The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

It’s Not A Waste Of Money, It’s A Chance To Compare And Contrast…

Posted by BigWords on August 9, 2009

There was a time, many, many moons ago, when I had a fairly decent library of video cassettes. There was probably a couple of thousand bought films, and another four or so thousand films which I had recorded off the television, not taking into account the immense number of television series which I managed to accumulate over the years. Nowadays I stick to DVDs or DVD and CD-Roms with downloaded material burned to disk. The thing which always bothered me about videos was the noticeable deterioration, with every use adding to the destruction of the image on the tape in a small way.

DVDs don’t have this problem, though they have managed to create a parallel and equally frustrating problem which is becoming apparent as my collection nears record levels. I’m a compulsive buyer, so when I see something that sounds like it might be good to watch, or just because it is on sale, I go ahead and lay my money down. This wouldn’t be a problem, but I have noticed that I am accumulating a number of duplicates which aren’t technically the same film twice bought over. I needn’t explain this to long-time DVD aficionados, but some people might be staring at the screen with a funny look on their face.

Back when Daredevil was released on DVD it was the butchered studio version which – honestly – didn’t make much sense. The Director’s Cut followed soon after, and I have both. The issue arrives with the versions of the film not being collected in one easy box set. Thus I must have two boxes taking up valuable space. The Hellboy disk is another case entirely, and it requires a bit of explanation, especially due to the nature of the third release, which outdoes everything…

Originally released was the single disk version of Hellboy, which was fine enough on its own. That cost me £8, which I thought was a decent enough price at the time. The 2-disk edition came along a short time later, at the (I thought) hefty price of £12, but yet again I had to have it, if only because there was more insights from Guillermo del Toro, Ron Perlman and Mike Mignola. I loved the film, so it was a no-brainer that I would buy the new release. A little time later there was a neat 3-disk box-set which I managed to pick up for £10. I don’t know if I should feel aggrieved that a single film cost a total of £30, or if I should be glad I liked the movie so much…

The latest film to make me wince at my own stupidity spending habits has been Fight Club, which I originally picked up in the single disk edition. You know, the one where Brad Pitt is holding up the bar of soap… Well, I managed to find the 2-disk version (with a beautiful slipcase) for only £3 in a sale, but considering I paid out £12 for the first copy, I’m now left with the impression that someone is laughing, somewhere, at me.

It isn’t as if the cost is the main issue, though it does add up over time, but rather the expectation that only films which do well on DVD are given the opportunity at getting shiny new releases with a wealth of additional material. How do they judge ‘successful’? By the number of sales of the single disk editions? Maybe? And who is buying all those releases? It me, and people like me. Am I being screwed over? Yeah. Will I keep on buying DVDs? Of course.

An interesting note, and a personal moment of WTF which cropped up when I was clearing out my cupboard: I have six copies of Blade Runner.

The video cassette, a copy taped off the television with the different ending shown on Channel 4, the Laserdisc, a Japanese DVD, the newish revised 2-disk DVD and the big box set which cost an amazing £36. I even have the Marvel comic-book adaptation, though I am ashamed to admit that I don’t own the original short story. Yes, my priorities are all messed up. I will get around to the short story eventually, don’t worry…

The wonders of Blu-Ray have yet to make a big dent in my collection, and I have the feeling I’m going to need to replace everything again. And when the replacement for Blu-Ray comes along (reported earlier this year) I’ll need to spend out more money. The relentless need for new formats and more tech to play them on is becoming a bit of a chore. Am I being screwed? Hell yeah. Will I keep upgrading? Watch this space.

If some bastard comes up crystals to store films on, I’ll kick their head in…

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3 Responses to “It’s Not A Waste Of Money, It’s A Chance To Compare And Contrast…”

  1. Xxx Films said

    Compare And Contrast the Ways in Which Ted Hughes and John Keats respond to Nature And Animals in their Poetry.

  2. I feel your pain and I had some similiar feelings about DVDs. Mine isn’t so much that I have multiple versions of the same movie. What I’ve noticed is my wife and I buy DVDs and never watch them.

    I watched “Blood Diamond” a month ago. A good flick, but it took almost two years for me to get around to watching it. Same thing with “Hotel Rwanda.” I keep telling myself, “I have to be in the mood to watch this.” Well, I haven’t been in the mood yet and don’t expect to be in a mood to watch two hours of genocide anytime soon.

    I loved “Iron Man” and “The Dark Knight” on the big screen, but have yet to watch them on the small screen. I asked for “City of God” for Xmas and got it. Now I’ve got to watch the darn thing.

    So many movies worth watching and so little time to watch them. And even when I do, how many months or years will go by before I do again?

    Thanks for sparking my thoughts.

  3. bigwords88 said

    Sitting in a small, unloved stack in front of the television (and, yup, unwatched) is about forty DVDs. Though I did manage, somehow, to bring myself to watch Zombie Chronicles

    One of the few films I have tried unsuccessfully to watch – don’t laugh – is Doomsday. Every time I stick it in the machine I suddenly get the urge not to watch it, yet I bought the DVD after seeing it at the cinema.

    Much more of this and I will be standing in a room saying “Hello, my name is Gary and I am a DVD addict…”

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