Netflix

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Donald Brown
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:21 pm
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#101 Post by Donald Brown » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:57 am

Matt wrote:
Donald Brown wrote:This sucks:
We wanted to let you know we will be eliminating Profiles, the feature that allowed you to set up separate DVD Queues under one account, effective September 1, 2008.
They have now reversed course.
Very cool. Now I don't have to merge my roommate's crappy mainstream queue with my immaculate artsy-fartsy one. It would have been impossible to ensure we had the same number of titles out between us with a shared queue.

Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

#102 Post by Perkins Cobb » Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:31 pm

MyNameCriterionForum wrote:Uh, you can watch them as often as you want, from any point in the film (at least I've been able to, so far) so power outages and other interruptions would not be a problem.
Well, some of us like to watch a movie in a single sitting, not broken up into pieces or with no guarantee it won't abruptly be shut off in the middle. #-o

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psufootball07
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:52 pm

#103 Post by psufootball07 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:14 pm

No more old copy of Vivre sa Vie on Netflix or Amazon, however the fact is that this hopefully means a Criterion release is imminent.

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

#104 Post by Matt » Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:37 pm

Perkins Cobb wrote:
MyNameCriterionForum wrote:Uh, you can watch them as often as you want, from any point in the film (at least I've been able to, so far) so power outages and other interruptions would not be a problem.
Well, some of us like to watch a movie in a single sitting, not broken up into pieces or with no guarantee it won't abruptly be shut off in the middle.
And how do you now guarantee that your power doesn't go out in the middle of a movie? Generator? Uninterruptible power source? Batteries?

I'm just griefing you, don't pay me any attention.

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Cosmic Bus
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#105 Post by Cosmic Bus » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:54 am

MyNameCriterionForum wrote:Netflix lists the Edvard Munch "special edition" as available -- however it appears to be one disc, with a listed running time of 110 minutes.
When I received this several months ago, it was indeed two discs that ship together (counted as one title).

Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

#106 Post by Perkins Cobb » Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:49 pm

Believe me, I wish Netflix and my internet connection went out as infrequently as the electricity.

I can't remember the last time I lost power during a movie, although I was watching Melvin and Howard during the only (mild) earthquake I experienced in L.A. I was sitting in a beanbag chair kind of below the TV set, and for some reason paused the DVD and froze for a few seconds before bolting for a doorway ... so if the quake had been a little stronger, they might've found me crushed to death under a gigantic freeze-frame of Paul LeMat.

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domino harvey
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#107 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:32 am

After years of being a no-show, Billy Liar is now finally available

Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

#108 Post by Perkins Cobb » Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:40 pm

But still no Ordet or Gertrud!

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davebert
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#109 Post by davebert » Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:26 pm

I know we have a small but reliable group of gamers on this forum, but in case you aren't live-streaming the Microsoft press conference at this year's E3, as I am, you may nonetheless be interested to know that Microsoft and Netflix just announced a partnership, whereby the Xbox 360 will be the newest device capable of downloading and streaming films for free from the Netflix library for subscribers.

With an announcement like this, I could see myself perhaps becoming a subscriber later this year.

Andrew_VB
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:07 am

#110 Post by Andrew_VB » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:58 am

did we notice that the tv version of fanny and alexander is now on netflix? i just did and i'm psyched! i'm not sure how long it's been there, but i've been waiting.

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domino harvey
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#111 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:14 am

This does explain this recent post on the .com forum:

Image

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davebert
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#112 Post by davebert » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:46 pm

Bravo for actually caring enough about the joke to visit .com to get the source backgrounds. I don't think I'd have the stomach for it.

AisleSeat
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:16 pm
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Netflix and Criterion Titles

#113 Post by AisleSeat » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:23 pm

On occasion, I've noticed that a few Criterion-released DVDs that are still in print are not available on Netflix. Earlier this year, for example, Schlesinger's Billy Liar and Truffaut's Stolen Kisses and Love on the Run were shown as unavailable. (Thankfully, this has been recently rectified for these three films.) Right now, however, Ozu's classic Floating Weeds is categorized as "availability unknown," and has been listed so for several months.

Well, as a check on Amazon.com reveals, Floating Weeds hasn't gone out of print and is available for purchase with just a few clinks. As this film is one Ozu's masterpieces and likely his most accessible to those new to Japanese cinema, it's distressing to see that Netflix has let the title languish. One has to wonder how many Criterion-released and other titles have drifted into Netflix's "unavailable" realm. I suspect it happens from time to time, but not often.

