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1063

Aaaarrrrggghhh!!! Availability
Topic by: slogan
Posted: December 2, 2005 - 3:02 PM PST
Last Reply: May 9, 2006 - 3:23 AM PDT

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author topic: Aaaarrrrggghhh!!! Availability
slogan
post #1  on December 2, 2005 - 3:02 PM PST  
I've been a member of Greencine for more than 2 years now. During that time, availability has always been an issue but it has reached the point of ridiculousness.

Greencine's service has always been fine and I like the idea of supporting a local business, but I'm beyond frustrated. The top 30 or more movies in my queue are basically never in. Many of them have been on there for months. And these are not hot high-demand new releases or obscure rarities. These are movies you can walk into any video store in the country and find collecting dust on the shelves. If there's a movie I really want to see, after waiting several months I usually have to end up going to the video store to rent it.

I went to that other online rental site, which I'd left to join Greencine 2 years ago, and put my same top 30 movies in a queue. You know how many were available now? 29! Why should a movie like The Machinist or Sin City or A Very Long Engagement be almost impossible to rent? These movies have been passed over dozens and dozens of times on my list.

I want to continue to support Greencine but this is intolerable. Are others having this problem? Is a major overhaul of the catalog being planned?
DLeonard
post #2  on December 2, 2005 - 4:36 PM PST  
Slogan,

I think we all understand that frustration. The movies you mention don't surprise me though. All three are fairly current films that appeal to the kind of folks who use this sight. But I'm sure you have other examples that are just simple head scratchers.
For me recently it was Two Women sitting at the top mocking me with its yellow bar.

My only suggestions would be this:

Do not keep so many "in demand" titles near the top of the queue. After number 3 you may as well stack up the greens, because ain't no way you are going to get that coveted title you have at #10 when someone else will no doubt have it at #1 or #2 when a copy does get returned.

Use those other sources from time to time. The video store or another service. None of these businesses have everything so no reason to not look elsewhere on occasion.

You could try posting messages here about specific titles, it has been known to work every now and then.
slogan
post #3  on December 2, 2005 - 6:01 PM PST  
Thanks, DLeonard. I appreciate the response. My question for Greencine would be, if these titles are going to be in high demand, why not order enough so your members can rent them in a reasonable amount of time? The Machinist, for example, came out on DVD in early June. That's 6 months. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to be able to rent a movie in less time than that.
woozy
post #4  on December 2, 2005 - 6:23 PM PST  
I think it's simply a matter of economy of scale. It's easier and quicker to get 10 disks out to 100 people than it is to get 1 disk out to 10 and 100 discs out to 1000 people is easier still. If the other company has 500 times the members then they have 500 times the budget and can afford 500 times the disks and have 500 times the demand. It's much easier and cheaper to provide for 500 than it is for 1.
woozy
post #5  on December 3, 2005 - 11:33 AM PST  
Actually after pretty much giving up an GC for what I want right now and deciding GC will be my "Oh, yeah. I want to see those eventually" and "oh, *this* came. What a surprise" service, these last two weeks have been surprising good about getting the top of my lists. Of course I've forgotten whats at the top and what's at top isn't nescessarily what I want most ... but it got surprisingly better these last two weeks.

As for practical advice, I think we will have to simply accept and admit that no matter how good GC gets about having top disks available they will never be as "good" as NF.
ahogue
post #6  on December 3, 2005 - 2:34 PM PST  
After quite a while with GC, and far too much time spent around the message boards, I am now considering leaving for the first time.

A new disk of three old Herzog docs came out months ago. It's a new release, and I know there are lots of Herzog fans around here. But it has been at minimum availability the whole time.

If you want to watch one of the latest season of anime series forget it. Waiting for disks to become available, you will probably wait most of a year to see a 4 or 5 disk set. It's getting to the point I don't bother queuing them anymore. They may as well not be in the catalog.

I don't know much about this business and don't care much. But I seem unable to get the majority of the things I actually want to watch from GC lately, and I'm finally getting exasperated. I don't know if it's gotten worse lately, but it certainly seems like it has.

Anyway, just some thoughts.
Eoliano
post #7  on December 3, 2005 - 6:44 PM PST  
> After quite a while with GC, and far too much time spent around the message boards, I am now considering leaving for the first time.

> A new disk of three old Herzog docs came out months ago. It's a new release, and I know there are lots of Herzog fans around here. But it has been at minimum availability the whole time.

> If you want to watch one of the latest season of anime series forget it. Waiting for disks to become available, you will probably wait most of a year to see a 4 or 5 disk set. It's getting to the point I don't bother queuing them anymore. They may as well not be in the catalog.

