Netflix Updates Price

The news that Netflix is once again raising their prices in September has been circulating the web, creating quite an angry stir from subscribers. While I like a low price as much as the next guy, I can’t hate on Netflix for moving forward with their company. Netflix has been working towards an online streaming model for quite some time, and this is just another step in that process. Their new monthly prices are roughly $8 for streaming only, $8 for 1 DVD at a time only, or $16 for both.

Netflix members are already watching more TV episodes and movies streamed instantly over the Internet than on DVDs, and we expect that trend to continue. Creating the best user experience that we can around watching instantly is how we’re spending the vast majority of our time and resources. Because of this, we are not creating any plans that are focused solely on DVDs by mail.

Netflix, November 2010

Last November when we launched our $7.99 unlimited streaming plan, DVDs by mail was treated as a $2 add on to our unlimited streaming plan. At the time, we didn’t anticipate offering DVD only plans. Since then we have realized that there is still a very large continuing demand for DVDs both from our existing members as well as non-members. [. . .] Reflecting our confidence that DVDs by mail is a long-term business for us, we are also establishing a separate and distinct management team solely focused on DVDs by mail.

Netflix, July 2011

Netflix realizes that the future is streaming content online, and is constantly transitioning in that direction. With the demise of Blockbuster, their main competitors are online (Hulu, Apple, Amazon, Google, etc.) With the price hike for DVDs-by-mail and unlimited streaming together, Netflix is seemingly encouraging their subscribers to consider switching to the streaming only option, while still maintaining their DVD option.

Both services are costly: Mailing costs, deals with the movie studios, and maintaining their servers.

With the new capital gained from the price increase, Netflix can focus on three important things:

  1. Making lucrative deals with the movie studios
  2. Bring more DVD features online (Language options, special features, commentary tracks)
  3. Creating original content

While I’m a huge fan of Netflix’s online content, DVDs are presently superior in picture quality and content, and the constant shuffling of titles available online is frustrating. My wife and I watched the first two seasons of Dexter online last year, and when we wanted to start season three last week, we discovered that Dexter was no longer available in Netflix’s online catalog.

Netflix still has a long way to go with their growing online catalog, and I’m hoping that there will be several improvements with their new income in 2012.

What do YOU think? Share your comments below.

 

DVD Tuesday (7/12)

The following movies are being released on DVD and/or BluRay on Tuesday, July 12th.

The recommendations are based on the author’s views, who hasn’t seen all of the movies that are being released this week. Take his judgements with a grain of salt. :)


RENTING IT


Rango
Why?
I’ve heard good and bad things about Rango, and with Pixar getting their first ‘Rotten’ movie with Cars 2, this may be the front-runner for animated feature at the 2012 Academy Awards.

Buy It: $19.99 BluRay Combo Pack / $15.99 DVD


The Lincoln Lawyer
Why? I wasn’t particularly drawn to movie from watching the trailer, but audiences responded to the film, so I’ll give it a chance.

Buy It: $17.99 BluRay Combo Pack / $14.99 DVD

SKIPPING IT


Arthur

Buy It: $24.99 BluRay Combo Pack / $14.99 DVD


Insidious

Buy It: $19.99 BluRay / $16.99 DVD

What are YOU watching this week?

 

 

DVD Tuesday (7/5)

The following movies are being released on DVD and/or BluRay on Tuesday, July 5th.

The recommendations are based on the author’s views, who hasn’t seen all of the movies that are being released this week. Take his judgements with a grain of salt. :)


RENTING IT


Of Gods and Men
Why?
I first heard about Of Gods and Men when it won the Grand Prize of the Jury award at Cannes last year, and I’ve been wanting to watch it ever since.

The premise sounds fascinating:

Under threat by fundamentalist terrorists, a group of Trappist monks stationed with an impoverished Algerian community must decide whether to leave or stay.

IMDb.com

Buy It: $26.99 BluRay Combo Pack


13 Assassins
Why? The premise of 13 Assassins, on the other hand, doesn’t sound that interesting. (“A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord.”) It’s something we’ve  seen before in similar films (Hero comes to mind), but it’s got a solid backing from the critical community. I’ve also never seen a Takashi Miike film before.

Buy It: $17.99 BluRay / $15.99 DVD

What are YOU watching this week?

 

 

DVD Tuesday (6/28)

The following movies are being released on DVD and/or BluRay on Tuesday, June 28th.