Many film devotees rely on Netflix to see the many international classics, cult and other esoteric films that cannot be rented at the local video outlet. When a film of Floating Weeds' caliber and ilk isn't available for rent through Netflix, it's nigh impossible for someone outside a major metropolitan area to be able to view it. To be sure, some of these films can be found at other online film rental sites, such as GreenCine. But how many people actually belong to more than one subscriber service at a time? Not many, probably. Besides, Netflix offers thousands of titles that are not usually available anywhere else.

In my experience, I've found Netflix to be a first rate company, based on its extensive selection of titles and very high standards of customer service. They appear very committed in keeping their subscribers—who now number around 8.6 million—happy. Of these 8.6 million subscribers, I would guess that serious film devotees make up a small, but meaningful number—perhaps in the 5 to 10 percent range. Many of this board's members are likely Netflix subscribers.

The serious film aficionado, however, has needs that go beyond the typical Hollywood blockbuster or the established foreign classic. Netflix, it seems, understands this, as they try to make available nearly everything that comes out in DVD, Region 1. Criterion releases, to be sure, are films that Netflix will always purchase and make available it's customers. But as some Criterion titles tend to appeal to only the more adventurous and committed film devotee, the number of copies that Netflix has on hand may be limited. Thus when a few copies of a particular film are damaged or lost, the title reverts to the "long wait" or "unavailable" status.

If any Criterion-released DVD you wish to see is listed as unavailable on Netflix, there are recourses to be taken. First of all, make sure to "save" the movie to your queue. By doing this, you're helping Netfix determine demand, and thus a potential future order of that particular film. Secondly, you can request a title through the customer service online interface. In this way, your "wants" are brought to their immediate attention, and are not just a tick in a "saved" filmed listing. You might even bitch a little on further entreaties; it couldn't hurt as it shows the strong passion of a subscriber.

Netflix, for the most part, has been responsive to my pleadings. A few weeks ago, I was interested in watching Kurosawa's Drunken Angel again. But on searching Netflix, and then searching a second time, the film, to all extent, was nowhere to found. Nowhere. It simply wasn't listed. The film had been released by Criterion some six to eight months earlier, so it wasn't a case of being unavailable or out of print. I sent a message to Netflix through its customer service interface, and in the next day or so, Drunken Angel became listed, but with a "very long wait" categorization. The next week, however, it reverted to available "now," so I popped it up the top of my queue and had it in my mailbox the next day.

In my book, every Criterion-released title should be available on Netflix, if it is in print. I also think Netflix should consider going into the "used" market for titles—and not just Criterions—that are no longer in print. For example, Anthony Minghella's Truly, Madly, Deeply and Frank Perry's The Swimmer are just two of what is potentially hundreds of films that have gone out of print and can usually only be viewed if one purchases a used DVD. By making out-of-print films available to its subscribers, Netflix could gain a competitive advantage. Additionally, as many DVD players are "all region," Netflix may even want to carry titles that have been released elsewhere but are unavailable on Region 1 DVD.

Netflix does listen, and it pays dividends to let them know what films you're wanting to see.
Last edited by AisleSeat on Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ishmael
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:56 pm

Re: Netflix and Criterion Titles

#114 Post by Ishmael » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:03 pm

AisleSeat wrote:By making out-of-print films available to its subscribers, Netflix could gain a competitive advantage.
Netflix has carried many titles that have gone out of print over the years. Often, they disappear from the site. People steal them. This is why there's no advantage for Netflix to buy $100 copies of My Dinner With Andre and rent them out to its customers, the first several of whom will immediately declare the disc lost in the mail.

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psufootball07
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:52 pm

#115 Post by psufootball07 » Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:02 pm

Any thoughts as to whether or not Salo will be on Netflix. So far there doesn't appear to be any news.

Edit: Damn they must have updated it today or yesterday. I'm giving it a rent before I decide to buy it or not.

