The Last Blockbuster, standing in Bend, Oregon, is a tribute in and of itself to the long gone era of looking around for something to rent.
While theaters are currently fighting for their survival in a world destined for streaming, Blockbuster remains the one of the only places where you can still rent movies. Okay, so it may just be a single Blockbuster store that’s still standing. It’s a stark reminder of an era that is long gone. I love Netflix for all they are doing with offering a home for the mid-budget drama. That being said, staring at your TV for a half hour in choosing something isn’t the same. There’s nothing like going to rent something at Blockbuster and wanting to leave with everything. It’s like Targeting except for the fact that I’m pretty sure that there were limits. Tom Arnold owes me an apology for my mom and brother repeatedly renting The Stupids!
The interviews in this film include those celebrities with ties to Blockbuster. For instance, Paul Scheer used to work at a Blockbuster. Of course, it is practically law by now that Kevin Smith must be featured in any documentary about pop culture. Adam F. Goldberg, on the other hand, is nowhere to be found! Meanwhile, there are people in Hollywood who only ended up working in Hollywood as a result of the many films they watched through Blockbuster.
Video rental stores like Blockbuster, Roadrunner Video, Video Castle, Hollywood Video, etc. were our Netflix growing up. Instead of waiting for a film to come in the mail, we would drive over to rent movies. We didn’t wait a few days for them to arrive in our mailbox. I miss catching up on classics by way of Netflix DVDs or Blu-rays. This is because of the finances in being able to afford so many streaming services. It’s not a joke to say that streaming is going to cost as much as cable if not more.
Blockbuster was the biggest chain of all. The video rental stores were our home away from home as we sought out the latest film to rewatch. Or maybe it was the newest film in The Land Before Time series before deciding whether or not to purchase it. The Land Before Time is the first film I ever watched on the big screen but they’ve made so many that I grew out of the franchise by a certain point. The same year, my parents took me (4-years-old at the time) and my brother (barely over 2-years-old) to see the Bill Murray-starring Scrooged. In case you forgot, the film is rated PG-13 and my family had no choice but to leave. This is what nostalgia does–and not having much of any human connection these days except for interviews and social media.
There is also a part in this film where people are asked what they thought of Captain Marvel falling through the Blockbuster in the 2019 film. It would have been a missed opportunity to not feature the video store. It’s a marvel of a long gone era. And yet, this documentary follows Sandi Harding in managing the last Blockbuster standing. Even with Covid-19, the store is still standing and that’s how it should be.
The Last Blockbuster is a relic for film history and a reminder of days long gone.
DIRECTOR: Taylor Morden
SCREENWRITER: Zeke Kamm
NARRATOR: Lauren Lapkus
FEATURING: Sandi Harding, Ken Tisher, Jared Rasic, Alan Payne, Doug Benson, James Arnold Taylor, Kevin Smith, Samm Levine, Brian Posehn, Jamie Kennedy, Adam Brody, Eric Close, Ron Funches, Ione Skye, Lloyd Kaufman, Darren Hayes, Greg Camp, Kate Hagen, Tom Casey, Paul Scheer, Nathan Schierbeek, Keely Wirtz, Kimberly Leemans, Brad Harding, Jeremy Harding, Alex Harding, Ryan Harding, Ashley Davis, Samantha Scott, Josh Almengor, Dan Montgomery