Now I'm sitting here talking to myself... that's chaos theory!
"This is rumour control. Here are the facts." - Alien 3
This article, as are most of my articles on this area of the website, has been written as part of a professional writing course I am taking at Concordia University, Montreal. Lurking in the course outline, like Cthulhu napping in Ryleh, was "The Interview Assignment". And suddenly, without warning (other than the course outline but who reads those things?) the stars were right and The Interview Assignment came lumbering across the landscape directly towards us. It was suggested that since I have an interest in DVD collecting (creeping toward 2000 movies) I should interview somebody who collects movies. Unfortunately I don't know anyone else who collects. I had nobody to interview. I was all prepared to kiss those marks good bye and hope I didn't bring down the class average too much when the teacher suggested I interview myself.
I can do that.
If you are too busy to read, here is the audio of my interview. It's about 55 minutes long. Instead of going the usual route of simply taking my time and writing out the answers to my questions, I essentially did a 55 minute improv. Given the number of questions it shouldn't have taken that long, but unfortunately my interview subject had trouble staying on track and kept going off onto tangents about movies and stuff. Actually it started as a 57 minute interview, but I ran it through some software to take out all the pauses longer than 5 seconds. I also pitch shifted the "reporter" asking questions to make things a little more interesting. So now you can hear an 8 foot tall version of me is interviewing the regular sized version of me.
Before we get into the text of the interview I should say that the title is a quote from Jurassic Park. Jeff Goldblum is using an explanation of chaos theory to hit on Laura Dern when suddenly everybody runs off to see a dinosaur, leaving Goldblum alone and talking to himself. And alternate title for the piece might have come from Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" from his "Take No Prisoners" live album where instead of singing it he does a 14 minute monologue about himself and the history of the song: "Me and my several selves discuss it at night..."
Reporter: So, Who are you?
Eric: Uh, well.. my name is Eric Cough Cough Hrumph. And I, uhm, I collect movies.
Eric: Eric Cough Cough Hrumph. It's Lithuanian.
Reporter: Ah, ok. So, how long have you been a movie collector?
Eric: Hmm. Uhm, twenty, maybe 25 years?
Reporter: And, what's the first movie you bought?
Eric: Hmm, let's see. It's a toss-up between the Star Wars Trilogy, or Gorgo.
Reporter: Gorgo? Wasn't that Leonidas's wife in 300?
Eric: Maybe? But the Gorgo I'm talking about is this British giant monster movie.
There's this giant dinosaur like thing rampaging around rural Ireland. And it's captured. They bring it into to London to put into a zoo, and then its mom comes after it, and it's mom's 200 feet tall and starts knocking over buildings and stuff. Apparently, Steven Spielberg wanted to remake it. The story of a mother dinosaur looking for her baby dinosaur, what could be more Speilbergian. But then he decided to make Jurassic Park instead.
Reporter: Was this VHS, DVD, Laserdisc?
Eric: These were VHS's actually. I never collected laserdiscs. Didn't have the money for laserdiscs then. Way outside of my budget. No, these were VHS's.
Reporter: So, why do you collect movies?
Eric: It's probably some sort of... disorder, actually. An OCD sort of thing? Part of it is wanting to keep a record of things. Part of its just liking complete sets of things.
Reporter: Yeah, But it's already out there. In stores. You bought it from a store, you know? It's not like you're really saving anything because it's out there in the public domain anyway. Not "Public Domain," but it's out there. So, what are you saving?
Eric: Well. I'm not sure what you'd call it... but, it's saving things from "Lucas Syndrome". Heh, or maybe "1984-ization".
The classic example is Star Wars. The version of Star Wars you can get on VHS is different from the version you can get on DVD. And I don't mean the whole "Han Shot First" thing, although that's part of it. But, even if you want... when the trilogy was first was re-released in the "Special Edition" before the prequels came out ... they had all these dandy new computer effects. You know, Han shooting first, new Jabba, stuff like that. But when they re-released them on DVD, they played with them again. So you can't even get on VHS... on DVD the version... the "mangled" version version you saw in theaters.
(Top: Jabba in the theatrical special edtion. Below: Jabba in the DVD special edition)
(Image courtesy of roadto7.blogspot.ca)
You have to get a re-mangled mangled version of the mangled version that was in theaters. The only place you can see the original mangled version of it is on VHS. And if you don't want that well then you have to go back to an earlier version of the VHS, or this crappy version Lucas released on DVD that's kind of lousy looking.