AisleSeat
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:16 pm
Location: Arlington, VA

#116 Post by AisleSeat » Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:15 pm

Well, in the case of a pricey DVD such as My Dinner With Andre it's understandable why it may not be feasible for Netflix to put it out for rent. But Netflix is a creative company and could find a way to make it work. For instance, with out-of-print DVDs rentals, they could send an email to subscribers notifying them that their forthcoming DVD is, in fact, out of print, and such, carries a hefty lost penalty if it isn't returned. The email notice could go something like this:

Dear valued Netflix subscriber,

We are sending this email to inform you that your forthcoming Netflix DVD of __________, which is now at the top of your queue, is an out-of-print, "special" Netflix DVD. This means that there are limited copies of this DVD available in the marketplace. In an effort to please our subscribers, Netflix has obtained a few copies that we make available to our most-valued subscribers.

We wish to make it known to you that these "special" DVDs rentals carry with them certain stipulations that pertain to you and your account.

First of all, as a "trusted" subscriber—a level we determine through your rental history, your longevity with Netflix, and your rate of reporting missing or damaged DVDs—you qualify for our "special," out-of-print DVD service. This is not a service we offer to every subscriber, and we are pleased to make it available to you.

Because several of the out-of-print DVD titles that we offer are quite valuable in the marketplace, we use special mailers that carry with them USPS delivery confirmation tags. This is, of course, an added cost to us, and, as such, we find it necessary to charge your account an extra $3 for each "special" DVD we send to you. This $3 charge is in addition to your regular monthly plan fee.

There is also a substantial financial penalty if a "special" rental DVD is not returned to use within a very reasonable period of three weeks, or is damaged by flagrant misuse. That charge is currently set at $135. Every "special" DVD is carefully inspected before shipment for irregularities and damage. We understand that during shipping DVDs are occasionally damaged. However, please be assured, you will not be assessed $135 or any monetary fee whatsoever if a DVD is damaged during shipment and is of no fault of your own.

Before we send the DVD, __________, to you, we ask that you respond to this email by clicking on the "Yes, I accept" button below. This signifies that you agree to the conditions as stipulated in this email. As soon as we receive your response, your "special" DVD will be readied for shipment, and you can expect it in next day or so. If you are not willing to accept the stipulated conditions, please click the "No, I do not accept" button below. This will lead to the "special" DVD being dropped to the bottom of your queue. The next DVD in your queue will then be shipped to you.

We hope you understand why these "special" DVD stipulations have set out. Netflix is committed to providing services to our valued subscribers that are not available elsewhere. Your loyalty and commitment to Netflix is important to us.

Thank you,

Your Netflix customer service team

If we can be of further assistance in any way, please contact Netflix customer service at _________.

This is all a fantasy, of course, and I don't expect Netflix to attempt to do something like this anytime soon. But you never know. It wouldn't be too much of a leap for Netflix to set up a "premium" subscriber account, in which special perks are made available. Just think. If they could bump up several thousand subscribers from a $14.95 monthly plan to one that is $19.95, the bottom line may very well swell.
Last edited by AisleSeat on Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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kaujot
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#117 Post by kaujot » Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:27 pm

I don't think they should charge you an extra $3 for every OOP DVD they send to you.

But they should charge if you lose it.

Ishmael
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:56 pm

#118 Post by Ishmael » Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:02 pm

AisleSeat wrote:For instance, with out-of-print DVDs rentals, they could send an email to subscribers notifying them that their forthcoming DVD is, in fact, out of print, and such, carries a hefty lost penalty if it isn't returned.
Yeah, because with more than 8 million customers, it would be worth their while to enforce different rules for different titles. What's the benefit to Netflix exactly?

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domino harvey
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#119 Post by domino harvey » Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:27 pm

Netflix makes its money renting out Hitch, not My Dinner With Andre-- this plan of yours has at least a dozen naive fallacies but this is the biggest

AisleSeat
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#120 Post by AisleSeat » Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:09 am

domino harvey wrote:Netflix makes its money renting out Hitch, not My Dinner With Andre-- this plan of yours has at least a dozen naive fallacies but this is the biggest
Eh, the "biggest" what?

As I mentioned in my earlier post, my suggestions are nothing but fantasy. Netflix or any other DVD retailer, of course, would be extremely reluctant to change their current successful business models anytime soon. And yet it would be shortsighted to say they will never do so.

