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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Remembering how Blockbuster Sucks « previous next »
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Author Topic: Remembering how Blockbuster Sucks  (Read 5173 times)
Drezzy
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2003, 06:51:52 PM »

I ain't gonna make fun of you for looking for wrestling tapes/DVDs. I have some obscure ones myself...
XPW tapes, ECW tapes/DVDs (including bootlegged PPVs), WWE/WWF tapes (including bootlegged PPVs), WCW tapes (including bootlegged PPVs), NWA:TNA bootlegged PPVs, Primal Conflict's only episode on TV, FMW tapes/DVDs, the "Best of Backyard Wrestling" series (volumes 1-4), and a backyard tape of me and my friends.

f**k Blockbuster. I used to go to Video Mania, a local store in my town (and I was friends with the owners, so I was aiming at Video Mania for my first job), but then they shut down due to Blockbuster moving into town, as well as Hollywood Video coming in.

Now I don't mind Hollywood Video (aside from their dumbass enforcement of the MPAA fascist rating system), but it doesn't have that same "feel" that Video Mania did. Sure, a larger selection, and you get to keep the movie for 5 days instead of one, but it doesn't have the same feel to it.

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AndyC
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2003, 05:10:33 PM »

One thing that really bugs me about Blockbuster is that there is usually not only a long line, but also a hassle of some sort. For example, renting from a different location never seems to be a smooth as it should be.

Another example happened a couple of months ago, when I went with a friend to rent something. We went to the Blockbuster nearest my house, not his usual store. After much fussing around and a phone call, it was determined that he had a late fee at the other location. They suggested that he could pay it right there. Unfortunately, this had happened to him once before, and the payment was not recorded at the other store, so he was charged twice. He told this to the cashier, and the following exchange took place:

Cashier: "But I have the manager of the other store on the phone, and he'll change it."

Mike: "It's happened to me before."

Cashier: "But I have the manager on the phone."

Mike: "That's what happened last time."

Cashier: "But I have the manager on the phone."

Mike: "I told you....."

And so forth.

Another peeve of mine is that the staff are apparently required to say hello when you walk in. This is a nice thing. It's the snarky comments they make if you don't return the greeting that bother me. They didn't mean it in the first place, but I'm an a***ole if I don't say it back. I'm sorry, but the way my local store is laid out, the hello usually comes from over my shoulder and across the room. I'd feel pretty stupid stopping and turning around to acknowledge an insincere greeting from a complete stranger across the room. Maybe I'm antisocial.

Then there is the pitiful selection, since Blockbuster took it upon themselves to be all things to all people. With merchandise, snacks, equipment and accessories, videos for sale, video games for sale and rent, movies duplicated on VHS and DVD and a hundred copies of practically every new release, they have virually no selection. The store looks impressive, until you see how much space is actually left for rental DVDs (or VHS if you prefer). They need to either build bigger stores, or set some priorities.

What selection they do have is arranged terribly. I've noticed that sci-fi, horror and anime are now simply thrown into the action section, like they don't merit sections of their own. There are so few, maybe they don't.

What really bugs me is that since I moved to my current house, the most convenient Blockbuster is probably the lamest one in the entire city.

Thankfully, there is still an independent store downtown that puts them all to shame. They get most of my business.

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"Join me in the abyss of savings."
raj
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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2003, 05:39:11 PM »

The last time I went to Blockbuster, about two summers ago, it was a really hot day (even for July in Columbia).  I was sweating just walking the block to the store.  I spent  about 30 minutes or so trying to find something decent (according to my tastes, which seem out of place at BB).  Anyway, I wasn't a member, so I went to the counter to sign up.  They were out of forms, and could not just sign me up right there!  Bad selection I can deal with, cutting down movies irks me to no end, but I'll look for movies they wouldn't edit.  Bad service?  I am out of there.

Fortunately Columbia does have a few good independent stores, though there was amurder a couple of months ago outside of my usual store.
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Bernie
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2003, 05:44:45 PM »

Blockbusters is simply evil.  To edit films is bad enough BUT NOT TO INFORM YOU (on the box or elsewhere) is 1984 at its most insidious.
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Funk, E.
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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2003, 06:05:57 PM »

I have been actively boycotting Ballbuster for 5 years and I feel good about it. The whole mega-corp thing is a personal irritant of mine. I shop at the local grocery story when I can, I only eat fast food if there is absolutely no alternative, I even buy local or microbrew beer. I actively think about how to avoid giving money to large organizations
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Neon Noodle
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2003, 10:32:21 PM »

When I was finishing up school a few years ago, I took a summer job at Blockbuster, thinking it'd be a good place to work and brush up on my movies. It was not the entertainment Mecca I had built up in my mind, by any means. One co-worker asked me what my favorite action movie was. When I answered "Hard Boiled", he looked at me like I was growing orange warts out of the top of my head.