So as long as I have it, there's proof of it. I guess.
Here's another one. Here's two words that strike fear into the hearts of Sci Fi fans: "Highlander 2".
When Highlander 2 first came out in theaters, somebody thought it would be a really brilliant idea that the Highlanders should be aliens. That's why they're immortal, because they're aliens. When they released it on DVD they cut out the alien bit 'cause it pissed people off so much. So if you want to see the original theatrical version of it you have to go back to the VHS, you can't find it on DVD, even though they've released 4 or 5 different versions of the DVD, each one slightly modified.
That's kind of it.
Reporter: Ok. So, how do you feel about digital copies vs physical copies of movies?
Eric: Digital. Uhh... Like the horse says: "Nosir, I don't like it."
The problem I have with digital copies... there's two things...There's actually... heh. There's not two, there's many!
There's... I live in Canada. If I want to watch a high-def version of a thing online, streaming, it's going to eat up a chunk of my download bandwidth for the month. (SIRENS in the background) I can only download 75 gigabytes (GB) month, and that's because I upgraded. Last year I could only download 60GB a month. And you're talking about a movie that's 3GB, so that's 1/20th of my downloads for month. Well, so what? 1/20th? That doesn't sounds like much. But that's more than 2 days allotment of download. I mean, if I have 60GB of download, that's roughly 2GB a day. If I'm blowing 4 of that on a movie, well then that's one day of downloading I can't make and that's for one movie. So, it's streaming I don't like. The downloading eats up my bandwidth. I don't like that.
I don't like that... Let's say I buy the rights to having... the digital rights to download it and keep it. Well, there's nothing to stop the people who I bought it from, assuming it got some rights protection on it, from taking it away from me any time they want. The most famous example is when Amazon tried to release a digital version of the book "1984" (ironically). And, unfortunately they hadn't made... there was some sort of a rights issue and apparently Amazon did not have the rights to sell an electronic version of it. So one day people turn on their Kindles and find out "hey, 1984 is gone!" They'd been refunded, but they could just walk in and yank it out of your system. Or deny you the rights to watch it.
So, I don't like that. My physical copy here, I mean I have... (I say "I mean" a lot!) ... I've got my copies of Star Wars. George Lucas is not going to kick down my door and take 'em back from me. I've got my Star Trek things. J J Abrams is not going to kick down my door and take 'em back from. They are mine.
Also... the versions that they have online like that usually they don't have the special features. And I like special features. I like the behind the scenes stuff, even if it's really a processed, homogenized, cleaned up version of the behind the scenes stuff I still like it. Like... Battlefield Earth.
Battlefield Earth is this really really really bad science fiction movie. It was actually filmed in Montreal, so there's something we should be embarassed about. And, it's about these giant hairy monsters that come down from space take over the earth because they're capitalists. And, a thousand years after they've taken over we finally decide to get up off our butts and throw them out. And, the problem with the movie.. well the biggest problem, ignoring the plot and terrible acting, the whole movie is shot at angle. The camera is literally tilted off to one side. One side is lower than the other. Now, this normally this is called a "Dutch Angle", and they're used very sparingly in films and it usually is supposed to denote a change in a character's perspective on the world. Unfortunately, this guy... the director of the film decided to put the Dutch angle in every. Single. Shot. And it looks stupid.
We're the villains. Take us seriously. Please?
As one reviewer of the film put it, "The director knows that the great film makers of the world use Dutch angles, he just doesn't know why." It turns out this is almost literally true, because in the commentary track, which he didn't mention in any interview or anything and it's only in the commentary track, he talks about why he used these angles. He says he was trying to evoke the image of a comic book. Now, comic books try to have dramatic angles for their scenes. And they're usually down low, looking up, at an angle, kind of the thing. And that was what he was trying to accomplish here. He failed, but at least you know what he was trying to do. He wasn't an idiot. He wasn't just running along, doing whatever popped into his head. He had a plan. It was a stupid plan, but he had a plan.
And you get that kind of stuff from the special features.
