Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tim, Special Netflix Secret Agent

One of the last big "fights" Manchild and I had was over the dinosaur parts in the King Kong movie. He was pro-dino, I was anti, and there, we let it lay. Or lie. ("220, 221...whatever it takes...")

He did loves him some movies. His love affair with Netflix led to this effort, published in The Times Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006.


By Tim Greening

I've been a Netflix subscriber for years but only this week did I learn about a feature on the online DVD rental service's Web site that tells you the most popular movies among the other Netflix members in your zip code.

Well, technically the site says the list is the titles members in your area are renting more than members in other areas. I'm sure every zip code pretty much rents the most popular new releases, but these are the choices whose popularity are unique to our area.

That might be interesting, I thought. But then again, it might be ... depressing. Do I want to know how many movies my neighbors are renting that end with "... and the Bandit?"

Against my better judgment I looked it up anyway. Continue reading at your peril.

And there it was, right away: The No. 1 movie on the list was "Road House 2." The sequel to one of Patrick Swayze's more ... notorious ... movies but they couldn't even get him to be in it. (His manager at Bennigan's wouldn't give him the time off.)

So, yeah, that's the No. 1 movie on the list. Depressing.

But let's not be too snobby: I think my taste in entertainment is pretty admirable, although one of my most recent rentals was "Scary Movie 4." (Hey, not everything has to be a bran muffin. Occasionally you want a cupcake.)

And let's give our zip code Netflixers a break: Much of the direct-to-DVD "Road House 2" was filmed in and around Shreveport and Bossier City. Maybe the locals renting it are curious to see if they recognize any locales or extras.

But there's no excuse for the No. 3 film on the list: "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector." Git-r-dumb.

Mostly, however, I found the list very curious, mainly because several of the films have been out for years. No. 2 was the cute doggie movie "Shiloh," which is cool. Everyone loves a cute doggie movie. But it was released six years ago.

And the No. 5 movie is a little-known, little-seen independent artsy movie called "The Sisters," based on Anton Chekhov's "The Three Sisters." Isn't that odd? "Road House 2," "Larry the Cable Guy" and ... Chekhov? I'd figure the only Chekhov on DVD in my neighborhood would be the guy who steers the starship Enterprise.

Here's the full Top 10 list:

1. "Road House 2."

2. "Shiloh."

3. "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector."

4. "Stephen King's Desperation."

5. "The Sisters."

6. "Love Comes Softly." (Chick flick I never heard of.)

7. "Van Helsing." (An odd pick: it's two years old and it's on cable every other hour.)

8. "The Sentinel." (Keifer Sutherland/Michael Douglas thriller and the only movie on the list I have rented.)

9. "Raising Helen."

10. "Something's Gotta Give."

Looking at it again, it's not so embarrassing a list. It's definitely eclectic.

And I'm impressed none of the choices end in "... of Hazzard."