Wednesday, April 29, 2009

In Praise of Movie Innovation

I love movies. I love new things in movies- new ways of making movies.

I loved Memento, in which the main character has no long-term memory. In essence, the entire movie goes backwards until we learn why he has lost his memory.

I loved Rope, in which Alfred Hitchcock made the whole movie in one room with only one "shot."

I love movies that experiment, that change things up. I want to be inspired and challenged.

But more important than this, I want to watch movies. And herein lies the problem. But thankfully there are several new ways to see movies that I am learning about. Let me share a few of them with you.
  • The Movies Channel on YouTube. Wow! That was my first reaction to this little gem. On YouTube you can now watch full length movies for free (and legally). You need a high speed connection and the selection is not great, but it is growing. You can watch movies on your computer any day or time. Check out
  • The Red Box. This was completely new to me until this week. The Red Box is a vending machine that has popped up in many locations in the last few years. For $1 you can rent a DVD for 24 hours. Again, the selection is not the greatest, and it is not as convenient as finding a movie on your computer, but it is good... very good. You will need a credit or debit card to use the Red Box, and if you do not return you movie you will be charged late fees. But- one more bit of good news- you can return your movie to any Red Box. Find details and Red Box locations at
  • Netflix. Some friends got me a Netflix subscription for my birthday. I may never go to another video store. Netflix is convenient. The movies come to my home. It is inexpensive. I spend less money for more movies. And the selection is great. I have been able to find every movie that I am interested in (so far). Netflix is simple. You pay a monthly fee for the number of movies you would like. I get two movies at a time for $13.99 monthly. I pick out the movies online and Netflix sends them to me. On Monday I returned Slumdog Millionaire, today I will receive Run, Fatboy, Run. I am a happy fatboy. Find Netflix at

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