An Open Letter To Netflix

Dearest Netflix,

What the fuck.

No, seriously. What the fuck is going on with you? Why is it that you don’t seem to fucking function anymore? Not even in the “I hate the way you tried to ‘streamline’ your shit” kind of way, either. But in the “I don’t think your employees are actually doing their jobs” kind of way.

I guess it started a while ago, maybe even before you decided to start charging more for shit. Splitting up the DVD and Instant services was just an asshole move. But things were rocky before then, weren’t they?

You started suggesting things that you thought I might like that were NOTHING like the movies and shows I had just watched or were in my history. Okay, I can see that I suppose. Maybe there’s something in this romance movie I might like even though 70% of what I watch is drama or horror, and 20% of it is comedy. Maybe somebody dies, I don’t know.

From there it went to what you were comparing with what. In your “More Like ___” sections, I started to find more and more things that were NOT alike at all. Not in any way. That got paired up with the fact that you started grouping things wrong. Care Bears in science fiction? That’s not how that works.

Then it was like a trainwreck happening, one that’s still happening. One that I just don’t even try to understand anymore.

– You say there are new episodes in a series when there aren’t any.

– You list things on the New Releases tab when they’ve been out for four or five years. If you just got it, and are just now able to let us see it on Instant, it should go under Just Added.

– There is no longer any way to search by actor if you’re not online doing it. It just tells you that shit doesn’t even exist. I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure that Marilyn Monroe did a couple of movies and that you’ve got them all stashed somewhere. The fact that I have to search each one by title instead of being able to bring them up by her name? What the hell?

– Your copy is wrong. More often than I would like, I find myself watching something because of the description I read. And hating it. Or, on the flip side, not watching it because it sounds like something I would loathe, and then finding out later that I would have loved it.

– Your employees aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing. Did you know that for a really long time after you added Life to Instant that you had Charlie Crews’ name completely wrong? Hm? You did. Shouldn’t have happened.

– Episodes for shows are actually skipped over during regular play. When I watched Supernatural, it skipped over half of a season when I was hitting “play next episode”. When I watched Ugly Betty, the first few episodes of the first season had the wrong information tied to them, and weren’t in order. A couple might have even been missing, but since I don’t know the series, I couldn’t say. But it was all very confusing.

– Recently Watched randomly just doesn’t show up at all. Doesn’t seem to be any reason for it. I’ll just turn on my 360, fire up Netflix, wait to see my Recently Watched so I can easily pick up where I left off, and … it’s not there. The whole goddamned field is just gone.

Now let’s add into the things I’ve spoken of before, shall we? I’ll just copy and paste it to make things easier for both of us.

“To make it worse, Netflix also changed their dashboard to coincide with the Xbox change. And the Netflix dashboard is so goddamned useless sometimes that I want to throw things. They show you movies you might like to see during the last bits of movie you’re watching (some movies have stuff going on during or after the credits, so I’m not particularly happy that they reduce the screen) but they don’t give you a description of the movie, you have to seek it out after to see what it’s about. There’s no way to rate a movie without playing it. There’s no longer any way to mark that you’re not even interested in the movie anymore, so stuff you really don’t want to keep seeing pop up will, unless you go to the site. For tv shows, you can’t go in and pick an episode unless, again, you start playing the series. So if you haven’t watched in a while and want to see if the “new episodes” they’ve added are really and truly new, you have to start playing, then go to the episodes list. This is completely stupid.”

That’s just something I tacked onto a rant about the 360 dashboard. I think it’s good here, too. Since it’s about you. And the things you’re slacking on. Or forgetting. Or just don’t care about anymore.

The money I shell out to you for this service might not mean much to you. But it means a lot to me. I’m on a really strict budget. Netflix is one of the things that is completely unnecessary to life that I allow myself. A fun little thing that I enjoy having quite a bit.

It might not matter to you that all this shit is broken, but it matters to me, because of this money I hand to you every month. I know it matters to other people as well. Maybe they don’t use Instant as much as I do. Maybe that 10 bucks isn’t a really big deal to them. But it still matters. You know why?

BECAUSE WE PAY YOU FOR THIS SERVICE.

It’s not something that you give us for free. It’s not an add on to DVDs like it used to be. It’s a stand alone service that shouldn’t be as fucked up as it is. It should work. It should be functional. It should be valid. It should be fun, and not frustrating.

I’m not going to threaten to not use your service, because that’s unrealistic at this point. But I am going to ask you to fix your shit, because I’m tired of it, and there’s a good number of people I know who are also tired of it. It should be seen as a courtesy to us, your paying customers.

To sum up?
Get your shit together, Netflix.

-Mila.

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Silent Hill: Homecoming (Frustrations)

I cannot even tell you right now how long ago I got this game. I borrowed it first from a friend, then decided that I liked it too much to not own it, and that it was going to take me a fairly long time to play through it, so holding onto his copy wasn’t really nice.

