Blockbuster Wants To Be Netflix

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I recently decided to ditch my Betamax video collection and join the ranks of the six billion other people who rent DVD movies online. It used to be there was only one player in town, and that was Netflix. Now Blockbuster has decided to compete in this market by offering the exact same service as Netflix, except they slapped their own name on it and offer free in-store rentals as a bonus.

Seriously, Blockbuster put no creative thought into their online service whatsoever. The promotions, service levels, prices, queueing system, and everything else is exactly like Netflix. I bet the Terms Of Service are worded identically between the two as well, but I wouldn't know because I never read the darn things. Blockbuster just did a "Find & Replace" in Word for the company names and called it good.

Even though they're an evil company, Blockbuster won my patronage because of the in-store advantage. I can always switch to Netflix later if they try to kick my dog or drink my beer.

Now since the incremental cost of renting movies has been reduced to zero, I've been queueing all kinds of old movies I thought about watching previously but wasn't ever willing to fork over $19.95 plus late fees to the video store. Besides the time sink it has become, this has been a worthwhile investment because I'm building a library of crappy DVD movies I'll never watch more than once.

The latest of these movies was one called Last Days, which was supposed to be a story of the demise of Kurt Cobain, but not really. I say "not really" because the director doesn't own the biographical rights to the late Nirvana singer/songwriter, and because I think he took the liberty of making up nearly 99% of the content to avoid having to do any actual research.

Now I have to come right out and say I believe this was probably the worst movie ever made. Gigli would win Oscars if put next to this pile of random crap. The director of "Plan 9 from Outer Space," who proudly prints on the DVD cover that his movie is widely regarded as the worst ever made, would gladly hand over the title to Last Days.

Last Days features our protagonist stumbling around, mumbling incoherently, and napping for nearly an hour and a half. This plotless movie is a collection of meaningless scenes that leave you wondering, "What was the point of all that," and "Why did the camera just focus in on the television and make us watch nearly an entire Boyz 2 Men music video." I'm not joking, that really was several minutes of movie footage.

The director was so lazy, he actually repeated a couple minutes of a scene, exactly. I thought the DVD skipped or something, but no, we're forced to see a scene twice, and there wasn't even any nudity involved.

By the time I was about 30 minutes into Last Days, I was practically begging the protagonist to shoot himself with that shotgun, to end his misery and my own.

I would give Last Days negative five stars, but the stars don't want to be associated with this garbage. I'm fairly certain if Kurt Cobain were still alive today and he saw this movie, he would shoot himself before he finished watching it.

I urge you not to waste precious moments of your life on this movie. Just don't. Since I didn't directly pay any money for this rental, I can't actually ask for a refund. But part of me wants Blockbuster to somehow refund the two hours of my life I wasted on this. I could have spent that time staring at the wall or watching the grass grow, either of which would have been a far more productive and rewarding use of my time.

1 Comment

I've actually seen "Plan 9 From Outer Space." I watched it with my high school Latin class, which was taught by a priest-school dropout who seemed to be making up for lost time. We watched it "Mystery Science Theater" style, and we got extra credit points for making funny comments. It wasn't that bad, and it helped me raise my Latin grade by 3 full percentage points.