We’ve watched our second free Unbox movie on Tivo and I have to say I’m warming up to it. I still don’t think it’s a better value than Netflix (we’re particularly missing DVD special features, which we enjoy mightily and Unbox doesn’t provide). But when I am sitting at my desk at 2pm and I think I want to watch a movie that night, waiting for the postman to deliver the next Netflix movie isn’t gonna cut it.
As I browsed their list of movies that you can download to the Tivo, I was surprised to see some recent releases priced at $14.99. Holy crap — who would pay $14.99 for a movie with a 24-hour expiration date when you could buy the DVD (or actually go to the movies) for about the same price? I was surprised to see that that price point is even there, but I suspect that this pricing is a studio thing and not Amazon’s choice. (Update: As my pal Marc points out in comments, the $14.99 price point is for movies that you can download indefinitely — so that’s better, but nowhere near as good as just buying the DVD outright so you can get the special features and play it on different devices.)
The second movie we rented was Accepted, about a guy who doesn’t
get accepted to any college so he and his friends invent their own. It was pretty funny,
but not quite as good as my two favorite tales of college life, Animal
House and the very underrated Porn ‘n Chicken.
Accepted did evoke some of my favorite warm and fuzzy feelings about college (we are now college-age adults so let’s get a six-pack and go sit by the ocean) and I kept thinking "this movie is about how the UCSB College of Creative Studies must have been invented."
But it also seemed to reflect the emerging DYI culture in general. Maybe this was intentional: I’m not sure
how much of Accepted was informed by stuff like Bar Camp, but when the students
put up a board listing the classes they wanted to take (like "Walking Around
and Thinking About Stuff" and "Rocking Your Face Off 202", they self-organized
in the exact way that Bar Camp does.