When I bought my first DVD player, in 2000, it was accompanied by a glossy flier for a company called Netflix that allowed you to rent DVDs by mail. Intrigued by the convenience and lured by the promise of no late fees, I signed up. Nearly a decade later, I am still a happy and loyal customer.

Richard Corliss, film critic for Time magazine and a venerable elder statesman in the world of cinema, takes a more jaundiced view, which he explains in a piece bluntly entitled "Why Netflix Stinks." Many of his criticisms are the sort you would expect from a man his age (65): Netflix keeps people from leaving their houses and interacting with humans; it makes independent video stores go out of business; it encourages kids to congregate on his lawn and listen to their rock 'n' roll music; it makes Sizzler run out of shrimp too soon after the 4:00 p.m. dinner rush; etc.

All of that is more a matter of philosophy, I suppose. But then Corliss sullies the good name of Netflix with this criticism:

"With Netflix, you surrender those basic American rights: impulse choice and instant gratification. You must cool your jets for two to four days, dependent as you are on both the skill of Netflix employees to put the correct movie in your envelope (sometimes they don't) and the speed of the U.S. Postal Service. By the time a video arrives, you may have forgotten why you rented it."

categories Features, Cinematical