The recommendations are based on the author’s views, who hasn’t seen all of the movies that are being released this week. Take his judgements with a grain of salt. :)


RENTING IT

Barney’s Version
Why? As a fan of Paul Giamatti I’m looking forward to seeing Barney’s Version, though he seems to be typecast in the “sad sack” roles these days. And you can’t go wrong with Dustin Hoffman. It’s based on Mordecai Richler’s novel, and was nominated for best makeup at the Oscars this year.

Buy It: $28.99 BluRay Combo Pack

Sucker Punch
Why? The marketing for Sucker Punch didn’t appeal to me with it’s Zach Snyder gloss, but I’m still intrigued by the film. Snyder’s previous films have been sourced by other material, and since this is his first original story, I’m interested in the finished product.

Buy It: $22.99 BluRay Combo Pack / $18.99 BluRay / $14.99 DVD

SKIPPING IT

The Warrior’s Way

Buy It: $25.99 BluRay / $18.99 DVD

Season of the Witch

Buy It: $25.99 BluRay / $16.99 DVD

Beastly

Buy It: $22.99 BluRay / $17.99 DVD

 

 

DVD Tuesday (6/21)

The following movies are being released on DVD and/or BluRay on Tuesday, June 21st.

The recommendations are based on the author’s views, who hasn’t seen all of the movies that are being released this week. Take his judgements with a grain of salt. :)


RENTING IT

Cedar Rapids
Why? Aside from his perpetually marketed goofy face, I’m ready for Ed Helms in a leading role. It looks like an entertaining bumpkin-in-the-city movie.

Buy It: $19.99 BluRay / $14.99 DVD

Unknown
Why? When I’m in the mood for an identity action/thriller, this is the one that I will be renting. Liam Neeson’s steely persona is a perfect fit for the genre, and is surrounded by a talented cast, including Bruno Ganz (watch Wings of Desire) and Frank Langella.

Buy It: $22.99 BluRay Combo Pack / $17.99 BluRay / $14.99 DVD

HappyThankYouMorePlease
Why? I’ll be watching this to see if they insert the title into the movie. It’s written/directed by Josh “Have you met Ted?” Radnor, and has the looks of a cheesy indie film where people banter wittily. But I’ll give Ted the benefit of a doubt.

Buy It: $19.99 BluRay / $14.99 DVD

The Adjustment Bureau
Why? The marketing of The Adjustment Bureau didn’t appeal to me. But the overall concept sounds cool, and positive word-of-mouth from friends are encouraging.

Buy It: $22.99 BluRay / $16.99 DVD

 

SKIPPING IT

The Eagle

Buy It: $22.99 BluRay / $16.99 DVD

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

Buy It: $19.99 BluRay Combo Pack / $15.99 DVD

 

 

DVD Tuesday (6/14)

The following movies are being released on DVD and/or BluRay on Tuesday, June 14th.

The recommendations are based on the author’s views, who hasn’t seen all of the movies that are being released this week. Take his judgements with a grain of salt. :)

RENTING IT

Red Riding Hood
Why? Honestly, I’m not expecting much from this. The trailer didn’t work for me, and it was hit hard by the critics. But as an Amanda Seyfried fan (see: Veronica Mars), I feel I owe it to her to judge it for myself. And you can’t go wrong with Gary Oldman and Julie Christie. I also like the idea of playing with familiar fairy tales.

Buy It: $22.99 BluRay Combo Pack / $19.99 BluRay / $14.99 DVD

Kill the Irishman
Why? This is another case of the cast being the selling point (Christopher Walken, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Val Kilmer star). It’s based on a true story, and looks like an entertaining gangster film.

Buy It: $20.49 BluRay / $15.49 DVD

SKIPPING IT

Battle: Los Angeles

Buy It: $24.99 BluRay Combo Pack / $16.99 DVD

Hall Pass

Buy It: $22.99 BluRay Combo Pack / $19.99 BluRay / $14.99 DVD

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

Buy It: $22.99 BluRay Combo Pack / $15.99 DVD

 

DVD Tuesday (6/7)

The following movies are being released on DVD and/or BluRay on Tuesday, June 7th.

The recommendations are based on the author’s views, who hasn’t seen all of the movies that are being released this week. Take his judgements with a grain of salt. :)

BUYING IT

Why? The Coen Brothers’s version of Henry Hathaway’s True Grit is faithful, and better. It’s hard to compete with John Wayne’s classic performance, but Bridges aces the role, making it his own. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld shines as the female antagonist; I can’t wait to see her in another film.