Most days were spent putting the horror movies (extremely pitiful selection, as most other posts have already mentioned) back in order because they were always scrambled up on Friday nights. Having an anal-retentive supervisor didn't help - He was one of those folks who needed everything in its exact place or the world would come to a grinding halt.
Someone mentioned the "greeting" thing. Yes, Blockbuster does have a policy that you need to greet a patron when they come into the store, and also when they leave. Please. If a recently divorced guy comes into the store and rents 4 Shannon Tweed movies at once, I don't think he wants to start a conversation about it when he arrives, and CERTAINLY not when he's leaving. Some things are better left unsaid.
Hollywood video is better on so many levels. The sci-fi selection alone is worth the visit.
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Paquita
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
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Posts: 1360



« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2003, 12:01:04 AM »

Blockbuster CARDS ME!!!!!!!! they dont let me rent RATED R MOVIES!!!!!! thats how they get their chuckles ya know!!! I'm 20!! TWENTY!! and the only thing good about being 20 is that i can rent and go see rated r movies and NC 17 movies! and they always card me when i have no proof of age! they called MY MOTHER ONCE!! I have to bring my mom with me to get movies!  any other video store would gladly rent out pornos to me even if i insisted i was 13!!

DEATH TO COCKBUSTERS!!!

love colleen
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JohnL
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« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2003, 12:51:47 AM »

>any other video store would gladly rent out pornos to me even if i insisted i was
>13!!

So, what kind of pornos are you renting? :)
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nshumate
B-Movie Site Webmaster
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« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2003, 12:32:47 PM »

Okay, one more time:  Blockbuster does not "edit" movies.  It makes a deal with the studio, and the studio gives them an edited version.  And if you have trouble telling the difference between "Unrated" and "R-Rated" on the back of the box (or, in the case of Requiem For a Dream, right there on the front), you should lay the blame at the feet of your elementary school teachers.

A longer rant on the same subject:
http://www.coldfusionvideo.com/goodies/blockbuster.html

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Nathan Shumate
Cold Fusion Video Reviews
Sci-fi, Horror, and General Whoopass
raj
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« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2003, 02:13:46 PM »

I find that to be a distinction of no difference.  Either "we'll only carry a movie if we can edit out the naughty bits" or "we'll only carry a movie if you edit out the naughty bits" results in an edited movie due to a Blockbuster decision (and I do think it is different than a studio--which paid for a movie to be made-- editing a director's cut).  

I will decry such a decision, though I won't advocating use of force against it, as they probably would in France (where, IIRC, the director holds final say over a movie--by law).  However, if I rent a movie, I assume it is the version released by the studio, unless it says otherwise (e.g. "director's cut"), cutting down a movie, without informing me ahead of time, I consider to be fraud.
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nshumate
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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2003, 02:21:10 PM »

raj wrote:
>
> I find that to be a distinction of no difference.  Either
> "we'll only carry a movie if we can edit out the naughty
> bits" or "we'll only carry a movie if you edit out the
> naughty bits" results in an edited movie due to a Blockbuster
> decision (and I do think it is different than a studio--which
> paid for a movie to be made-- editing a director's cut).

I see.  Are you also up in arms about airline versions?  TV-edited versions?  The R-rated/unrated disparity?  Is it also similarly evil when the theatrical distributor comes back and says, "This'll get an NC-17 -- edit it down to an R or we can't distribute it"?


> I will decry such a decision, though I won't advocating use
> of force against it, as they probably would in France (where,
> IIRC, the director holds final say over a movie--by law).
> However, if I rent a movie, I assume it is the version
> released by the studio, unless it says otherwise (e.g.
> "director's cut"), cutting down a movie, without informing me
> ahead of time, I consider to be fraud.

Go to Blockbuster and find me an movie edited from the theatrical version that doesn't say so on the box.  Go ahead.  I'll wait here.

I think I'll be waiting a long time, though.

Nathan

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Nathan Shumate
Cold Fusion Video Reviews
Sci-fi, Horror, and General Whoopass
AndyC
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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2003, 03:13:40 PM »

Good point about speaking with our wallets, but complaining with our mouths can encourage others to do likewise, and let the suits know what to do if they want our money.

Personally, I think the idea of giving the public what they want is a chicken-and-egg thing. These days, it's very hazy whether something is made available because people are buying it or people are buying it because it's what is being offered. Are we telling the studios, distributors, networks and video chains what's good, or are they telling us because the people in charge have become so arrogant they think they know us better than we know ourselves?

I also feel that people are a little too quick to buy into the thinking that something intelligent, original and different won't make decent money. Not so long ago, independent filmmakers disproved it on a regular basis, producing good movies that got reasonably wide release and made money. Hollywood, seeing that their ideas were good, followed suit, giving us some great movies. Now, the people with vision are largely shut out of the market, and the mainstream movie industry is stagnating, creatively speaking, because they seldom try anything unproven.

