Sunday, April 01, 2007

Touch The Screen To Start!

I have a new addiction: Redbox. It's basically a kiosk that rents DVDs for $1 a night. Reasons why I love it:

1) New movies for $1. 'Nuff said.

2) Everything appears to be widescreen. (An important deal-breaker for a movie snob like me.)

3) You can check the availability of titles online. In other words, if you're desperate to rent Casino Royale but don't want to drive to Marsh to see if it's in, you can look on their website to check. And, if it is available, you can reserve a copy of it online so all you have to do is walk up to the box, punch in your code and wait for the movie to appear. It's magic!

4) From what I can gather, they periodically send you codes via e-mail for free rentals.

5) There's something inherently cool about walking up to a vending machine and getting a movie in return.

I've already rented a handful of discs (Happy Feet, The Pursuit of Happyness, Rocky Balboa)from the box in the past week. None of the discs skipped, none of them were broken, and all were vended to me quickly and accurately. I'm hooked.

The only drawback is their lack of smaller films. It's basically stuff you would find at a megaplex and not at the art house. I'm fine with that. The art house stuff can now be the domain of Netflix.

This pretty much spells the end of my regular moviegoing, I'm afraid. It's been a long time coming. The prices, the rude audiences, and the poor presentations have slowly worn me down over the years. Lately it's become a chore to get my butt to the theatre to see something, which has never been the case in the past. But with the theatre-to-DVD window shrinking - it now take about three months for a movie to come to DVD - I don't have a problem waiting. Not only that, but I could rent a movie every day from the Redbox and it would cost as much as one ticket for a matinee showing at a theatre. It's simple economics.

So if you can't find me, you might want to check the lobby of Marsh in Fishers. Just look for the big red box labeled, appropriately, Redbox, and you'll probably find me standing there, wondering what to rent for the evening.