And also, I just like having physical media... It's almost decorative. It's like, when you'd walk into ... once upon a time when people had loads and loads of books you'd walk into a person's study and they'd have really nice bookshelves and walls of books. Probably never even read them all. But it looked nice. And I just happen to think they look nice.
And I kind of like the idea of "Oh you want to watch this movie, I happen to have it here."
I just like having the physical stuff. And like I said in the other one, the physical version I have is permanent. If for some reason, say, they guy who directed Batman and Robin, Joel Schumacher, suddenly decided that he was going to go in and use hyper quantum computer to fix the film. Re-edit it, take out some characters, fix the dialogue, I don't know. And then release that into the world and suddenly that was the only copy of it you could buy anywhere. Well, I've still got my physical copy that's awful. So... you can't take it away from me.
Oh, and one last thing. When I die, I can leave these to somebody. I don't know who I hate enough to leave "Batman and Robin" but I can leave to somebody. Your electronic version, most of that stuff you can't leave to anybody because you don't have the rights to. You can't bequeath your online movie collection to somebody because it's tied to you. You can't bequeath your online music collection to anybody. Not that I'm planning on dying any time soon, but it's something to consider.
Reporter: The movies themselves. What do you look for in a movie to buy?
Eric: Tough question. Um... It depends. It's not enough for me to just like a movie. I've bought movies I hate because, maybe because of the special features. I've not bought movies I'd liked because I didn't think the special features were all that good. Of course I've bought movies I like when they've had no special features. So it all kind of depends.
There's one movie I bought, 84 Charing Cross Road -
- and I actually had to buy it from England because the American version of it was full screen, the square old fashioned thing for playing on old fashioned TVs. The British release of it was wide screen. It fit onto a widescreen 16 by 9 television. So that's the one I went with. It just looked better.
I've bought some movies specifically for the collector's value of it. One of them was the Criterion version of Hard Boiled. Bought that specifically because it was a collector's item. Spaulding Gray's "Swimming to Cambodia", because it was a collector's item. And it was really cheep too. Although they've just re-released so it's no longer a collector's item. Funny that.
I've got this. It's the non-cannon James Bond film, "Never Say Never Again".
There's a story behind this. The guy who wrote... once upon a time Ian Fleming and this guy, some guy I can't remember his name, and they were working on this script about stealing nuclear bombs and stuff. Movie script never went anywhere, so Ian Fleming took that scrip and basically turned into a James Bond book, called Thunderball. Got made into a movie called Thunderball. But the guy who co-wrote the script with him never got any money for it or credit or anything like that. So he sued, and he got the rights to it. Funny thing is this is also the book that introduced SPECTRE and Bloefield. You know, the James Bond villain who's bald in a grey suit stroking a cat? That's Bloefeld. Anyway he got the right to it and that's why you haven't seen Bloefeld in many films lately, or since the 60's, because the studio didn't have the rights. Anyway, this guy had the rights to plot of this James Bond book. So, sometime in the 80's, he was able to scrape together enough money to make a non-cannon james bond movie with Sean Connery. And at this time Roger Moore was playing James Bond. But suddenly there's two James Bond movies, one with Sean Connery and one with Roger Moore and the funniest thing is that Sean Connery is actually younger than Roger Moore even though Roger Moore was the young replacement for him. Go Figure. And it`s actually not a bad movie. It`s a lot better than the last official James Bond Movie. But I got that one mainly because I had a "Never Say Never Again" shaped hole in my James Bond collection, but partially because the Blu-Ray is a rare collector's item. [Editor's note: this is because it wasn't released with the official James Bond films. Look in that recent box set of all the James Bond films. This one isn't in there.]
So, sometimes it's a collector's thing. But there's all sorts of reasons.
I've bought movies because I like the movie but I really wanted the documentary that came with it. Terry Gilliam's Brazil. I mean the documentary "The Battle of Brazil", that's the documentary about the problems that Terry Gilliam had releasing his movie, I think better than the movie. A lot funnier too. I know. Blasphemy. I'm going to burn for that one. Whatever.
And then there's sometimes it's like "Wow, I'm going to buy that because its really really stupid." Last week, or two weeks ago, I got in Ontario... I went to a Walmart and got some DVDs from the $5 DVD bin. One is 8 hours of documentaries, and the thing is called "Secret Societies and The New World Order."
That should be good for a laugh. I think I may have to wrap my Blu Ray player in tin foil so that the NSA doesn't know I'm watching it.
