Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Blockbuster in a Different Light...

Those of you that have taken the bold steps into the Blue and Yellow doors of Blockbuster should know that you now have an option taking cues from the popular online video rental services that have sprung up over the years.

Gloria and I have, for about 2 months now, taken part in Blockbuster Online - a service that sends us 3 DVDs at a time, as per a custom "que" (also known as "MyQ") that you can create, modify and add to at your leisure via a very nice online interface. The cost for the 1st 4 months is just $9.99, but after that the cost will increase to $17.99 (a recent development).

All in all it's been a very good experience. For those wondering how it works, Blockbuster charges your credit or debit card per month, and sends you 3 DVDs at a time. After watching them, you can send them back all at once or one by one, and Blockbuster then sends you the next one set in your chosen online listing and mails them out right away.

The mailing service is probably the strongest piece so far of this service. We mailed out the most recent discs at 1:30pm yesterday afternoon, and in my Email at 7am in the morning was confirmation that they had been received and that three new ones had been mailed out.

Initially when I heard that the cost was going to increase from their regular $14.99 to $17.99 I had thought about cancelling the service, but I think we're going to stick it out. We are definitely not regular "renters" but it's nice to have some movies "ready to watch" that we don't have to take time out of our day to go and get.

Next Three Arrivals:

--- Suspect Zero
--- Black Cadillac
--- The Original Assault on Pricinct 13

What do YOU think about services like this? Would you/do you pay the money? Do you take part in services like this (Netflix, etc)? How do you participate in things like this?

"Back in the Day" Should Go Back to the Drawing Board...

Gloria and I had several movies arrive the other day, and in that most recent mix from Blockbuster's Online DVD rental service was "Back in the Day" starring Ving Rhames whom I have really come to like over the last several years. His portrayals as Don King in "Don King: Only In America" and a totally overlooked role in "Dark Blue" are some really great acting.

Back in the day took Ving an the cast into the realm of the reuniting of new and old school gangstas that had a lot of potential, some good solid, heartfelt scenes, but it just misses the mark for me for a variety of reasons.

First, while I can't even begin to know the environment, I have grown tired of seeing the "victim" mentality of what is today's gang scene for young black men. Seeing another pile of young black men grit their teeth and say things while they're pissed off works, but only works for so many movies and we've reached the boiling point. Ving brings some very interesting views to the screen with the portrayal of "J-Bone" who has just been released from prison and heads back to the old neighborhood. We also see another injection of quality from Joe "Miles Bennet Dyson" Morton from Terminator 2 fame who sadly gets killed quick. I also almost didn't recognize Tia Carrere in this movie, who plays J-Bone's business saavy Ho (oh, how the mighty temptress from True Lies and Wayne's World hath fallen!!!), who has avery scripted and illogical death by cop scene. Her "hood" accent felt like one of those things where when you hear it you want to squit and look away from the screen.

Overall this movie is a dud, unoriginal, and brings a very light chalkmark to many careers that have much potential. If you're looking for some almost solid, original old-school gangsta perspective from Ving, and what is some nice music, then this might be worth your time. Otherwise, I recommend another viewing of "Boyz intha' Hood".

Have you seen a good, solid, gangsta film that offers up a solid, interesting perspective in recent years? Tell me about it!

Recent Acquisitions... August 2005...

Good grief, how the summer FLIES...

My wife and I celebrated our most recent Anniversary (our 10th Wedding anniversary and 15 year "since we met" Anniversary) and I got several items from her to commemorate them as well as some other additions that continue to run the spectrum of entertainment in the Wilkerson houshold.

On to the list

The Simpsons: Season 6 DVD Collection: We are always excited to receive a season of what is one of the most overlooked series in recent times. I look forward to watching/listening to this set and providing a review at a future date. There is also a develpment in the "new Hollowed Out Head" debate. Check that out over here.

Constantine: I have long been hoping that Keanu Reeves would break out of the Neo mode, and this one almost makes it happen. It's a very dark film, that has lots of great points, including some remarkable effects, some sit upright in your seats moments and some neat character casting. It missed the mark by just a hair. I'll pound out a review of it soon.

The Muppet Show: Season One Set: I have long known that the magic of my childhood was housed in a little green felt frog named "Kermit." This show was one of the most influential elements of my childhood. 1976 was the year that my parents marriage started to dematerialize which left me very on my own to find my way as I could and the Muppet Show was a staple that I would race home on my dirt bike to see. I look very forward to revisiting this and the next 5 seasons.

Sin City: This was something of a treat that I completely missed this year. The actors are there, the special effects are literally state-of-the-art, and I look forward to seeing it.

Sesame Street Compilation: All Just $4.88 - The proud tradition of Sesame Street continues on to my daughter, Jade, and this series of DVD's passes on some of the basic magic, and much of the newer magic of Sesame Street. For parents out there, I completely recommend them.

- Big Bird Sings
- The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland
- Elmo's World: Wake Up with Elmo!
- Friends to the Rescue (A Hurricane Hits Sesame Street!)