Greetings! Have you ever wondered if a movie's worth blowing the money on to see at the theater or what to add next to your NetFlix queue? Then you've come to the right place! Enjoy!

"The Last Blockbuuster" Review

If you're Generation X (the age cohort, not Billy Idol's original band), you witnessed the invention, rise, fall, and near extinction of the home video rental industry within a span of less than four decades. What used to be a weekly ritual of going to get the new releases or just wandering the aisles and picking something with a cool cover and making sure to return those tapes (memorialized as a running gag in American Psycho) to avoid late fees has been replaced with scrolling through the rows of numerous streaming service interfaces looking for something to watch. (Old Busted: "Make it a Blockbuster night!" New Hotness: Netflix and chill.")

 Once the kingpin of video rentals with 9000 stores worldwide in 2004, within a decade Blockbuster was completely gone other than a handful of franchises, three in Alaska and one in Bend, Oregon (a cute inland town home to 94,000 people) and when the Alaska trio shuttered in 2019, Bend's store was officially The Last Blockbuster and now the subject of a documentary which is ironically streaming on Netflix.

 Part history lesson relating the birth of the video rental industry and the rise of the chain; part reminiscence of going there with celebrities including Jamie Kennedy (who got an early career break as part of The Blockbuster Gang), Samm Levine, Adam Brody, Ione Syke); the anchor of the doc is Sandi Harding, the general manager of the Bend store and  "Blockbuster Mom" (because she's hired so many teens as employees over the 17 years she's managed the place) who keeps the blue and yellow flame alive. There's a hanging question whether Dish Network, who owns the trademark, will renew the store's licensing agreement for another year, but as Kevin Smith observes, what would the upside of the firestorm of negative publicity Dish would spark if they killed the store? (Spoiler: They get renewed.)

While it's a breezy and informative documentary which knocks down the misconception that Netflix killed them - while competition didn't help, it was the capital crunch after the 2008 Great Crash which really sank them - it's somewhat padded feeling with a long segment dedicated to comedian Doug Benson (Super-High Me) visiting the store and trolling friend Kumail Nanjiani with a photo of the DVD of his movie The Big Sick there. They could've trimmed it down to a tidy hour.

Score: 6/10.  Catch it on cable. (Currently on Netflix.)


Post a Comment

DirkFlix. Copyright 2010-2015 Dirk Omnimedia Inc. All rights reserved.
Free WordPress Themes Presented by EZwpthemes.
Bloggerized by Miss Dothy