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raj
Guest
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2003, 04:00:50 PM »

Nathan Shumate wrote:
>
> raj wrote:
> >
> > I find that to be a distinction of no difference.  Either
> > "we'll only carry a movie if we can edit out the naughty
> > bits" or "we'll only carry a movie if you edit out the
> > naughty bits" results in an edited movie due to a Blockbuster
> > decision (and I do think it is different than a studio--which
> > paid for a movie to be made-- editing a director's cut).
>
> I see.  Are you also up in arms about airline versions?
> TV-edited versions?  The R-rated/unrated disparity?  Is it
> also similarly evil when the theatrical distributor comes
> back and says, "This'll get an NC-17 -- edit it down to an R
> or we can't distribute it"?

I avoid airline versions.  TV versions do say they are edited.  Besides, both times I'm not paying for it (I don't reserve an airline seat based upon what movie is showing, usually I read.)  I do think it is bad when the distributor demands an edit, but such is the nature of the business of Hollywood movies.

>
> > I will decry such a decision, though I won't advocating use
> > of force against it, as they probably would in France (where,
> > IIRC, the director holds final say over a movie--by law).
> > However, if I rent a movie, I assume it is the version
> > released by the studio, unless it says otherwise (e.g.
> > "director's cut"), cutting down a movie, without informing me
> > ahead of time, I consider to be fraud.
>
> Go to Blockbuster and find me an movie edited from the
> theatrical version that doesn't say so on the box.  Go
> ahead.  I'll wait here.
>
> I think I'll be waiting a long time, though.

As I said, I think it is fraud if they don't inform me.  If they do say "this has been edited" then it is not fraud, but I won't watch it.  I haven't been to BB for years, in part
because of their editing policy (and it is THEIR policy, no matter whether they do the edit or they demand the studio makes the edit.)
> Nathan
>
>
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TC
Guest
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2003, 04:28:53 PM »

Believe me, as someone who has worked at Blockbuster for way too long, I can tell you firsthand - on the side of the rental case, next to the title, it will tell you if the movie is dubbed, subtitled, or an unrated or rated version.  For instance, the side of the case will say - American Pie 2 - Unrated version.  Or - Showgirls - R version.  And the cover box will also have some kind of explanation of that fact, although it is sometimes harder to find.

I think with the advent of DVD, Blockbuster is loosening it's policy.  At my store, we carry the unrated versions of such diverse films as "Embrace of the Vampire", "Road Trip", "American Pie 2" "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" and we also carry "Last Temptation of Christ" which was a title that Blockbuster refused to carry for quite some time.  We also carry "Wild Orchid" but I honestly couldn't tell you what version or what rating it has.  The only remotely mainstream movie that we got a rated version of in the last three years, that I can think of, would be "Requiem for a Dream".  And I had no interest in seeing it, so I didn't find out about that fact until some time after it was released.  Most of the toned down versions of films we get are some series of skin flicks made by Playboy, and we carry the R-rated versions.  Stuff like "Sex Court" and "Married People, Single Sex".   And I really don't feel like we're harming the director's artistic integrity over carrying the R-rated version of his soft-core porno.
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Funk, E.
Guest
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2003, 04:55:46 PM »

Well Andy, that there is a hell of a can of worms you've opened up there and I could write a dissertation on the subject.

First off and perhaps the most controversial aspect of this discussion is the symbiotic relationship between audiences and the entertainment industry. Ultimately they can only sell what people are willing to buy. However, advertising as non-political propaganda can shape what people are willing to buy as such issues of quality ebb and flow as each force organically effects the other.

Second: creativity, uniqueness and originality are by nature not quantifiable. Money is the essence of quantifiable. There is an inherent conflict between the two. It’s true the creative freedom give rise to the best opportunity for something truly extraordinary, but it is also inherently experimental and as such more prone to failure than success. Any production company will go bankrupt if their failure to success ratio drops much below 50%. Quantifiable entertainment requires operating within known parameters. If you know people like a given actor that gives you a knowable quality to the investment. If you know more people can watch a PG-13 film than an R or NC-17 that too creates a chance to improve your return on your investment. Money is interested in it’s own propagation not that of quality. A part of this fact is that there are quite simply fewer intelligent people than average or less making us an undesirable market demographic. Ultimately it safer to produce crap that adheres to the research numbers than to go trial and error with creative genius. Voting with your wallet is the only vote profit driven industries will ever hear.

Third: raw probability. The old adage remains forever true “90% of anything is crap” Simple fact of the mater is, in the trial and error world most efforts will fall short of extraordinary. We forget those less successful efforts while those which capture a place in our psyches remain through time. Thus are perspective is warped. Were not suffering through any more substandard product now than we ever were within an oscillation of the symbiotic relationship mentioned in item one. We always fee like the present is worse than the past because the disasters of the past fade from the collective consciousness.
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