upcoming rentals

Warren at the Screenwriting Life asked an interesting question: “What’s in your Netflix queue?” Netflix is an American online DVD rental service. It’s part of the reason (along with the change in movie distribution methods) that the Blockbusters of the world will have to adapt pretty rapidly or become chains of empty stores.

The Irish equivalent that I use is Screenclick. It’s simple: I pay 19.99 euros a month and for that I get to rent 2 DVDs at a time, and can return and watch as many pairs of DVDs as I want in a month depending on my free time and the efficiency of the postal service. There are no late fees, and you can watch and return films as your schedule dictates. This is a winning feature because I can remember numerous occasions when I’ve returned a film either late, or unwatched, because something happened after I rented a film and I couldn’t squeeze in the time to watch it.

I’ve been using Screenclick for 6 weeks now and thus far I’ve been enjoying the door-to-door service. In particular what I like is assembling my wishlist of 25 titles and discovering which two will be picked and sent to me. It’s like a lucky dip. Screenclick has a big back catalogue, and features a lot of TV series, documentaries, and foreign films, which is a big plus. I can’t source some of these titles in my local video store.

Generally I’m watching and returning 2 titles a week, which means I’m renting each DVD for about 2.50 euros each. At the moment it costs 5.45 euros to rent a new title in my video store, and it has to be returned by the next day. Of course, older titles are less expensive, but I generally pick out of the new or almost-new section.

The interesting side-effect is that I can monitor how the postal system in Ireland is ticking over (we only get deliveries from Monday-Friday, btw). Thus far I usually post back the DVD package on a Monday, and on Tuesday Screenclick emails me the titles I will receive next. Next-day service isn’t bad considering I’m in Galway and the titles go to Dublin (across country). Usually, it takes two days for the DVDs to arrive from Dublin, but today I received my latest package the next day.

In it are Garden State, the Zach Braff film, and Wishing Stairs a South Korean horror flick.

After that preamble, here are the ten titles that comprise my Screenclick wishlist–expect me to yap about them in the coming weeks.

1: Innocence
A spooky French movie I’m really looking forward to watching.
2: Festival
A Scottish comedy set around the Edinburgh fringe festival.
3: Corpse Bride
Yep, shocking, I haven’t seen it yet.
4: Sky High
A teen comedy about kids with super powers – looks fun.
5: Broken Flowers
It’s Jim Jarmusch; it’s Bill Murray – what else do I need to say?
6: 3-Iron
Or Bin-Jip as it’s known in its native Korean. It’s directed by the excellent Ki-duk Kim, and the reviews are great.
7: Kinky Boots
A low-budget Brit comedy about a transvestite who helps saves a failing shoe factory via a change in product direction.
8: The Station Agent
An indie American film I’ve been meaning to watch for ages.
9: Murderball
Quadriplegics play full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs. Awesome.
10: Brotherhood
Two bothers fight on either side of the Korean War.

Who knows in what order I’ll watch these films, but that’s part of the fun.