On this date in 2001, I made my first DVD rental from Netflix. Picked three movies, received all three two days later.
In alphabetical order:
Antz. I can’t remember exactly why I rented this. Only thing I can figure is it was a fairly new DVD release at the time, and probably I wanted to be able to compare it to A Bug’s Life, which was due for release in November of that year.
The Big Kahuna. Hated this movie. Hated, hated, HATED it. Rented it because I generally like Kevin Spacey and the trailers somehow made it look good to me.
Enemy of the State. Will Smith’s latest (at the time) blockbuster, and it held my attention from beginning to end despite the occasionally laughably obvious plot.
I was struck, as I looked over the rest of my rental history, by how strongly I remember some of the movies, or at least the circumstances of their rental or viewing, and by how utterly forgettable other movies have proved to be. The Ice Storm, for example, I still clearly remember watching on a November evening in 2001. The film itself didn’t register on me much, neither particularly good nor hideously awful, though I quite like both Kevin Kline and Joan Allen; but the circumstances of when and where I watched it, I remember well. Not so for Spider-Man 3, which my calendar and my Netflix history both tell me I watched less than a year ago on Nov 15, 2007, but which I have no memory of seeing—neither the movie itself nor the when/where of it apart from my calendar record.
The seven years in my Netflix history since, by the numbers:
- 435: Number of movies I’ve rented.
- 165: Longest time (in days) I held a movie. I’d lost a Netflix envelope among a stack of papers and needed several months to find it. And then returned it UNWATCHED.
- 50: Discs returned unwatched due to lost interest. Some of these I knew I wouldn’t watch and forgot to remove them from my queue.
- 14: Times I changed my membership level, as high as 4-at-at-time/unlimited and as low as 1-out/2-monthly depending on how I was using the service at any given time.
- 12: Number of movies I’ve rented twice.
- 9: Discs returned for replacement due to unplayability. Scratches mostly, my DVD player is VERY sensitive to that; but in one case, the DVD arrived snapped into four pieces inside its mailer.
- 2: Times I put my account on hold while I was moving from one state to another.
- 1.2: Average number of movies per week over the entire 7-year run.
- 1: Shortest time (in days) I held a movie (actually 30 different titles) and number of movies I rented 3 times.
- 0: Discs I’ve lost and Times I’ve entered movie-rental stores.
Hell of a ride. I wonder how much my late fees would have been on those films I kept longer than the brick-and-mortar stores’ policies allowed back in 2001? I should figure that out sometime, but I think this is enough stats geekery for now.