The Late Night Double Feature Picture Show

February 25, 2006

Having missed too many movies that I’ve wanted to see over the years, I finally succumbed to the Netflix craze.  Don’t ask me why, but I started with “Sid & Nancy” ( a film I had already seen when it was first released in 1986.  I’ve always wanted to watch it with my daughter, Leigh, so she could get some idea of what the REAL punk scene was like, and this seemed to be as good a time as any.  Halfway through the flick, the DVD started to skip, and then it froze.  We had to fast forward through an entire scene before we could get the DVD to work properly again. 

The same thing happened with the next movie I watched, “Reefer Madness,the Musical.” (  However, I didn’t have any problems with  “Monster’s Ball, ( or  “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” ( ), and felt hopeful that the problems with the previous DVDs were isolated incidents that wouldn’t be repeated any time soon. Silly me.

Last night, I wanted to watch a movie in bed, so Daniel popped “Life is Beautiful” ( ) into the DVD player while I made myself comfortable. It was very frustrating to discover that I couldn’t read the subtitles, which were white and often displayed against a light background.  I’ll try again some other time in a different room where I can sit closer to the television set, but last night I felt like doing my movie viewing from a reclining position.  Daniel ejected the “Life is Beautiful” DVD and replaced it with “The Pianist.” (

Because of the subject matter (a Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II), this movie is painful to watch, and I had invested quite a bit of emotional energy into it when the DVD began to sputter and stop. Fast forwarding didn’t help this time, so I had to give up and accept that there would be no movie watching from the comfort of my bed this night.  Grumble.

There are currently sixty movies in my queue, but the fact that three out of the six DVDs I’ve rented from Netflix had this skipping/stopping problem does not exactly inspire confidence in the service. Has anyone else had this kind of trouble? 

Since I mentioned “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” I have to say that, as much as I love me some Johnny Depp, I prefer the Gene Wilder ( )  version of the film. In my opinion, Wilder’s portrayal of Willy Wonka was brilliantly understated, while Depp’s Wonka ( ) is a bit over the top.  That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the remake.  It is visually stunning, and there was much that I did appreciate about Depp’s performance.  Also, the music is fun, although I like the original Oompa Loompa songs better. Actually, I like EVERYTHING about the original Oompa Loompas better.

For some reason, my oldest daughter, Rebecca, was (and still is) afraid of the original Oompa Loompas. She finds them to be very creepy. (She’s also freaked out by E.T., but that’s neither here nor there.) About a year ago, I felt mischievous, and sneakily switched the wallpaper on Rebecca’s laptop to This picture ( ) of the Oompa Loompas. Then I sat back and waited for the shriek that was soon to be heard.  Hey, at my age, you gotta get your cheap thrills whatever way you can.

Anyway, in my search for Oompa Loompa photos, I came across a Craigs List advertisement for “Free Oompa Loompas – As is” ( and and an Oompa Loompa dating service. ( There truly is something for everybody to be found on the Internet.

Back to Netflix – I’ll next be looking forward to watching “Ray,” ( and “Walk the Line” (, but the movie I really can’t wait to see is “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” ( ) DVD release is scheduled for February 28th, and is listed at the top of my queue.  Listen up, Netflix.  The DVD had better arrive in playable condition or this means war!

Song of the Day: Oompa Loompa Song From Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory





One Response to “The Late Night Double Feature Picture Show”

  1. yaketyyak said

    Comments from D-Land

    Opheliafic – 2006-02-25 11:23:17
    Sorry I don’t use Netflix I know someone who does and they have never mentioned having any problems with it. I do love me some original Oompa Loompas! I miss so many movies now a-days movie theaters do not have the early 10am shows any more and evening shows I just do not enjoy because that is suppose to be when I sleep. Let us know how the picture on the computer goes over!
    LA – 2006-02-25 11:52:28
    So it’s not just me! I watch my Netflix dvds on my computer and 80% drag and skip. I was fearing I needed a new disc drive. Netflix suggests washing the dvds. Haven’t tried that yet, but I will and let you know if it helps. ~LA
    Stefani – 2006-02-25 12:13:56
    The first DVD I rented from Netlfix arrived cracked but I’ve never had a problem since. Hope the rest is smooth sailing for you – it’s a terrific service.
    ann marie – 2006-02-25 12:30:33
    Everytime I visit, I hesitate for a second, thinking I’m on the wrong journal! Should I update my blogroll, or do you think you may go back? We don’t do Netflix, but almost every time we rent DVD’s there is a problem with it, even if we clean it prior to playing it. We never had this many problems with VHS’s, but I guess in time VHS’s will become obsolete.
    Sasha – 2006-02-25 12:52:13
    How frustrating that your dvds were all damaged like that. Travis and I have had Netflix for well over a year now, just about two years now, I think. We have received one damaged dvd in that entire time which we returned for a replacement. I absolutely adore Netflix! Before it was great because we could avoid driving around in traffic just to return rentals at the store but now it’s great for us because we live too far from town to make renting dvds at a store, easy. If the problem continues I would say something to them.
    Carol – 2006-02-25 14:20:49
    Sorry you’re having the problem with netflix dvds! We’ve had netflix for a couple of years with very few problems. One arrived cracked; we let them know online and had a new one right away. Also one “almost” unwatchable, because of skipping and stalling, but it worked out OK. Quite often washing the dvd solves the problem, so we always wash them first now, just in case, and no problems. We are watching some really “unique” (indie and foreign) films now, and are enjoying broadening our horizons .. 😉
    Michael – 2006-02-25 15:35:38
    I’ve had occasional problems with Netflix DVDs, but almost every time they’re fixed after I wash them. I use a little Windex and a Kleenex. (Product placement.) Once in a great while I have to ask for a replacement, but it’s been very rare over the four years or so that I’ve had Netflix. Let’s hope you just had a little initial bad luck.
    bb – 2006-02-25 18:54:50
    Could the problem be your machine?
    Sharon – 2006-02-26 06:37:48
    We’ve rented DVDs from netflix for about 2 years and I’ve had only a couple of problems. Coincidentally, one problem happened last night when we were trying to watch Flight Plan. It sputtered and skipped for about 5 mintues. We were just getting ready to give up and it corrected itself and played great.
    Jim – 2006-02-27 15:47:06
    The suggestions about cleaning the disk will probably fix the problem. Look at the disk (try holding it close to your face at an angle and look for smudges, etc.) — washing (i.e., rinsing with tepid tap water — not hot water — and then shake off water and dry any remaining water with gentle use of a dry lint-free soft clean cloth. Or, blow on it the way you would fog up your eyeglasses to clean them and then very gently brush with clean dry slft lint-free cloth. [Also note that some DVD players may be more sensitive than others to smudges on a disk.] I’ve rented a couple of DVDs that needed to be cleaned off like that. [Note: if there is actual physical damage to the disk, then cleaning will not help.]

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