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calig

I tried them.

The good...
(1)They have an option where you let them know you sent back a DVD and they ship out your next DVD without needing to receive it. Limit one.
(2) They have video games and adult films if your looking for that.
(3) Cheaper if you prepay.

The bad...
(1) They are slower. About 2-4 days to receive in Chicago.
(2) Not as big of a selection as Netflix but they do make up for it with different items not available on Netflix.

Overall if you don't mind an extra day or two to get your DVD or game its not bad.

calig

One more bonus...if you refer a friend you get a free month. So if your gonna sign up use my code please. :)

http://www.intelliflix.com/index.dvd?partner=495758

Becky

I've never used Intelliflix, but I've used three other online DVD rental services, in addition to Blockbuster Online and Netflix. I can recommend ClassicFlix, Greencine, and Nicheflix. They are all dependable, but with different areas of specialization. None of them is adequate to replace Netflix, but as a supplement, or a way to find a specific film, they are very good.

BoB

There was a whole thread of them not too long ago - use the search.

But, I tried them for a couple of months. They are just made up of a group of mom-n-pop video stores around the country. I guess to compete with the big guys. It took 6-7 days for me to get discs in Florida. It worked as advertised but I usually received discs far down my queue. You never know what is coming until it ships. It seems when some store around the country has a disc, then they ship it to you.

NetflixShill

Nicheflix is great if you live within 200 or so miles of Indianapolis. They have a lot of things you can't get anywhere else, but they are phasing out the subscription service. In the next year or so, they will only have the a-la-carte service. You pay more money, they ship Media Mail, and you get a week from the day they are delivered to watch. They rent a lot of things there that are out-of-print or multi-disc sets. But the prices are too high usually.

Only series discs are a good value, if you watch (say) both seasons of Twin Peaks with Pilot. But that's hard to do in a week, if you don't rip them to an Home Theater PC. I rented Lars Von Trier's "E-Trilogy" to get Europa/Zentropa, one of my favorite movies. It's not available anywhere else and I only want one film of the three. The other films are available in the USA. A $7.50 rental is better than paying $75-80 for the full set.

illinifan

I subscribed to Netflix for several months before I cancelled. Their disc turnaround time actually improved over this period, but at some point it's like I crossed a threshold and Netflix started to "throttle" me. All of a sudden, new releases became almost impossible to get shipped; all would be marked with "long wait". When we went on vacation and stopped viewing for a while, new releases magically became more available.
Although we watch a mix of new releases, documentaries, and foreign films, I do expect to get a popular new release now and then in a timely manner. Netflix couldn't deliver this.
Netflix became a poor value because I was paying $18 a month for the privilege of renting "nearly new" releases that I could pick up at a nearby video store for one buck for a 2 to 5 day rental.
I switched over to Blockbuster's competing service, and the overall experience has been better. Blockbuster is a tad slower in turning around the discs, but not by much. Availability of new releases has been superior to Netflix, without any signs of "throttling". We're viewing at the same rate we were viewing when Netflix started to throttle us. Plus, there's the bonus of two free coupons a month that are redeemable at any Blockbuster store. Since there's one 3 miles from the house, we find that we can conveniently find most movies we're looking for when we're between shipments.
I won't return to Netflix as long as they maintain their throttling policy of rationing new releases to people who actually use their service. I didn't sign up to give them money every month and then worry if I'm renting too many discs.

NetflixShill

"Plus, there's the bonus of two free coupons a month that are redeemable at any Blockbuster store."

You can get 4-5 coupons a month (one a week) with the 2-out plan and higher. I like this, because a lot of the older movies have long waits or are out of print. Plus, it's great to have instant gratification when you want something. Stores tend to hang onto the out of print titles longer than online services.

Blockbuster sends me all the new releases I want. Netflix holds them for trial members, new customers, and light users. If you want special editions, Blockbuster also has you covered now. Netflix continues to limit the purchasing of special editions to only the most widely popular movies (LOTR, Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz...).

BoB

"If you want special editions, Blockbuster also has you covered now."

Really?! Show me were BB has hidden these then... I cannot seem to find these special editions to rent!

Titanic - 2 or 3 disc collections
Tommy Boy - Holy Schnike Edition
Dodgeball - Unrated
Airplane - "Don't Call Me Shirley" edition
Wizard of Oz - 3 disc Collector's Edition
Batman Movies - 2 disc SE versions (I can find disc 1 but show me where disc 2 is and how you can add it to the queue - "add to queue" only gets you disc 1 added)

WeaselBuddha

Intelliflix really chaps my ass.

I've subscribed to most of the major services (the big ones more than once). I too dislike Netflix's throttling, I'm unable to have any clear expectations of when I'll get my next disc, I'm not a big new releases guy, I just want to know when I'll have a movie to watch. Can't do that with Netflix.

Blockbuster on the other hand is just incompetent or incapable. Never ( ever! ) liked blockbuster so I'm prejudice. I feel they were single handedly responsible for pushing edited content, full frame, and other movie person abominations in the pre-DVD by mail marketplace ( this includes Hollywood's perpetual uninspired greenlighting of junk, based on rental statistics). For breaking much of their market stranglehold, I am forever grateful to Netflix.

