Best Video Rental

Reel Video

With video stores, size matters, and Reel has a monster selection — some 100,000 videos and 3,000 to 4,000 DVDs, according to the store manager. Finding the flicks could prove a bit more challenging: Reel caters to aficionados, subdividing its inventory in a way that’s both creative and confusing. Sure, lots of places have sections for certain actors and directors, but where most would simply have a Science Fiction section, Reel’s got “Classic,” “Extraterrestrials,” “Outer Space,” “Fantasy,” and “Science Gone Wrong.” Not content with a mere Comedy section, the store maintains subsections including “Action,” “Camp,” “Standup,” “British Wit,” and “Spoofs” — with separate shelves for things like the Little Rascals and the Three Stooges. Want an action flick? See “War,” “Revenge,” “Gangsters,” “On the Lam,” “Rage & Honor,” “Cops & Robbers,” “Disasters,” “Paramilitary,” “Survival,” “Hard-Boiled Heroines,” or “One-Man Army.” All this subdividing takes getting used to, but you can always ask, and things tend to be cross-referenced: Austin Powers, for instance, is filed under “General Comedy,” “Spoofs,” and “Espionage.” And it’s fun. What other store, after all, has a “Women Bonding” section? Or “So Bad It’s Good,” a section full of losers such as Ishtar, Beach Babes from Beyond, and Vasectomy?

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