Netflix, as many may know, launched in the UK and (more importantly) Ireland last month, and are offering a 30-day free trial to new members.
At €6.99 a month after the trial period ends, it sounded like a good deal, so I signed up.
The registration process asked me to rate or comment on a variety of genres and titles in order to build up a profile with which the service would recommend movies I might enjoy.
On reflection, perhaps I should have skipped that part, because the available catalog is so small as to offer many of the same titles in different categories, and attempting to fine-tune things by selecting 'Not Interested' didn't seem to help.
Here's what I've discovered so far:
1. Classic movies - few. A search for Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon returned nothing, and a search for Humphrey Bogart returned The African Queen and nothing else. There are 3 John Wayne movies, however, all westerns. Henry Fonda can be seen in On Golden Pond, with daughter Jane and Katharine Hepburn. Marilyn Monroe can be seen only in Some Like It Hot, with co-stars Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis.
2. New releases - depends on one's definition. The most recent production year was 2011 for a documentary called Page One, about the New York Times and apparently featuring Julian Assange. A small number of titles from 2010, including The Expendables and The Mechanic.
3. TV - mostly British series, dramas from ITV and BBC, so good-quality, but nothing earlier than 1990 except Fawlty Towers. I would have hoped for some classic US shows or even some of the great ITC shows of the '60s and '70s, but nothing doing.
4. Foreign Films - mainly Asian martial-arts, but with a small number of European titles, including one with Jean Claude Van Damme. I did, however, find a film featuring Jeremy Irons and Patricia Kaas,entitled "And Now, Ladies and Gentlemen...", which wasn't bad.
But that in itself will not be enough to maintain my interest, so unless the selection improves drastically in the next 28 days or so, I think I'll be checking out Amazon's LOVEFiLM instead.
Might even give it a look in any event...