A Final Open Thread

One more topic before the late night crew (AL) and the morning crew (Mistermix) take over and DougJ, Kay, Tom, Tim and I jockey for front page access during the day. I always sense there is hostility towards Netflix here, because apparently they have an unworkable model (looking at you Mistermix :P) and not every movie is immediately available for internet streaming (looking at the rest of you haters), but I love it.

Netflix may not be the place to watch movies the very moment they are released on DVD (in some cases they are, though), but their documentary collection is absolutely amazing and even better is their collection of stand up comedy specials. I bet I have put Bobcat Goldthwait’s special on in the background ten times in the last couple of weeks (the MJ and Arnold jokes just slay me every time) and this Norm MacDonald show from 2011 is priceless (the heart attack stuff had me in tears). And Craig Ferguson, if you can believe it (I think he has the best late night show by far, with Conan a bit behind), is funnier doing stand-up than his actual show. And that doesn’t even go into the hundreds of people you have never heard about. Although, fuck you Bill Burr. Go flip some burgers.

Not sure what the point was other than “FU, I like Netflix.” There’s really a lot of good stuff, and that doesn’t even go into the trove of foreign flicks. Those are always fun to watch to see how Hollywood will “re-do” them several years later and shit the bed. See also, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

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68 replies
  1. 1
    GregB says:

    Did Bill Burr shit in your cornflakes?

  2. 2
    jl says:

    “Not sure the point was other than FU”

    Late Night with John Cole!

    Edit: posting some pet pix would cheer him up. I try to help, but these damn kids these days. You do and do and do, and what thanks do you get?

  3. 3
    John Cole says:

    @jl: Hit publish before I was done editing. Again.

  4. 4
    jl says:

    Cole’s jumpy and all excited too. All frantic and punching publish before he’s done. These kids today.

    It’s past young Cole’s bed time an’ he ain’t done is (pet pix) chores!

    Edit: Ain’t tomoorrer a school day or sumpin?

  5. 5
    ulee says:

    Cole hates Bill Burr. I hate him too, whoever he is.

  6. 6
    Triumph says:

    Neftlix is AWESOME for stand up comedy. I watch a lot of that and old tv shows.

  7. 7
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    I like Netflix. I have the streaming-only account, and set it up to go to my Wii, which is hooked up to my TV. It produces a good HD-ish resolution picture, without annoying buffering, even on my crappy DSL.

  8. 8
    Walker says:

    not every movie is immediately available for internet streaming

    This is not Netflix’s fault per se. It is the fault of the distributors who do not want Netflix controlling everything.

    And Netflix’s business model is perfectly sustainable. They are essentially a premium cable channel like HBO. Lots of films, second run series, together with a few originals. Heck, their library is much deeper than HBO GO, their nearest Internet competitor (Hulu Plus is not a serious threat).

  9. 9
    trollhattan says:

    Have never subscribed so am not qualified to hate Netflix.

    Now [clears throat] let me fling two metric buttloads of hate at Adobe, who have just announced CS6 will be the last Creative Suite one will be able to buy on disc. Henceforth, you and I can either subscribe to their software or we can fuck the hell off.

    As I run y’all offa my lawn I proclaim I want to buy software, once, on physical media and expect you, the software maker to fix your fucking beta mistakes as we go along, like St. Peter intended.

    I do not want a monthly subscription to your software like some fucking Harry and David pear-of-the-month club membership. Fucking fuck. Kan I haz Aldus back?

  10. 10
    lamh35 says:

    netflix has alot of british comedies that I love streaming online, so I do catch those.

    Recommendations: Strictly Ballroom, Sliding Doors, and The Wiz.

    Good night BJ night owls

  11. 11
    Ted & Hellen says:

    John, when was the last time you spent an entire evening at home with the critters and no television or computer?

    Read a book. Sip some tea. Listen to the quiet.

    Give it a try.

  12. 12
    YellowJournalism says:

    Netflix is awesome. This is coming from someone who gets Netflix Canada, which many people say sucks because we don’t get as many movies thanks to the damn Canadian copyright laws.

    I have been able to catch up on fav shows (Dexter), join the rest of the world loving shows (Mad Men), watch old favs (Veronica Mars, Quantum Leap, various cartoons), and watch a bunch of wonderful documentaries and foreign films. I also love fucking with their tracking system by choosing weird combos of shit to see what they suggest.

  13. 13
    smintheus says:

    Would recommend a recent Norwegian film that Netflix is streaming, The King of Devil’s Island. Seems like a commentary on the arrogance, brutality, and lack of integrity of so much of modern conservative government.

