Moriarty’s DVD Shelf Returns! SUPERFLY! Browsing! More!!
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
Ahhhh... it’s nice to be back at it. I’ve got a lot of stuff I want to talk about. It’s been a great fall for DVDs... maybe the single best season I’ve seen since jumping onboard the format. So many great titles released, and the way companies are servicing both new release schedules and catalog titles at the same time pleases me enormously.
One of the reasons I want to write this column each week is just to have a place to vent about all of this. I drive both my co-writer and Mrs. Moriarty crazy with my near-RAINMAN level of infatuation with my movies and my browsing habits. I’m lucky Scott doesn’t mind going to Amoeba or Virgin a couple of times weekly. If he got bored with it, I couldn’t pretend it was work anymore.
Mrs. Moriarty is going to kill me in my sleep sooner or later if I don’t figure out a better way to store all the DVDs that are already in the house. Right now, there are about six places in our apartment where DVDs are kept, and I’ve got them “sorted” according to a very loose set of criteria.
First, there’s the stack of stuff that’s been brought into the house, but which hasn’t been watched yet. This is the primary stack, the one I pull titles from every day to watch.
Then there’s the stack of the most recent stuff watched, things I haven’t had a chance to sort into other shelves, or which there’s just no room for anywhere else right now.
There’s the original bookcase, filled with DVDs back when I alphabetized and sorted them carefully, and which is still sort of vaguely kind of in alphabetical order. The bottom shelf is stuffed with test discs, sent in smaller packaging. I’ve gotta have something like 200 of those alone. Overall, this is the stuff that gets the least current play in the player.
There’s the second bookcase, where I’ve just sort of jammed everything onto the shelves, overstuffing it completely. Those shelves are stacked two deep, so there’s another whole layer of DVDs you can’t see there.
Then there’s Mrs. Moriarty’s shelf of movies, DVDs purchased just for her. One of the things I love doing most for her is hunting titles down that she mentions, or finding things I know she’ll enjoy but which she’s never seen. Giving movies is one of my favorite things.
And there’s my smaller “hasn’t been watched” stack in front of the TV in the bedroom, stuff that I want to watch late at night, things I’d like to see in particular detail. The TV and the DVD player in the bedroom are, technically, the better set-up. I love the Panasonic bigscreen in the living room, but the resolution isn’t as crystal clear as the Sony, which is where I also play the occasional game.
So, as you can see, DVDs have eaten my apartment. Send rescue teams immediately.
I’m working on getting new DVD shelves in the weeks ahead, and if any of you have something you recommend in particular, something that you find to be a particularly good combination of form and function, then please... drop me a quick e-mail and let me know about it.
New release Tuesday today, and I picked up a few things. I still prefer going to the Virgin on Sunset late on Monday night, when they sell new titles right at midnight. There are so few people there, and in cases where they only get a few copies of something, it’s nice to cherrypick before anyone else gets the chance.
Got ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO and OPEN RANGE, first off. Haven’t seen either one. I also picked up THE RULES OF THE GAME and SPELLBOUND, both of which I have seen, and which are great films, well worth owning. There were a few titles I’d been looking for but hadn’t found yet that I also grabbed, like SITCOM and the Mark Dacascos action film DRIVE. Six titles for a week... felt like getting off light. I’m still interested in seeing if the new REPO MAN is anything different than the version that’s already out and maybe picking up the Showtime series JEREMIAH. I’m still working my way through the BABYLON 5 boxes, and I’m enjoying them very much. I’m curious to see what else JMS is up to with his new show.
Next week’s a good one, with a number of interesting titles like ALICE IN WONDERLAND: THE MASTERWORKS EDITION, CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS, COMIC BOOK: THE MOVIE, HOFFA, the reviled HOUSE OF THE DEAD, the flawed but fascinating ONE FROM THE HEART, a pair of well-reviewed 2003 releases I missed (THE SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS and THIRTEEN), and the brand-new Anchor Bay’s Divimax release of TIME BANDITS. Even with all of that, it’s still just a warm-up for this spring’s best single day, February 3rd.
But more on that next time...
There are all sorts of announcements recently, and as always, I’ve enjoyed reading DVD File. The last week or so, as I’ve been watching the fourth season box set of BABYLON 5, it was nice to hear that the fifth and final season of the show is set for an April 13th release with a $100 price tag, like all the other seasons so far. I am also glad to see that the release of Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST has kicked loose a few other Gibson titles to cash in on the controversy. His HAMLET, directed by Zeffirelli, is a rather spirited take on the material and beautifully shot, and I’m surprised there are no extras to speak of on the disc. Still, $19.95 is a good price. It’ll be nice when we can put this one, the Olivier, and the Branagh side-by-side on the shelf. 21 GRAMS is one of the films I missed this season, and at this point, I might as well wait for the March 16th release from Universal, which looks like a pretty standard set, no real bells and whistles. I also missed SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE, and that will be out March 30th. Both of these will retail for under $30.
Most of the sites I browse linked to the story from VIDEO STORE MAGAZINE about just how much Americans are spending on DVD these days. It’s 71% of the overall home video market now, over $16 billion. That’s a spike from last year, and if the industry is smart, they’ll see even more growth this year.
Over on the always-excellent Digital Bits, they’ve got some great new cover art, including the artwork for the Universal MONSTER LEGACY COLLECTION discs. Can’t wait. We’ll be able to take those home on April 27th, just in time for Universal to release VAN HELSING the next week. Even if that movie sucks, it led Universal to finally create what looks like an excellent box set collections of the classic titles we already know we love, so that’s a good thing, right?
Using the various sites I browse, I’ve put together my list of titles announced so far for this year that I’m interested in. This isn’t comprehensive, keep in mind... just the stuff that jumps out so far. Some of it is on the list because I haven’t seen it and need to, some of it is on the list because it’s absolutely essential to any good collection, and some of it is on there because I’m just plain curious:
TIME BANDITS – Divimax Edition(Anchor Bay)
STOKED: THE RISE & FALL OF GATOR
SPY KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER
MR. TOAD’S WILD RIDE
WITHOUT A CLUE
THE COMITTMENTS: SPECIAL EDITION
SPLASH: 20th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
THE SUNSHINE BOYS
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS
THE PINK PANTHER BOX SET
BABYLON 5: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON
KILL BILL VOL. I
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER Season Six
MARY POPPINS: SPECIAL EDITION
ALADDIN: SPECIAL EDITION