Sunday, January 13, 2013

I'm probably addicted to movies

OK, this post is kind of long, just felt like raging against the new way media is delivered.
If you don't feel like reading the gist of the thing is:
• I really like buying / collecting movies on physical media like DVDs and Blu-ray disc, VHS before that. To the point it might be an addiction.
• It was really hard to find the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
• I think torrenting stuff is dumb
• I might have pretty terrible taste in movies.
• If stores selling DVDs want people to buy the DVDs, arranging them by genre makes more sense then arranging them alphabetically.

Anyway, on with the rant, which I really hope you read. 

Small preview of the whole thing, click the link in the story below
So as you probably saw, I recently did a graphic chronicling the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series for the National Post. When I decided I was going to do that graphic I figured I'd be able to watch the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Netflix or rent it from iTunes or something like that. I mean its Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Its not a obscure horror flick. Even your mom has heard of it. Some people consider it a classic of the genre. A masterpiece of chills. A movie you've got to see if you love horror films. I've never really liked the first Chainsaw. I enjoyed the two sequels and the remakes, but I digress. I figured, I already had Chainsaw 2 and 3 in my collection so it should be really easy to find and watch the first one.
Every option I checked all they had was the first Platinum Dunes remake, sometimes they had the sequel to that one. There's no video rental places in town, so renting a physical copy of it was out of the question. I even tried looking for a torrent (I don't use nor do I condone the use of torrents for getting movies, pirating movies is only for things you can't get legitimately*), but nothing. No Texas Chainsaw Massacre. No where. So what was I gonna do. I had this idea for something to do for work but I couldn't find the first part.
I decided I'd buy it if it was available for a decent price. This unfortunately triggered what I like to call "The Hunt" craving. Its an addiction. Sometimes I'll get the jones to watch some movie that I don't have already on DVD/Blu-Ray and I'll go into "Hunt Mode" where all I can think of is how / where can I find that movie. Thanks to Amazon I can quickly discover either the movie doesn't exist on disc or its at a price I don't feel like paying to see whatever stupid thing I've decided I needed to see and then the hunt's over. Sometimes though that's not enough, especially since getting it from Amazon feels like cheating. With Chainsaw since I wasn't a huge fan of the movie I figured Amazon would be a decent way to get it. They'd have it for sure! It's a "Classic"! It's not an obscure movie from a defunct studio! There's a sequel coming out next week of course it'll be available on Amazon.
All they had was the remake and all the sequels. There was one copy available from an "Amazon other sellers" company but they wanted $150 for it and it wasn't going to ship in time for me to have it to complete the graphic.
Now its getting serious and the "Hunt" is taking over my mind. What do I do!? There's a Futureshop just down the road, but they've reduced their DVD selection to pretty much the last months worth of new releases and weird selection of TV shows. So I'm not going to bother with that. There's an HMV at the mall they've got a pretty good selection, I actually found Sint, Rare Exports, Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 and Crippled Avengers there and I'm still stunned that they've got the uncensored Caligula on the shelf,  but sometimes they're a little over priced. I NEED the movie so I'll check there. NO. They don't have it. I head out a little farther to another Futureshop and a Best Buy. No and No. I come home and check the websites for Futureshop and Best Buy. More negatives. I'm beginning to take this as a personal insult. This is way too much effort spent on a movie I don't love. Suddenly I remember there was an AMAZING video store at Square One in Mississauga. Its about 25 minutes away but they'll be closed by the time I get there. So I'll phone them see if they got it. I check the phone book, dial the number.
"We're sorry the number you dialled has been disconnected."
Oh look, I dialled the number for a different location, here's the Square One number.
"We're sorry the number you dialled has been disconnected."
WHAT?! Every time I went to that place it was full of people. I'll check Square One's website see if they have a list of stores, maybe there's a new phone number.
It's not listed in their directory. It's gone. No more giant video store at Square One. dammit.
OK reality you're not going to win this time. Around Christmas time I went to Sherway Gardens. They had an HMV with an amazing video selection I found Hellraiser II there (another series I don't love but as you saw in an earlier post I saw the first one on the big screen recently and decided I needed to see the second one again) they'll probably have it. Sherway's kinda far is there another option. Yes. The Beat Goes On, (that's a used CD/DVD/Video game chain of stores in case you haven't heard of it) I'll check the internet see if the store near me has it. It doesn't but a second location 20 minutes away by highway does. I request they hold it for me, receive the conformation they've got it and it's cheap. The next day I go and pick it up. Unfortunately they have a really huge selection of movies and I'm still suffering from "THE HUNT" so into their racks I go. They've got a bunch of movies I've been looking for to fill holes in my collection. So I pick them up too.
Now its lunch time so I head to the mall thats a block away for some food court food. What's this I see next to the food court? A "Cinema 1?" I haven't seen an actual "Cinema 1" in years! I might as well check it out.
Bad idea.
"Cinema 1" understands how to sell movies. The entire store is arranged by genre. Not just alphabetically like every other place that sells movies. Who has ever said, "I'm in the mood to watch something starting with the letter 'T'" or "My favorite movies are movies whose titles start with 'G'"? Nobody that's who.
If you get the urge to pick up a horror movie or a comedy or what have you and you go to a section that is JUST that genre you're going to be looking at other movies in that genre, that you're already in the mood to buy, that are similar to the one you're looking for. You probably will find something you forgot you wanted or something that looks interesting enough to pick up just for the hell of it.
I ended up buying a few more movies.
sure I'm not a huge fan of Hellraiser but I figured I'd finish out the trilogy.
The next week a bought a couple more.
Then it hit me. I really miss renting movies. There was something fun about going into a Blockbuster or a Jumbo Video and walking up and down the aisles looking at the cover. Taking a chance on things
just because they had a weird title or a cool cover. And best of all, a lot of the old stuff was there. Both classics and not so classics. If something disappeared from the rental shelf you at least had the chance to find it for sale in the "PREVIOUSLY VIEWED" bin (and that stuff stuck around forever) usually for about what it would have cost to rent it. Now all these digital sites if the rights for something are up the movie's gone. That's it. Gone.
"What? We never had that. You must be mistaken."
"We're sorry, there was never a movie called 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' from the 1970's. What are you an idiot?"
Digital download movies are dumb. Once the studio gets bored of allowing you to see something. Its gone. Unlike when they release stuff on physical media there's almost no chance of suddenly stumbling across a copy. If the studio accidentally releases the R version of Swamp Thing realizes their mistake and immediately switches the file with their intended PG rated version you won't be able to find a copy of the R rated one sitting on a shelf randomly somewhere else. If Disney suddenly discovers two frames of naked ladies in the back ground of a scene of people falling down, erased from history. Parents groups are offended by the hero of an R rated movie using swear words and shooting people, that movie's now completely sanitized and its now safe for three-year-olds to watch Robocop (it could happen)
I don't know what I'll do if physical media goes away.
Guess I'll have to turn pirate.

I just recently discovered the WHOLE Texas Chainsaw Massacre was on youtube.

*"I haven't seen it yet" or "everyone else is doing it" or "its probably crummy so I don't want to pay to see it" or "I just don't feel like paying for things 'cus I'm a teen" are not legitimate reasons to pirate stuff.

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