Movie Mashup

I saw three Chinese coeds, all wearing brightly colored (red, yellow and lime green), plush animal faced, bomber hats. They looked different from the other shoppers, but somehow all the same. I saw a Muslim woman, dressed conservatively, piously, primarily in black, both headscarf and skirt that dusted the ground. An ornately patterned vest, decorated in emerald-green and burgundy, offered the only hint of color. She looked warm and sensibly dressed on this cold December day. I saw a big man, a fat man, with a bushy blond beard. He wore a construction worker’s well worn brown canvas coat, workmen’s boots and shorts. The Bard wrote, “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” These people combined to make an eclectic ensemble in the movie of my mind, costumed actors, going about their business, in my daily story.

I have immersed myself into the world of online streaming. I guess that it started first with YouTube. It was a realm with an endless stream of viral videos, vignettes and movie video clips. At one point you could watch many first run movies, serialized into ten minute clips. Copyright laws have reasserted themselves and as a source for movie watching, YouTube has pretty much played itself out.

Hulu came along next. Its content was primarily TV, but it offered shows from cable, along with a few movies. There were ads, but they were few in number and inconsequential in content. I could watch network TV and only had to endure a fraction of the ads that were originally broadcasted. This year, about the time Hulu started charging for its service, I stepped up to Netflix.

At $8 per month, it seemed the bargain. It was my constant companion last summer, after Anne fled north for the summer. Does that make her a sun bird? Its seemingly large catalog is difficult to search. After a while, one is only served up similar, but more poorly made knockoffs of what has already been seen. I find that auxiliary websites, like Hacking Netflix, make for better search tools. Six months have passed, and I have severely depleted Netflix’s desirable selections.

Moving up the food chain, I have become enamored of late, with Amazon’s Unbox service. The catalog is not as deep as Netflix’s, but it is of much better quality and it is regularly refreshed. The big problem with this product is its cost. It is pay per view. Titles range from a dollar to four.

This week, I have watched on Netflix, “Morning Glory” and “Ball of Fire”. On Unbox, I have also watched, “Larry Crowne”, “Conan the Barbarian”, “Miracle” and “Cowboys and Aliens”. “Conan” and “Crowne” were the most disappointing and “Ball of Fire” and “Miracle” were the most pleasing.

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