t involve any of the Blue Collar guys.  Maybe even The Princess Bride, The Last Dragon, Flight of the Navigator, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure & Bogus Journey, & any of the Star Trek movies.

Bruce Leroy | The Last Dragon

He ain't no cornball! He's my brother. And he's the master.

A bad movie night with Leonard Part 6, The ‘Burbs, or Howard the Duck would be excellent.  Maybe even Pluto Nash?  (I’ve never worked up the courage to see that one.)

She's Out of My League

She's Out of My League

What about Pittsburgh set or filmed movies, like She’s Out of My League, Adventureland, & so many more?

Would you like to see any of these at the Hollywood or a theater near you?  What have I missed?  What do you wanna see on the little big screen?

☠ Good Halloween Movies?


The Monster Squad

Monster Squad

I have a bunch of stuff I wanna blog about, but I need the time to sit down & do it.  [I have some goofy World (and Lunar) Domination ones coming up, some half started… that seems to be what grabs more readers/comments.]

You’ll help write this blog post for me.  If you’re seeing the link on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ … please reply in the comments section here at the blog, not in the comments stream at Facebook or Google+, & not an @ through Twitter.  If you’re logged in on Facebook or Twitter you can comment down below using either account!

This one is relevant & easy to knock out because of the time of year.  I was trolling through Netflix on the Wii the other night, trying to find a good Halloween-ish movie to watch.

Cover of "Shaun of the Dead"

Shaun of the Dead

My wife is scared easily, and wasn’t in the mood for House of 1000 Corpses-like gore or Alienlike “Ah!” jumps.  (I still can’t get her to watch Silence of the Lambs.)  I was thinking The Crow, maybe Monster Squad or Shaun of the Dead.

I thought of a bunch that weren’t available for streaming, like Wolf and Teen Wolf or even Beetlejuice.  I found myself unable to think of campy other spooky fun.

Help me build a go-to list of all of us who are too old to remember good scary/funny/creepy movies like Ghostbusters, Batman, Zombieland, Fido, Edward Scissorhands, etc.

Roku XDS

Roku

While we’re on it, does a streaming service other than Netflix offer these movies, or am I going to have to start trolling the cheap DVD/Bluray bin at Walmart?  Maybe I just need to get a device like Roku that streams Amazon movies.

What movies make you want to mentally escape in front of the blue glow of your TV under a warm blanket on a cool October day?

Netflix: “Oops”.


A Netflix envelope picture taken by BlueMint.

Image via Wikipedia

Searched for this after some buzz on Twitter:

“We underestimated the appeal of the single web site and a single service,” Steve Swasey, a Netflix spokesman, said in a telephone interview. He quickly added: “We greatly underestimated it.”

You think?  Apparently a lot of people thought the same things that I did about the whole plan.  The whole article is interesting, and can be found here: Netflix Abandons Plan to Rent DVDs on Qwikster

Maybe now they can work on deals to stream more new movies… and a better back-catalog of older movies.  (Like the entire Star Trek movie series?)

I still love that Oatmeal cartoon.  I hope they do another one.

Qwikster is quite possibly the dumbest idea ever.


Image representing Reed Hastings as depicted i...

Reed Hastings is Absolutely Insane

Not only is it a dumb name, but separating the two services is ridiculous.  It had to be the answer to the question “What’s the worst possible thing we could do for business right now?”

Sorry.  I’m getting ahead of myself.  We all heard about Netflix recently separating their streaming and DVD services into two categories.  I thought I was in the minority, & while slightly tweaked at the price hike… kept with the two now individual plans.  I mean, I like access to the latest movies which are only available on DVD/Blu-ray.  I also like being able to go watch some older films in an instant without any planning whatsoever, and the cool TV shows available like the BBC’s Robin Hood that I would have normally never seen.

I’m sure there are people out there who think the streaming plan is useless, have no idea what Blu-ray is, and just want their DVD’s.  I’m sure there are people who want streaming movies… and probably can’t fathom why anyone would want physical media mailed to them.

