Monday, April 4, 2016

The Major League viewing that wasn't


It's baseball season again. As this is one of the more cinematic sports out there -- and also my favorite -- I feel compelled to call attention to opening day on my blog every year. Twenty sixteen is no different.

But I did want to more explicitly combine the start of the baseball season with movies this year by scheduling my first viewing since 2012 of the 1989 classic (I'm not kidding) Major League, about a week or two back.

Unfortunately, I was frustrated in that attempt by Netflix's very successful and apparently unbreachable lockdown on the use of VPNs in foreign countries.

I had already both encountered Netflix's tighter security policy, and written about it here, a couple weeks earlier when I attempted to watch Clueless (and actually did watch it on a competing streaming service). So I shouldn't have been surprised when it was only available on the U.S. version of the service, especially since baseball is not particularly big in Australia to begin with. (I'd say it's tiny, except that someone thought Australia was an audience primed for baseball by scheduling two regular season games between the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks in Sydney to start the 2014 season.)

I guess somehow I figured that would make it slightly more likely to appear on the Australian Netflix, not less. I mean, if nobody wants to watch the movie anyway, why not have it available, just because?

That of course operates on the faulty notion that companies like Netflix dangle carrots in front of rabbits (their customers), only to snatch away the things they really want and provide them with a lot of bait-and-switch content they don't want. Giving that unwanted content essentially no value, and therefore no cost, in the free market. Well, that's certainly not the case. It's all about licensing fees and the like, and it probably makes little sense to license a film in a country where most viewers have no interest in watching it.

So my Major League itch went unscratched. Oh well. One could argue I should probably own this movie anyway, given my feelings for it. Maybe this is the impetus I need to do that. It'll have to be a digital purchase, however; finding it on the shelves here is going to be even more unlikely than finding it online.

I'll see if I can't schedule some kind of substitute tomorrow night, when I'll be home (unlike tonight), and when an entire day's worth of baseball games will have been played, rather than just the three that were played on this opening Sunday. (Which is an increase from the one game that has traditionally been played.) Tomorrow (their Monday, my Tuesday) is the real opening day in the old-fashioned sense of that word, and after poring over scores and stats all day, I'll have worked up a pretty big appetite for some baseball on celluloid. We'll see what I come up with.

Until then ... play ball!

2 comments:

Wendell Ottley said...

Glad to see a fellow baseball fan. Sad you didn't get the chance to watch Major League. As you already know, it's a fantastic and ridiculously quotable movie. Have fun this season.

Derek Armstrong said...

The Sandlot filled in quite nicely. Have you seen that? What are your thoughts?