They also had this set of 4 Pixar knock-offs for 5 bucks.
"The True Story of Puss n Boots", "Donkey-X", "Kira The Brave" - and this one's really funny because it's got "Kira The" in small letters and "BRAVE" is in huge letters and its starring this little red haired cartoon girl so it's like "oh gee, that's subtle!" - and the last one is called "Gnomes and Trolls" and I think it's a knock-off of "Gnomeo and Juliette". But like I said, 5 bucks and it should be good for a laugh.
So, I don't know. I have weird reasons for buying things. Sometimes, it's just to plug a hole in my collection. "Ooh, I do not have those movies, but I have all these movies that are somehow related to it. I think I will get it." I got this three pack of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies on blu-ray for $12. There's only really one... the first Ninja Turtle movie is pretty good, the second one is meh, and third one's a train wreck. But now I can say I have all three of them, so hey great.
There's no one reason.
Reporter: Do you have any advice for movie collectors?
Eric: Wow... advice?
Not a lot... be careful? I guess. That's one thing. Recently... Pacific Rim was coming out and it's got all these variant... special editions that came out. I think it was at Future Shop in came in a tin box. And, one of the places it came in this plastic statue of the robot. In case you don't know, the movie's about giant robots punching giant monsters. And, one of the special editions came with a little plastic robot and you opened it up and put the disk inside. Pretty cool, I thought. It turns out it was supposed to be a Target exclusive in the states, but it turns out though it was an HMV exclusive in Canada. And I was really happy about this and I was all planning to buy it, and I go to the store and I get there and I look at it and even though in the states the Target version is the 3D version, in HMV it only contained the 2D version. And I have 3D TV. I don't use the 3D much, but I like to have the 3Dness of it. So I ended up not getting the statue version, just the regular 3D version. So, that's one thing: research. Check... If it's some sort of a fancy pants special edition, check what stores have what version of it. Some stores come with... if you got Man of Steel at HMV it would come with a little beanie hat. If you got The Avengers at Future Shop it came with a bobble head toy. If you got Man of Steel at Target I think it comes with a comic book. There's various stuff like that. Research.
Check the reviews. Even though something is coming out in a new special edition it may be inferior to what already exists. Apparently, Mortal Kombat 2, when it came out on blu-ray actually looks worse than when it came out on DVD. I don't know how you do that, but somebody did.
Another thing. Be careful when you're stuff buying online. I'm not talking about people stealing your credit cards. Just recently, somebody at work was asking me "Hey, it's Game of Thrones. Season 1 and 2. But the box looks funny. Can you take a look at it?" Took a look at it and immediately told him "don't buy that" because in the corner...
if you ever see a DVD cover and it's got a number in the corner on the front... might have in the corner a number in a blue circle [hexagon] and a number in a red something-or-other [circle] in the bottom left and right corners... that means that's the UK version of the disk. And that probably won't play in your blu-ray player. Or if it's a DVD, probably won't play in your DVD player. You might be able to play it in your laptop, maybe, depending if you have the right software. So, that's something else to consider.
Also, don't buy an HD-DVD version of it.
Maybe that's worth mentioning. Be careful when a new format comes out because you never know which one might succeed. A few years ago there was a big battle between the two high-def version of home video. One's Blu-Ray, and one was called HD-DVD. Personally I thought HD-DVD was the better version. It had a better set of features. It did more than Blu-Ray. The only thing is Blu-Ray was constantly being updated by Sony, HD-DVD really wasn't. Also, Playstation 3's played Blu-Ray, and if you wanted to play an HD-DVD on a game system, you had to buy an HD-DVD drive separately for your XBOX. So you're talking about a $200 in a drive that can only play movies. Not that awesome. So... at the end of the year, can't remember what year it was, Sony first announces "hey guess what. We've got an install base of like 20 million blu-ray players VS like a 100,000 or 200,000 HD-DVD players." About 2 weeks after that, Walmart said "we're dropping HD-DVD." About a week after that, Toshiba, the people in charge of HD-DVD, said "we're done." And some people, me included, were left with collections of 20 HD-DVDs that were rapidly becoming worthless because there were no new HD-DVD drives coming out, no HD-DVD disks coming out, and nobody wanted them.