I’m guessing that the same people who need a shelf full of 30 different kinds of peanut butter or an entire aisle full of bread varieties at the grocery store like to have options.  We also like things that help us get organized.

Having an online queue of movies that I’d like to watch is pretty cool.  Knowing that the same movie is available for streaming is also pretty cool.  The lack of this will be the opposite of cool, and I don’t understand how Netflix doesn’t see this.

This is also one of the strangest emails ever…

From: “Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO of Netflix” <info@netflix.com>
To: me@my.email.address
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2011 3:25 AM
Subject: An Explanation and Some Reflections

Dear Eric,

I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. Let me explain what we are doing.

For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn’t make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us). So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.

So here is what we are doing and why.

Many members love our DVD service, as I do, because nearly every movie ever made is published on DVD. DVD is a great option for those who want the huge and comprehensive selection of movies.

I also love our streaming service because it is integrated into my TV, and I can watch anytime I want. The benefits of our streaming service are really quite different from the benefits of DVD by mail. We need to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolves, without maintaining compatibility with our DVD by mail service.

So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.

It’s hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”. We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name “Netflix” for streaming.

Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to qwikster.com to access their DVD queues and choose movies. One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, but now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done. Other improvements will follow. A negative of the renaming and separation is that the Qwikster.com and Netflix.com websites will not be integrated.

There are no pricing changes (we’re done with that!). If you subscribe to both services you will have two entries on your credit card statement, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as your current charges. We will let you know in a few weeks when the Qwikster.com website is up and ready.

For me the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo. I know that logo will grow on me over time, but still, it is hard. I imagine it will be similar for many of you.

I want to acknowledge and thank you for sticking with us, and to apologize again to those members, both current and former, who felt we treated them thoughtlessly.

Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions.

Respectfully yours,

-Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix

p.s. I have a slightly longer explanation along with a video posted on our blog, where you can also post comments.

This message was mailed to [me] by Netflix.
SRC: 1578.0.US.en-US
Use of the Netflix service and website constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
(c) 2011 Netflix, Inc. 100 Winchester Circle, Los Gatos, CA 95032, U.S.A.

This is Charlie Sheen level insanity here.  This may be even Gary Busey level crazy.  (By the way, why is he in those creepy local Kia commercials?) 

This long-form is even crazier: An Explanation and Some Reflections …along with this.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that none of your customers think this is a good idea.  Let me break it down for you:

  • The price increase for the base plan was dumb.  You realize that now.  Why not fix that?
  • A streaming-only service would be awesome… IF THERE WAS MORE CONTENT.
    • Streaming newer movies would obviously be the biggest draw.  Work out that licensing.  I know it’s not simple.  Figure it out.
    • Streaming more content & more current movies would make me buy new hardware.  Currently we stream Netflix through the Wii.  If I could get more new movies… I’d upgrade to a Bluray player that does streaming at a better quality or something like the Roku 2 player.
    • Old movies that are part of a series… only some are available.  You can stream The Wrath of Kahn but not the entire Star Trek series?  Dumb.
    • Special episodes/bonus content of DVD’s not available for streaming.  A minor annoyance, but still… Dumb.
  • I don’t want two distinct services where there was once one all-encompassing service.
    • One site to manage two queues is quite convenient.
    • I don’t want 2 separate charges for 2 separate services where there once was one.  I’m guessing no one else does either.
    • I don’t want to figure out for myself what’s available for streaming & what’s available on DVD.  Especially if I’m paying twice the price for the service.

Imagine going to your local pizza shop and they decide that they’re only going to do pizza because they do dough, sauce, & cheese really well.   If you want any toppings, subs, bread-sticks, drinks, or a salad… you need to go across the street and buy them.  Oh, now the place across the street sells wings too!  They have separate menus… but it’s just across the street, so no big deal, right?  Does this sound like a great idea, Reed Hastings?

Ridiculous.

[Woah – The Oatmeal read my mind!]