I have this frequent problem. Or I did. I am trying to correct it. It’s a bad habit, and it’s how I ended up with a giant fucking stack of games that were only somewhat played through. I would be in the middle of a game and something would come out that I was more interested in. Now, instead of buying said game and waiting until I finished what I was working on, I would play the new game, leaving the other sad and alone. Crying. On my shelf.

While I did this with Silent Hill: Homecoming, I did manage to pick it up again fairly quickly after I finished whatever wondrous thing had floated my way. I was playing along quite happily, too. Enjoying myself. Yelling at the television when things wouldn’t die. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have a potty mouth. It’s not just when I write.

Then the most horrible of horribles happened. The one thing that every gamer dreads and curses the sky for.

I got stuck.

I did it to myself. I can wholly admit that. It was all entirely my doing. No question. I went into an area with maybe two bullets, a quarter of my health, a crowbar, an axe, and a flashlight. No medical kits. No health drinks. Just wandered on in, didn’t even think about it. Didn’t consider that I’d just found something pretty significant and maybe, just motherfucking maybe, I should take a moment to gather myself so that I wouldn’t be walking into the massive clusterfuck of assrape that I did. No. Not me. I’ll just go right down this pretty creepy ladder here, and… oh. What’s that? Boss you say? Can’t go back, you say? Fucked myself, did I?

I did.

I literally spent weeks trying to find a way to defeat Scarlett with what I had on me. I can admit that I didn’t even come close. Not even mildly. It’s actually pretty laughable how not close I came to killing her and proceeding with the rest of the game. I would laugh, except it’s my problem. Laughing at yourself often gets you a white padded room and a special jacket. Or maybe that’s just how hard I would be laughing, and with the release of emotion might come some added screaming and…

Let’s move on, shall we?

I have previously talked about my quest to wrap up the above noted games, bringing my backlog into some realm of sanity. Coupled with the vow that once I have picked up a game, I will complete it before starting another. (This vow is hard to keep. Obviously I was not made for vows. Or with much willpower when it comes to video games.) The time for Silent Hill: Homecoming did roll around, and lo, I picked it up and with heavy heart did erase my previous game, thus confirming the restart that was fated to occur.

I’ve been enjoying it… I suppose I should say that I had been, had being a very key word here… I had been enjoying it during the replay. There had been enough time and enough other games in that time that I didn’t remember the story perfectly, I didn’t automatically know how to solve the puzzles. It was a little new despite how far I’d gotten. It was okay. It really was.

Until I started thinking about getting to that boss level with the goddamned giant fucking puppet of massive sphincter bleeding. Then I started to get upset. Not with the game, though, with myself. I kept thinking of all the things I could have done differently to prevent this replay from happening. Replaying because you want to is one thing. Doing it because you’ve shoved your own head up your ass is entirely different. It’s just aggravating.

I had to stop playing again. Now it and GTA 4 are the ones staring at me from my shelves, asking me why they aren’t yet finished. SH:H pleading with puppy dog eyes and little whimpering noises. “Just finish me, I’m a good game, I’ll show ya, you enjoyed me before, just pick me up, we’ll have a good time together, promise”. Bastard.

I’m just so annoyed with myself over things that I’m taking it out on the game. I have to get over it, that’s what it comes down to. I have to, and I will. Somehow. Because I cannot just let it linger. It will drive me crazy (obviously we’re significantly down that street, aren’t we?).

There will be another update on this when I finish the damn game.

S, Darko

This movie is just as bad as I thought it was going to be when I first found out about it.

At least I got to watch Ed Westwick prance around dressed as a greaser. Sadly, this is the only redeeming part.

To clear up misunderstandings I had previously: Frank is not the same Frank. Yet for some reason, the image of Donnie’s Frank in his Halloween costume, the freaky rabbit, is Sam’s “Dream face”. This brings me right back to the idea that Frank was Donnie’s catalyst and shouldn’t make an appearance in this film at all. I still stand by that.

The guy actually named Frank in this movie is a mechanic and has nothing to do with anything.

Not that any part of this movie made any actual sense. It sort of felt like the writer and/or director of S. Darko didn’t actually understand Donnie Darko, and just took imagery that seemed cool and shoved it into this movie. The entire concept is off.

I hated it. I hated it the whole time. Don’t watch this movie. Run from it. Run screaming. If somebody says you should watch it, punch them in the face and then run. Or set their copy on fire. Either one is fine with me.

It – Movie VS Book

Alright. So when I finally read It, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I thought that I would immediately pick up the movie and sit down and have a watch, but that didn’t happen until today. As I have previously written, I have never seen It the movie. I don’t know how. I went all these years and never even thought to pick it up on the cheap. Netflix finally sent it to me, and I finally sat down and had my viewing experience.

First things first: There wasn’t enough blood.
It is a very very bloody book. A kid gets his arm fucking ripped off. A little girl is absolutely mutilated. At one point Bev’s bathroom sink explodes with so much gore that it’s supposed to look like a murder scene.

