Leaving the Stream: Week of December 26th, 2010

Folks, I’ve got some bad news. The new year means the end of a lot of movies on Netflix, many of them among my favorites. Hopefully they all get picked up again, but we’ll be saying goodbye to some greats for now.

Harold and Maude (1/1/11)

Not only is ‘Harold and Maude‘ a great movie, it’s a great movie that’s tough to find anywhere but Netflix. It’s the very definition of dark comedy, and has been a favorite of mine since I first saw it. Read back to the One From the Vault feature for more.

We’re losing not only this movie, but ‘Being There‘ as well – another of director Hal Ashby’s best pictures.

Arthur (1/1/11)

Dudley Moore is brilliant in the comedy ‘Arthur‘, as is John Gielgud, who won an Oscar for his performance. In fact, Gielgud is one of few actors to boast an EGOT. ‘Arthur’ is a movie that’s laugh-out-loud funny, but doesn’t just stop at the jokes. It’s sweet, sad, touching, and a must-see for fans of comedy.

Little Shop of Horrors (1/1/11)

It’s so sad to see ‘Little Shop of Horrors‘ go. It’s a favorite and it’s one of those movies I put on in the background when I’m doing other things. Vacuuming, doing dishes, playing ‘WoW’, or just lounging about – ‘Little Shop’ can go on and keep me entertained. It’s a combo of some of the best comedians of the era along with some great songwriting. You just can’t go wrong.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1/1/11)

They can’t all be comedies. ‘A Streetcar Named Desire‘, based on the Tennessee Williams play of the same name, stars a young, buff Marlon Brando and the great Vivien Leigh. It’s a wonderful adaptation, and even 60 years after its release, ‘Streetcar’ works. That’s something rare to find in most films.

Three out of the four leads won Oscars. The only one who didn’t was Brando, but I’m of the opinion that losing to Bogart in ‘African Queen’ isn’t really losing at all.


  1. Rolltide1017

    This is why streaming services will never take over physical media. People will not want to depend 100% on streaming when their favorite movies can disappear at anytime. Not to mention, Netflix still doesn’t offer many new releases like the new Wall Street: MNS, which you can’t get on BD or streaming from them for now. Netflix needs to do a better job of securing long rights for movies and rights to new releases. At the very least, they should have a way to keep these movies up while a new deal is worked out, kind how cable & sat providers do for channel renewals. I’m getting more and more frustrated with Netflix because of stuff leaving the stream, lack of new releases on the stream and the new release delay for BDs. Even though it is only $12/month, Netflix is becoming less and less useful because it is getting more difficult to get what you really want to watch, especially for BD fans. There are still many Nick Jr shows that left the stream and have never come back, shows my daughter loved to watch. Physical media will remain king until these services become more dependable from a content stand point.

    • Dick Ward

      You know, I keep hearing this argument and it just doesn’t ring true to me. You’re giving something up no matter what service you go with and plenty of people prefer the price, ease of use and instant gratification that come with streaming services.

      I’m not saying Netflix is perfect, but I do think a streaming service is going to take over as the main content provider in the next few years.

  2. EM

    Personally, I’m with you, Rolltide—I, too, think that dropping physical media for streaming is overall not the best choice in the long run—but I’m not so sure Dick is wrong. As he says, instant gratification (among other factors) is in streaming’s favor, and I find any argument predicated on the general populace’s unerringly choosing its long-term interests over its short-term interests to be suspect at best. Besides, you’re assuming we all have the same interests—maybe a permanent library of certain works isn’t a goal for some folks like it is for you and me.

  3. I don’t think, at least in the foreseable future, that I will dump physical media for streaming. What Netflix streaming does for me is give me a chance to 1)immediately look something up that someone tells me about or 2) check out stuff (mainly TV shows) that I would never buy or use a rental for.

    My parents were telling me a few days ago about a movie with Jimmie Stewart that was filmed here in Fort Worth back in the 50s. After some research on IMDB, I determined they were talking about Strategic Air Command, and pulled it up on Netflix, and we watched it right then on the Roku I bought my dad for Christmas. It was great – from start of conversation till the time I was watching the movie – 15 minutes (I did have to look the movie up after all).

    I have been using it at home mainly for TV shows. Stargate, Dick Van Dyke and Married with Children are shows that I like to watch in big chunks of several episodes at a time, and Netflix provides that for me. I have actually been wanting to see Dick Van Dyke for years, yet the seasons were running around $50 a season on DVD – a little high for my taste. Netflix filled that need.

    That being said, like many, I like the physical media. I like showing off my movies on my shelf. I also like the sly grin when someone pulls the ocassional movie off the shelf that is still in shrink wrap.

    Shoot, I still have satelite. Why? Actually, that is a good question, why do I still have satelite?

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