Monday, August 2, 2010

Wii and Netflix Go Together Like Pizza and Martinis

A few weeks ago Nintendo threw me a fantastic party to help me get the word out to my friends about their partnership with Netflix. Did you know you can stream movies and TV shows straight from your Netflix queue through your Wii and watch them on your TV? Well, did you? Yes, it's amazing but don't ask me how it works – like my explanation for everything else I don't have a clue about, I'll just tell you it's done with magic. How does the music come out of the radio? Magic. How does an airplane stay in the sky? Magic. How does popcorn pop? Magic, voodoo, and a little bit of oil.

Nintendo sent over a Netflix/Wii streaming disc (which you can get here), some genuine concession stand treats (hello, Raisinettes!), a catered meal and best of all provided me with a three-month subscription to Netflix. We had a subscription many years ago, but canceled it when we realized it wasn't cost effective for people like us who take eight months to get around to watching a DVD – that one viewing of Eraserhead in '02 cost us $96.

(The process is simple: Set up an 'Instant Queue' on your Netflix account online, pop the streaming disc into the Wii, access your queue and select the title you want, and the movie downloads within seconds.)

Our meal that night came from one of our favorite restaurants – California Pizza Kitchen – and we decided the drink of choice for the night would be martinis. Maybe an odd beverage to pair with pizzas and salads, but we thought it would add a nice adult, upscale air to the evening of dining and fine cinema. After all, we were using our fancy new movie projector, and I was looking forward to kicking back with my friends, noshing on some pizza and sipping a beverage while watching La Dolce Vita.

Which is why it all felt so futile when the choosing of the movies quickly got overtaken by the kids at the party, and I turned my back for a minute to mix up a pitcher of Cosmos and came back to find this on the screen:

Damn those diabolical toddlers! I managed to lure them out of the room by throwing a box of Junior Mints out onto the lawn, but when I left again to mix up a pitcher of Lemon Drops (hey, my friends are insatiable when it comes to free booze) I came back to find a gaggle of girls watching this:

Come to find out this movie was neither streaming through the Wii nor a Netflix DVD, but was a gift my 14-year-old had gotten for her birthday. This party was seriously getting out of control. What was coming up next – reruns of Matlock on Beta? Thank goodness the Nintendo people weren't at the party see the anarchy.

This time I lured all of the teens and tweens out to the backyard with a couple of Forever 21 gift cards tied to a string so that we could get to some serious movie watching. Unfortunately, by then a lot of the adults were starting to get restless from the mixture of vodka and pepperoni in their stomachs and headed outside before I could get another movie queued up. Personally I think it was just an excuse to go out and dig around in the lawn for those Junior Mints.

Eventually I gave up, and gave the controls back to the kids so they could watch 3 Ninjas and Ace Ventura which they had so cleverly queued up when I was busy mixing up that fifth pitcher of martinis. I joined the party outside, but not before sneaking onto the computer and queuing this up to watch later on my own:

I forgot to mention the nice people at Nintendo also sent over a Flip camera to record the festivities with, and my 12-year-old aspiring filmmaker was in charge of that. Here's a movie she made:

Mandatory small print disclosure that I implore you to read: I was not given any monetary compensation for hosting this event or writing about Nintendo or Netflix products, nor was I required to write a review. From Nintendo I received a Flip camera, a three-month subscription to Netflix, food for my guests and Wii Points cards to distribute. Beverages were provided by me, but if Nintendo were paying for the vodka I'm sure it would have been the good stuff and not the cheap swill I passed off to my guests.
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