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Jacob Neff

Yes, and I realize it's their right, but it pisses me off. It's extremely annoying to pop in the disc, and see that bare menu screen pop up with no choice but to just watch the movie.

Jack Doyle

Yes. I'd say about 80-90% of the discs I get these days are specifically rental discs.


I found I don't have much time for that stuff. I would think it only important for favorite movies that most would buy anyway. I do like it for true stories if they have background info, but it would never compel me to buy instead of rent. I am betting it won't help them much. I guess they feel they have to try something.


Agreed. It has been on a lot of movies lately. Like I would go and buy the dvd to watch the directors commentary or outtakes... come on. It probably costs more to make a separate DVD anyway.


The Netflix copies of 'Whip It' are missing the special features.


To be honest, this is an acceptable practice to me. Actually its logical: The reason why these disks say "rental" or have studio "rental" features on them is simply because we are RENTING these movies. If you want to own the features then purchase them! You are PAYING for the extra content. In the end, I know its hard to swallow for some, but its a business, and they're out to make money. I know they're evil because they want a profit and god-forbid they make one, but we get what we pay for, and since we RENT movies, we will get their rental DVD's.
If the content is that important to you, stop being cheap and spend some money. Crying about it won't get you anywhere.


I second that "Ze'ev", by the way...love the name? Hebrew? Its like a trial offer for software. You can use certain aspects of it, but if you want those other features, you must pay.


Oh I had thought that The Box just didnt have any features, lol. I went to check on Amazon and special features were listed either.


I've rented a few discs so far that contained this. Seems mostly it is Sony pictures movies but I guess it has expanded to WB now also. It does not really bother me since usually most of the special features are junk. I occasionally like to check out the delete scenes but most of the time they were deleted for a purpose and are not entertaining. The only time I enjoyed the deleted scenes was from the movie Borat.


This past weekend I watched Where The Wild Things Are and the only options on the disc were Play and Setup. Of course, that was after I had to click through about 5 movie trailers.


no actually lol ive never had a rental disk where the special features were removed lol thats weird but i dont really care about the special features lol i just want to watch the movie


Just received my first "Rental" labeled disc from Netflix, The Invention of Lying. It wasn't the lack of special features that annoyed me, it was the lack of a scene selection feature and the mandatory 15 minute movie trailer track that automatically played when you popped it in. It would not let you go straight to the main menu or even skip it. Basically, the only option was to either watch 15 minutes worth of trailers or manually fast forward through it. I'm not gonna lie, it was annoying and pissed me off that they're virtually making you watch these.


Am I the only one who never watches the special features to movies?


Yes, and I've found it incredible disappointing and frustrating. I waited months for the Blu-Ray version of Jennifer's Body only to have it arrive without the director's commentary I had been waiting to watch. If I had known this was going to be the case, I would have taken it off my queue and rented it from the local video store months earlier.

In reference to Steve's comment above, I do find it problematic that these rental versions do not even allow chapter selection-- this was one of the original benefits of disc over tape (not having to fast forward or rewind). It's one thing to not include additional features, but removing many of the basic benefits of disc viewing (ie chapter selection or menu options) is pretty regressive.

At the very least, I think Netflix should indicate whether the disc is a 'rental' version in the dvd details sections. This way the consumer can make an informed decision about whether the want to rent the disc without these features.


I understand the thought process behind considering the special features a "bonus" that can only be had by purchasing the movie, but in practical use they have it backwards. Though I may watch a movie more than once, I almost never revisit bonus material (if I bother to watch it at all.) Therefore renting the bonus material for one time viewing makes more sense than "owning" it forever.

Why does Hollywood constantly try so hard to keep people from experiencing the results of their hard work?


I actually like when there are no fluff options and it goes straight to the feature. I prefer not to watch 'the making of' and other such options because it tends to ruin the whole suspension of disbelief factor. There are times I don't mind watching out-takes or extended scenes, but I would rather have them play with the feature rather than 2-5min extras afterwards.

As far as Whip It, it's been in my queue, at the top mind you, since before the release date. It is STILL very long wait... I'd be more than happy seeing that stripped version. PLEASE?!


@Ze've In case you didn't know, the movie studios has been making money for years and people have been renting DVDs for years without the removal of special features and at that time, the movie studios continued to make money so that's not what we are annoyed about. What we are annoyed about is that we rent a movie and in a lot of cases, watching it that one time had enough value that we don't care to own it, but we would still like the extra features and many of us won't because spending $10-$20 just to watch special features isn't worth it to us.


For people who complain of unskippable previews, I have never seen a disc or player that you cannot skip straight to the movie by pressing STOP, STOP, PLAY.


This practice seemed to start before the 28 day delays. It was the first greedy move. Also, from what I've seen, the retail copies are going the same way. They are polarizing the releases. The stripped down version is around the usual price, but the deluxe editions with the extras costs over $20. And, some do not even sell a deluxe DVD version anymore.

Am I missing something? Are the studios going bankrupt or something? I understand making a profit, but when businesses get bored they have to make MORE profit. Never mind keeping customers happy and delivering a valuable product.


@David I am pretty tech savvy, but I have never encountered that technique. If I remember correctly, I have had situations where I can not even STOP until it is done with whatever message. I will try your technique on my next few movies. If it works, I thank you very much.


Noticed this on the stripped rental version of the Hangover. Probably the only time in 2 years I actually wanted the special features.


I have and it pisses me off even when I usually don't care about special features if a movie is good enough I'd like to watch the SF also, specially if they're about the story behind the movie. Don't care much for how it was made.


I think this is a reasonable compromise.

If you want to own the movie, you get the special features.

If you just want to rent it, you get the movie.