I don't have much advice, other than the standard advice every collector should have, especially comic book collectors: Collect what you like. Because you're going to be stuck with them. And chances are your collection is not really going to be worth much, because anyone can buy it. The stuff that becomes rare is the stuff that goes out of print. And most stuff doesn't go out of print, unless there's a good reason for it.
That's about it on that.
Reporter: You have quite a few movies. It's not one of the bigger collections but's a pretty big collection. When do you think you're going to have enough movies? When do you think you'll stop buying movies?
Eric: I don't know.
Stop buying movies? Well... I mean as long as they keep making movies I'm probably going to keep buying them. I'm not going to stop. ... There's not going to be any rapid growth in my collection. Once upon a time it was "oh, I need all this and all of that and all of this coming out" but it's not like there are lots of new collections. I have all the Batmans, the Supermans, the Spidermans. All these things. I have all the Star Treks and the Star Warses and Alienes. The Godzillas. Whatever. I have all the... Sean Connery James Bondes. Heh. Sean Connery James Bonds, then immediately beside it, Daniel Craig James Bond. Nothing happened in between them. I'm just weird that way.
I don't know... I'm not constantly buying movies, but then again I'm probably not going to stop so it's sort of a slow growth now. But I'm not really going to stop. I'll stop when I run out of place to put them. Or when I run out of money. Or when they stop making them.
Reporter: What your favorite movie?
Eric: Of all time? Or just in my collection?
Reporter: Either. Both.
Eric: Favorite movie of all time? Not sure...
I mean I don't think I have a favorite movie of all time. The problem is with seeing so many blinking blanky movies that... it's hard to pin it down to one that "if you were trapped on a desert island which one would you want." I don't know.
Oh, I know. If I were trapped on a desert island I'd want something like "Roots". You know, something that's a dozen disks long so I could break them up and write help in the sand. Or if I were trapped on a desert island I'd want the special edition of Singing in the Rain, 'cause it comes with an umbrella. Is there a blu-ray that comes with a parka or something? Yeah, if I'm trapped on a desert island I'd want a DVD that turns into a campfire set.
Yeah, I know I'm stalling... best movie...
Can I give you a Top 10? How about a top 10. I can try to give you that, but unfortunately if you ask me tomorrow what my top ten is I'll probably change everything.
Top 10 in no particular order... How about?
84 Charing Cross Road
(5? 5 to go)
The Original Godzilla
I'll be pretentious...
I think it's better than North by Northwest. Phooey to you who say different.
Pirates of Silicon Valley
Can I say "The Cornetto Trilogy?" Yeah, what the hell it comes in one DVD case now so I'm going to say it.
(Image courtesy of www.amazon.com)
The Cornetto Trilogy
HA! (I know it's three movies, shut up.)
Two more? I don't know.
The original King Kong
John Carpenter's The Thing!
Plus The Thing has a special place in my heart. Which I'm going to go into now. It's one of the best DVDs in my collection.
The Thing has a special place because it was one of the first DVDs I bought got, 10 something years ago, when DVDs first came out. When DVD first came out, you might call me an early adopter. Although I didn't even have a DVD player, one that plugged into my TV. I had a DVD player for my computer. And back then, you couldn't just put a DVD in and play it in any computer. I had to buy this... it was a special kit that you got from "Creative Labs". It came with a DVD drive and the card you needed to decode the DVD. Computers then were not smart enough to play a DVD, you actually needed to buy a piece of hardware to handle playing the DVD. Heh, this how primitive things were once upon a time. And, some of the first DVDs I got were Twister, The Paper, Blade Runner was somewhere around there. The original Director's Cut. It was in the first year. Anyways, back then there was this thing called newsgroups. It was like a primitive chat board. Heh, anyone who was actually a follower of newsgroups would hate me for saying that, but I don't have any way to explain it quickly to a mass audience. It was kind of like a chat room where everybody could post messages. And there was one called Alt.Video.DVD. And this was the place where you found out new DVDs were coming, because there weren't really any websites that had this stuff. It was so primitive. So, I heard that John Carpenter's The Thing was coming out on DVD and I was like "Oh Wow, this is fantastic" because I'd only ever seen it on crappy VHS or once on I'd seen it on Betamax and it was always dark, and grainy, and zoomed in way too much because it was a widescreen so you have to cut off a huge chunk of the left hand side of