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.

Let Me In

I should learn that when I have an instinct about a movie when it’s first talked about, I should trust that instinct and not bend to the ways of the movie industry just because they show me some interesting promos.

I …

I knew going in that I would be upset about Eli. So many things were changed about her that are small, but not really small. They’re important to the character, and they just need to be there.

So my mood going in was curious and angry. It’s not really the best mix. It can lead to some unsettling thoughts while things are going on. But I really wanted to give it a chance, so I sat and watched. All I can say is that I’m really fucking glad a friend got me in to see it for free. If I’d paid for this movie, I’d be a lot more pissed off than I am now.

They kind of just smooshed things together. The girl we were with said she felt like everything dragged on. But to me, it all felt rushed. Like they were trying to just get everything in and didn’t give a shit how it turned out. And they didn’t even GET everything in. So much was just plain left out. There are entire characters that just…they’re gone. They aren’t there. Integral characters. IMPORTANT characters. Entire goddamned points of plot that are out the fucking window.

Let me tell you this, too, I hate – H.A.T.E. who they chose to be Eli. Excuse me, Abby. She did not fit. There’s no universe that she could have been the correct choice in. Then you have the fact that they changed her name from Eli to Abby. Right, okay, so you want to Americanize the names for the retarded Americans. Fine. But at least acknolwedge the importance of her name being Eli.

And how about the fact that she’s NOT REALLY A GIRL AT ALL? Where did that go? That’s kind of important, you stupid fuck director. You know, I liked Cloverfield, but now I’m just so pissed off at you that I want to kick you square in the nuts if I ever meet you. You said you LOVED the original movie. You said you LOVED the book. If that’s true, how could you do this? You ruined it all!

I fully believe that this movie was made just to throw in the extra creepy shots of Abby that were not needed. It’s too bad you couldn’t take a hint from the original makers and learn that less is more in this case. That it’s not about the fact she’s a goddamned fucking vampire, but the personal relationships she builds and what happens to the people around her.

You fuck.

I kept thinking that they were trying to squeeze all this shit in as fast as possible because they were going to add something toward the end that hadn’t been int he original. But no. Nope. They were just… uncaring about the story. Clearly did not give a shit about the timeline. Did not give a damn about the people, which the book and the movie revolve around. Pissed all over Eli and her story. PISSED ON IT.

There were scenes that were remade right from the original movie. Line for line. Movement for movement. Yet you couldn’t be assed to give the characters a little more depth?

You even managed to fuck up the relationship between the bully and his older brother. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? It didn’t need to be that the bully was picked on, because he’s not. His older brother encourages him. They’re friends. They’re both bad seeds. You didn’t need to change that. Why would you change that?

Eli is not a pathetic mewling little priss. She doesn’t require people to like her. Yes, she does like Oskar, but she’s also using him to her own ends. She’s manipulative. She’s over 200 years old, for fuck sake, she’s not going to be sheeplike and make me want to puke all over myself like Abby did. You just ripped Eli apart and used the steamy entrails to create Abby, that’s what you did. All the good stuff is gone, and all that’s left is the shit stained refuse. And Oskar… Owen. Whatever. I felt nothing for him. I felt no triumph when he finally stood up to his bullies. I felt no elation when he finally chose A… wait. You left that out entirely, didn’t you? That gut wrenching choice he makes between Eli and the rest of his life – the way it used to be? You just… threw that right out. Because relationships aren’t important… noooo. Only gore is important.

And you couldn’t even do that right. I refuse to believe you even read the book. Damn it. It describes very clearly what Eli looks like, what she CAN look like, and you followed none of that. None of it! Just made up your own shit and skipped on your merry way down the road to fucking up every tiny detail of this story.

God.

I’m so angry right now.

DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. Even if you haven’t seen the original, even if you haven’t read the book. This movie is not worth your time, or your money. Stay away. Stay far, far away.

Cell – King (and kind of Lisey’s Story)

I just don’t know what to say. I don’t. I’m not quite as angry about this book as I was when I read Lisey’s Story. But I’m still pissed off. This was… it was so bad. It was like King just wanted to, or had to, write something to put out and didn’t have any real solid ideas.

I mean, granted, this book has a lot more going for it than Lisey’s Story did, but really that’s not saying much. Since that book was a COMPLETE WASTE OF MY TIME.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I won’t lie. I did like them. I did like the general idea of the book, as well. The end of the world brought about by cell phones. It’s a pretty solid idea. The problem is, the idea behind the idea wasn’t fleshed out. At all. It almost seemed as if King was avoiding anything to do with the background because he didn’t know himself what was going on. There was so much missing. And so much other stuff thrown in randomly that wasn’t followed up on.