  14. 14
    Eric U. says:

    I like Netflix streaming. Getting discs in the mail never worked for me. I tend to fast forward through most movies. I am a little worried that it isn’t going to be sustainable because the people who own the movies hate the fact that Netflix is making money off of them and ruin things just because

  15. 15
    DaddyJ says:

    We now have Netflix and Amazon coming to us through the astonishingly high quality streaming of a PS3 and couldn’t be happier. I like Netflix’s interface better and it has captions, which is handy if you watch a lot of British fare (although the captions are often hilariously wrong — clearly their captioners wouldn’t know British idiom if it kicked them in the cobblers).

  16. 16
    ulee says:

    @Ted & Hellen: You’re an idiot.

  17. 17
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Eric U.: I switched to the streaming-only account when I lost a DVD they had sent me.

  18. 18
    pokeyblow says:

    Netflix is wonderful. However, browsing the streaming service “thoroughly” is a painful lesson in how many shitty (or shitty-seeming) movies exist.

  19. 19
    pokeyblow says:

    I can understand that Netflix content isn’t available for streaming overseas, but I’m frustrated that you can’t rent Amazon online movies while traveling. You’d think they’d work out the copyright issues country-by-country and offer things overseas. Maybe the price goes up (not down, of course).

  20. 20
    Steeplejack says:

    I liked the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo better than the Hollywooden version, but the latter isn’t a bad movie, and it’s nowhere near the worst butchering of a good foreign movie by Hollywood.

    I have a special loathing for The Vanishing, where they took a creepy, disturbing Dutch gem and eviscerated it by taking out possibly the most important plot point. WTF?! Ultimate Hollywooden evil: the same guy directed both versions (George Sluizer). I have long pondered how much money they had to dump on him to get him to do that. Or maybe it was the thrill of working with Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland.

  21. 21
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @trollhattan: Real ‘Muricans use Gimp, and they love it. Only effete liebrul artiste’ latte sippers use such austentatious programs like Photoshop.

  22. 22
    gene108 says:

    @Walker:

    And Netflix’s business model is perfectly sustainable.

    Netflix is able to sustain their business model, which does not mean their business model is perfectly sustainable.

    Lesser management running an operation like Netflix would have crapped the bed and gone out of business.

    Netflix is in a very, very competitive marketplace and they have to stay a head of larger competitors, who have deeper pockets. They are at the mercy of studios for content and ISP’s for the necessary bandwidth.

    They could lose content, if they do not meet a studio’s demands for royalties for transmitting content digitally, which happened last year when negotiations with Starz fell through and they lost access to Sony’s movie library. I believe studios are also tinkering with ways to offer their own on-line content, which would cut Netflix out completely.

    Or the price of royalties gets so high, it significantly eats into their margins. As Netflix competes partly on price, they can’t pass on increases in the cost of content to their customers.

    They also face competition from alternate sources of how consumers access content, such as cable, satellite T.V., as well as other streaming services from Amazon, Hulu, etc.

    Netflix is one of the better run companies out there, which is why they are able to keep going.

  23. 23
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @ulee:

    You’re an idiot.

    How so, Ulee? Are you too afraid of the voices you’ll hear in the silence?

  24. 24
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Steeplejack:Fincher’s version was miscast, IMO.

    Also too, half the cast tried to sound Swedish, while the remaining actors just went with their normal accents. It made no sense.

  25. 25
    👽 Martin says:

    @Walker:

    This is not Netflix’s fault per se. It is the fault of the distributors who do not want Netflix controlling everything.
    And Netflix’s business model is perfectly sustainable. They are essentially a premium cable channel like HBO.

    Yeah, no it isn’t. Netflix as a supplement to cable is sustainable. Netflix as a replacement for cable will never work.

    The US film and TV production economy is about $50B per year – or about $40 per US household per month. We export quite a lot, but import a decent bit as well. Netflix is a $15 per month service. If it’s successful, it’ll either bankrupt the industry or shrink it considerably (which will reduce the utility of Netflix). So the studios and networks refuse to sell their content knowing that it’ll result in people cutting the cord and denying them their cable income. Netflix needs to raise prices to maintain their better contracts (they know this) but users won’t hear of it.

    HBO is bandwidth limited. There are only so many things you can watch there. Users know this and have accepted it. Netflix advertised itself as not being bandwidth limited – you could find almost anything there – but you can’t. And users are often unhappy about that. So, they’re caught between two realities – the ‘everything on your TV’ model they want to be, and the economic reality that they can’t get that $40 to deliver it. They’ve been trying to reconcile the two, but it hasn’t been going over too well.