the screen and a huge chunk of the right hand side (to fit on a standard definition TV) so you couldn't see what was going on. So it never looked good and it was always way too dark. So... I find out the DVD's coming out. "Sweet! This is fantastic." And then it just starts getting better and better. I hear about the specs. on this thing. It's got a commentary track. I hadn't heard a commentary track before but it sounded fascinating. You can watch the movie and hear this alternate audio track of people talking about the movie. "Wow, the director and Kurt Russell. I think they're friends. This should be really entertaining." Then the piece-de-resistance, it comes with a documentary on the making of the movie. And the documentary is as long as the movie. I remember that specifically blowing my mind. "Oh my goodness, this thing comes with a documentary as long as the movie." And I'd seen tiny little puff pieces on the making of films. I remember seeing on TV a Making of Nightmare on Elm Street 4. That was kind of frothy and kind of lame. Then there was The Making of Jurassic Park which was pretty cool, I remember buying that on VHS for 30 bucks, and feeling stupid about it when Jurassic Park came out on DVD came out for 20 bucks and came with the documentary. But, even that documentary that I paid for was only an hour. We're talking about this documentary on The Thing that's as long as the movie. "Holy Cow! It's like buying two movies!" And the documentary was hilarious and the movie looked fantastic. I mean it looks even now that they released it on blu-ray, but the funny thing is that they chopped up the documentary so that it plays in the corner of the movie as you're watching the movie. Why did you do that? Now I have to keep my DVD. So that has a special place in my heart.
Other DVDs? Well you've got the Lord of the Rings stuff. Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings. Those are very impressive. You've got the whole movie with, 3 or 4 commentary tracks? There's the writer/director's commentary track, the actor's commentary track, the cinematographer's commentary track and the special effects people's commentary track. 3 or 4 commentary tracks on the movie. And you've got the epically long documentaries on it. You have 8 hours of documentary, 4 hours on the movie, 4 hours on the history of lord of the rings. Like, the guy who wrote it and stuff. That stuff's impressive.
What else? Another film's that's got a special place in my heart is the Max Fleischer Superman Cartoons, because when I was younger... Whenever I'd get to go to Ontario to visit my grandparents, I'd always scour the discount stores because they'd sell... I don't know if you've ever seen them but the Max Fleischer Superman cartoons from the 30's... very realistic looking cartoon characters... not big feet and big eyes and stuff like that... they looked like people. They were hugely expensive when the movies were first made in the 30's, and they looked fantastic. They look fantastic now. And the thing is they sort of had fallen into the public domain so they'd keep on showing up on these crappy VHS tapes. And I had 8 or 9 of these tapes because they didn't make that many of these cartoons but the VHS tape would have episode 1, 2 and 4. And the next VHS tape would have 1, 3 and 4. So it's like I don't have 3 so I have to buy this VHS even though I have two duplicates. So eventually I was able to get a collection of these things. And then it came out on DVD, looking fantastic, and the whole set. So it's like "BUY... THANK YOU... MINE!"
I don't know. There's lots of stuff.
Hard to buy it down to a best DVD in my collection.
My copy of Toxic Avenger has a special place in my heart because it's autographed by the director.
My blu-ray of Ghostbusters is autographed by Dan Aykroyd. That was kind of weird. He was doing a signing at the SAQ because he was flogging his new ice... vodka... in a skull thing. And if you were buying a bottle of vodka he was very friendly it would be like uh hi sign off bye bye. I mean I don't drink and I don't know anyone who would want to drink it, so I'm sorry. But it was cool. That has nothing to do with the quality of the blu-ray. But that kind of reminds me. The DVD, the originally release of the Ghostbusters DVD had this really weird special feature where, if you turned on the director's commentary you'd see sort of an outline on the bottom of the screen, like a silhouette, of the director and one of the Ghostbusters, the guy who played Egon. You'd see their silhouettes on the bottom of the screen, so while they're talking you can kind of see them talking. See them as they're being recorded. Really weird. If you've ever seen Mystery Science Theater 3000 it was kind of like that. You know, a silhouette of people watching a movie. And, when they released it on blu-ray they didn't have that feature. They had the audio but never included that weird "watch them as they talk" thing. I don't know why, but they never did.