Your reply, in which you say that "'Netflix' makes it money renting out Hitch, not My Dinner With Andre"—which is exactly correct—is in and of itself reason why at some point in the future Netflix or another online DVD retailer may adopt a tiered rental system based on what films are rented. As certain DVDs are considered to have more value than others, doesn't it seem logical their respective rental costs might vary as well? A pricey Criterion-released DVD, for example, loaded with supplements, usually carries with it a much higher market premium than another company's budget bare bones edition. When one rents a car at Avis is the same rental price charged for an economy hatchback and a luxury sedan? Well, of course not. It's basic market factors at work here—low price versus high, quality versus cheap, and so on. Different grades of product usually result in varying prices. These principles apply in every business and in every market worldwide, the DVD rental business notwithstanding.

It wouldn't be a big step at all for an online DVD rental company like Netflix to place a surcharge on certain rentals. It might be an extra dollar or 50 cents, per rental, or even less. Yet for a highly sought after DVD that is out of print, and in which there are only be a few dozens copies available nationwide, a surcharge could very well be jacked up substantially, say $3 or $5, depending on marketplace demand.

With gas prices today what they are, driving just a few miles to the local video outlet costs a dollar or two, if not more. Why shouldn't an online DVD retailer take advantage of this and elevate their prices to what the market will bear, particularly for esoteric, hard-to-find films that cannot be found at the local strip-mall video store?

Some of the readers of this post may dismiss my thinking out of hand. But take a moment to consider this. If you had a choice a spending $100 to purchase a DVD you really wanted to see or spending an extra $2 or $3 (or more) to rent it, which would you choose? Some of you will purchase, to be sure, but others may just want to rent. To use another example, if Netflix has a DVD you desperately want to view, and Blockbuster or GreenCine doesn't, would you fork over an additional charge to be able to rent it from Netflix? That, of course, would depend on you and your purchasing habits, but I suspect many of you would spend the extra buck or two. It goes without saying that in a marketplace in which there is more than one choice, the dynamic forces competing for your purchasing dollars are ever changing. And because of this, it wouldn't be surprising if Netflix or another online DVD rental company tweaked their system to be more flexible in terms of rental rates for certain DVDs.
Last edited by AisleSeat on Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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psufootball07
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#121 Post by psufootball07 » Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:40 am

So you want to be charged more by Netflix because you mainly select Criterion DVDs to rent? Hell no. I can see what you were saying about out of print but just because I rent more Criterions I dont expect to pay more than the idiot who rents Hitch.

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swo17
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#122 Post by swo17 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:55 pm

So I have now suggested to Netflix three times that they replace their existing copy of Vampyr with the new Criterion version. I don't expect much to come of this. (I am reluctant to have my first viewing of this film be of the Image disc. I may just have to blind buy the Criterion.) Anyway, I am just curious if anyone here has had success in the past with getting Netflix to stock a title that you have suggested to them.

Off topic, I am half tempted to form a posse* to collectively rent out all the remaining copies of the Image disc, crack them in half, then put them back in the mail in order to move things along. Anyone reading this now is welcome to join in.

*Sorry for this vernacular. I just watched Knocked Up again.

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psufootball07
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#123 Post by psufootball07 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:11 pm

How about trying to rent it for free from a local library or university/school library? I recently picked up Vampyr and Mishima from my schools library, and even if Netflix carried these, its much better having the ENTIRE package in front of you if you are thinking about purchasing it. Also it saves space in your Netflix queue so you can still continue to get those sent to you. In my thoughts it will take a LONG time for them to get both Mishima and Vampyr Criterions into the Netflix system, I mean they sersiously piss me off too for not yet adding the Criterion versions of RAN and Kagemusha yet, even though those have been released for a good 2-3 years.

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Tom Hagen
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#124 Post by Tom Hagen » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:21 pm

I second the library suggestion. I know for a fact that the Salt Lake library system usually gets at least one copy of every new Criterion, generally within a few months of the release date at the longest. They package the whole set for checkout, and you can keep it for two weeks at a time -- plenty of opportunity to go through all the supplements, etc. if you are so inclined.

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swo17
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#125 Post by swo17 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:21 pm

Hmmmm...I'd forgotten about the library (haven't used it in ages). And my queue is completely full (damned 500 movie limit). I will have to look into this.

EDIT: As it turns out, there is a library right by my house. SLC doesn't seem to have the Criterions of Mishima or Vampyr yet though, but I suppose I can patiently wait for them. :|

Incidentally, are we 100% certain the Netflix Mishima is not the Criterion version? I know the cover art they show is wrong, but the older version of Mishima stayed in my "Saved" queue for the longest time, only becoming available around the time the Criterion came out. Has anyone rented this yet?

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