Buy It: $17.99 BluRay Combo Pack / $15.49 DVD

RENTING IT

Another Year
Why? I love a good Mike Leigh film, and the cast that he’s gathered for Another Year is incredible. I’ve heard great things about the film, especially the performances.
Buy It: $26.99 BluRay Combo Pack


SKIPPING IT

The Company Men
Buy It: $20.49 BluRay / $17.49 DVD

Sanctum
Buy It: $24.99 3D BluRay Combo Pack / $22.99 BluRay Combo Pack / $16.99 DVD

Just Go With It
Buy It: $22.99 2-Disc BluRay Combo Pack / $19.99 BluRay / $15.99 DVD

What movies are YOU buying this week?

 

 


 

 

TOP 5: Comic Book Movies

This summer has to hold some sort of record for most comic book movies released during the summer. Thor, Priest, Captain America, Green Lantern, X-Men; First Class, Cowboys and Aliens … This summer is jam-packed with comic book action. With the release of Thor this past Friday, we thought we’d list our top comic book movies of all time.

 

DANIEL’S FAVORITES

5. SIN CITY

At the time of its release, Robert Rodriguez’s approach to making a comic book movie (filming it entirely in front of a green screen) was a novelty. Sure, Lucas had created some of his planets on green screen and what-not, but an entire movie? Those of you who have seen the movie know that it recreates the style of Frank Miller’s comic frame by frame. The style is enchanting, the cast is superb, and it’s different fare from your typical “good guy fights bad guy” comic book movie.

4. IRON MAN

With his performance as Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. resurrected his career. Iron Man has great humor, exciting action sequences, and a bald Jeff Bridges, but makes this top five list because it values characterization over spectacle. Sadly, there was a shift in values in last year’s sequel, where pointless action sequences were given more time than focusing on Tony Stark’s character. Here’s hoping the third installment fixes that mistake.

3. X-MEN 2

Let’s face it. The only reason X-Men is so popular is because of Wolverine. By placing Wolverine center stage in ‘X2,” Bryan Singer couldn’t have done any better. Except if he had directed X-Men 3, of course.

2. SPIDER-MAN 2

Before The Dark Knight investigated the toll that being a superhero has on one’s own life, Spider-Man 2 showed us how hard it is to balance one’s own life and be a superhero at the same time. Doctor Otto Octavian is hands down the best Spider-Man villain, the film has awesome sequences, and the human drama that permeates this film make me return to this swingin’ good time again and again.

1. THE DARK KNIGHT

You knew this was gonna be number one. What can I say that everyone else hasn’t already said? Nolan flipped a freakin’ semitruck! One of the greatest performances of all time. An ending that still gives me chills. Hands down the greatest comic book movie of all time.

RUNNERS UP:

Superman: The Movie (Because even DC has the occasional awesome superhero)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright is going places)

The Watchmen (The opening credit sequence alone is enough to make this movie a classic)

 

JOSEPH’S FAVORITES

MY CRITERIA: I have to have seen all movies listed. Only one film per franchise can be included. There must be honorable mentions (because I’m a cheat).

5. MYSTERY MEN

Mystery Men is a “there are two kinds of people in the world” kind of movie, and one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Geoffrey Rush is insane as the villainous Casanova Frankenstein, there are fun performances from Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, and yes, Paul Reubens. It’s instantly quotable (“Looks like tonight the lone wolf rides…alone”) and has great re-watchability. Grab a favorite beverage and enjoy this skewed, slapstick take on the superhero genre.

4. SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE

Superman: The Movie is right up there with apple pie. Christopher Reeve gives a fun dual-role performance as Clark Kent and his superhero alter-ego Superman, Gene Hackman steals the show as Lex Luthor, the special effects are awesome, and John William’s score is classic. Some parts don’t work as well for me, like the bumbling Ned Beatty (a tad overacted), and the Lois Lane voiceover. But Superman: The Movie remains a classic superhero film where the hero saves the day and has been a favorite of mine since first watching it many years ago.

3. SPIDER-MAN

Reservations about Spider-Man 3 aside, I really enjoyed Sam Raimi’s take on the Spider-Man tale. The stories complement each-other nicely, without relying too heavily on the previous films. The casting is great, especially J.K. Simmons’ as newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson, chomping through cigars and scenes with ease.

2. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD

When I first heard about this film (Michael Cera fights ex-boyfriends?) I wasn’t sure how it would play out, having never heard of the graphic novels. But the preview sold me, and off I went. Having now read the graphic novels, I can say that Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a loving adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s series (he also helped in the writing process for the movie, which is pretty cool). Scott Pilgrim also has a talented cast, employing the likes of Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin; they are great in their roles, bringing the right dose of emotion and apathy to their characters.  Technically, the film is fantastic. The fluid editing (including a mini parody of the style) and special effects complement each other well, combining filmmaking and graphic novel styles; it’s this collaboration that results in the world of Scott Pilgrim that we see on screen.

