So I rented the movie Get Him to the Greek from Netflix. I was a big fan of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but missed this quasi-sequel in its theatrical run. I think renting a movie before purchasing is a perfectly acceptable and legal way of watching a movie, and allows me to make an informed decision before deciding if I like a movie enough to re-watch it often enough to warrant owning it.

Netflix is often times presented with bare-bones discs, which is fine if you just want the movie. After the movie was over, the DVD returned specifically to the special features menu. Seeing a slate of deleted scenes, I thought I’d continue the laughs and opted to “play all.” I was presented with a message: “This disc is intended for rental purposes and only includes the feature film. Own it on Blu-Ray or DVD to view these bonus features and complete your movie watching experience.”

Universal Pictures, it seems, was content to load only the movie on the disc, but not change the menus so that selecting ANY option other than the movie will show the above message. This is really obnoxious and annoying and I’m wondering how many movies I’ve rented from Netflix with similar messages I never accessed.

I’d like to mention that I’m not really against a bare-bones DVD release for renters, but to keep all the menus in tact and waive this “PLEASE BUY THE MOVIE” message up front is fairly strange, and almost abusive to the viewer. Why do I feel like a criminal when I pay my Netflix bill? You guys sold them the DVD! I could’ve downloaded a pirate copy and seen no such message!

Sadly, the tactic worked, as the movie was hilarious and I’ll probably buy it to watch any expanded features. Still, there is a nice way to do things and I’m not sure Universal did it.