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December 29, 2010

Resident Evil: Apocalypse is not available, but you might enjoy these titles…

Filed under: Commentary,Movies,Television — Bob @ 7:33 pm

Uh what? Netflix, please explain to me why Resident Evil and a later movie in the franchise is available, but not this one (second in the series)?

Background: so we purchased one of the new Apple TV boxes for ourselves for Christmas. The new Apple TV is excellent, and I find it even better than the original (which I also own). It is streaming only, which is unlike the original, but it works flawlessly. We’ve purchased about five different movies from the iTunes store and each has played without fault.

Then we signed up for a Netflix account. They have a free month trial program, and at $8 each month it seemed like a good deal. So far, I’m not very impressed. The selection is less than stellar, there are some surprising gaps and the Apple TV interface really stinks for finding titles. We’ve ended up using their website to find titles then “Search” for them. Sigh. I’ve watched about a dozen episodes of Top Gear without trouble, but the first (The Great Train Robbery) of the two movies I’ve watched had severe download issues – every few minutes the stream would stop and the film would pause for a minute or two. The second movie (Resident Evil) worked without issues, so I was ready to accept the problems might have been temporary.

Then we decided to watch the sequel, Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Finding it via the Netflix interface didn’t work so I went to the website. Imagine my surprise that this film, made in 2004, is not available. What? It makes no sense to me, although I’m pretty sure Netflix isn’t choosing to do this. So it probably means that one of the many production or distribution companies involved doesn’t like Netflix.

I had higher expectations for the Netflix catalog, especially when compared to the availability in the US market. Sort of sucks actually. I don’t mind paying for the latest movie releases (that is why I’m using the iTunes store with the Apple TV) but when it comes to a deep back catalog, that is something I expected Netflix should be able to provide at a flat rate per month. Apparently I was mistaken, at least for today. I’ll give Netflix more time to see what changes, especially since it it still part of my free month, but I can’t see paying $8/month until the current situation improves.

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