Thursday, May 31, 2007

Netflix Watch Now and Dreams in the Witch House

The Netflix "Watch Now" option appeared almost magically for me last night. Christine was watching a PBS show on the art of quilting in the den, you see.

I believe the option was available for me for the first time, although Hacking Netflix--an excellent source for all things Netflix-- noted the feature's gradual rollout began in January.

Apparently there are about 1,000 selections available so far.

I decided to try a 54-minute entry from the Masters of Horror series, Stuart Gordon's take on H.P. Lovecraft's "Dreams in the Witchouse." I'd been meaning to get around to more installments from that series for a while. (I've seen the Joe Lansdale episode and the John Landis effort and a few others.)

The Netflix viewer provided the best online streaming I've encountered--better than NBC's and ABC's. I got few blips, few slowdowns, and it offered a sharp picture that worked at full screen. It was near DVD quality from what I could tell on my monitor and with the current quality of my vision.

Looks like it might be a great way to whittle down my queue.

The episode is an interesting one, updated and modified a bit from the original short story and infused with Gordon gruesomeness. It didn't rival the banned-from-Showtime Takashi Miike entry, but I'd give it a not-for-the-squeamish ranking nonethless.

Among the interesting touches: The student renter of the witch-haunted room uses a laptop to explore the strange architecture of his rooming house.

Maybe I'll watch a few more "Masters" installments. Looks like most of the first season is available. There's a time to rental-plan ratio so one-hour shows are a positive proposition in a couple of ways.

The down side - well that's one more thing to distract me from writing.

(No rights to image implied.)


Charles Gramlich said...

Pretty soon we'll be able to get our entertainment whenever and wherever we want. Makes me think of the John D. MacDonald book, "the Wine of the dreamers."

Drizel said...

big downside....but it sounds kewl:)

Clifford said...

Coolie-cool! I may have to resubcribe. I've been renting movies online for years, using Cinemanow and Movielink. The quality is awesome, but the selection needs help. That said, the convenience can't be beat.

Sidney said...

Netflix's "Watch Now" is not perfect, but it's got a pretty good cross section from what I can tell, and definitely some interesting choices.

Stewart Sternberg (half of L.P. Styles) said...

I have started watching some old television shows on my computer...stuff free off AOL like "The Man From UNCLE" and "I SPY". It's fun..but I am not sure I would pay for a download unless it was able to be played on my tv.

As for Dreams of the Witch House..I thought that was one of the better adaptations of a work of Lovecraft that I have seen. It wasn't wonderful, but it had some creepy elements in it, especially the familiar.

Sidney said...

Yeah, not being able to get things to the TV is a problem. Since my TV is too far from my web connection, the only thing I've managed on that front is putting iTunes episodes on my iPod and connecting that to the TV. (That's how we watched the "Lost" that the weatherman screwed up.)

For any of the setups that require a continuous web connection I'm screwed, which could cost me my Geek card, I suppose. I need to get a connector with a really long cord that would hook TV to computer.

I didn't know they had "Man from UNCLE" and "ISpy" on AOL but I'll check that out. Last time I checked it was Spenser: For Hire and Maverick.

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