Fun/Unique/Nostalgic Look Back At Blockbuster Video
You probably thought that Blockbuster Video had been relegated to the dust heap of entertainment history. In almost every sense, you'd be correct. However, in Bend, Oregon, there exists one final blue-and-yellow shrine to a past physical-media age. "The Last Blockbuster" tells the story of video rental culture through the lens of that unique holdout.
"The Last Blockbuster" is basically a documentary in two parts:
One part focuses on the Bend store, most notably manager Sandi Harding. For those who grew up in the 1990s, it is incredibly nostalgic to see the old store design, membership card, and distinctive marketing images. It is also quite gratifying that Harding has basically turned the endeavor into a family/community affair, catering to customer service in a way "corporate Blockbuster" would never have been able to.
Interwoven within the above story are clips in which various entertainers pontificate on the demise of video rental stores and what it has done for the entertainment process in general. While the you-go-to-the-movies model seems quaint by today's streaming standards (and of course, those pesky late fees or empty cases!), there is also a case to be made that important social interaction has also been lost in the process. Things like date nights, key recommendations, or community-building are now eschewed in favor of strict ease-of-access.
As a frequenter of video rental stores large (Blockbuster) and small (mom-and-pop shops), "The Last Blockbuster" was always going to appeal to my nostalgic sentimentalities. At the same time, it is just general enough--there really isn't anything "too deep" here--to be a great doc for an entire family to enjoy and converse over.
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