Leaving the Stream: Week of January 9th, 2011

This week, we wave a sad goodbye to some old favorites. A few movies that I watched when I was a kid and that always take me back to my childhood are leaving Netflix streaming.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1/19)

I find it hard to imagine another movie taking the place of ‘Willy Wonka‘ for me. It’s a favorite of mine for many reasons, and among those is the brilliant performance by Gene Wilder. Sorry Johnny, Gene will always be Willy Wonka to me.

But it’s more than just the brilliant cast and memorable songs that do it for me. The story of ‘Willy Wonka’ starts with our character in such dire straits that it would be funny if it weren’t so depressing. Charlie’s journey isn’t without missteps, but his good-natured demeanor and honesty allow him to win out in the end. It’s a sweet film and it’s sad that we’ll be saying goodbye to it. (Read Blu-ray review.)

The NeverEnding Story (1/19)

When I was a kid, I was infatuated with books. I wouldn’t stop reading for anything. In ‘The NeverEnding Story‘, I found a character I could identify with – Bastian, the book-reading nerd who escapes into what turns out to be a real world reaching out for his help. The movie really takes me back to my childhood, but as our own El Bicho points out in his Blu-ray review, it’s not actually that great of a film in retrospect.

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1/19)

All right, you caught me. There are Tim Burton movies that I like – nay, love. They fall in that wonderful range from 1985 to 1996 and do not include ‘Batman’. ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure‘ is one of those Tim Burton-directed movies that I hold in high regard. It’s a wonderful piece of moviemaking that still shines today, 26 years after its initial release. Watch to it now before it leaves the stream, and tell ’em Large Marge sent ya.

5 comments

  1. And I comment yet again!

    NeverEnding Story was shown to me when I was 5 for the first time. It was a new release on VHS at the library (a video rental store, what’s that) at the time (okay, Highland’s Electronics rented movies, because at the time, prerecorded VHS movies were $40 or more each, but why pay $8 a movie when you can get them at the library for free). Long story short (too late), I STILL have nightmares from this movie! Who was the idiot who thought it would be a good idea to show this to a 5 year old? Oh, wait, that was my dad! To this date, because of this movie, I have a fear of empty spaces, deserts at night, swamps, and big rocks!

    I loved PeeWee as a kid, but saw part of this movie a couple of weeks ago on TV. I could not stand it! Why did I ever like this guy?

    Willie I have on HD-DVD, but I prefer Johnny, which I also have on HD-DVD. They are both good in their own way.

  2. I hear Netflix may be losing a lot of movies in the next few years because the studios finally realized the huge market that streaming is (and a lot of the original studio deals Netflix had are ending soon…for example, the STARZ streaming deal).

    • Dick Ward
      Author

      I wouldn’t read too much into that until another streaming service steps up to take over for Netflix. Hulu, Vudu, Blockbuster and Amazon… they just aren’t going to do it.

  3. Until the studios have something that A) Works and B) Doesn’t gouge the customers (unlikely) then they are in for a rude awakening if they try to put the material on some shoddy service that doesn’t have the reach of Netflix.

    How stupid were they that they thought that streaming wouldn’t work out. Answer) About as stupid as Best Buy not thinking direct mail rentals would work and that people “like” late fees.

    It really seems as if most of these people in charge of the studios just do not get it at all. My cable subscription is gone and I either stream from Netflix, Hulu Plus (which is looking like a dud less than 6 months in) or I purchase or rent what I want to watch on iTunes. For the most part I end up spending way less than I did with cable ( I only use them for my internet connection now).

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