Sunday, November 3, 2013

A good day to rent Die Hard

Everything is more expensive in Australia than in the U.S.

Except when it isn't.

First it was miraculous $6 Mondays at Cinema Nova in Carlton. It's such a cheap rate that I've missed seeing a movie there only two Mondays since I moved here (both times due to conflicts with baseball playoff games I simply had to watch).

Now, Hoyt's kiosks -- which I first discussed here -- are undercutting even the low low price of Redbox in the United States.

Having rented from the green box near the exit of the Woolworth's in Carlton twice now, I received an email from Hoyt's a couple days ago talking about a new price structure, one I couldn't quite believe. It discussed that new releases will still be $3.50/night, but that slightly older releases -- dubbed "recent releases" -- would now be available for just $1.

I figured their definition of "slightly older releases" would be the five to ten oldest titles in the box, which may have been kicking around in there for a year. It would be a pretty easy advertising trick that would accomplish the goal of getting people to stop at the kiosk in the first place.

But when my first choice of a movie for Sunday night was out, I checked on A Good Day to Die Hard, which would have only hit video maybe six months ago. Indeed, I was pleased to see I could pick it up for only $1 -- which will be helpful as I round out my list of 2013 viewings in the interest of finalizing my rankings in early January.

Mind you, that's 30 cents cheaper even than Redbox right now. Granted, it doesn't apply to the whole stock in the box, but it still qualifies as unbelievably inexpensive, by Australian standards.

Good thing, too, as the fifth Die Hard was barely worth a buck.

Things are feeling a bit more American all the time here. Cheaper movies? Check. Halloween? Check. It was almost not celebrated at all when my wife was young, but my son trick-or-treated for the first time in his young life this past Thursday. Baseball? Check. Australia must be baseball mad, considering that Sunday represented my second failed attempt to rent 42 from that Hoyt's kiosk. I wonder if the Aussies are already preparing to host the first two games of the regular season next March in Sydney, between the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks. My wife and I will be in attendance for at least one of those games.

I suppose A Good Day to Die Hard was an appropriate movie to watch if I'm pondering an American cultural invasion. John McClane and his son end up shooting up a large quarter of Russia, God bless 'em.

Maybe they were trying to make the movies cheaper in all the Moscow movie kiosks.

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