But again, Lisey’s Story was lacking even that much. Lisey’s Story is apparently what happens when King has to take a giant shit and uses a notebook to do it on. It’s not the first book I’ve ever been angry at, but it was the first of his, and I had hoped it would be the last. It wasn’t.

Though, maybe I can use the fact that Cell and Lisey’s Story were written back to back as some sort of an excuse for King. Because I really dislike hating anything he’s written, especially now when I’ve made my way through so many other books and I adore them. It’s not easy to hate something a writer you love has written. It’s quite difficult, actually. You want to love everything. You want everything to be good. It’s just heartbreaking when everything’s not good and you end up loathing a piece. Or two, in my case.

Despite loving the characters in Cell, the main character, Clay, leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. The things he does at the very end don’t fit his personality at all. They don’t fit what he’s evolved into during the course of the book. He just goes off on this wild tangent. Several things are wrong with the ending, several, but mostly it’s what Clay does and what he doesn’t do. And who he decides to leave behind. I’m sorry, but Clay is not that big of a fucking idiot, and I don’t honestly believe in my heart that he would have done what he did. I don’t give a shit if it’s written that way, it’s not him.

The book is pretty bad from the get go, however. Which is something I noticed because despite how hard I tried to keep myself involved, parts of the book itself were pushing me back into reality. Not in any thoughtful way, either. In a very abrupt and unfriendly way. It was really hard to keep reading this book, but I have to always finish. I’ve never started a book that I didn’t finish. I just can’t do it. I have to know the end, even if I hate the rest of what’s gone on, the characters, the story – whatever.

Which is PRECISELY why I sat through reading all of goddamned Lisey’s Story when I hated her, and her stupid thought process and her stupid weak and pathetic unwillingness to live her motherfucking life. Despite the fact that I detested where the story went and how long it took to get there, I read the whole thing. Even though I felt that it was some of the worst writing I’d encountered from such a lauded author, I finished the stupid book.

After I was done reading it, I sold Lisey’s Story to a used book store for significantly under a quarter. I believe that Cell will follow the same path. I, the queen of keeping books for future re-reading, want this book the hell out of my house. I never want to see it’s idiot cover again.

Open letter to Best Buy

Dear Best Buy,

Please stop putting those fucking ridiculously impossible to remove stickers on my dvd packaging. Seriously. I know that there are hundreds of thousands of people in the world that don’t give a shit what you do, but you have to consider everybody, don’t you? There are those, like me, who are a little bit obsessive about getting all stickers off of our packaging before we can watch what we’ve just purchased.

So I’d really like it if it didn’t take me fifteen minutes to get the sticker off of my cardboard cover. I’d also like it if said sticker didn’t leave behind residue or bits of itself. Or the tell-tale indentation of my fingernails from where I sat scraping at the bastard thing for so long that I nearly forgot I had been intending to watch a movie in the first place.

The book stores understand this concept. They know that paper and cardboard are gentle and delicate things, which must be treated with kind hands and careful consideration. They have these magic stickers that stick… but don’t. They stay right where they need to stay until the moment of purchase, when the sticker can be peeled off with terrific ease. In one piece, even.

You can’t tell us that you’re worried that somebody’s going to switch the price on you. Because that’s what UPC codes are for. If something is truly on sale, then it’s going to be in your computer. If something is not, then it’s going to ring up as the right price. If you have a customer that attempts this, then you can point out the two dozen other copies on the shelf and the fact that they all say something vastly different.

This is no yard sale, Best Buy. You have technology. You have the ability to track this shit. You do. I’ve seen it. I’ve watched it used. And it’s not like you’re using these stickers as your theft sensors, are you? No. Because those are placed INSIDE the box these days. Inside. Where the disk is. People have to be really determined to steal shit these days. The sticker isn’t going to stop them if they’re really that into it.

It’s just going to make people like me incredibly frustrated. INCREDIBLY. Please. For the love of all things obsessive and/or compulsive, change your sticker glue. Change it! It’s a small change. A cheap change. I bet the bookstores would hook you up with their supplier if you asked nice.

Thanks.

-Me.

PS – This applies to all things, really. But in particular those things with fancy cardboard outerwear that gets ruined easy. Some of us like to keep them because they have pretty pictures on them.