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    Enjoying the Netflix Experience

    So Herman and I discovered this great service called Netflix.  For ten dollars a month you can list all of the movies you want to see and they send them one by one. I didn’t know about this site before I bought two DVDs, “Slumdog Millionaire,” which I have not watched yet, and the second one called “Barack Obama: The Man and His Journey,” a documentary.

    I wanted to see “Slumdog” after it won Best Picture at the Oscars and I was so thrilled at Obama’s successful run to be President I wanted to see his back-story. But after watching about an hour of the documentary, I found it kind of dry and detailed and probably wouldn’t have bought it if I had known that ahead of time.

    I admit both purchases were on impulse, with owning a DVD I might be just as happy renting.

    See, Amazon.com has made it so easy to order books and movies, sometimes you do it without thinking. With Netflix, for a monthly fee you can watch all the movies you want instantly on-line and as fast as the mail can carry them back and forth for $10 monthly. 

    Once you are signed up with Netflix you can keep the movies as long as you want with no extra charge.  This is an especially good feature because you know when you go to a video store you can only keep a movie for a couple of days before being charged a late fee. Which by the way can add up quickly.  This has to be hurting the local video store rental business.

    Another film I got from Netflix, which I just watched with my aide Terry, is called “Nights in Rodanthe.”  It stars Diane Lane and Richard Gere.  In my opinion it is a wonderful love story. 

    Herman ordered this for me and didn’t even tell me until it came.  He didn’t want to watch with me because he called it a “chick flick,” -an opinion Terry and I both agree with. It starts out as Diane Lane and her husband are estranged as is Richard Gere and his wife.

    You can probably fill in the rest, but I really liked how the writers pulled this off.

    When I was in California pursuing my dream of being an actress, first run films would often come out there before the rest of the country could see them. After you saw a movie of your own choosing, you would be approached and asked outside if you wanted to be part of a test audience. After you viewed the film you would fill out a questionnaire. It was exciting to see new movies before anyone else, plus there’s nothing like the big screen experience.

    But as film rentals have evolved from record-sized disks to tapes to DVDs and now Blue Ray and online streaming, we have many options for viewing. With a big, flat screen TV and stereo “home theater” sound, you can almost duplicate the cinema experience of going to the movies. Just add popcorn.

    Netflix has capitalized on that and added super service and the ability to make a list of the movies you most want to see.

    Technology keeps changing and who knows what they will come up with next, but right now I’m enjoying the Netflix experience.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com