Monday, May 19, 2008

Movie Savior.

My husband and I used to watch DVDs religiously. We both love movies. Granted, we hardly ever went to the actual movie theatre; this was mostly due to me not wanting to spend approximately 3 hours of my precious time inside a dark theatre with a bunch of people I didn't know, or perhaps it's because I spent a couple of years working in a movie theatre and just got really burnt out on the idea of spending time in a threatre with a bunch of strangers for a few hours.

Anyway. So we used to watch DVDs every weekend, thanks to Netflix, the best thing since those times when movie rental stores used to be everywhere and now are few and far between. Case in point, here is what we have at home:

  • A History of Violence - mailed on 11/27/07

  • Smokin' Aces - mailed on 11/27/07

  • Gone Baby Gone - mailed on 2/20/08

It's really difficult watching anything on TV with a goofy and active toddler in your life (except kid shows), so this is reason number one why we stopped watching movies. Reason number two is that we record way too many TV shows that we watch together, so dinnertime is spent watching one of the recorded shows. Reason number three is that I can't stay up late to watch DVDs, like in the good ol' before Mr. Mateo days, and I'm usually in bed before 9pm, even on the weekends.

I've told my husband on more than one occasion to convert the Netflix DVDs we have at home so we can watch these movies on our iPods going to and from work. "Oh, we'll watch a DVD this weekend," he tells me. It never happens.

Saturday my husband was making us dinner (he's decided to take over cooking dinner on the weekends - more on this in my Fatty McGoo blog) when he casually, offhandedly and out of the nowherely asked me if he ever sent me a link to some site where you can watch recently released movies for free.

"No?" I answered. I was just about to settle in with my book while he was watching MMA and cooking.

"Yeah, I checked it out and the quality of the movies is really good. It's called Surf The Channel, and they have movies and TV shows and sports stuff.

"Movies?" I asked. Normally I don't follow these free streaming things unless it's for music, then I'm all for it. But I've been wanting to watch some of the movies that have come out in the past year. And since my husband still hasn't converted our three DVDs that we're holding hostage from Netflix so I can at least watch those, I was very interested in this site.

I quickly forgot my book and grabbed my laptop and brought up the web site. The first thing I noticed is that Juno was listed as recently added. So I tried it. It worked. Granted, there Chinese characters on the screen, but it works. It really works.

I found another movie I was interested in, The Girl Next Door, started that up, and watched most of it while my husband cooked. I finished that one and then started watching An American Crime, which hasn't even been released on DVD yet (although in limited release in the theatres), which I then finished before I went to bed.

(Side note: These two movies are about the same incident that occurred in the US -- some crazy lady tortured a 16-year old girl in her basement. The Girl Next Door takes many liberties and is way more violent and graphic; An American Crime is based on the court transcripts and isn't so disturbing visually. Both movies are good and worth watching, if you like that sort of thing, which I guess I do.)

Three things about using this site:

1. Some of the recently released movies in the theatre (like Iron Man) are just people videotaping the movie while they're watching it. I don't go for this. It's just odd.

2. You have to get over the Chinese characters. You just have to. Eventually, you don't see them. And if you're like me, and you're hurting to watch movies, you won't care. And some DVD movies don't even have it.

3. If you're connecting to a server in China (most of the movies are cached on Chinese web sites), you'll eventually lose your connection. With the first movie I watched, when this happened, I just had to let the movie run until it got to the point where it stopped on me. With the second movie, I was able to fast forward to the point it stopped, which I was very happy about because it was right at the end of the movie.

I told my husband that he should have never told me about this site because he's lost me to movies. And that I was cancelling our Netflix account because we never watch the DVDs and I'll just watch movies this way. They even have two episodes of This American Life! I'm hooked.


Mom, Grandma, Coach said...

Shame on you! Hope you have really good virus protection.

jmz said...

You're silly. You don't download the movie like you're thinking. It's a progressive download from the server, and yes, I do.

paranoid sis said...

yeah...but i don't think it is legal in this country. I am staying away since i don't want my IP tracked.

Mom, Grandma, Coach said...

yeah - what she said

jmz said...

It's legal for them to link to other sites - they don't actually cache the videos on their own site.

However, is it legal or illegal to watch the videos? Not sure. Good point, however.