January 07, 2006

For people who like to watch their mailbox.

Jacob and I have just, with some reluctance, cancelled our GreenCine membership and signed back up for Netflix. The reluctance comes from the fact that we like GreenCine, in particular its excellent member-driven Lists feature. The doing it anyway comes from the fact that as a smaller service they have terrible availability problems and not very good turnaround time. Netflix is a well-oiled machine; you send your movie back on Monday and get your next one by Wednesday or Thursday. GreenCine is a bit rusty; you send your movie back and sometime within the next week you'll get something which wasn't at the top of your list because whatever was at the top of your list is already checked out to someone else.

I'm being unkind, or at least biased. If, like certain people around here, You Are Interested In Film, GreenCine is just fine. If you want, for instance, Dead Reckoning, which came out in 1947 and which I for one have never heard of, you can get it immediately. But if you want Back to the Future you'll be waiting a damn long time. As it happens, I'd really like to see Back to the Future. And Amadeus, and X-2, and Time Bandits and Wallace and Gromit and Star Trek: TNG Season 5 and a lot of other things which Netflix, pandering to the troglodyte masses, has by the shelf-full.

Here is my confession: I am a troglodyte mass.

As it turns out, in the year that we've spent not paying attention, Netflix has done incredible things with its selection and its interface. We both went through our 263-movie-long queue with some skepticism, testing Netflix to see if it would perform. Would they have Yossi and Jagger? They would. Would they have Dzien Swira? Evidently they would. How about Boogiepop Phantom (what the hell is Boogiepop Phantom?), D.O.A., or The Sweet Smell of Success? Yes, apparently so.

We ran out of objections rather rapidly after that. Now that the switch is settled, we just need to move our entire queue to Netflix. I've volunteered to use the awesome power of my unemployment to enter all the titles manually and maybe do some judicious shuffling along the way. In the meantime, since the January billing is already past, we can still get GreenCine movies for another month. We've decided to remake our GreenCine queue for this month to include only the things we won't be able to get through Netflix.

Whoops, silly me. I already said Netflix has everything. Clearly I don't know what I'm cocking about. I mean talking about.

Posted by dianna at January 7, 2006 07:01 PM


See? I'm not crazy. Netflix is pretty darn good.

Hey, on a not unrelated note, I got through another 27 minutes of LOTR.

Posted by: katie at January 7, 2006 08:29 PM

One other thing about Greencine that I discovered when I signed up while I was testing the queue randomizer thingee: they only have one shipping center, and it's in the Bay Area. They'll ship to New York, but you have to add about a week to your turnaround time.

I hate to be mean to Greencine; I like that they have a nice selection of more obscure titles, and the lists were pretty neat from what I saw. It's just that they're not a very practical DVD rental service outside the Bay Area, or at best California.

When you eventually get it, tell me how Boogiepop Phantom is. I heard it mentioned a few times when I was more into anime than I am now, but I don't really know anything about it.

Posted by: Zach S. at January 7, 2006 09:11 PM