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Do you know who Charles Paulson Ginsburg is and what is his greatest contribution to the entertainment industry? Well, don’t tax your brains because we’ll tell you the answer. Charles Paulson Ginsburg is fondly called the Father of Video Cassette Recorder (VCR), and he is the person who revolutionalized the entertainment industry by inculcating the habit of watching movies, at homes rather than in cinema halls, in millions of movie enthusiasts across the world. With a sudden surge in the popularity of VCRs, video movie rental stores appeared in every nook and corner of America, and video movie rental became a norm.
As time passed by, DVDs replaced the videocassettes, and now, due to the ubiquitous existence of computers and the Internet, it is even possible to download a new movie and save it on the hard drive. However, most of us still prefer to watch movies on the bigger television screen, and for us movie rental stores are a boon. There are lots of offline movie rental stores, but their number is steadily decreasing due to the appearance of online competitors, who are better than the former in several ways.
Online movies rental stores are similar to your neighborhood video parlors, in the sense that they too hold a wide assortment of movies, but unlike the latter where you have to spend countless hours either searching for your favorite movie or standing in a long queue, with online movie rental stores you just have to log on to the site, browse through their selection of movies, and usually, within a few minutes you find the movie of your choice.
Choosing a movie in an online movie rental store is exceptionally easy because of two reasons, first, the entire collection is segregated into genres, and second, almost all the movies are accompanied with a critical movie review. Hence, online movie rental stores ensure that you can safely rent a movie without worrying about spoiling your evening watching a worthless movie that has to be turned off half way through due to explicit material or because the movie rental is not a perfect fit for your family’s taste, mood and opinion of great cinema.
Online movie rental stores offer various types of payment plans that suit every movie buff’s needs. You can either pay for a single movie or you can opt for the monthly fee plan where you can watch as many movies as you want. Depending upon the fees, you get to select movies only from certain categories or genres, and at a time you get only three or four DVDs. However, you can create a wish-list of movies, this will ensure continuity, that is, when you return the first batch of DVDs, the next batch in your wish-list will be automatically delivered to you.
The greatest advantage associated with online movie rentals is that you neither have to drive long distances to get or return your favorite movie’s DVD nor you have to worry about late fees. Both these issues are the principal disadvantages of offline movie rental stores, despite of the fact that they too have websites, which has made movie search a bit easy. Online movie rental companies send the DVDs via mail, and you can return them in postage paid envelopes. There are no late fees and stipulated due dates for any movie rentals. Instead, most of these services allow you to keep DVDs for an unlimited amount of time, on the understanding that you must return a movie to receive another one.
No doubt, online movie rental is an easy, painless and affordable process, but its biggest drawback is that you don’t get to watch the movie as soon as you place the order. The normal time lapse between the order and the delivery is the time taken by the mail to reach you. Another snag related to online movie rentals is at times your postage package containing the DVDs may get stolen or lost. To prevent this mishap, you should provide your correct postal address and guard your mail box as much as possible from mail-thieves.
So, are you ready for an enthralling home-movie watching endeavor? Invite some interesting friends, lay down a big couch to curl in and purchase plenty of snacks. To make your home-movie watching attempt truly mesmerizing, we have complied a list of some popular online movie rental companies, and we have also enumerated a few reliable movie review sites so that you can make smarter and more informed movie rental choices.
Best Online Movie Rental Companies
Blockbuster Online- There are more than 40,000 DVD titles available for rental. At a time, 3 movies normally costs $17.99.
Netflix- An indisputable leader in online movie rental business. There are over 3 million members and a library of over 50,000 DVD movie titles. With a network of shipping warehouses throughout America, they usually deliver movies within 48 hours via first class US Mail.
QuikFliks - DVD rentals through the mail, but with their Rapid Return they ship your next movie while your returned DVD is in transit, meaning you can go through 1.5x or 2x more movies per month than with similar services.
Some Movie Rental Review Sites
AllMovie.com- As a movie database, the site provides general information on movies as director, actor, theme, plot and genre.
FamilyStyle.com- The site provides a brief synopsis of the movie and rates it in five categories- Profanity, Nudity, Sex, Violence and Drugs/Alcohol. The site is a boon for parents who are concerned about family entertainment standards.
The Internet Movie Database- A giant collection of movies as well as movie information. Each movie review contains information about the writer, director and actors of the movie. One section of the database is exclusively devoted to filmographies and mini biographies.
KidsInMind.com- The "New on Video" section of this site is helpful for the parents to determine whether a movie rental is appropriate for kids or not. "Sex and Nudity", "Violence and Gore" and "Profanity" are the three factors, used for rating the movie. The site also provides detailed synopsis and a summary of the plot of the movie.
Megacritic.com-Here metascores are used to rate the movie where red stands for low critic approval, yellow for mixed approval and green for high critic approval.
Movie.com- The reviews are written by the members of this site, which can be found in the "DVD/Video" section. For convenience this section is divided into tabs as "Movie Details", "Trailers and Clips", "Photo Gallery", "Cast and Crew", "Technical Details" and "Market Place".
MovieMom.com- Each movie rental review at this unique site is from a parent’s perspective.
RogerEbert.com- Roger Ebert is one of the most respected movie critics. The "New on DVD" section of this site provides weekly DVD release list, star rating and a link to movie review written by Ebert.
RottenTomatoes.com- The "DVD/VHS" section of this site provides movie rental’s "Freshness Rating" together with a list of the week’s top grosser movie rentals.
VideoETA.com- A useful site that provides tentative dates of video release of the movies.
Posted by Anubha Shyam on Saturday, April 29, 2006 (PST)
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