BEST DVD RENTAL - 2003
No offense to Netflix, but even with its rapid-fire shipping, the virtual DVD outfit isn't so well suited to the all-important impulse rental. And when you absolutely must have a DVD copy of the widescreen Last Year at Marienbad, for example (imagine your most pretentious friend has come from out of town to belittle your aesthetic judgment once again), that Blockbuster around the corner isn't going to be any help at all. As a matter of fact, Video Universe, located in an unassuming Robbinsdale strip mall about 10 or 12 minutes from downtown Minneapolis (just take 394 West to 100 North and make a right on County Road 81), might well be the only store in the state that'll rent you a DVD copy of Alain Resnais's legendarily impenetrable headscratcher. It also stocks everything from Tarkovsky's Solaris (love that supplemental material!) to Brief Encounter, a double-feature of '40s-era Frankenstein schlock-fests, and more than 7,496 others, including tons of Asian anime. And how's this for a hook? "Hot hits" notwithstanding, five discs can be yours for a week at the low, low price of $12--or $2.40 apiece.