Theo Kalomirakis: My Frustrating Experiences with Streaming
Streaming movies is the wave of the future, but for now we have to deal with situations that range from the mildly annoying to the outright unacceptable. Take Warner Archive Instant, for example. If you like old classics as much as I do, that’s the streaming service to beat. But be prepared to be equally elated and perplexed. It’s great to be able to see in glorious high-definition movies that sometimes you can’t even find on DVD. But you will want to kick yourself if you miss a favorite title because you thought it would be there forever. Blink your eyes and from one day to another these movies disappear from the Warner Archive’s database, replaced by other titles.
I don’t know why its library can’t be constantly expanding so you know that the movies on your wish list will always be there. Is it a matter of storage capacity or something else? If it’s too expensive to keep all the titles available all the time, here is a possible solution: Why doesn’t Warner Archive offer two types of monthly subscription: a lower one for those who don’t mind rotating titles and a more expensive one for those who want to be able to have constant access to every movie in the database?
If the situation at Warner Archive is annoying, what’s happening over at Netflix is just wrong. A number of classic titles that were shot in the 2.35:1 widescreen format—especially from Fox—show up in cropped 16:9 transfers. Here is a partial list of cropped titles, all from 20th Century Fox (which may be the real culprit here): Doctor Doolittle, From the Terrace, Three Coins in the Fountain, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, and The Seven Year Itch. Why? What good is it to stream these great Cinemascope titles from the ’50s and ’60s in HD when the movies themselves are cropped?