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IMAGE: Netflix
Brian Snyder  /  REUTERS file
Netflix doesn't seem to know where the company is going, but while it decides, there are plenty of other options.
By
TODAY.com
updated 10/10/2011 11:40:20 AM ET 2011-10-10T15:40:20
OPINION

It's no real skin off my nose if Netflix wants to change its name to NetQwixMovFilmMcMettaWorldPeace, and then change it back again. I dropped the service right around the time of the price hike and haven't looked back. But I do think that the company got too cocky too fast.

Netflix drops Qwikster plan, says it moved 'too fast'

"Netflix" was becoming a verb in the same way that "Xerox" became shorthand for making copies. But now we movie fans have way more options as far as where to get our movies.

There's a Redbox rental kiosk in the parking lot of my drug store and another at one of the grocery stores I go to. They're even in some McDonald's.

Story: Dear Netflix: I'm kind of relieved we broke up

And although video stores are closing like crazy, the ones that are still around have some incredible deals. You can rent a movie for 49 cents on certain days at my local Blockbuster, and on my last receipt they threw in a coupon for a free rental. And they get the new releases well before Netflix by mail.

Streaming video isn't limited to Netflix either. Video on Demand and Hulu, along with others, can scratch the must-see-it-now itch pretty darn well. Even Amazon now has a video streaming service -- actually, two. I already have an Amazon Prime membership, so now I get video streaming for free. The movie choices are limited, but free is free, and Amazon also has a pay service if I want more titles.

Netflix couldn't have expected to stand alone forever in the mail rental arena. But they seem to have forgotten that the American consumer does not like to be jerked around. Any person on the street could have foreseen trouble with Qwikster. So someone who wants both streaming and mailed discs has to keep up with two ID/password combos and visit two separate Web sites? Two bills to pay each month? Will the two accounts talk to each other? Why make something more complicated than it already was? The price hike and now the changing-our-name-NO! WAIT! WE'RE NOT! business is just trying customer patience.

There are a ton of options out there for moviegoers (including your public library's collection, for free) and they're growing all the time. You'd think a company with an established customer base would want to nurture and protect and expand that audience, not pick their pockets and change its name.

How do you watch movies outside of the theater? Tell us on Facebook.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Photos: October

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  1. 'Real Steel'

    Stars: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly and Kevin Durand

    Director: Shawn Levy

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 7

    Is "Real Steel" really "Rock Em Sock Em Robots: The Movie"? Looks like it. Hugh Jackman plays a small-time boxing promoter whose job goes kaput when enormous robots take over the sport. He and his young son find a scrapped robot in a junkyard and rebuild it in hopes of winning the championship. (DreamWorks Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. 'The Ides of March'

    Stars: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Director: George Clooney

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 7

    George Clooney for president! He both stars in and directs "The Ides of March," with Ryan Gosling playing his naive spokesman who discovers the dirty side of politics. (Is there a clean side?) (Columbia Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. 'Wanderlust'

    Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd and Malin Akerman

    Director: David Wain

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 7

    In "Wanderlust," Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd play a New York couple who must simplify their lives and move to a small town. (Universal Studios) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. 'The Thing'

    Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton and Ulrich Thomsen

    Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 14

    The 2011 version of "The Thing" is set up as a prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter horror flick. Mary Elizabeth Winstead heads to Antarctica to help a scientific team who've discovered a seemingly dead alien in the ice. Hey, let's thaw him out! What could happen? (Universal Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. 'Footloose'

    Stars: Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid

    Director: Craig Brewer.

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 14

    Remakes abound this fall, and one of the most talked about is "Footloose," which made Kevin Bacon a star in 1984. Now Kenny Wormald takes on the role of Ren, a city boy who moves to a town where dancing is banned. "Dancing With the Stars" alum Julianne Hough plays the girl he loves, who also is the daughter of the reverend who keeps the kids from dancing. (Paramount Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. 'The Skin I Live In'

    Stars: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya and Jan Cornet

    Director: Pedro Almodóvar

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 14

    There's lots of buzz about the Spanish thriller "The Skin I Live In," which reunites acclaimed director Pedro Almodovar and star Antonio Banderas. Banderas plays a brilliant but warped plastic surgeon seeking to make skin that cannot burn. It only gets weirder from there. (Sony Pictures Classics) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. 'The Big Year'

    Stars: Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin

    Director: David Frankel

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 14

    A movie about birdwatching? "The Big Year" is going to have to work on convincing audiences that's a topic that will fly. Casting Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson was a good start -- the three actors play pals who try to outdo each other in the bird-spotting realm. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. 'Paranormal Activity 3'

    Stars: Not yet released

    Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 21

    Yes, a third one. "Paranormal Activity 3" goes back to the childhoods of Katie and Kristi, the sisters who found their lives cursed by a creepy demon. But has this found-footage series worn out its welcome? Happy Halloween! (Paramount Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. 'The Three Musketeers'

    Stars: Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans and Ray Stevenson

    Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 21

    Hollywood loves the Alexandre Dumas story of "The Three Musketeers." This version's in 3-D. No, really. Logan Lerman plays fourth musketeer D'Artagnan, with Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans as the three main men. (Constantin Film Produktion GmbH) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. 'Red State'

    Stars: Michael Parks, Melissa Leo and John Goodman

    Director: Kevin Smith

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 21

    "Red State" is the independent politically themed horror film from "Clerks" director Kevin Smith. It features characters and a plot loosely based on Fred Phelps and his hatred of homosexuals. (Lionsgate) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. 'Margin Call'

    Stars: Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci and Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore

    Director: J.C. Chandor

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 21

    A thriller at an investment bank? "Margin Call" covers 24 hours at such a bank in the midst of our financial crisis, and has been described as "Gordon Gekko meets Jack Bauer." (Roadside Attractions) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. 'In Time'

    Stars: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy

    Director: Andrew Niccol

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 28

    Justin Timberlake breaks out as an action star in "In Time," a sci-fi thriller where people must wear on their arm a clock counting down the amount of time they have left. The rich can buy more time and live forever, while the rest must battle it out to continue to exist. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. 'The Rum Diary'

    Stars: Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and Aaron Eckhart

    Director: Bruce Robinson

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 28

    "The Rum Diary" is based on Hunter S. Thompson's novel, and stars Johnny Depp as a journalist who travels to Puerto Rico in the 1950s for many rum-soaked adventures. (FilmDistrict) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. 'Anonymous'

    Stars: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave and David Thewlis

    Director: Roland Emmerich

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 28

    Did William Shakespeare really write his plays? "Anonymous" puts forth the theory that the works were instead written by Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, who's also the lover of Queen Elizabeth. The play's the thing. (Columbia Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. 'Blackthorn'

    Stars: Sam Shepard, Eduardo Noriega, Daniel Aguirre and Luis Bredow

    Director: Mateo Gil

    Scheduled release date: Oct. 28

    Butch Cassidy, is that you? In "Blackthorn," the notorious criminal is still alive in Bolivia, and he embarks on one last adventure before trying to get home to the U.S. Sam Shepard plays Cassidy. (Magnet Releasing) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. DreamWorks Pictures
    Above: Slideshow (15) October movies - October
  2. The Weinstein Company
    Slideshow (17) October movies - September

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