Tag Archives: netflix

Pet Peeves 2K10

Following last year’s example, I chose to compile this year’s list of my least favorite things early. Let’s face it, I couldn’t wait until the end of the year, because there were just too many things to be peeved at. Anyway, it’s already November and it’s time we got these turkeys on the table. In the comments, I implore you to add your pet peeves. We can commiserate together.

1. Rich Politicians

Gee, I’m not rich enough to buy your country yet, so let me just try to run it instead. This year’s California gubernatorial race became a pet peeve for me after Meg Whitman’s personal contributions to her campaign overran the hundred million dollar mark. Think about where else that money could have gone—what worthy cause she could have invested in—basically anything besides herself. And that list starts with me.

2. Rabid Fan Bases

I was reading an article about KCET in the LA Times the other day when I came across this sentence, which I am excerpting here: “the station will repeat ‘Prime Suspect,’ the acclaimed British detective drama starring Helen Mirren that developed a rabid fan base during its initial run during the 1990s.” Helen Mirren. Rabid fans. For some reason, that doesn’t go together. Rabid is an adjective to refer to someone who has rabies, not a polite audience who enjoys a stellar performance from a gifted actress on their tellies on Sunday night. Wild dogs are rabid. Raccoons are sometimes rabid. To a certain degree, Juggalos are rabid. Let’s not overuse this adjective like amazing or awesome, or I’ll be forced to release the hounds.

3. Facebook Invitations to Events in Other States

Thanks for inviting me to the Oxford Mayfair Ball. Too bad England is 5,406 miles away. Because, you know, getting dressed up in fancy clothes and listening to a symphony is the first thing I think of when I think of fun. Inviting me to something in Seattle, Boston, New York City, or anywhere else you are and I’m not isn’t just careless, it’s hurtful. And enough of “Well, Jon, I don’t know where you live anymore.” If you checked my profile, it does say Current Location: Los Angeles. OK, Next!

4. Bad Parkers

Fine. I fit into this camp, but this is personal. I used to park haphazardly everywhere I could, only until I had to deal with my own medicine: a neighbor who parks his oversize Corolla next to mine every night. He gives me about an inch of wiggle room to get out of my car and always juts out just enough to make backing up and turning in the small lot a nightmare.

5. It’s on My Netflix Cue

The movie blow-off of our generation. Equal to saying, “I don’t really care about your choice of movies, but I’ll humor you by saying in the off-chance I up my subscription, I’ll make it to your choice, number 200, by 2014.”

6. Airports

Theme parks of soullessness and neutral colors. The new full body scanners are an affront to anyone’s dignity and yet we accept them like sheep. Almost makes you want to shop at Walmart.

7. “Smart” Phones

I’m tired of taking my buzzing blackberry in hand only to find another spam message or Groupon offer. Email used to be something I looked forward to! Some technology improves lives, most make lives miserable.

8. This Man

It’s a vacuum cleaner, James Dyson. Get over yourself.





9. Celebrities on Broadway

P. Diddy. Billie Joe Armstrong. Catherine Zeta-Jones. What do these people have in common? No, they didn’t go to the same rehab clinic—they’re all on Broadway. Makes me grateful I live on another coast—so I can see celebrities in their natural element—drunkenly barfing on Sunset street corners. Of course, I’m still waiting for the Tom Arnold biopic coming to Broadway next year. OK, kidding with that one.

10. Snotty Video Store Clerks

Look, I am not a tough customer, I just need a little help here. So sorry for interrupting your texting session or your six-hundredth watching of Zombieland, I just need to know where your new releases are. Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t know that Double Indemnity is filed in Paramount Classics and not Noir. Can you not give me that nasty look? Thanks.

With Netflix eating up any remaining market share independents may lay claim to, why not try a charm campaign guys, or am I just missing the point?

The Netflix Thing


So, I tried the Netflix instant-play thing last night. I watched David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. on the recommendation of a friend. I liked the first five minutes. But it felt pretty dense, and I am sort of ashamed to say, I fell asleep by minute twenty-nine. I can’t quite make up my mind though, was it the movie or the Netflix that put me to sleep?

I’ve fallen asleep at movies before, sure, but I’ve always felt guilty about it. I have a free subscription to Netflix right now, and really I can watch as many movies as I want. But somewhere in the midst of that plethora of choice, I have lost something of my movie bug.

The chase is gone. The browsing, the research, the minutes spent in a Hollywood Video or a Blockbuster are reduced to a couple of minutes on the computer. And I miss that experience! I love the idea that I would have to check out King Vidor’s The Crowd from Cinephile in West LA on VHS just so I could watch it on a friend’s scratchy set in San Gabriel. Or I like receiving movie advice from the clerk on roller skates at Old Bank downtown on a lost Depression-era classic that I just have to watch.

It’s almost the same thing with music. A friend in high school gave me The White Stripes’ Elephant on CD; it remains one of my most vivid memories of those years. I must have played that album three thousand times on my stereo at home, which drove my mom crazy. It’s just not the same downloading something from a website and playing it on iTunes. You can talk up and down about the benefits of the internet age, but part of the value of the product is lost in the absence of the physical object—at least for me.

Tell me if this is just me. What do you think about the disappearance of plastic? Are you happy, sad? Can you identify?

And what will this mean for the movies? Will people still pay a premium when most of the content is right there on the internet anyway?