Preface: Films spoilers ahead. Famous films, but spoilers nonetheless.
I *love* Netflix. Love, love, love. If you've been under a rock or still actually go to a (cough) video store for movies: get with latest, Fred Flinstone. Netflix is the best twenty bucks a month I spend. The logistics of how Netflix works is beyond the scope of this post. Click over there to learn more.
Now the hate.
Not long ago, I convince AF to watch one of my favorite Western's, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." I love movies new and old and AF doesn't have much exposure to the classics, so I try and make recommendations. That week, it was Liberty Valance.
Ok. We finish the movie and I'm all grinny and excited, "Wasn't that cool?? Jimmy Stewart built his whole career on the legend that *he* shot Valance, but it was really JOHN WAYNE!"
She says, "I know."
I take a beat and make a face like something smells funny. Then shock. "What? HOW? They never even hint at it. There's no way you could know."
"It was written on the sleeve of the DVD," she says. Her matter-of-fact tone makes me explode.
In a frenzy, I jump up, grab the offending sleeve and read it. Sure enough:
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962): Senator Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart), while practicing law on the frontier, runs afoul of feared gunslinger Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin), whom he kills in a showdown. His political career launched, Stoddard marries local beauty Hallie (Vera Miles) only to learn it was ruthless-but-honorable outlaw Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) who really slew Valance.
I'm rarely one to swear, but: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
You do not put spoilers on the GODDAMN DVD sleeve!
I was so SO angry. I remember when I went to see "Sixth Sense" for the first time in the theaters. I knew nothing about the movie except that it was about ghosts. When you suddenly find out that Bruce Willis *is* a ghost? Oh my god. Incredible.
Liberty Valance isn't quite the same as Sixth Sense, but I still felt robbed. Sure, *I* knew the ending. But I was robbed of that cool feeling of watching someone else's "wow" moment.
Netflix has to get their act together and fix some of their movie sleeve descriptions. I did some poking around on their site. You wouldn't believe it:
The Sixth Sense (1999): Cole (Haley Joel Osment) lives in a world beyond imagination, filled with ghosts and madness. Bruce Willis is the empathic child psychiatrist who tries to heal the child, only to find that he himself is a ghost.
Planet of the Apes (1968): Bewildered astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) crash-lands on a strange planet ruled by intelligent apes who use primitive humans for experimentation and sport.
Taylor quickly finds himself among the hunted as he struggles to escape the apes' power -- and uncover their darkest secret: the strange planet is really Earth in the future.
They spoiled two movies with that one. Nice.
The Usual Suspects (1995): Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey) is interrogated by pushy fed (Chazz Palminteri) who wants to know why Spacey is still alive. And by the way, Spacey is also Keyser Soze.
The Crying Game (1992): Jaye Davidson receives a Best Actor Oscar nod for his portrayal of Dil.
Se7en (1995): Gwyneth Paltrow's severed head winds up in a box.
The Godfather, Part II (1974): It was Fredo.
Just awful. They need to fix those. And fast.