    But if people think they can have all their on-demand content at Netflix prices, they’re in fantasy land. It’s not nearly enough to just pay for production. (Distribution mostly pays for itself via commercials.)

  26. 26
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Steeplejack: Does Jeff Bridges still have teeth? His voiceovers in commercials seem to get sloppier and sloppier.

  27. 27

    Love Netflix. Cut the cable years ago. Between that and Graboid, I’m set.

    For original movies that Hollywood is remaking, checkout Timecrimes. Crazy awesome Spanish time travel movie that heavily inspired Triangle and is being remade by Cronenberg.

  28. 28
    cyntax says:

    The only thing I don’t like about Netflix is that auto-preview feature they added recently where the movie that you’re hovering on while searching starts playing in the little preview pane. Other than that, love it. Can’t wait for the next season of House of Cards.

  29. 29
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Arm The Homeless: Some of us use both :-P

  30. 30
    Steeplejack says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    It certainly had its flaws, but I still maintain that it doesn’t even make the top 100 list of bad Hollywood remakes.

  31. 31
    ulee says:

    @Ted & Hellen: No, you’re an idiot for giving advice on solitude while pontificating online. Have a cup of tea now.

  32. 32
    Roger Moore says:

    @trollhattan:

    Now [clears throat] let me fling two metric buttloads of hate at Adobe, who have just announced CS6 will be the last Creative Suite one will be able to buy on disc. Henceforth, you and I can either subscribe to their software or we can fuck the hell off.

    They want to keep to the profitable business of dealing with professionals who see their prices as a tolerable business expense and avoid dealing with cheap amateurs who don’t want to upgrade every time Adobe decides they need some more cash. Time for you to pick up an alternative.

  33. 33
    👽 Martin says:

    @Roger Moore: Not to mention the problems of piracy, the costs of retail distribution, and the support issues around traditional software installers.

    Traditional software purchase/distribution/installation/update has always been broken. Thank goodness it’s finally getting fixed with app stores and the like. Only a decade later than it needed to be.

  34. 34
    Roger Moore says:

    @Arm The Homeless:

    Real ‘Muricans use Gimp, and they love it.

    I thought only DFH FSF types use the GIMP, and Real Americans™ wouldn’t want to deny Job Creators™ like Adobe their pound of flesh.

    ETA: Proud DFH FSF type who’s been using the GIMP for a decade.

  35. 35
    RobertDSC-PowerMac G5 Dual says:

    @trollhattan:

    Funny, I still use Photoshop CS1 on all of my Macs. It works across 10.3 Panther, 10.4 Tiger, and 10.5 Leopard. I may not be able to do every little thing, but the old stuff still works for me.

    This, and the cost factor, is why I haven’t upgraded to an Intel Mac yet. I just bought a dual G5 two weeks ago and am over the moon happy with it.

  36. 36
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Steeplejack: Fincher is a really good director. He doesn’t make bad movies.

    That said, I think the mistakes made in pre-production were too much to overcome.

    They’re making the second movie in the trilogy. I suspect this one will be better than the first.

  37. 37
    👽 Martin says:

    @Roger Moore: I’m suspicious of any graphic designer that is willing to tolerate an app as shitty as GIMP. If their attitude is that quality software design isn’t worth paying for, then why the fuck would I hire them to do quality graphic design?

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    No Netflix; no opinion.

    Conan? The less said, the better.

  39. 39

    @👽 Martin: If you’re hiring a graphic designer, you’re not buying their software program, you’re hiring their expertise.

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Fincher is a really good director. He doesn’t make bad movies.

    I see somebody missed Alien 3. And The Game. And Panic Room. And The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

  41. 41
    Roger Moore says:

    @NotMax:

    Conan? The less said, the better.

    Worst. Governor. Ever.

  42. 42
    max says:

    Adobe makes quality software? Who knew?

    Not sure what the point was other than “FU, I like Netflix.” There’s really a lot of good stuff, and that doesn’t even go into the trove of foreign flicks. Those are always fun to watch to see how Hollywood will “re-do” them several years later and shit the bed.

    I just read an entire thread involving hating on what sounded like every actress currently working. I’m trying to figure out how that works with using NetFlix all the time. (FTR, I don’t watch much TV, NetFlix DVD’s in the mail work fine, not that I use it much, and I can’t muster up much hate for actresses because I decline to keep watching bad shows.)

    max
    [‘Now, Hollywood executives and their awful scripts – that I can work up a serious hate-on for.’]

  43. 43
    👽 Martin says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: I’m usually hiring their aesthetic sense. Would you hire an interior designer that lived in an ugly house? I wouldn’t. Or a finish carpenter or cabinetmaker that didn’t use quality tools?