Nicheflix just didn't have enough copies of namesake films, like Zentropa - you had to wait forever while watching the bottom of your queue rush to the middle. I once sat with something like 15 cult flicks in my queue, nothing shipped for three weeks. I liked Nicheflix, they just couldn't, from my view, meet demand ( Have they gotten better? )

But of all of these, Intelliflix was the worst - a disaster. They can't ship, little or no real selection, horrible customer service, their website has more bugs than the whole of Southeast Asia. And on and on. I left in disgust, just glad I didn't sign up for there sucker, er, super pass.

This week was the capper, they spammed me. A new level of cluelessness, "The New Intelliflix". I did a Suckasian filter (google "x sucks”), and was pummeled by the sheer amount of bandwidth that people have spent in the last few days bemoaning the bad decision to subscribe. Not one "they used to be bad, but now they are..." message.

I complained to support about the spam, and got three emails opening two trouble tickets?!? Gads! Just say "Go Away".

I am suprised Intelliflix is being discussed so soon after a previous posting here ( http://www.hackingnetflix.com/2006/01/intelliflix_upd.html ). The last scorching comment on that subject being little more than a month ago. Can't we all just agree that they are a nightmare?

NetflixShill

"Really?! Show me were BB has hidden these then... I cannot seem to find these special editions to rent!"

They recently added many special edition DVD titles. Unfortunately, they haven't added in all the titles they missed while this stupid policy of not getting them was in place. But Netflix has never bothered to add a Special Edition, except in a few rare case. I named several recent releases that BB had - Guys & Dolls: Deluxe, Nine to Five: Selfish Ego..., Con Air: 16x9 Extended, Crimson Tide: 16x9 Exnteded, Enemy of the State: 16x9 Extended, etc. Hopefully they will add more, because a lot of home theater buffs want the improved A/V quality, extras, and bonus footage.

NetflixShill

"Nicheflix just didn't have enough copies of namesake films, like Zentropa - you had to wait forever while watching the bottom of your queue rush to the middle."

They have a superior version of Zentropa on the A-La-Carte site (anamorphic, 2.35, with optional subtitles for German dialogue). I rented the version on their regular site in my first couple weeks of membership. Their policy is first-come-first-served. Who ever adds the movie first and has an opening is the one that gets it. I could never get Bill Forsyth's "Comfort & Joy", or several other titles. I tried to get the BONUS DISC of a movie that someone has had out since January of 2006. (Stupid bastards.)

In my opinion, Nicheflix didn't have enough copies of most things. They shouldn't have let people keep things forever, when others are waiting for their one copy. They should either add more copies or set a due date of one month at most. You can't expent them to have as many copies, since most of the DVDs they rent are expensive and hard to find. I am glad to be able to rent things like Eyes Wide Shut (Uncensored), Neighbors, and The Magnificent Ambersons.

"I once sat with something like 15 cult flicks in my queue, nothing shipped for three weeks. I liked Nicheflix, they just couldn't, from my view, meet demand ( Have they gotten better? )"

They were better when I joined about a year ago, but they have since announced they are phasing out the subscription site, and just doing A-La-Carte rentals. This reduces lost revenue from breakage and theft, inreases availability for in-demand titles, and lets them rent expensive or out-of-print titles. They have all five seasons of Ally McBeal, Apartment Zero, Twin Peaks 1 & 2 with Pilot episode, Riget/Kingdom 1 & 2, etc. What is great is that a whole season counts as just one rental. It's doubtful that Ally McBeal will ever be available in the USA, due to stupid music liensing issues. Twin Peaks is also in limbo. The pilot episode and second season are not available in the USA.

WeaselBuddha

Thanks for the update, I didn't know they were phasing out the subscription service. Too bad, but I guess we can see why.

You're probably familar with the site, given your tastes, but I can highly recommend DVDBeaver. They have a great write-up ( several actually ) on different versions of Zentropa, and other niche discs.

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews14/von-trier-boxset.htm

When I lived in Switzerland you couldn't go into a video store ( or consumer electronics shops ) without being confronted with "Region Free" or DVDs from other regions. I think it is a shame that this isn't the case here.

Did you see Tartan is releasing Leconte's Monsieur Hire in the UK? Alot of both low ( Tinto Brass! ) and High Brow ( Kassovitz ) films are available from other regions. This includes non-foreign movies like Eraserhead and Paris, Texas, or even classics like Boorman's Point Blank, The African Queen, Magnificant Ambersons, Gilda, and Laura. These were all available years before the lower quality american releases emerged. And more often than not at a cheaper price ( other than the UK ).

Shame about Nicheflix.


WeaselBuddha

To follow-up on the four intelliflix spam complaint tickets ( and six e-mails ) that were issued when I stated my displeasure twice(!), here is the unintellible response I received for one of the tickets, on May 26th at 8am ( date is important, I left intelliflix in 2004 ):


Dear G,

Thanks for writing in to Intelliflix.