1. THE DARK KNIGHT

Heath Ledger as Joker. Batman flipping a freaking semi. Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent. If anyone knows how to make a successful blockbuster, it’s Christopher Nolan. The talent, music, practical effects, and an impressive on-going story are pitch perfect, creating an epically gritty superhero series that will be hard to beat. I can’t wait to see how it all comes around with The Dark Knight Rises, the final act.

RUNNERS UP:

The Rocketeer (For being epically camp)

American Splendor (For being normal)

Hulk (…because I’m one of the few that love it)

 

Cinexcellence 2011 Oscar Predictions

The award season is over, the ballots are in, and these are our predictions for this year’s Oscars. Joseph’s wife, Cassie-Marie, will be adding her .02 cents as well.

We also have an Oscar Pool going on right now, and there’s still time to enter for FREE PRIZES.

Best Motion Picture

Joseph: The Social Network
Cassie-Marie: The Social Network
Daniel: The King’s Speech

Best Director

Joseph: David Fincher (The Social Network)
Cassie-Marie: David Fincher (The Social Network)
Daniel: Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Joseph: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
Cassie-Marie: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
Daniel: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Joseph: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Cassie-Marie: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Daniel: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Joseph: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Cassie-Marie: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Daniel: Christian Bale (The Fighter)

Best Supporting Actress in a Supporting Role

Joseph: Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Cassie-Marie: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Daniel: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Joseph: Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
Cassie-Marie: Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
Daniel: Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)

Best Original Screenplay

Joseph: David Seidler (The King’s Speech)
Cassie-Marie: David Seidler (The King’s Speech)
Daniel: David Seidler (The King’s Speech)

Best Art Direction

Joseph: Alice in Wonderland
Cassie-Marie: Inception
Daniel: The King’s Speech

Best Cinematography

Joseph: True Grit
Cassie-Marie: True Grit
Daniel: True Grit

Best Costume Design

Joseph: The King’s Speech
Cassie-Marie: The King’s Speech
Daniel: The King’s Speech

Best Film Editing

Joseph: The Social Network
Cassie-Marie: The Social Network
Daniel: The Social Network

Best Makeup

Joseph: The Wolfman
Cassie-Marie: The Wolfman
Daniel: The Wolfman

Best Music (Original Score)

Joseph: The Social Network
Cassie-Marie: The Social Network
Daniel: The King’s Speech

Best Music (Original Song)

Joseph: “I See the Light” (Tangled)
Cassie-Marie: “We Belong Together” (Toy Story 3)
Daniel: “We Belong Together” (Toy Story 3)

Best Sound Editing

Joseph: Inception
Cassie-Marie: Inception
Daniel: Inception

Best Sound Mixing

Joseph: Inception
Cassie-Marie: Inception
Daniel: Inception

Best Visual Effects

Joseph: Inception
Cassie-Marie: Inception
Daniel: Inception

Best Animated Feature Film

Joseph: Toy Story 3
Cassie-Marie: Toy Story 3
Daniel: Toy Story 3

Best Documentary Feature Film

(See a montage of documentaries here)

Joseph: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Cassie-Marie: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Daniel: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Best Animated Short Film

(Read about them here)

Joseph: Day & Night
Cassie-Marie: Madagascar, a Journey Diary
Daniel: Madagascar, a Journey Diary

Best Live Action Short Film

Joseph: Na Wewe
Cassie-Marie: Na Wewe
Daniel: God of Love

Best Documentary Short

Joseph: Strangers No More
Cassie-Marie: Poster Girl
Daniel: Strangers No More

—-

Well, that’s all folks. See you tomorrow night, where we will be providing you with LIVE UPDATES from the Oscars, and tweeting our responses:

@jdemme / @cinexcellence / @dtuck318 / @CMarie_Demme

Fake Criterion Posters

A new(found) hobby of mine as of late has been creating fake Criterion DVD artwork. Criterion is widely regarded for skillfully making DVDs of the highest quality. They painstakingly work on their films, from restoring and preserving older films to more recent productions.

With the Academy Awards a mere two months away, I thought it would be fun to make some fake DVD covers for the possible 2010 best picture nominees. The following top ten are based on Kris Tapley‘s (current) predictions at Incontention.com (I also tossed in Winter’s Bone because, hey, it’s awesome)

(click on the image to enlarge it)

(Hat tip to fellow MUBI resident Kyle McCormick for his The Kids Are All Right concept)

Which one is your favorite? Or is there another film that SHOULD be on the list?