Ode to Blockbuster Online

They should totally be giving me a referral fee. 

(If you already have Blockbuster online, skip this and scroll down to the bottom for some movie recommendations.)

We have had Blockbuster Online for six months and here is why we love it.  We have four children.  We almost never feel like forking the money over for a babysitter just to see a movie (by the way, since when do babysitters make so much?  I used to get like $2 and hour, and I don’t think salaries in general have tripled in the last 15 years or so, have they?)  We are so busy with said kids, working on our house, church work, etc. that we almost never even make it to the video store on weekends to rent something.  The result?  Lots of Law and Order re-runs.  Pathetic, isn’t it.  Until Blockbuster Online.

Now, I always have a movie to watch!  It comes in the mail, I send it back in the mail.  I pay less than $10 per month for this privilege.  I pop movies in during the day while lying down with a child who needs a nap, I watch movies in the evening when I am completely worn out, I watch movies on the weekend with Matt.  No more channel surfing, then settling for whatever stupid thing is on tv when I feel like being a couch potato.

In addition to this mail-in convenience (and here’s where it’s better than NetFlix), if I need another movie, I can take my mailer to my local Blockbuster store and they will trade me for another movie for FREE.  Then, while I’m watching the free one, the next one is on its way to my door.  Also, I get a coupon for an additional free in-store rental each month.  Suddenly, when it’s free, I find time to make it do the video store!

The selection is infinitely better than a local video store, for obvious reasons.  And, they have lots of search tools to help you find movies you would like.  I have already watched several movies that I would never even have heard of had I not found them on the Blockbuster website.  I currently have more than 100 movies in my queue, partly because for every movie you choose, they recommend some more just like it.

I am currently on a documentary kick, and would highly recommend the following (all are worthwhile, some totally fabulous):

new-york-doll.jpg1. New York Doll.  I’ve probably come late to the party on this one (it came out in 2006) but if you haven’t seen it yet, see it.  It has special appeal for Mormons and people who like punk rock music, but really is a tale of redemption, and it’s a great movie for anyone.  Don’t forget to watch the special features.

2. Paper Clips.  Rural schoolchildren find a unique way to learn about the Holocaust.  Made me cry.  Great.

3. Sound and Fury.  Fascinating look at deaf culture — totally eye-opening.

4. Spellbound.  Nerd alert:  I actually did spelling bees as a child.  Even if you didn’t, these kids are quirky and amusing.

wordplay.jpg5. Wordplay.  Double nerd alert:  I love crossword puzzles and this little goody is about the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, Connecticut, where we once lived.  I actually toyed with the idea of going to this competition when we were there, but chickened out.  Will Shortz = one of my idols.

6. Super Size Me.  You couldn’t possibly not know about this one, unless you have been living under a rock.  If you haven’t seen it, you should.  It’s gross, but even after seeing this movie, I still eat at McDonald’s occasionally — until Cafe Rio gets a playland.

What I’m finding is, at least for me, real people are more interesting than the characters some screenplay-writer can make up.  They’re aren’t always pretty, but they are always fascinating.  That being said, one more movie Matt and I love (not a documentary):


7. On a Clear Day. This is an English film, so it is slower than most American movies, but it is both funny and touching (think Waking Ned Devine), plus it has one of those cute hobbit-guys from Lord of the Rings.  It’s one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.


9 thoughts on “Ode to Blockbuster Online

  1. Emily

    Liz, I love you for this post (and a purseful of other reasons.) I am so glad you found a place in blogland. You are an awesome addition.

  2. anne

    OOOOOH we absolutely love Blockbuster online! I will also have to do a post of some that we’ve really loved this year. I agree, Liz. My absolute fave movies are usually documentaries or foreign. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TOMORROW!

  3. Kate

    Liz, I am a lurker on your new blog and I love reading your stuff. PS all my friends do the video online thing and I never really got it…but you have inspired me to give it a try! Now since we are moving to the great yonder I can see how easy it can be for me to enjoy cinematic treasures. Love Waking Ned Devine!

  4. Danielle

    Hi Liz,
    I am so glad you found my page…and I am so glad you made a post about movies! We are also big fans of blokbuster online. Its great. I am really excited to check out some of your reccomendations too. Also, you know what is funny…I have been totally singing the Mary Tyler Moore theme song lately bacuase have you seen that Visa commercial with the girl who goes shopping while a woman sings that song to her…its basically a commercial saying that if you go buy yourself a new outfit life will get better…which is true sometimes. Maybe I will make a list of movies we really like too.

  5. Katy

    OK can I take credit for getting you to do Blockbuster online, or did someone else convince you to try it? Did I tell you about New York Doll? My brother Paul suggested it to me. He is way hipper than me, so much more up to date on such things.
    I have a totally senseless mockumentary a friend of Paul’s did, featuring Paul.
    As a warning there is some language in the soundtrack.

  6. liz Post author

    I think we were thinking of trying netflix and you were the one that clued me in that Blockbuster was a better deal. I knew about New York Doll because they talked about it on our local NPR station. Love Paul’s mockumentary.

    For some of you who don’t know Katy, when I met her, I recognized her brother Paul in a family picture because he was “the cute guy” in one of my BYU math classes. Of course, he had no idea who I was.

  7. Rhall

    A lovely tribute to Matt, Liz. And belated happy anniv. too! And you truly are lucky Matt helps out so much, even after very stressful days. I’m glad you don’t take him for granted.

  8. edgar

    God I want to know a song where nick and norahs infinite playlist is on playing with a madagascar commercial.. there’s a catchy song but I can’t figure it out.


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