Separate the Movies from the Books

That is Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher, the character in my favorite series of books. Here is what Jack Reacher looks like in the books:

Name: Jack Reacher (no middle name)
Born: October 29th
Measurements: 6’5″, 220-250 lbs., 50″ chest
Hair: Dirty-blond
Eyes: Ice blue
Clothing: 3XLT coat, 95 cm. pants’ inseam

Other than that, Reacher owns almost nothing and doesn’t like to drive. Definitely doesn’t wear fancy clothes. Definitely would not have to budge even 0.1″ trying to hold on to random dude.

Reacher is a “wall of muscle”. Tom cruise on the other hand is shorter than me. I completely forgot about this announcement from a few months ago until I saw the trailer which reminded me again of the absurdity of the casting.

Couldn’t they just get The Rock?

I guess I have to keep my book life separate from my movie life. Try hard to imagine the movie as completely separate from the books.

If you are a Reacher fan disappointed by Tom Cruise being Reacher and laughing at the stupid camera angles in the trailer, here is a youtube comment that sums everything up:

“Tom cruise play jack reacher is like a black midget play Thor”

P.S. Here is a picture of The Rock (Reacher height exactly) next to Mark Wahlberg, who apparently is the same height as Tom Cruise (according to Google):


Blockbuster by Mail Suckage after DISH Acquisition

If you notice I haven’t had much to complain about Blockbuster for a while. Discs have been coming to me fast, new releases were coming pretty quickly, often delivered to me on the day of release. But for the last few months things have been just bad. Everything that is relatively new is on some kind of wait and I’m getting movies that are nowhere even near the top of my list. Just when I thought that the DISH acquisition would be good for Blockbuster. Here is a screenshot of the waits:

Blockbuster Kiosk SD Movie Rental

blockbustersdkioskThe net is abuzz with news of Blockbuster’s new kiosks with SD card movie rentals and most people just panning the idea. But I think that it is great. Here is why:

  • The kiosk doesn’t have physical media so it can potentially store millions of movies.
  • The kiosk will never run out of a particular movie
  • People can play the movies on their netbooks (no dvd drives but SD slots, yes) on the go or on their phones (iPhones need not apply) or cameras (if the media is playable on those) etc.
  • A lot of modern DVD players and TVs come with built in SD card readers, I know my Bluray player has one.
  • You don’t need to drive back to return the movie. Redbox = $1/night = $4 for 4 nights but this is just $1.99 because never have to return it.
  • SD cards go all the way upto 32GB with new 64GB cards just coming out giving you the potential to rent 10 or more movies at a time in HD if the kiosk lets you.

What’s not to like about the idea? Hopefully Blockbuster’s implementation is good to start with.

It seems Blockbuster is trying to throw everything and the kitchen sink at Netflix and Redbox. First the in-store exchanges for online rentals, then not charging extra for BluRay, Redbox style kiosks, acquiring a company for movie downloads (though they are not free like netflix), following Netflix in trying to get Blockbuster’s app on various devices like Tivo and Samsung players and now this.

Hopefully something will work out for them.

Updates from Blockbuster + New Throttling Methods

Blockbuster Queue SettingsBlockbuster recently updated the Queue options ending a longstanding complaint about the requirement to have available movies at the top of your queue.

But now their store return system is busted. I exchanged an online rental for a  store rental. I returned the store rental the next day. 30 hours later the disc is still in my queue.

So I click the report button, and what I get is a notification to call the store.

So I call the store and their system says I returned the movie yesterday and also have a 1$ credit for returning it in one day.

Anyway I sent in a complaint to Blockbuster both on twitter and via their Customer service contact.

I’ll update this post when I get a response. But I’m sure this is a throttling method where they don’t want you to get discs very fast. I was hoping to test that that the “Speed” option really works and I run into this. I would switch to Netflix in a heartbeat if they didn’t charge extra for Bluray and I would stop hearing complaints about new movies not shipping to heavy users. At least Netflix doesn’t lie about throttling. They are intentionally vague but at least they admit it. Unlike BB, which just comes up with lame excuses.

Update: Blockbuster online customer service already responded (in less than two hours) that they have cleared the movie from my queue and  I got the usual free rental coupon that I get every time I complain about Blockbuster screw-ups. An interesting thing in the email that the rep sent me is this

For consistent and prompt shipments, please keep 15 or more “available” titles at the top of your queue.

That totally sucks

Update: (Sat Oct 24) The Speed option is bogus. To test the speed option I put some future and long wait releases in the top 15 in my queue. That still didn’t cause anything to ship on Friday (previous movie returned to store Wednesday, system glitch caused it to be marked as returned on Thurdsay after complaining). And if the limited shipments on Monday is true, I’ll have to wait at least 2, maybe three  business days for the next movie to ship.

Update: Somehow my update to this post got lost? I got a call from BB customer service on Oct 26/27 after complaining about this problem on Twitter. It seems that the speed issue is now fixed. Since then I’ve seen my movies ship on time until now. So if you see no more updates to this BB has fixed the issue.