Boy, has the movie routine ever changed.

I remember what it used to be like going to the theatre. We used to have Triplex down the street where I used to live. I remember once my parents dropping me off when I was 11 years old. It was a Planet of the Apes marathon day.

I met my friends there, and the routine was always the same. We’d watch one film, and then grab a slice of pizza. Then we’d watch the next film, and grab another slice of pizza. It was like clockwork. Now you need a bank loan to pay to watch one film let alone three or four in a day.

Then there are movie rentals. That’s changed beyond recognition.

It used to be a great place to meet women, or take your girl if you already had one. There was a video store in almost every town. You’d go in and spend an hour looking around all the titles. The movie experience started right there in the video store. Then it became Blockbuster and it was all about upselling the sweets and extra DVD’s.

But it was still an experience. I remember taking girls in there and walking around deciding what kind of popcorn to get, and talking about how I was going to feed it to her that night. It was a great place to flirt. There was just something about feeling and touching the DVD boxes. Sharing that experience together.

You’d always end up at the cash register with about three or four DVDs in your hand, and you’d make a decision right at the last minute. You’d ask the pimply faced kid who worked behind the counter, “Which one do you recommend?”

Of course, they’d always give you a full review because they were just an Ebert in training. Who else would want to work at a Blockbuster except a geek who wanted to be like Roger Ebert?

But times have changed. Now if you want to watch a movie with your girl you have to think outside the box. See now we have Netflix. Have you ever checked it out?

It seems like there’s never anything new on there. It takes forever to get to anything, and half the time you’ve never heard of the movies on there anyway. There always seems to be a lot of Rock movies on there. He’s in about ten films a month on there. 

What about the “Recommended for you” section? I don’t like any of the ones they suggest, so who the hell is recommending these for me?

Now we have Blu Ray discs you can own. What’s the point? Who wants to own a movie? I’ve been to people’s houses and they have hundreds of DVDs. I ask them why they have so many. Are they ever going to sit and watch them?

It’s always the same answer. “It’s my collection!”

What the hell is a movie collection?

Do you really have that much time you’re going to sit and watch all these movies again?

So now, you have a woman in your house. You’re going to go through the movie routine together. You flip through the titles on Netflix, until you decide there’s nothing you want to watch. Or you find a few “possibles” and have to write them down in case you decide to come back to them. If you don’t find anything on Netflix you like you could always go to Hulu, On Demand, or even Amazon who do movie streaming now.

It’s even worse in hotel rooms. There you can pay $19.99 to watch a movie you’ve never heard of and turns out to be crap. The movie routine has become a monster. There’s too much choice and the experience has been taken out of it. No more going to the Blockbuster new release section, choosing what you want, picking up your popcorn and going for a romantic movie night together.

Now you travel through the cyber world and have 10,000 titles to choose from, when there’s only about 10 movies a year you really want to see. Movie nights are different today. You have to create an atmosphere yourself, and turn the decision process into an experience you enjoy from the comfort of your own home. 

It’s not as simple as it used to be. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the way it was!

Other Thoughts From The Weekend…

Do mailboxes exist anymore?

Look at those people that drive around with a package forever and ever. I tend to have a package in my car for weeks because I can never seem to find a mailbox. I bought these pants online. It was a cool website, and they sold some great stuff. They didn’t fit right.

They sent me a return label via e-mail. I told them I couldn’t print anything. I’m one of those people that hate having piles of print paper lying around. So I’ve had these pants in my car for four days so far, and they’ll stay there until I find a mailbox. I can never find a mailbox. Is this a Los Angeles thing? Are there mailboxes everywhere else? I’m really curious. Show me a picture of a mailbox.

It took me four nights before I finally saw a mailbox!

So finally, after all this time driving around with the package, I find a mailbox. I go and there’s a big sign there. “There is a 13-ounce rule.” A 13-ounce rule? How much do these pants weigh? Are they more than 13 ounces? I know some denim is over 13-ounces. I don’t have a scale. How am I going to figure out what 13-ounces is?

So I stood there in front of the mailbox, thinking to myself, man, you know what, I have to drive to the post office now. This is crazy. Postage machines don’t accept anything. And the funny thing about it is, when you open it up, the slot is thinner than ever. I’m guessing this must be some type of safety thing. Maybe it’s to stop me mailing a bomb or something. Because that’s what people do. They mail bombs to each other!

Anyway, I had to drive all the way to the post office, which of course isn’t open at night, but there’s a door you can get into, and there are slots you can throw your mail in. It’s crazy! Do they scan it at the post office?

It doesn’t make any sense at all. It’s just another stupid rule. Another rule in a world full of rules that don’t make sense. So tell me, does anyone else have a problem finding a mailbox?