  44. 44
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Mnemosyne: Alien 3 was not his fault. (Studio messed with it, plus Ripley deserved the ending she got in Aliens.) Panic Room is not bad, merely mediocre with too many movie cliches. I’ll give you Ben Button, but I will say you’re entirely wrong about The Game.

    I still love you, though.

  45. 45

    @👽 Martin: If their output works with whatever program you’re using, what difference does it make?

    I mean, I can’t stand the GIMP, I only ever use it because I have to, but what does that have to do with anything?

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    @YellowJournalism:

    Hated The Game. Hated hated hated that movie. Fincher needs to learn the difference between a twist ending and a trick ending (twist ending illuminates everything that went before, trick ending makes the audience hate you).

    But I did like Zodiac. I’ll give him that one.

  47. 47
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Mnemosyne: I didn’t see Alien 3, but the others on your list weren’t bad movies.

  48. 48
    piratedan says:

    if someone is looking for good British TV to add to their queues….

    I would humbly suggest/shamelessly shill for:

    MI-5/Spooks
    Whitechapel
    Torchwood

    dunno if they carry it, but the game show Pointless is also quite fascinating

  49. 49
    NotMax says:

    @Roger Moore

    His unfathomable existence as a late-night host does perform the service of kicking people such as Pat Sajak, Joey Bishop, Alan Thicke, Chevy Chase, Magic Johnson and John McEnroe up a notch in the rankings.

  50. 50
    eemom says:

    the late night crew (AL) and the morning crew (Mistermix) take over and DougJ, Kay, Tom, Tim and I jockey for front page access during the day

    late to the par-tay, haven’t read the last 83 open threads, and +more than a few, but here’s the thing, Cole: you have a shitton of FPers at this point. Some are good, some kinda suck. They’re not all created equal, knowhatImsayin? kthxbai.

  51. 51

    The FPers I don’t read, get rid of them. ktthxbai. RSS readers are too complex for me.

  52. 52
    Suzanne says:

    @Mnemosyne: Loved Zodiac, and Se7en, and Social Network, and I actually really liked his Dragon Tattoo. Rooney Mara was awesome, and the “Immigrant Song” cover is fabulous.

    And the “Orinoco Flow” scene made me LOL, for realz.

    I adore Photoshop. Eff GIMP.And eff Coreldraw.

  53. 53
    eemom says:

    The other thing is, Cole, there’s a few commenters here who need a life SO bad it’d be worth setting up a Paypal link for them. Even I would contribute. kthxbai x 2.

  54. 54

    @Suzanne: Zodiac was okay, if a bit long. Se7en wasn’t bad. The Social Network was, I think, really good. The Dragon Tattoo was pretty good, too. It’s kind of weird to me to watch him, and realize that Daniel Craig is younger than I am.

  55. 55
    karl says:

    Heck, I still have Netflix-by-mail! Just streamed Even the Rain this evening — recommended.

  56. 56
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    I’ve seen good work done with The GIMP and I’ve seen shit work done with Photoshop. Adobe will lose a lot of customers if it switches to a subscription-only model. PS is an excellent product, but the last few versions have been short on really useful new features and long on automating things that an experienced user could do with PS 7.

  57. 57

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Apple have moved to requiring Final Cut Pro be a downloaded product. I wonder if they’re going to turn it into a subscription product. It wouldn’t particularly surprise me.

  58. 58
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    @trollhattan: I figured this would happen sooner or later, that PS would become a subscription-only, cloud-based program. (I say this as one who only run Elements [a metric fukcton of great features for the non-commercial, enthusahobbiest like me.]) Although I guess I figured Elements, not the CS line, would be the first to be transformed this way.

    On the one hand, that means no more steep outlays when a new version with features you’ve had wet dreams about comes along. On the other hand — pride of ownership, and such.

    Well, non-pr0n Internet presences need to make money, and even a prole like me has long been surprised how few, if any (other than the aforementioned pr0n sites), could come up with a sustainable, profitable biz model.

  59. 59
    JoyceH says:

    I’ve noticed that I’ve entirely lost the ability to follow a regular weekly network TV show. For years (heck, decades) it was standard practice that if a show was absorbing enough, I could remember that on this day at this time, I turn on this channel to watch this show. But these days, even when I’ve seen some episodes and really like the show, I’ll suddenly look up and go ‘dang! I missed that great show!’ Of course, most shows stream on the network after broadcast, but then you have to remember to go watch them. So now I just watch a season at a time, either streaming or on disk. Streaming a TV show is awesome. But it does tend to be sort of… immersive.

  60. 60
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    Also, Netflix has lots of good TV shows, especially from Britain.