> I don't know much about this business and don't care much. But I seem unable to get the majority of the things I actually want to watch from GC lately, and I'm finally getting exasperated. I don't know if it's gotten worse lately, but it certainly seems like it has.

> Anyway, just some thoughts.

You have my sincerest sympathy! Waiting an eternity for your most wanted discs is not what being a member should be about, and were there a reasonable wait and turn-around, I am sure that you would consider otherwise. I have become disappointed in other departments hereabouts (like these boards) and am considering going on permanent sabbatical. Call it lack of interest, or whatever, but I feel like I am wasting my time and breath posting anything about cinema, since there is very little support for those sort of discussions. I would have thought there would be more in-house interaction, but obviously that is not going to happen since what little there has been seems to have fallen at the wayside.

Enough said, damage done.

(head bowed, humbly exits stage left...)
woozy
post #8  on December 3, 2005 - 11:05 PM PST  
Oh, come now, Eoliano. You can't hold GC responsible for the quality of its members. What kind of in house intervention had you in mind to make the conversation more to your liking? After all you can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think.
ahogue
post #9  on December 5, 2005 - 11:15 AM PST  
> On December 3, 2005 - 6:44 PM PST Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
I have become disappointed in other departments hereabouts (like these boards) and am considering going on permanent sabbatical. Call it lack of interest, or whatever, but I feel like I am wasting my time and breath posting anything about cinema, since there is very little support for those sort of discussions. I would have thought there would be more in-house interaction, but obviously that is not going to happen since what little there has been seems to have fallen at the wayside.
>
> Enough said, damage done.
> ---------------------------------

That's a shame, Eo, but it's understandable. I do hope you will keep in touch, though.
underdog
post #10  on December 5, 2005 - 11:17 AM PST  
Aw, Eoliano - we'd hate to lose you! What can we do to make you happy? We'd hate to lose any of you, obviously. We are doing what we can to shore up availability issues - where we can - but know that there will always be a huge clamoring for some new releases upon their release, that is almost always followed by a severe drop-off in popularity within a month. But for a few titles that are always hard for you to get, we'll try to see what we can do to shore that up. You can, as someone here suggested, always prod us to ask about a certain title that seems to have an unusually long wait. Bring it to our attention and we'll investigate.

As far as the boards go, well, sometimes it's more like the "boreds" - it would certainly be nice to get more GreenCiners involved here, but we can't force anyone. We can only promote them, and perhaps start a few threads that may be of interest to more of a cross-section of our membership. I'll see if I can whip something up...

Thanks for your patience and contributions here.

Fondly,
Craig
woozy
post #11  on December 5, 2005 - 1:22 PM PST  
> . I'll see if I can whip something up...
>


We can talk about "the passenger" I've never heard of it and it looks interesting. My understanding is Eo's seen and liked it.
slogan
post #12  on December 5, 2005 - 5:12 PM PST  
> On December 5, 2005 - 11:17 AM PST underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> there will always be a huge clamoring for some new releases upon their release, that is almost always followed by a severe drop-off in popularity within a month.>

Has Greencine considered (and is it even possible) to order extra copies of new releases and sell off the used copies after interest wanes? That seems to be how the brick-and-mortar shops do it.

Eoliano
post #13  on December 5, 2005 - 6:14 PM PST  
Comments coming soon...
pooja
post #14  on December 5, 2005 - 6:47 PM PST  
> On December 3, 2005 - 6:44 PM PST Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I feel like I am wasting my time and breath posting anything about cinema, since there is very little support for those sort of discussions.

I'm afraid you're right, Uncle... sadly it seems I can't even get into a discussion of Bollywood here without it turning into an airing of someone's personal pet peeves, "I hate tourists! I hate conventions!" and what not... even dpowers seems to have given up on THAT one...

And ahogue, I too have set out to see more of these anime titles and currently I'm stuck on the R.O.D. TV Series vol. 7 which is the last one. It's been there at the top of my queue for WEEKS and I'm afraid I'll never ever get to see how the show ends. It's all very frustrating.

Lucky for me, I still have many selections on my queue with green lines, but I sense members who have been here for a long time are feeling forgotten or betrayed. Looking back over the older discussions, I can't help but notice how GreenCine staffers often posted in the discussion boards, contributing to if not "leading" the talk. Underdog, you used to play some of these GTM games, too... Now only 3 or 4 people show up for them.