Watchmen. Watchmen and a bunch of other Warner Brothers films doing this now. I think they call it Maximum Movie mode where you're watching the film, and all of a sudden what you're watching will sort of zoom out and it will be projected behind the director, or whoever is talking, they'll talk to you about the movie a little bit, and then the movie will come back zoomed full screen. So it's like watching the movie with somebody doing a presentation on the movie. That can be pretty cool. Sometimes be pretty stupid at times, but it can be pretty cool.
I think that's enough babbling. Next question.
Reporter: What's your least favorite movie? In general or in your collection.
Eric: Least favorite movie? I don't know. The problem is I kind of like bad movies. It comes from watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). And if you don't know what MST3K was, it was this... it started as a TV show but it's kind of gone online now, basically you'd watch a movie while the silhouettes of three people watching movie with you (sort of) is superimposed on the screen. You're watching the film and there's the silhouettes of chairs all line up at the bottom of the screen and these three guys watching the movie. And these are three of the... it's like watching the movie three of your funniest, sarcastic friends. So... and they make bad movies very funny. Because it's not just improv. Their process is to watch the movie a load of times, along with their team of writes, and they just write the best jokes they can. And then when you watch the movie it's like "boom! bad joke good joke good joke good joke don't understand that joke good joke." And even if you don't understand all the jokes, don't worry because there's going to be another... While you're trying to figure out what that joke meant, 3 jokes went by. So MST3K was very funny, but it also gives you an interesting appreciation of terrible movies. So even when you're watching a really bad movie, your inner snark starts to come out. Or at least with me. So if something stupid is happening on the screen I think "hey, I can make a joke about that". So even bad movies become entertaining.
So a really bad movie is hard to find for me. Because a bad movie doesn't necessarily mean a bad movie. Even something terrible like Batman and Robin you can make fun of.
I'm trying to think of a movie that's so horrible you can't even make fun of it. I don't to gravitate to those sorts of movies. I don't know.
Space Thunder Kids! In my movie collection, I'd say it's one of the worst movies I've got. It's just so bad. It's this terrible, awful, Korean knock-off anime clips show abomination thing that this... Somebody took about a half a dozen of piece of crap low budget knock-off Korean animated films, threw them in a blender, took what was extruded out and tried to lay a plot over it. It's just... it's boring and horrible and nonsensical. But even then it's hilarious. "What on earth am I watching?!!?"
Worst movie in my collection. I don't know. I'm trying to think of something that boring and depressing and sucks at the end and I'm "why the hell did I watch that?"
Or worst movie that I've ever seen. There's so many bad movies.
Phantom Menace. That movie pissed me off. And I was at the midnight screening when it first came out. That's how old I am. I am ancient. I am so old, God calls me "Sir".
Worst movie... I haven't seen that new Steve Jobs movie yet, so maybe that. There's one trailer that pissed me off. Every word in it was a lie!
I dunno. I'll go with... Highlander 2. We'll say that. Next question.
Reporter: Are there any movies you're looking forward to getting in the future?
Eric: Well... In the far off far off future, Monty Python just reformed and they're going to be doing one concert show. They're going to record it. And they're going to sell it on DVD and BluRay and everything else. I guess I'm looking forward to that.
I don't know. I mean, most of the good movies have been released already on DVD or BluRay. So it's not like I'm waiting on pins and needles to buy them. I mean there's stuff that hasn't been released yet, that they're not saying is going to be relesed, that I'd kind of like to have them release. I'd like to have Godzilla 1985. That's the weirdest... That was the 20th or 30th anniversary anniversary movie. Yeah, I'd say 30th anniversary. And it was picked up for distribution in America by New Concorde. I think it was New Concorde. Or maybe New World. One of those. It was Roger Corman's outfit. And they kind of re- edited it, and put Diet Pepsi, no, Dr. Pepper machines into every scene they added. And it was stupid. And somehow they kept the home video rights, so the silly thing hasn't been released again other than on VHS. Even though every other Godzilla movie has been released, probably twice on DVD. So, I'd kind of like that. But there's no plans for that one to come out any time soon.
I don't know. The big DVD box set that came out this November that came out this November was The Hobbit, which came out with an extended version of the hobbit, documentary stuff, and a cute statue of Godzil - not Godzilla, Gollum! That would be cool, Godzilla menacing Frodo. But it's Gollum menacing Frodo. It's that scene where Frodo is kind of creeping past some rocks while Gollum is above the rocks kind looking down on him. Be less impressive if it was Godzilla. I guess it'd just be a giant foot.
