Now that I have admitted having that knowledge, I confide in you that I'm considering getting NETFLIX. Yes, in these days of economic uncertainty, I'm still tempted to take the plunge and splurge...and when I get it, I promise to occasionally leave the house.
Netflix is an on-demand Internet streaming media company. Or simply, a subscriber movie and TV show (on DVD), rental by mail service.
ESTABLISHED IN 1997, THE COMPANY BOASTS 100,000 TITLES. THEIR FLAT-RATE MONTHLY SERVICE NOW INCLUDES DIRECT ACCESS TO YOUR COMPUTER OR TV.
In my mind, I have produced a line-up, (or as Netflix calls it, a queue), of about fifty titles that I want to see. I picture having a pile for each month. On my dresser, I imagine September's with, "ZELIG ," or "A CLOCKWORK ORANGE," on top. On the entertainment center, my batch of spooky October goodies would include, "MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000" and "THE SIXTH SENSE." Sitting on the floor, November's selections would have, "THE ARISTOCRATS" and "BROADWAY DANNY ROSE." And in December, obviously that stack of movies will be left on my mantle next to my stockings. Then as usual, I'll wait till the 25th, for one of my all-time favorites. Only this year, I won't be distracted by a million commercials when, "IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE," comes on the CW Network, (formerly UPN). THIS NETWORK IS KNOWN FOR TERRIBLE CONTENT. I BELIEVE THE "CW" STANDS FOR "CONSISTENTLY WORTHLESS. IF YOU RECALL, IT TOOK OVER THE EQUALLY INEPT UPN, IN 2006.
I don't think its a coincidence but this fantasy Netflix project of mine makes me think of Oliver "Burgess" Meredith. More than a screen actor, his remarkable, diverse and enduring career spanned over sixty years. Meredith's lengthy list of credits also includes starring roles on Broadway, TV, radio programs, commercials and more.Please note that during the (Joe) McCarthy-Era, had he not been suspected of being a Communist and blacklisted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities for seven years, his prolific career would have been even greater.AT 30, BURGESS MEREDITH...NOVEMBER 16, 1907 - SEPTEMBER 9, 1997.
One of the gems in my Netflix want list is, the oldest of Meredith's work that I am familiar with. It's his starring role in 1939's, "OF MICE AND MEN." In this adaptation of John Steinbeck's classic novel, he plays street-wise migrant farm worker George, opposite Lon Chaney Jr.'s feeble-minded Lenny.
I was always drawn to, "Of Mice and Men," because in seventh grade, it was the first novel I had to analyze in class...that I had seen the movie. It's special place in my heart was strengthened by the fact that the Lenny and George-type characters appeared in several old cartoons. By understanding the literary basis of that humor, the animated silliness took on intellectual overtones and made me feel smarter because I was in on the joke.
SET IN DEPRESSION-ERA CALIFORNIA, MEREDITH'S ROLE HAS HIM STRUGGLING AGAINST THE ODDS TO FULFILL HIS DREAMS, WHILE HOLDING ONTO A MEAGER JOB AND PROTECTING HIS OVER-SIZED, CHILD-LIKE FRIEND.
Another Burgess Meredith movie that Netflix can put in my hands is 1945's, "THE STORY OF G. I. JOE." In it, he portrayed famed World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle. Meredith received top billing and high acclaim in this factual story centering around the reporter's human interest articles about the grunts on the front lines from 1942-1945.
MEREDITH (LEFT). THE MOVIE WAS FINISHED BEFORE THE WAR ENDED. THE LAST LINE WAS, "FOR THOSE BENEATH THE WOODEN CROSSES, THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO, EXCEPT PERHAPS TO PAUSE AND MURMUR, THANKS PAL, THANKS." AFTER THE WAR IN EUROPE ENDED, PYLE CONTINUED HIS WORK IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC...HE WAS LATER KILLED IN ACTION ON OKINAWA.
Netflix also offers countless, vintage and current TV shows. Therefore for those so inclined such as myself, TV's ultra-campy, "BATMAN," is available. Be sure to look for Burgess Meredith's renowned role as the villainous, "Penguin."
AS ROBIN MIGHT SAY; WHOLLY CUCUMBERS BATMAN, WE SURE ARE IN A PICKLE. "BATMAN," RAN 120 EPISODES FROM 1966-1968. MEREDITH'S PENGUIN WAS TIED WITH CESAR ROMERO'S JOKER AS BATMAN'S MOST FREQUENT NEMESIS. MEREDITH ALSO APPEARED IN THE 1966, "BATMAN," MOVIE.
I wasn't a big fan of the "ROCKY" movies but the original from 1976 is still worth another look. Meredith's memorable role is of Mickey Goldmill, Rocky's intense, gravel-voiced manager.
MEREDITH ALSO APPEARED IN ,"ROCKY II" AND "ROCKY III."The "SYFY," network occasionally hosts 24-hour marathons of Rod Serling's original, "TWILIGHT ZONE." But Netflix can bring these Emmy-clustered beauties into your home whenever you like. In addition to the puzzling stories, it's also fun to spot the famous actors who were either at the end of their career struggling for work or newcomers vying for stardom.
Burgess Meredith appeared in four "Twilight Zone," episodes. But the one that immediately came to mind when I imagined piling up Netflix movies all over my living room was called, "TIME ENOUGH AT LAST." This episode touches on such social issues as; anti-intellectualism, reliance on technology and the difference between solitude and loneliness.
Meredith plays Henry Bemis a nearsighted bank teller who is intimidated by his nit-picking boss at work and dominated by his overbearing wife at home. All he really wants out of life is some quiet privacy to read. During his lunch hour at work, he finds an underground sanctuary, in the bank vault. As "luck" would have it, there is a violent explosion above him. The bookworm claws through the remains of the building. In the street, he discovers that the much ballyhooed nuclear holocaust had taken place while he was safe in his subterranean oasis.
All seems lost when Bemis senses that he is the last man on earth and finds a revolver in the rubble...until he comes across a huge library. He walks up the concrete stairway and begins to pile up all the salvageable books he ever wanted to read. He is about to start his literary joy ride when his glasses fall off and shatter.
Surrounded by the books he'll never read, the virtually blind Bemis laments, "That's not fair. That's not fair at all. There was time. There was all the time I needed. That's not fair."
A section of Rod Serling's narrative conclusion alluded to a Scottish poem; The best-laid schemes of mice and men, often go awry.
Unfortunately for me, I have experienced a Henry Bemis moment myself. The long rumored lay-offs at my wife's main part-time job were just made official. Worse yet, her secondary job is on shakier ground than we anticipated...and now my place has announced mid-September lay-offs as well.
I hate to admit it but with all our employment in jeopardy, the CW Network can open its arms and embrace me yet again. Ahh, nothing beats the smell of ten-minute segments of, "APOCALYPSE NOW," intertwined with five-minute blocks of commercials...in the morning. That means, to be on the safe side, I'm not taking the splurging plunge of Netflix. I'm going to save my eight dollars a month and put my date with movie destiny, temporarily on hold.