Your account has been cancelled, and your
billing cycle is going to ends up on 2005-May-05. Until then you are eligible to receive the titles, it will be good if you add titles back into your queue, we will send it to you. Unfortunately we cannot issue any refunds for unused portions of a membership which is clearly stated in terms and conditions. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to change your mind

Thanks for being part of the Intelliflix family!

rose.
Intelliflix Customer Support.

[THREAD-ID:173801-adzbaazdds]

NetflixShill

"You're probably familar with the site, given your tastes, but I can highly recommend DVDBeaver. They have a great write-up on different versions of Zentropa,"

Yeah, I heard about that somewhere else, but the DVDBeaver Review was one of the places I read about it. Nicheflix added it to the ALC service soon after I requested it. They said they can't rent it on the subscription site, because it is so expensive. Like $75-80 for 3 discs, and most people would only want the Europa/Zentropa disc. It just wouldn't be a viable rental, when essentially one disc out of four would get the most rents. (The other movies are available on DVD in the USA, one from the Criterion Collection.)

WeaselBuddha


Just for reference, I recommend against buying DVDs from the UK unless you really want the movie and can't find it any place else. Two reasons, first the exchange rate ( ~ 1.8 to 1 ), and the UK tends to be very censorious, for example there is no such thing as an unrated version there.

Interestly they recently censor scenes concerning a some dead animal, like a racoon, from a Bosnian film. The director complained vociferiously.

The erotic films of the Italian director, mentioned earlier, Tinto Brass, are a shadow of their original selves. And the full version of Clockwork Orange has only just been released within the last few years ( a much longer story ). And by law there is no such thing as an unrated release.

The Criterion release of The Element of Crime is excellent, as are most of their releases.

WeaselBuddha

Tracked down the story, it wasn't a racoon, it was a pigeon. And the director was Emir Kusturica.

His quote was great:

"I am not cutting my film for this jerk. Was he brought up by pigeons or something? ... I just don't get it. The pigeon was already dead, we found it in the road. And no other censor has objected. What is the problem with you English? You killed millions of Indians and Africans, and yet you go nuts about the circumstances of the death of a single Serbian pigeon. I am touched you hold the lives of Serbian birds so dear, but you are crazy. I will never understand how your minds work."

Full story from the Guardian/Mail at
http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,,1429569,00.html

Interesting, I seem to remember a brit pigeon eradication, er, population control program in and around Traflagar Sq.

I think both the forces of good and evil ( could go either way ) took this 2 second bit of celluloid a little too seriously ( Though you gotta love Emir, just for this quote )

NetflixShill

"the UK tends to be very censorious, for example there is no such thing as an unrated version there."

I always check DVDCompare.net or IMDB before renting discs from the UK. They're bad about censorship, but the USA is often worse. Eyes Wide Shut was censored in the USA, while the rest of the world got it uncensored. Brazil and Basic Instinct were also cut in the USA, but not in Europe. The MPAA ratings are very arbitrary and American studios treat us like children.

Unrated really doesn't mean much in the USA. Most unrated movies would qualify for PG-13 or R if they were submitted. It really does not matter as much to the British, because they import most of their DVDs from America or other countries anyway. Most DVD players sold in the UK are region-free. Movie buffs know that the UK is lame and wouldn't buy a DVD from them without verifying its "uncut" status.

WeaselBuddha

Interestingly the two movies you mention, were censored ( the third film, Brazil wasn't really censored as much as mangled ) for economic reasons, to make them "bigger" box office possibilities, not out of some victorian ideal of proper content.

It is a different set of reasons altogether.

My point was that in the UK, if you want to tap that market, you have be rated. Here it is at your own option, often with economic consequences, but nonetheless not mandatory.

I dislike the MPAA in all its' forms, but I prefer it to the Hayes code, and the english strait jacket system. I also dislike the craven way studios submit to the MPAA.

NetflixShill

Actually, the European cut of Brazil is much closer to Terry Gilliam's intention. It had a darker tone - no clouds at the beginning, no clouds at the end, the title song was not used at the beginning... It was about 8 or 9 minutes longer than the USA theatrical cut. The Director's Cut is a combination of Euro and American version, with some dialogue cut (like "My god, it works" and "You look like you've seen a ghost.") The mangled version's the "Love Conquers All" assembled by studio hacks, never played in theaters, and rarely (if ever) shown on TV.

NetflixShill

"in the UK, if you want to tap that market, you have be rated. Here it is at your own option, often with economic consequences, but nonetheless not mandatory."

The economic consequences are quite severe. Most theaters won't show a NC-17 or unrated. Most newspapers and magazines won't publish ads for them. They will be relegated to the small theaters that runs off-beat films. In 6 months, the unrated DVD will be sold every where, including Wal-Mart, because they're hypocrites like everyone else.

Can someone explain to me what makes "Cook, Thief, Wife, Lover" or "Man Bites Dog" more deserving of NC-17 than something like "Saw" or "High Tension" or "A Clockwork Orange"? I have never understood these stupid ratings, they are pretty clearly meant to help block independent films while giving major studios control of the mainstream market. I've read several articles that pointed this out.

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