I think there are far too many deals and special arrangements in this business. If the studios are taking features off the discs, then Netflix should simply buy retail copies, open them up, and rent those.

The ability to rent movies shouldn't be seen as a kindness of the movie studios. It is a right of consumers and of businesses to buy, sell, and rent products as we see fit.

Sock Puppet

Well in truth folks can be pissed if they want to be, but you are renting the movie, NOT the "Special Features". Which by their very definition preclude themselves from the rental experience.

To Wit: "An item advertised or offered as particularly attractive or as an inducement which surpasses what is common or usual and is distinct among others of its kind."

Exactly what about that suggests "free"? Or is this just another instance of an over developed sense of entitlement?


Did you not notice the 'Disney Removes Closed Captioning From "Up" Rental Release' mini-scandal late last year? Even more bizarre since Up is a rare movie where the lead character wears a hearing aid.


J from PA

Thanks for running my story. I'm going to cancel my subscription--this is the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm not pleased with Netflix's business practices and I'm sad that I can't praise them to friends any more. After being a member for over six years, it's time to move to other rental options.     

After Netflix raising prices for blu-ray access, then having to wait more than three months to see a new release (now even longer due to the very long wait on top of a month-long delayed release window) and now the lack of director commentary or outtakes...If I should ever desire to rent a movie, I'll be getting my rentals from iTunes from now on (and on the same day it's released in stores). 

Because I see most new releases in theatres, I only ever rent discs for the  special features. I truly feel like a consumer being taken advantage of. Shame on Netflix. 

Jeremy Boone

I just watched Ninja Assassin and it was ALSO a Rental disc. Looks like Warner is going that way with their blu rays. I was upset about the scene selection function too...

Nik Mastromarino

i hate this, practice and i am starting to see it with retail copies to, delux versions that cost a bit more or not giving special features only on the blue ray. this will ultimately drive people away, its the same as how newspaper sites tried to get people to pay for the content they used to get for free, in this dvd situation we used to get special features, then they take away or charge more, yep fine movie industry go ahead and piss off ur customers cuz this strategy wont work in the long run and u will actually do the complete opposite by losing money. nowadays i am very picky about the dvds i buy because of this. the other thing is that , its nice to have special features for when u have nothing else to do and cant send the movie back right away. sometimes the commentary on some dvds can be very interesting or funny. movies with no special fearures, the invention of lying, slumdog millionare, whiteout.


Well, it is simple. if they don't give me the special features, don't give me the 10 minutes of trailers. Is that too hard to understand?

Them doing this stuff to the customers that wish to view movies before committing on purchasing them is supposed to DRIVE us to purchase the movie?


keep the features i say! Im fine with just the movie and im willing to sacrifice them. I havent bought a dvd is ages and nothing they do will get me to. Its not my fault the movie companies are trying to desperately cling to a business model that is older than dirt. They should be lucky im paying what I pay to watch movies because I can easily get them for free. The only reason I pay is to support a system i feel is a much easier and convenient way to enjoy movies. Cripple that legit system and ill just get it for free in the same way.

Chris M.

Got stripped versions of The Invention of Lying and Where the Wild Things Are. Interestingly I got the full Unrated version of The Hangover.

Chris Utley

Night at The Smithsonian 2 has no bonus features at all. I don't watch many bonus features but sometimes I like to see the deleted scenes or an alternate ending. Come on guys this is why we went with DVD in the first place.


I've also received several "RENTAL" versions of Netflix discs. The first was 500 Days of Summer and I actually marked it "wrong disc" and stuck a note on it to complain. I often will watch the special features, and indeed I'm even MORE likely to on a disc I've rented because I want to get the most out of it before returning. If I've bought the disc, I'll perhaps never get around to watching those features.

As to those who say it's ok to provide just a RENTAL version of the movie, the whole thing breaks down because renting is supposed to be an alternative to buying. The only difference is the length of time you have the property in your possession. What if you rented a house but your landlord locked one of the bathrooms and said "you only get to use that room if you buy the house"?

I suppose these RENTAL discs are just a stepping stone toward watching all movies online. I doubt anyone's complained about a lack of special features in the online streaming content. You can't watch a director's commentary on movies in your instant queue, for instance.


My biggest concern is that these things are not made obvious on the Netflix movie description page.

I have a few movies in my queue that are there ONLY because I want to hear the director's or writer's commentary. (I have already seen the movie.) I will be *very* disappointed if these movies arrive without commentary!

And no, I will not go out and buy the movie just to hear the commentary, that's not worth it to me.

islami sohbet

I think this is a reasonable compromise.

If you want to own the movie, you get the special features.

If you just want to rent it, you get the movie.


During my last year working in a video store chain (2009), I too noticed more frequent "Rental Version" printings on the covers. In my opinion, the only special feature I usually watch are the deleted scenes and alternate endings. My only concern would be the availability of Director's Cuts or the Unrated/Uncut versions. Otherwise, we all rent for the movies and not much else.


What concerns me more is not being able to get Director's Cut versions of movies. Sometimes this is considered a special feature. For example I can't rent the Director's Cut of Watchmen from Netflix. I saw the Theatrical Cut when it was in theaters. I didn't care enough for the film to want to own it though.


I haven't noticed this (yet) but I feel that several of you have it backwards, in terms of what what should expect when they rent as opposed to owning the movie. I realize this is an ideal situation, but the difference between those choices should just be the availability to watch the movie and its special features at will. Most of the movies I own have been screened several times, but their special features have only been watched once. I would argue that it's more desirable to be able to rent those features, since most viewers never revisit them after the first time.


As I recall, the Blu-Ray of The Informant didn't even have scene selections! I'm not mad at the loss of special features, but the loss of basic functionality is a failure on the studios part.

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