First Redbox Rental
So, I picked up Hugo at a local Redbox the other day. First time Redbox rental. It's nice that Redbox has their patented Card Guard to help avoid those debilitating credit card overswiping injuries.
It took 3 or 4 days before my wife and I could even find the time to watch the movie. Even so, we had to sacrifice sleep to watch it. I enjoyed learning more about Georges Méliès and watching the reenactments of his movie making, but there were just too many important moments in the film that fell flat emotionally. The sets were fantastic and there were some really impressive camera moves. In contrast, there were also some weird transitions that felt like they were supposed to be single camera moves, but were patched together because of time or budget constraints.
It has now been 2 or 3 days since we watched Hugo, and I have yet to get back to the store to return the DVD. I have to say I don't think it was worth the 10 bucks we're going to end up paying for this rental.
I don't think Redbox is for us.
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You know you can return it at any OTHER redbox, and they are literally everywhere. I generally keep mine for one night but will let it lapse a second night if something's going on or one of the kids was out that night and needs another day. Nice part for me is that in such cases, it's still cheaper than the brick and mortar store, and the kid only has to walk 3 blocks to return it for me.
As for Hugo: we liked it a lot; it rally gives an overwhelming sense of a love affair with movies - that emotion of Marty's really comes through. I thought it a little long, but never unbearably so.
Renting a movie in CT and returning it at the Nashville airport between flights - Priceless
Clicking on "special features" and getting a message telling me to buy the DVD - stupid
Are the studios restricting the functionality of RedBox rentals?
If so they are simply alienating their audience, who will go to YouTube where you can generally find all the extra features for free.
Sure I'll buy a DVD of a movie I care about. But am I going to buy the John Carter DVD just to see the making of featurette? No way.
And they have the audacity to increase the price to $1.20/night
RedBox made like $300 million in profit last year so I guess most people are happy to rent the movie and return it.
[Mike Cohen] "Renting a movie in CT and returning it at the Nashville airport between flights - Priceless"
That's the magic of Redbox in a nutshell. To NOT make a special trip, but to put so many boxes out there that you'll be able to rent AND RETURN movies on the way to something else. There's at least one at every grocery store I go to, and within sight of everything I do but the post office.
If you haven't, you should check out the website and, even better, the app, to reserve movies. You show up at the box you've designated, swipe your card, and you're done. Especially handy when a movie is new and hot.
And not only can you find which boxes in your area actually have the movie you want, it's fun to browse. For example, I was pleasantely suprised to find Gladiator on Blu-ray in the Redbox outside Walmart....uhm, why? Who knows?...which is immediately adjacent to Lowe's, Staples, Petstmart and a bunch of other places I go pretty regularly. A little out of the way, but it was easy to enough to do an errand at a couple of those, and return the movie to the grocery store right where I live the next day.
But that's the trick. Don't let yourself fall into the pattern of "I'm going to get a movie," then, "Dang, now I've got to return the movie." The less planning the better.
re: Hugo for $10 not being worth the money -- still less than you'd have paid for 2 tickets, and you got to watch it in your pajamas. I think that it works better on the big screen, and Scorsese went way, way out of his way to nail the 3D (which I think he did, and so did the DP's peers when they gave him the Oscar, despite many of those same DPs hating 3D), occasionally at the expense of the 2D experience....
....but at the end of the day, better to "waste" $10 at home in your pajamas than spend 3 or 4 hours with REAL CLOTHES on for at least twice as much money.
[Mike Cohen] "Are the studios restricting the functionality of RedBox rentals?"
Yes, just like they're making Redbox wait for titles-- even though Redbox is paying the studio's asking price for every disk they rent, just like Netflix. The rental rate AFTER the studios get their money should be irrelevant. It's no business of theirs if Redbox wants to lend them free like libraries. Take the money and stop whining, you bastards.
I remember an article a year ago about how Neflix would send its employees out to WalMart to purchase copies of new movies to avoid the studio rules about waiting for new releases. Walmart, possibly at the urging of the studios, put a stop to people buying multiple copies of movies during one transaction. This is interesting because Walmart answers to nobody.
So we started with mom and pop video stores in the late 70's, early 80's. They paid $100+ per VHS movie cassette, and charged us $1.50 - $3.50 per night plus late fees.
Then Netflix came out but still the mom and pop shops stayed in business for a few years.
Meanwhile Blockbuster put a bunch of local shops out of business and because a mega corporation. But now Blockbuster is all but dead, along with most of the local shops they helped destroy. And we are left with Netflix and RedBox, and a few other similar vending machine companies.
So the demise of an industry leaves the consumer with a new version of the same industry but with less ROI - you still pay for the movie but you don't always get everything that you get if buying the movie. But it is not apples and apples. RedBox should be required to state in their vending machine that the disc contains only the movie, or lower their price. Or whatever
I remember getting Blockbuster and local "mom and pop" DVD's without the bonus materials as well, usually if it was a 2-disc set, they never gave out the second disc with the bonus stuff unless you made a big deal about it or even paid an additional rental. So that's not a new thing. Also, if you buy a DVD in the local grocery checkout for a new release, that too is also a cut-down version lacking bonus materials.