I am not what you would call a neat freak. Every couple of weeks I take a trash bag and I throw out all the crap that’s accumulated around my apartment, and then I grab all the books scattered about and I stuff them on a shelf somewhere. A few times a year, I take everything off every shelf and I dust and vacuum everything. The next time I do that, while I’ve got all of the books off the shelf anyway, I’ll probably try to sort them somehow.
My DVDs are sorted. I sort them into those large wicker baskets sold at IKEA. They’re perfect for DVD storage, each capable of holding about forty discs, give or take. I’ve got ten of these baskets — filled. Don’t look at me like that!
I own a lot of DVDs. Honestly, I’m pretty certain that I could cancel my Netflix subscription, and still have something different to watch every evening for well over a year — heck, if you expand that to include all of the TV shows I have on DVD, you could probably triple or quadruple that number.
I got my first DVD player for Christmas 1999. That player bit the dust a long time ago, and so did it’s replacement, and so did it’s replacement’s replacement. In any case, I did some math: roughly, I’ve bought an average of three DVDs a month since I first bought a player.
Anyway, so recently I started delving into the baskets for movies I haven’t watched in a very, very long time. I had a bit of a mind-twisting moment when I pulled out the basket labeled He-K (I buy shipping labels and use those) and found the copy of Jaws I knew I had. See, last weekend was the 35th Anniversary of the movie’s theatrical release, so along with 1776 (which I always watch July 4th), was one of two films I’ve wanted to watch this holiday. (I had to Netflix 1776 as I’ve meant to, but never actually, picked up a copy of it). And as I pulled the disc out of the basket, I realized, holy shit: I’ve never opened the DVD. It was still shrink wrapped. And, um, I’m pretty sure I bought it ten years ago.
(I don’t actually know for sure … I don’t keep those kinds of records, yanno?)
In any case, I’ve been pulling films that have been collecting proverbial dust in my collection for years and putting them in the player. So, I think I’ll be sharing what I’m watching with you lovely readers (all two of you?), and maybe some info on the circumstances under which I bought it (if I can remember). In any case, here we go:
Samuel L. Jackson, Geena Davis
Geena Davis plays a school teacher who suffers from amnesia: one day, her amnesia goes away and she remember she’s actually a highly trained government operative. That’s like a bare minimum recap. Lots of violence, swearing, and hilarious one-liners (“Mrs. Daisy, I be honking.”/”Back when we first met, you were all like, ‘Oh, phooey, I burnt a muffin. Now you go into a bar, ten minutes later, sailors come running out — whatup with that?”). I remember the last time I saw this: I brought it in to the Indy Pizza shop I used to work in and played it on the TV in the back while we worked. I think I bought this at a Best Buy, and I must’ve seen it by that point (pretty sure I was working at Blockbuster when it first came out on DVD). Unexpected high points of the film include Brian Cox, and the very underrated David Morse, who I’m thinking was actually in just about every movie in the 1990s.
Tom Hanks, Robert Clarke Duncan
Stephen King wrote this as a marketing gimmick — a novel in six parts. I think what surprised me most was that my younger sister was the one who was really into it, collecting each individual little book: I didn’t read them until she already had all six (er, Em, I’ve actually got them all now, if you were wondering what happened to them). From what I remember of the books (it’s been ten plus years since I’ve read it), the movie’s a pretty accurate adaptation, with — guess what! David Morse! Holy shit! OMG! — a first class list of stars, including James Cromwell. I remember watching this at my apartment in Towson, so I guess I must’ve rented it from the local Blockbuster. I’m guessing it was one of those double-VHS deals. The DVD case was one of those cardboard flip boxes DVDs came in when they first came out, so I’m pretty sure I bought this pretty close to when I first saw it, although I’m pretty sure this was my first time actually watching it since then.
Gene Hackman, Sharon Stone
Wow, what a long time since Leonardo DiCaprio has been in a movie’s cast and not gotten top billing. A quirky western from Sam Raimi, Gene Hackman stars as the mostly-evil-and-twister lord of a desolate town called “Redemption”, where every year a pretty violent “shoot to the death” pistol match is held. Oh, you know who else is in this movie? Russell Crowe. Yeah. No top billing for him, either. Other people I didn’t see: Bruce Campbell. Sad. (Gary Sinese is also in this movie, but let’s be honest: who cares?)
Sandra Bullock, Ben Chaplin
Dear God, what the fuck was I thinking when I bought this movie? And then, what the fuck was I thinking when I kept it?
Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Scott Glenn
This is … wow. Such a great film, such a wonderful Western, and I have my high school friend Nathan Nadell to thank for introducing it to me — Nate, if you ever read this, shoot me an email. Four strangers — well, two are brothers, so they aren’t strangers to each other — cross paths on their way to Silverado, a town ruled by a crooked sheriff and a cattle baron. Yeah: there’s gonna be some shooting. And no matter where you look in this movie, there are faces you recognize: admittedly, I didn’t actually recognize Jeff Fahey until this last time watching the film. Notable fact: Kevin Costner’s first film. Technically he was in The Big Chill, but he played a corpse, so I don’t know if that should count.
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