DVD Collector
An Essay

By Martainn Russell.

Oh why couldn’t I have gotten into bird watching or train spotting or collecting beer mats or something equally as cheap and cheerful?  But no, I had to be into movies and more precisely DV fucking D’s.  Those little round shiny bastards’ call to me whenever I pass a home entertainment orientated emporium.  I go in just to have a look and come out with a bag loaded with stuff I don’t really need (or in some cases want).  I’m counting down the minutes till they release The Matrix Trilogy in a juicy collector’s set.  I kinda like the first movie, like parts of the second and positively hate the third, but that won’t stop me shelling out for it.

With videos it was so much easier, you got the film (sometimes the trailer as a bonus) and that was it.  Not with DVD’S though.  You get all kinds of extra features.  Sometimes the extras last longer than the film.  Then it leads to two disc sets, three disc sets.  Then we get special editions, special collectors’ editions, platinum collectors’ editions, gold frakinscence and myrrh special collectors editions where you need a fucking articulated lorry to take it home and a year off work to watch the damn thing.  I mean I’m still working my way through the extras for the Alien and The Terminator series for chrissakes.

They release gorgeous box sets of film series that I have had no inclination of watching let alone buying but its got a new 4 disc set coming soon and it’s only available for a limited time only!!!  I need to buy it.

I mean, I put off buying the Lord of the Rings trilogy coz I just know they are going to release a boffo box set of twenty discs.  I imagine it will come with a piece of soil from Middle Earth in a Gandalf or Frodo shaped figurine, a body part of one of the actors from the film and encased in Orc latex.  Most importantly it’s gonna be limited to 200 copies and if you pre order now…  Kill Bill was released recently in a pretty bare bones fashion. But folks will flock to the shops to buy it in full knowledge that Vol. 2 will be released as a separate disc in a few months time, and then re-released further down the line in a supa dupa boxed set with a couple of discs of extras. So why can’t they wait?  I mean they are not that great a set of movies anyway.  But the companies releasing them are not even keeping it a secret that they are going to release numerous different versions of the same film now.  Is it just me or does that really suck?

Another problem is that the same film can be released from different companies and with different features.  What? Do we have to buy them all?  Why can’t they all get together and release one ultimate edition so as not to fleece the fans  (I know they are out to make money and all that shit, but c’mon this is daylight robbery).  At this point it would be perfect time to mention DVD Delirium Volumes 1 and 2.  These are totally, completely, utterly indispensable guides to the best versions to buy.  If you don’t have ’em, get ’em.  Now.

How about all those videos you’ve got, do you replace them with the DVD?  Well, if you have plenty of the old spondoolies then yeah.  My suggestion though, is only replace your true faves and make sure the extras make it worth your while.  Also wait for the sales.  That Three for Twenty quid deal is always a good time to update your collection.  So says the adverts in-store (or words to that effect).  Boy, I am a sucker.

Another thing I have found to my cost is that, I rush out on the day of release to buy something.  I pay the full, extortionate price without batting an eyelid.  Then about two months later I see the same damned thing selling at half price.  Have you ever seen a grown man cry, you will the next time I make another faux pas like that.  So again wait for the sales!  The next best thing is to buy on-line.  Prices tend to be cheaper but the main reason for shopping electronically is the availability of stuff that ain’t ever gonna turn up on your High Street (or if it does, it’s in a version not worth wiping your ass on).  And on a purely superficial level, it is real cool to have DVD cases that are not festooned with the BBFC stamp of approval.

When is this shit gonna stop or will it?  Probably not.

The same goes for DVD magazines.  How do you know which one is the best to buy?  I mean, how many of the fuckers are on the shelves of your local newsagents.  DVD World, DVD Planet, DVD Universe, Total DVD, Essential DVD, Quintessential DVD ad nauseum.  Well, I always plump for the one that has the free DVD on the cover.  But the prices of these things are astronomic, so you better know which one is for you. Shiiit! That’s not including all the film magazines that were already around before the specialised DVD mags reared their expensive heads.  They all have extensive DVD sections within them.  So what do you plump for?  Hard to say really, different strokes for different folks and all that.  For the record I really enjoy DVD World coz it concentrates on the kind of movies that I like to watch and buy i.e. horror, anime and the occasional porno flick (hey it’s research).

In the end, you just have to be careful where you tread in these dangerous DVD waters.  Patience seems to be the quality you need most to be a DVD collector.  Wait for the best deals to come round.  It’s one of the coolest hobbies to have regardless of what anyone else says.  So keep buying and keep watching.

Review By Martainn Russell.
© Owned Martainn Russell   31/10/2004 15:21.

email:-  giovannip@pistachio-films.com

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