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A video and video game rental store

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I suppose there is a reason why Netflix is killing Blockbuster.

  • Nov 21, 2009
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The other night I was at Blockbuster to try and find Curb Your Enthusiasm as it is apparently blacklisted on the entire internet (c'mon, Hulu, get to it!). I hadn't been in a Blockbuster in well over 5 years - my hometown had a Hollywood Video instead, and then when I moved to college I just used Netflix. I never really had an opinion of the chain at all.

When I finally located the television section in the store, I found that all 6 copies of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" were already rented. I understand that I live in LA, one of the most populated places ever, and that it's probably just a really, really popular show to rent. Right? Well, then explain to me why they had about 6-10 copies of True Blood AND Mad Men and almost ALL of them were in stock? I may be just a simple consumer but I am PRETTY sure those shows are more popular that Larry David's life on "Curb". Anyone?! Is this an issue of demographics or something??

Regardless, I simply assumed everyone in LA is really into "Curb" right now and got over it and went home. The next night I had the bright idea of calling another Blockbuster location to find "Curb". They told me that they too had nothing in stock for the show. The (very nice!) man on the phone told me that a lot of the show's discs didn't show in the database because apparently "people never returned them". Uh, correct me if I'm wrong but...isn't the POINT of a movie rental store to have a never-ending flow of DVDs being rented out and then replaced, on and on and so forth - forever? Is this the only show this has happened to??? It can't be. Why isn't Blockbuster doing something to fix this???

In addition to my above criticisms, there was just something else that rubbed me the wrong way: I just HATED being there. Maybe it was janky "movies-all-over-the-place-weird-candy-for-sale-in-every-corner-only-two-people-working-the-entire-store" vibe, but I couldn't wait to leave.

I'd say the only redeeming part of my visit was the paper cutouts they had to prepare for the holidays. I love this little guy (sweet Harrison Ford cameo!)

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January 11, 2011
The real magic will be when Netflix secures even more content for "On-Demand" viewing. There's already a large enough library that I definitely consume more movies and TV via Netflix On Demand than I do through the disks I get in the mail. Disks (particularly bluray) still provide the highest quality in terms of picture and audio quality, but that's a problem that should go away with additional bandwidth. And as for the online library, that's no longer a technical challenge but something that will continually get better with contracts with the studios.
September 21, 2010
Really fun review. You are right, video stores are now kind of creepy like something out of Kevin Smith's Clerks. Curb Your Enthusiasm is now airing on one of the basic cable stations as I saw an episode the other day (the one with the crazy nanny who worked for Loony Toons). Also, HBO on Demand always has a number of episoded availabe. I am not sure if True Blood is more popular than Curb. One thing about Curb is that the episodes can be watched many times. I think most people only watch True Blood episodes once.
January 28, 2010
Everything that actually employs living human beings in significant numbers is doomed, let's face it. I always preferred Hollywood Video to Blockbuster anyway because they carried a greater number of lesser known and idependent films that BB did. I wish I could still afford to go into BB because I genuinely believe in helping to keep other people employed even if it does cost me a little bit extra, but their selection of titles in my areas of interest is just so piss poor that I just had to go with NetFlix in the end because they had a greater choice, And our Hollywood Video closed.
January 28, 2010
That;s why I used to go to HV, they were the only ones in our are who carried ANYTHING even slightly off the beaten path. We don't have specialty things like you do. Although I've heard that the Indian markets carry Bollywood flix. I might try and check that out sometime. While there is a lot on NetFlix, I still have to sit and wait for it to come.
January 28, 2010
There's always a danger at those places of renting something that doesn't have subtitles.
September 22, 2010
I didn't know that they'd gotten into that either. I suppose it makes sense though. They tried the mail service as soon as they saw how much damage NetFlix was doing to them. I don't think they do a very large mail order busniess though because i worked at the Pissed Office and rarely if ever saw a BBuster mailer go through.
November 22, 2009
Melissa, loved your review. I agree with the rest. These drive to movie rental stores are on their way out. There is nothing like sitting on your butt and surfing through 100's if not 1000's of movies on Netflix and having it show up in the mailbox at you house the next day.
November 21, 2009
Amen! I think 90% of Netflix customers are there simply because they got screwed on unreasonable late fees at Blockbuster at some point...
November 21, 2009
Sorry about your experience. I use Blockbuster's subscription service that is the same as Netflix so the store is just a BONUS. I get to turn in my mailed videos for in-store ones a limited amount of times.
November 21, 2009
At this rate, I see Blockbuster becoming extinct in the near future.  That's the strangest excuse I've ever heard of for not carrying certain DVDs.  When someone doesn't return a DVD, they just end up being sold to that person after a certain number of days.  It would be in Blockbuster's best interest, as well as other customers, to replace it.  ...Just stick to Netflix!

Just curious though, was that Harrison Ford cardboard cutout wearing a Santa Outfit? :P
November 21, 2009
Interesting review. Just read something in the business section of my local newspaper talking about how Blockbuster is probably doomed. Technology moves so fast these days. Guess Netflix makes more sense to most folks
More Blockbuster reviews
Quick Tip by . March 22, 2013
In the last five years or so, nearly all of the Blockbuster locations in my area have closed down, and honestly, I don't miss them.      Their prices were a bit ridiculous, and this would be understandable if they had a large selection to choose from, but their library of videos to rent was so-so at best compared to the sadly defunct Hollywood Video.      Given how Family Video has most of their selection for only $1 for rental and the rise of online streaming …
Quick Tip by . October 16, 2009
Commonly referred to as "Cockbuster". Don't expect to rent anything abouve an R-rating from this store. Instead, go to amazon.com
About the reviewer
Melissa Aquino ()
Ranked #62
Born and raised in NJ, relocated to Boston, MA to study at Emerson College, transplanted to Hollywood, CA to get my career started on the fairer coast.      I love hiking, eating new … more
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