It’s Not Just What to Watch…But How to Watch

It used to be that if you wanted to see a particular film and you missed it in the theater when it came out you could grab it at the video store or wait until it showed up on HBO. Oh how the times have changed. When I decided over the weekend to watch and review the AFI Top 100 films of all time I never realized how many options I’d have to screen them. Technology has changed everything. Here are some of the ways I can watch the films:

  • Rent from Blockbuster (there is still one open in my neighborhood…for now)
  • Have it delivered to me via mail via Netflix
  • Stream it live to my computer via Netflix
  • Stream it live to my living room television via Netflix on my Roku box
  • Stream it live to my living room television via Amazon Instant Video (most titles are about $2.99)
  • Play it via Cox Advanced TV on demand
  • Stream it to my den television via Amazon, Netflix or another service via my son’s Sony PS3
  • Check out the DVD at the library
  • Rent it from Redbox
  • Use a torrent service to steal the film off the Internet (not that I would)

When I was just out of college there was this great little family owned video store on Burlingame Ave. just down the street from my apartment. I walked past a big video store to get to it because the woman who ran the shop knew everything about films and she stocked all the coolest indies and foreign films I liked. One day I asked her if she’d give me some advice on opening my own video store, and she told me I’d be crazy to open a video store. One day soon, she said, we’ll all be getting our movies via our telephone lines. This was before the advent of broadband and the popularity of cable modems, so while we’re not exactly getting our movies via the phone we are getting them directly streamed to our homes. Is it sad that the mom and pop video store is a thing of the past? Yes it is. But it’s hard to be too sad because thanks to technology I can pretty much watch any movie I want, when I want, without leaving my home. For a movie fan like me, what could be better?

Coming soon: I’ll explain all the ways I can listen to the new k.d. lang album without actually buying a CD!

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