I know it’s a made for TV thing, and they couldn’t include all the really gory stuff, but they certainly could have made things more to the actual story in that area.

Secondly: There were a lot of things I felt were pretty integral to the book that were completely missing from the movie. Like Mike’s story of seeing It for the first time. Where the fuck was that? What about the explanation of how they all got out of the sewers the first time around? HOW ABOUT the fact that the promise they made was a promise made in blood? That’s kind of important.

A lot of other things too. I mean, I know you’ve got a certain amount of time you can have for things like this, but if you’re going to make something three hours long, why cut so much out? Go for that fourth hour and get all the really important stuff in there.

Third and last: The ending was crap. Not the part of what It is, because that’s the same in the book. There’s a lot more involved there, and I think they should have put it in, but whatever. What I’m upset about is the fact that Derry didn’t sink into the ground. Um. Hi. The entire underground is falling apart, how is the city staying up?

All in all, I did enjoy it. I certainly enjoyed Tim Curry in it. He’s so freaking wonderful. I could watch it again, and I would probably get it on DVD, honestly. But that doesn’t mean I’m not sorely disappointed in how things went.

I propose that this is remade. We bring back Tim Curry as Pennywise and we do everything right. I’m sure that we can make that spider thing look a lot more realistic and terrifying. Just imagine what the screen artists of today could pull off if given the reins.

Heavy Metal

Sometimes you can’t go back, and sometimes, even if you can, you shouldn’t. You should just hold in your memory the way things were way back when. There should be no attempt to reclaim youth, or fond memories.

Becomes sometimes those memories fall short.

If I ever needed a clear example of that, I could find it easily in Heavy Metal. Some things can stand the test of time, others make you wonder what the hell you were thinking. Heavy Metal kind of makes me sad to have watched it again. When I was younger, I remember I thought this was one of the best things I’d ever seen. I even remember the magazine of the same name.

I have to believe, now that I’m significantly older than the last time I saw this, that the entire purpose to the movie – and magazine – was the boobs. Perhaps the violence, too. Back then, this must have been one of the goriest things ever. Outside of those two things? I suppose the art is okay, despite some of the characters being ridiculously misproportioned. Funny enough, it’s not just the women. At the start there’s this guy running around with a torso twice as big as the rest of his body.

The last chick in the whole story, the so-called badass? She seems to be less of a badass and more of the “ideal woman”. She’s strong. She’s got HUGE breasts. Long flowing hair. She got make-up tips from The Misfits (oh, not the real life band, the all girl band from Jem). She’s dangerous. Also? She never says a single word! That’s right boys, everything you’ve ever wanted in a girl. Can kick your ass, but can’t tell anybody about it. For some unknown reason.

Really, should have left this one in the past. Where it belongs. So destroyed what was once a nice childhood memory. Take my advice, and leave it the hell alone.

Also – extra slow motion in cartoons is ridiculous. It just leaves things feeling sluggish.

The Haunting Of Molly Hartley

While I don’t feel as if I wasted precious minutes of my life by watching this movie, it certainly isn’t one that has made any huge impact in my life. Seeing it, not seeing it, doesn’t really matter. It made absolutely no mark on my being.

Complaint One: You can’t be baptized by some random girl from school. I think that’s common enough knowledge, even for people that weren’t involved in religion in any way. So why the hell would anyone wander into an empty church and follow said random girl into a baptismal? Cause she’s obviously going to try and drown your ass.

Complaint Two: The girl, Molly, is entirely too skittish. Yes, being stabbed by your mother with a pair of scissors is a traumatic event, but jumping five feet in the air when a dog barks at you from the other side of a secure fence and shitting yourself when the mail drops on the floor in your house? A little too much. I get that they want her to be Average Girl, but come on. Molly’s terrified by her own hair.

The ending of this movie is complete crap, by the way. It feels as if they left it open intentionally for a sequel. Which makes it feel like they should have just made it into a television show. That way they could just flounce on with their story as long as they wanted.

Not a whole lot is explained about things either. If you’re into this genre of movie normally, you can kind of piece things together, but you have to be really knowledgeable. Certain characters are just abandoned after a time, too. They have these fairly big roles or big scenes and then… you just don’t see them anymore. There’s an added issue with keeping people’s personalities straight. One girl in particular flip flops in her personality so much that she may well have begun her fictional life as two different characters, then they couldn’t cast the other, and smooshed the two together.

Don’t even bother with this movie. I guess it’s kind of like a reworked Omen or maybe Rosemary’s Baby. And they didn’t do it right. Not even close. At least in those you got to see the creepy shit that went on with the kid. They kind of just implied it there toward the end in a super vague way. In real life, what she achieved at school could easily be done with studying and focus, nobody needs the devil to do well in school. Especially when they were a 4.0 in their previous school. Crap. All of it. Crap.

Not entirely sure why it was listed as horror. They didn’t even explore the premise enough for it to qualify.