Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Blockbuster: Worst Rental Outlet. Evar.

Drabble's got right: Lackluster is more apt.

Blockbuster Video, the largest video rental company in the world, has been entirely ruining the video rental experience since 1985.

How? You're asking yourself that very question right now. I know. That's because I'm smarter than all the Rainmen managing all the Blockbuster's in the world, combined. If you work at Blockbuster, my condolences. I know it isn't your fault. I know you feel the same way I do... because I've talked to you.

Now, before you Blockbuster managers leave me thousands of hate-comments, I would like you to give me a fair and logical explanation for the following shit Blockbuster has pulled for years.

Why can I rent the crappy sequel to any movie ever made, but not the fabulous original? Seriously. Tell me why I can rent Gremlins 2: The New Batch, but I'm not allowed to rent Gremlins, after midnight, or ever. Tell me why I can take home Batman Returns, but if I want to see Jack Nicholson play the Joker in 1989's biggest summer blockbuster (pardon the pun), I have to buy that movie somewhere else. Tell me why you've got The Gods Must Be Crazy II, but I'm the one who's crazy if I want to see the original. Why do you have straight to video garbage like the four-year old Hellraiser: Hellworld, but none of the first four original theatrical releases?

I'm sure there are more modern examples, I just haven't wasted my time looking through my two local Blockbuster's for them where there's more shelf space for candy than there is for genuine movies.

While that exclusive little Blockbuster feature is perpetually annoying, the most frustrating thing is their complete lack of selection. My home DVD collection is larger than either of my two local Blockbuster's. And that's not saying much considering my entire DVD collection is worth less than a new 2009 Chevy Aveo. And that IS saying much because GM is practically giving those things away.

We used to avoid Blockbuster at all costs, but every little independant rental shoppe that dares to go up against the brainless goliath is out of business within the year, forcing Suz and I to rent at the vomit-inducing blue and yellow store.

To give you an idea of just how terrible my local Blockbuster is, here's an example of what's on their shelves this week: 55 copies of Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist, which NOBODY was renting, and ONE copy of the award-winning, 5x Academy Award nominated, and 5x Golden Globe nominated, Frost/Nixon.

Which was rented.

There is one thing I like about Blockbuster, however. My favourite part of each visit is answering that ever-so-friendly question, "Did you find everything you were looking for?"

The answer is always no. But during this most recent visit I had to ask, "Do you seriously only have one copy of Frost/Nixon?" The reply? "Yeah. Sorry. It's ridiculous. But that's what head office sent us."

Do you hear that "head office"? Even your employees know how ridiculous and stupid you are. LEARN.

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Blogger Sridhar said...

Maybe you should move to a download service like NetFlix... don't ask me I have neither of them here.

6:44:00 AM

Blogger Monogram Queen said...

Yes try Netflix. I think you would be quite happy with it.
I haven't done the vid-store route in years but I do not doubt what you say for a second.

9:05:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

Suz has been pondering Netflix as well, but it worries me. The mail thing also has potential problems. Example: We missed a court date to fight a bogus ticket simply because the postal system failed.

10:04:00 AM

Blogger TheatreChick73 said...

I keep hearing great things about Netflix but I too am worried about that. My friends have movie queues a mile long and always seem to feel some pressure to watch the movie that is sent to them the day they recieve it. Besides, maybe I want to watch Frost/Nixon TODAY but two days later, not so much? Moods change etc.

I hear ya on the Blockbuster front. Annoying to the extreme. I gave up looking for back catalog type movies there years ago. I started to realize, if I liked an older flick that much I should just buy it.

But the sequel thing, I just don't get!

11:47:00 AM

Blogger ZoeyBella said...

Oooh... I feel your pain. Ballbuster has ruined the renting experience since they switched to DVD and didn't bother to keep the classics. They also only stock crap. Rogers isn't much better.

That's why I buy my DVDs. I shouldn't have to, but I figure what I'd pay in rentals, I might as well own it.

Because you never know when you want to see Encino Man again.

12:12:00 PM

Blogger mmat said...

i think the trick is to go in without any expectations, other than being able to leave with some totally useless movie that you should only be watching while taste testing various different brands of beer. if you go in without expectations, you can't possibly leave disappointed.

2:21:00 PM

Blogger Becky said...

Netflix has my alliances! They've got it all, at least almost everything. Blockbuster isn't the only sucky store, Movie Gallery in town here is terrible too.

6:15:00 PM

Blogger ellie said...

Ugh. We don't ever rent movies and i'm really glad!

11:52:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

I'm not sure what to do. When I feel like watching a movie, I feel like watching it NOW, not whenever I receive it in the mail. Then again, at least I CAN watch it.

But, just like Zoeybella, I've been buying my DVDs instead. Walmart always has a grab bin for $4 or $5, which is cheaper than renting anyway, so it makes sense.

12:15:00 PM

Blogger freqazoidiac said...

HEY. You all are talking so blindly "PC" It's exhausting. You are just wasting your time. Anyone hear of the system called TORRENTS? That's my ticket to ANY obscurity out of Print or common movie..and there is no shame in these actions. Get yer heads out the sand, stop being sheep and forget about lining the fat pig trough with more gold. ALSO if movies didn't suck so large these days, it might be worth it to actually go to the theatre to experience a good movie. So if that industry collapses it was predicted and expected.

7:46:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

freqazoidiac - thanks for the idea. Never heard of Torrents. Sounds great! We have one little video shop downtown that's an absolute library of movies. It has 1 copy of (almost) every single movie ever made, and they're very cheap to rent. Only problem is most of the time the discs are scratched and don't play properly, so it's frustrating.

10:56:00 AM


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