There's nothing where I'm "Oh gosh, I must get that when it comes out!" At least nothing comes to mind. I'm sure something will come along.
Reporter: What do you see as the future of collecting? Movies and stuff.
Eric: Is there a future? I think there will always be a future for collecting. What that future is I don't know. It's kind of...
Everything can be collected, even if there's no way for anybody to actually play the DVD somebody might want a collection. I mean people collect... unopened food. They collect unopened bottles of beer. "Billy Beer" is apparently this really awful beer from the 70's. Apparently people collect unopened cans of this stuff even though... to drink it would probably kill you because it's full of rust. But people still collect them. Why? Because it's a collectable. Why do people collect unopened packages of baseball cards? You can't possibly know if there's anything valuable in there. And you can't eat the gum. So where's the value. I don't know. They're collectable. People collect all this stuff so I don't know...
The collecting of disks may continue, I don't know about the collecting of movies. So many people now... most people I know aren't into the special features of the disk and that is really the main reason to buy the physical media. Because of the features. If you just want to watch the movie... Televisions now, they connect to NetFlix. Automatically, practically. Or if not your TV, then whatever game system you've got plugged into this thing. Or maybe on your tablet, or wherever. They all connect to Netflix, or Hulu, or Youtube, or some, or Amazon, or some feature thing so that you can just watch whatever you want whenever you want. You don't need a physical copy. If bandwidth is not an issue for you, and you just want to watch a movie, go right ahead. You can watch it online. But you can't really collect that. Even if you have some sort of online... personal library where you bought the rights to... they don't expire. The movies are going to be there forever... they're either there forever or they're gone for everybody. So, there's no collectability and no collector's value. If you want to have a collection of every marvel movie ever made, it's not like you have to go out and hunt down the disks. If it's an electronic collection on Netflix or something you're just going click-click-click-click-done. There's no collecting to that. So... that's not going to happen. It's kind of like collecting electronic versions of comic books. Why would you do that? You're just collecting permissions, basically. You're sending your money to wherever, and they're giving you permission to watch them. That's not really collecting in my mind.
But, for the movie studios that's a fantastic deal. I buy a movie for, at best (for the studio), 30 bucks at the store and at worst (for the studio) 4 bucks at the store. And I can just watch it for ever and ever and ever and they don't make any money off it and it kind of sucks for them. But if its on Netflix and stuff then they're getting money forever. So the studio like that more than me buying plastic. So, eventually they're probably going to stop making movie disks. And when that happens there's not going to be any collecting going on is there, just of the old stuff? It's going to be like collecting comics, the old comics, they may become scarcer and scarcer but there's not going to be new stuff added added to the collection because there won't be new stuff created. So I don't know.
Maybe the future of collection is grim... and dark... and depressing... and there's never going to be any more collecting.
Or maybe I'm wrong and people will realize "hey, this whole online thing is stupid and we want to have disks." I don't know.
One thing about the internet is that it's sort of a race to the bottom as far as pricing goes. So while on the one hand the studios get to control more of how much money they can make, if they're controlling the distribution through these online channels, on the other hand other hand people are less likely to spend large amounts of money online. So, they can control how much money they make, but they make less money doing it. Whereas you can take a disk that you produce for 25 cents, stick it in a box that costs a buck, put in some trinket of some kind that maybe costs a buck to mass produce, and then you can sell it to a consumer for 60 bucks and then call it a "super deluxe collector's item". You can't really do that online.
So, I don't know. It's really in flux right now. The future of my collection is I'm going to keep buying stuff. Slowly, I mean. There's not huge amounts of stuff I want to buy. That's about it.
Have I answered all your questions?
Reporter: Yes, I guess so... Well, I know where I can reach you.
Eric: Yeah, I my head.
Reporter: Thank you for time.
Eric: Thank you.
All images courtesy of Wikipedia (or me) except the following.
The Jabba Graphic: http://roadto7.blogspot.ca/2013/02/the-many-versions-of-star-wars.html
"The Cornetto Trilogy" DVD cover: www.amazon.com
"Keep circulating the tapes."