We hated to do it, but we finally succumbed and cancelled Netflix yesterday.
It felt a little sad. Our queue had 250 DVDs, mostly movies with a little TV sprinkled in for variety. The queue has had at least 200 movies in it since about a week after we joined. Sure, we would watch films quite frequently sometimes, but every time someone said to me, “You know, you really ought to see such-and-such movie,” I added it to the queue. (Well, almost every time. There are limits.)
The last three movies we need to send back are Monsters, Inc., which we watched over the weekend, me for the first time, and quite enjoyed; Inherit the Wind, which The Beau watched and thoroughly hated, to the point where he could not discuss any movie afterwards and I feared for the safety of the DVD players; and Big Fish, which we’ve had for weeks and not watched, because it is rather long and we can’t seem to get in the right mood. I don’t know if we’ll watch it before sending it back.
A random glance at the queue (which I printed and saved as HTML) shows a fun variety of films: The Times of Harvey Milk, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, The Lavender Hill Mob, Straw Dogs, Mildred Pierce, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Marlene, Girlfight, Design for Living, and The Devil’s Rejects are a small sample. I want to see all of those movies and more … someday. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
I loved having all the movies that people recommended to me, or that I wanted to remember to see, all in one tidy little list. However, it’s not like I can’t put the list in a good text editor or spreadsheet and update it there. I don’t need Netflix to have a To See list.
The reason why we cancelled? We haven’t been watching a lot of DVDs from Netflix … not enough to make the cost worthwhile. When I need to watch a DVD for something I’m writing, I don’t usually have the luxury of enough time to wait for the movie to arrive in the mail. I have to run to the corner video store anyway. I own at least one entire boxed set of movies on DVD that I haven’t seen yet (the Astaire-Rogers set). We have lots of movies to watch around the house without renting anything at all, really. And finally, I love seeing movies in theaters more than I do on DVD, and we live in walking distance of Alamo Village theater.
We have a nice locally owned neighborhood rental store that we will use when we get the urge to rent something. I’m slightly worried about being able to find some of the more obscure movies at the neighborhood rental store, but I can always drive the extra 10 minutes to Vulcan Video, where they have damn near everything, including movies on VHS that have never been released on DVD.
Still, I feel a little weird about the whole thing. A film geek without a mail-order DVD rental service? I know the true film geek might have gone with GreenCine instead, but Netflix had an Austin shipping center and we couldn’t resist the (usually) short turnaround times. Still, film geek or not, it’s dumb to pay the monthly fee when we aren’t watching the movies. The inner film geek says it’s my fault for not watching enough movies, but that’s simply not true.
Netflix asks you to check little checkboxes when you cancel your service, explaining why you cancelled. They didn’t have one for “We loved your service, but we have more movies than we can watch at the house right now.” Too bad.
Maybe when we catch up on the movies we have here, we’ll subscribe again. Or perhaps we will finally, finally surrender to cable TV and I can get my fill of Thirties comedies on Turner Classic Movies. In the meantime, I keep reminding myself that I have access to all the movies I want, and that I’m not some kind of lesser film writer because I can’t keep up with Netflix.