What else is there? The lists are somewhat amusing, but I don't feel like making any since the ratings seem to be rather misleading and sometimes mean-spirited or just plain dumb. The private mail system isn't much use... perhaps others get more exciting mail than I do... I guess the individual film reviews by members are useful, but they're not much different from user comments posted on amazon and stuff. Oh, the primers are very good! Yay for primers and their authors!
:-)
woozy
post #15  on December 5, 2005 - 7:07 PM PST  
> I'm afraid you're right, Uncle... sadly it seems I can't even get into a discussion of Bollywood here without it turning into an airing of someone's personal pet peeves, "I hate tourists! I hate conventions!" and what not... even dpowers seems to have given up on THAT one...
>

how, how, what.... I *wasn't* airing petpeeves! I was discussing Bride and Prejudice and viewing it from a foreign perspective! "conventions" isn't a pet-peeve of mine-- it's was an observation of a class-22 in defining genres; i.e. "conventions" are a requirement for defining an art or a genre but if a "convention" is noticiable it becomes a cliche. I don't hate tourists. I'm very frequently a tourist. We were discussing "tourists" in two contexts: 1) in discussing two specific characters in the movie, a self-righteous shallow backpacker, and an american who (initial) made what seemed rather ethnocentric comments and 2) as a concern about viewing a foreign genre with the self-righteous patronizing viewpoint. Both relevent in the discussion.

Sheesh,.... I try have a nice little quiet conversation and end up being called prickly, irrelevant, and pet-peeve airing, and a variaty of negative implications... Sheesh.
pooja
post #16  on December 5, 2005 - 9:21 PM PST  
What woozies say:

...an american who (initial) made what seemed rather ethnocentric comments and 2) as a concern about viewing a foreign genre with the self-righteous patronizing viewpoint. Both relevent in the discussion... I try have a nice little quiet conversation and end up being called prickly, irrelevant, and pet-peeve airing, and a variaty of negative implications...


What humans hear:

Boob boob boob boob boob... boob boob boob boob boob boob boob boob.... boob boob boob boob boob boob boob boob... boob boob boob boob... boob boob boob boob... boob boob boob boob boob boob boob boob....

Apologies to Gary Larson (or was it Charles Schulz?).
;-)
artifex
post #17  on December 5, 2005 - 11:02 PM PST  
Well, last week and this I've started getting some oranges and yellows that I thought would never show up, so that's cool. On the other hand, I still would like to see GC do another inventory shakeout, and soon.

I've mentioned in the past that I've asked for inventory checks on titles with red status, and been told no copies actually exist anymore, they'd either been lost or broken, but they'd look into ordering more. Of course, these red titles were pretty much out of print or imports, or I'd've given up and just rented or bought them elsewhere. So a couple of months later, they finally get listed as unavailable.

I've been a subscriber for a couple of years now, and I've put up with the idea that GC is getting slower in delivery times, under the premise that I can still watch movies I can't get from NF. I know GC's in a tight spot, trying to serve the niche markets. But this inventory thing really disappoints expectations. If I can't expect a level of accuracy in seeing whether something is actually really honestly available at all to begin with, I'm wasting my time. So how about, before spending money buying more inventory, and especially before adding more javascript objects to the website, concentrate on showing us only what's really here, now?
woozy
post #18  on December 5, 2005 - 11:13 PM PST  
> I've mentioned in the past that I've asked for inventory checks on titles with red status, and been told no copies actually exist anymore, they'd either been lost or broken, but they'd look into ordering more. Of course, these red titles were pretty much out of print or imports,

Oh, no! You mean I might not actually get to see this classic?
IronS
post #19  on December 6, 2005 - 12:30 AM PST  
> On December 3, 2005 - 6:44 PM PST Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I have become disappointed in other departments hereabouts (like these boards) and am considering going on permanent sabbatical. Call it lack of interest, or whatever, but I feel like I am wasting my time and breath posting anything about cinema, since there is very little support for those sort of discussions. I would have thought there would be more in-house interaction, but obviously that is not going to happen since what little there has been seems to have fallen at the wayside.
>
> Enough said, damage done.
>

Aw, bummer! But I do see what you mean. You're one of the few on the boards who post about interesting films that I probably won't get around to until I run out of anime, but it's always nice to have your input about them.
artifex
post #20  on December 6, 2005 - 10:01 AM PST  
> On December 5, 2005 - 11:13 PM PST woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > I've mentioned in the past that I've asked for inventory checks on titles with red status, and been told no copies actually exist anymore, they'd either been lost or broken, but they'd look into ordering more. Of course, these red titles were pretty much out of print or imports,
>
> Oh, no! You mean I might not actually get to see this classic?

I don't know; I didn't say all reds are missing.
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