Cinema Psycho

"You know what? You have a losing personality." – Manhattan

Due Date overdue to rent; plus some pre-Oscar thoughts

Posted by CinemaPsycho on February 25, 2011

OK, not that I particularly care about Due Date. But has anybody seen these TV ads they’re running for its DVD/Blu release? They basically show the usual brief clips from the film. Then there’s this voiceover, accompanied by images of a Redbox outlet, a mailbox with a Netflix envelope in it, etc.: “It’s not available from Blockbuster or Redbox, Netflix doesn’t have it yet, but you can buy Due Date and laugh TODAY.” Every time I see this ad, it strikes me as a tiny bit more egregious. So because you assholes have kept your movie from rental outlets for 28 days, you actually expect us to BUY IT??? Bullshit!

Let’s back up a minute. For those who don’t know, several studios (including Warner and Fox) have implemented this new policy that makes most of their home-video releases unavailable to rent for 28 days. Which means you have to either buy the movie, or simply wait four weeks to rent it. As a Netflix customer, I’m generally against this practice, although most of the movies by those studios aren’t that great anyway – the few that are really good I usually see in theaters, the rest I either skip entirely or wait for HBO. So most of the time, I don’t really care about this either way. But I think it’s a stupid practice, and the fact that these morons at the home-video arms are actually proud of this idiocy kinda makes steam come out of my ears. The average, non-film buff moviegoer doesn’t want to wait a month to rent a new release, particularly one that’s been heavily advertised; nor do they want to spend $20-30 (or more) on a brand-new copy of a middling movie like Due Date that they’ll probably watch once and then never again. Sure, the 5 people who actually both saw Due Date in theaters and liked it will probably pick up a copy, but they would have anyway. Then after a month goes by, people will have moved on to something else that’s just been released on disc. The result? Fewer rentals and no dramatic increase in sales. It’s just fucking stupid. So why run ads that basically say to customers, “fuck you guys. You want to watch our movies, you buy or you wait.” Most people will have no problem waiting, or simply not renting at all. So you studio hacks know what you can do with your 28 days.

Anyway… as I’m writing this, it’s just a couple of days until the Oscar ceremony. I’m looking forward to it, as I do every year – it’s the movie buff’s Super Bowl, after all. And once it’s over, I’m sure we’ll all feel a little relief that it’s finally done with and we can all move on. That’s pretty much how I feel every year, around midnight or 12:15 or however long it takes to finally get it done. The odd thing for this year is that I both saw and liked so many of the nominated films that I’m not really rooting for or against anyone. Check out my Top 10 list below and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not that I don’t care, but whether The King’s Speech wins or The Social Network or Black Swan or Inception (long shot, I know), I’m pretty much good with it. Even True Grit could win and I’d probably shrug and be like, “OK, fine. Could have been worse.” There are so many good-to-great films up for the big prize that I’m not really as invested as I usually am. Therefore, I intend to spend the day doing what we all should do on Oscar day: simply celebrating the best of the year in film. That’s the great thing about the entire awards process, but particularly the Oscars, that we get to celebrate quality work. Whether you agree with the nominations or the winners, at least we’re all talking about it, right? At least for one day, movies are at the center of the universe – the way it should be all year long.

Seriously though. I know there are millions of people in the world who just don’t care one bit about the Oscars. I’m related to some of them, in fact. And I feel sorry for them. Because whether you love movies or not, whether you’ve seen the nominated films or not, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not just an awards show: it’s THE Awards Show. If movies are the absolute barometer of Who We Are and Where We Are – and I believe they are – then the Oscars are the apex of that, the biggest party ever thrown for the absolute best of our culture. And if you don’t care about that, well, you just don’t know what to care about. Sure, I know it’s all political and biased and there have been years where I thought it was all bullshit. But you know what? It still matters to me, and it matters because I love movies. I don’t care about the Super Bowl, the World Series or American Idol. I care about movies, and that’s why, triumph or travesty, Oscar day is my favorite day of the year.

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One Response to “Due Date overdue to rent; plus some pre-Oscar thoughts”

  1. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I think that you should
    publish more on this topic, it might not be a taboo matter but generally
    people don’t talk about such topics. To the next! All the best!!

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