I've never rented a movie from Blockbuster. There's always been something foreboding and tyrannical about the video rental chain I've found a bit disconcerting. Perhaps I'm not the only one who feels this way, because Blockbuster Inc. reported a $57.2 million loss in the second quarter, something its CEO is blaming on "malaise" among video renters. That may be true, but I think Blockbuster would do itself a great service by trying to include a bit more humanity in its business model. Every business is out to make money, but I think Blockbuster's public image reflects that more than it should. When Blockbuster decided to offer online rentals in the wake of Netflix's success, it seemed more opportunistic than anything. In a word, it felt phony --a gigantic, soulless chain seeking out the newest way to draw money from its customers. In theory, such a model should work, and perhaps Blockbuster's loss can be attributed to "malaise" among the movie-viewing public, but as technology evolves and changes how movies are rented, an old warhorse like Blockbuster will have to do more than just jump on the next big thing. It has to convince the public that it still cares about them, and not just their pocketbooks.

categories Movies, Cinematical