    Aside from all of the intelligent British crime shows, and all the P.D. James Adam Dagliesh stories, try “Monarch of the Glen”.

    Set in the Scottish Highlands, with a young son becoming Laird and trying to save the estate, the show is everything American television is NOT. Intelligent, witty, well written, humane, moving, comic, sometimes absurd, but always moving and entertaining.

    We just hit the 2/3 mark through the series, with the young Laird out hunting because the old stag leader of the elk herd Big Eric must be taken down, because he has been badly injured in a fight, and will not survive the coming winter.

    At the same time, a stranger shows up who turns out to be the young Laird’s half brother, previously unknown, because their father had hidden the fact completely at the request of the mother. The outdoor scenes, and the sadness of having to take Big Eric down, was one of the most moving and sad and profound things I have seen lately, made incredibly poignant by beautiful photography framing the entire storyline in the highlands.

    FWIW, the title of the show comes from a famous painting, “The Monarch of the Glen”, of a magnificent elk stag. The episode is thus emblematic of the heart of the entire series.

    http://www.wildlifewonders.com/elk1920wh.html

  61. 61
    Sayne says:

    Netflix also has every episode of Star Trek.

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    I don’t get the hate towards Netflix. Now that they’ve come to their senses and didn’t split their business, I’m fine with them. Having a little one that comes to visit her Auntie a great deal, their children’s section is a lifesaver.

  63. 63
    KXB says:

    First off – love Bill Burr. His takedown of America’s cult of motherhood is a classic. Probably the only white comic out there that can approach a Chris Rock-style of racial comedy.

  64. 64

    I don’t really object to Netflix for what it is; I was just taken by surprise because I expected it to be something that it isn’t.

    Specifically, I had thought (based on browsing their DVD selection, years ago) that I would be able to find “almost anything.” But then I got access to their streaming service, and my searches kept coming up blank.

    The Big Lebowski? nope. Brigadoon? nope. Lawrence of Arabia? nope. Anything by Jacques Tati? nope.

    Netflix does have an amazing selection. But they’re just like a big video store: you have to browse the shelves and pick up something they have that appeals to you, rather than going in with a specific selection in mind.

  65. 65
    different-church-lady says:

    Any time someone complains about Netflix I automatically think Louis CK.

  66. 66
    belieber says:

    Mistermix was wrong about Netflix like he was wrong about Palin running in 2012? Shocking.

    “…not every movie is immediately available for internet streaming”

    Jesus titty fucking christ. Haven’t any of you heard of bittorrent/piratebay. Sometimes the movie is available there BEFORE it’s even in theaters.

    Yea yea it’s technically illegal but so is pot in most places and that doesn’t stop you either.

  67. 67
    different-church-lady says:

    @rikyrah: Basically it’s this: Americans have become so spoiled that if you were to give them something for free, they’ll cry murder if the portion you give them for free the next day is even slightly smaller.

    It’s the same damn reason newspapers can’t get anyone to pay for digital content — they gave it all away for so long that they can’t get anyone to pay even peanuts for it today.

    Before Whole Foods bought them up, there was a regional healthy supermarket chain called Bread and Circus. The founder explained why he refused to do sales circulars: (Paraphrase from memory)

    “Suppose the guy down the street decides to sell lettuce 3 heads for a dollar. The results are (a) he can’t make any money at that price (b) I can’t sell any lettuce and (c) the public comes to believe that lettuce should only cost a dollar for three heads. I’m not going to play that game.”

    Let’s not even get into the disconnect between the amount of money people are willing to pay for the “pipes” that brings that content into their homes or smartphones vs. their indignant outrage over the idea of paying something for the actual content itself.

  68. 68
    Reinhold McSnake says:

    @Cris (without an H):

    Specifically, I had thought (based on browsing their DVD selection, years ago) that I would be able to find “almost anything.” But then I got access to their streaming service, and my searches kept coming up blank.

    The Big Lebowski? nope. Brigadoon? nope. Lawrence of Arabia? nope. Anything by Jacques Tati? nope.

    I don’t know why this is so difficult for people to understand, but Netflix does not control whether or not a movie is available to stream or not (in fact, The Big Lebowski was available to stream at some point on Netflix, because I watched it there a few years ago). It is actually in Netflix’s interest to have as much available streaming content as possible. It’s not like they’re opting not to stream just to piss you off.

    The studios who own content are the ones that dictate VOD (video on demand) or EST (electronic sell-through) windows for any particular title. Complaining because Netflix doesn’t have exactly the movie you want is beside the point. Write a nasty email to MGM or Lionsgate or whoever.

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