Take a Goofy Walk Down Memory Lane with The Last Blockbuster, Now on Netflix

Take a Goofy Walk Down Memory Lane with The Last Blockbuster, Now on Netflix

Written By Matthew Sadowski

During a weekly rental expedition at Hollywood Video, my younger brother, then about 10 years old, insisted on getting the new R-rated war drama Jarhead. My mom had doubts about how suitable it would be for a kid to see, and asked a guy working there if that movie would be appropriate for a boy who “wants to feel mature.” The worker (wisely) said that it would be too adult, but inexplicably steered her towards another R-rated movie, Shaun of The Dead. Later that night, my brother, my dad, and I fell in love with the British horror-comedy’s obscene bloodshed and constant profanity, while Mom had horrified flashbacks to when my grandma took her at a young age to see what was supposed to be just another cheesy gangster movie: Scarface. Take a Goofy Walk Down Memory Lane with The Last Blockbuster, Now on Netflix

These types of video rental memories are what the documentary, The Last Blockbuster, is all about. Whether you used to go to Blockbuster or Hollywood Video, there is no denying that the feeling of walking endlessly through rows of beaten up video cases is all but gone, but this movie unabashedly revels in that feeling. Focusing on the last remaining Blockbuster on Earth in Bend, Oregon, The Last Blockbuster tells the story of the titular company’s rise, peak, fall, and cultural legacy.

Interspersed throughout is a collection of movie-nerd celebs like comedians Doug Benson and Brian Posehn, and Clerks director Kevin Smith, who give little tidbits of their own happy Blockbuster days. At the center of it all is the friendly manager of Bend’s Blockbuster, Sandi Harding, known locally as “The Blockbuster Mom,” having hired so many of the city’s teens over the decades. As her store gradually becomes the last one still operating, she cheerfully yet cautiously holds onto the hope that her license will be renewed by the powers that be… and that is really all The Last Blockbuster is.

But despite the celebrities basically giving the same point over and over again (“Going to a store and chatting about movies is gone”), their enthusiasm and weird little anecdotes keep things fresh during the 116 minute runtime, and the old news footage and commercials, like the infamous “No More Late Fees” campaign, brings back all kinds of nostalgia that makes you want to see more.

In an era when all we need is Netflix, travel back to when movies were a weekly gamble.

The Last Blockbuster

Directed by: Taylor Morden

Featuring: Kevin Smith, Ione Skye, Brian Posehn, Doug Benson



Streaming on: Netflix

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