Friday, November 28, 2008

Filling In The Empty Space Or Why Don't I Own That?

I always hate making the transition from extra time off to regular time off.
It’s especially annoying when a good portion of the extra time off was spent feeling miserable.
On that score, though, I’m pretty much back to normal today. No more turbulent rumblings in my stomach, though my throat is still a little raw from the stomach acid, and my ribs and abs are a bit sore from all the heaving.
Beyond simply not venturing out into the dangerous world of mad consumerism that is Black Friday, I seriously didn’t do anything today.
I got up around 10, had some pumpkin pie, sat around for a while, had more pumpkin pie, sat around for many more hours, had some dinner, ate the last of the pumpkin pie, and now here I am writing this.
Given that there’s been nothing of note to write about today, I think I’ll get around to finally writing a post that’s been sitting in the 99 Cent Bargain Bin of Ideas for years.
So I present to you Why Don’t I Own These Movies?

I can’t really call myself a movie buff. I mean, I like movies, but not in the sort of general, universal way that someone who really likes movies and all things movie-related does.
A movie buff, to me, is someone whose feelings about the medium of motion pictures are analogous to my feelings about the medium of comic books.
I love comics. There are specific comics that I love more than others, of course, and there are a lot of comics that I view to be utter trash, but beyond my feelings for specific comics, I have an overarching love for the medium itself. Sure, I have plenty of gripes about the medium, but the fact that there are aspects that bother me so much is a result of how strongly I feel about them.
And as it is for me and comics, so it is with movie buffs and movies.
Okay, that being – pointlessly, I suppose – said, I suppose I should get on with it.
There are a lot of movies that I love, movies I could happily watch over and over again, yet, for reasons that escape me, they aren’t part of my DVD or Blu-ray collection.
Army of Darkness and The Princess Bride are two examples of movies that have raised the question “Why Don’t I Own That Movie?” in the past, which ultimately led me to acquire them. Below is a list of movies that raise that question but have yet to be added to my collection.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
In the summer and fall of 1984, there were two things that utterly consumed my imagination. Buckaroo Banzai was one of them. I was obsessed with this movie. I’d read the comic book adaptation. I’d read the novelization. Hell, I even dressed as Buckaroo for Halloween. I clearly remember the day that it – finally – arrived at the local theater. It was better than Christmas.
There’s really no way to even begin to explain the movie’s appeal, though I have to give a lot of the credit to the novelization, which, I’ll be honest, served as a better execution of the bat-shit insane concept than the movie did. Still, the movie was undeniably awesome, and remains one of my all-time favorites.
So what’s it about? Well, the titular Buckaroo – played by Peter Weller – was a crime-fighting Adventurer/Physicist/Neurosurgeon/Rock Star who – hell, does it even matter? He was a crime-fighting Adventurer/Physicist/Neurosurgeon/Rock Star. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
Throw in John Lithgow as a crazy scientist possessed by an evil alien from the 8th Dimension (with an outrageous Italian accent) and there’s nothing more you could possibly ask for.
So why don’t I own this movie?

The Last Starfighter
What was the second thing that utterly consumed my imagination in the summer and fall of 1984? This movie.
Also, its female lead, Catherine Mary Stewart. Man I loved her. I can’t even tell you how many shitty movies I’ve seen over the years simply because she was in them. Well, actually, I can. Just look at her filmography; I’ve seen damn near all of them, and, with one notable exception – this movie – they were almost all shitty.
(Night of the Comet is another exception, and is a movie that would have been on this list at one point if I hadn’t decided to buy it a while back.)
Again, read the comic book adaptation and the novelization, and even bought one of those cheesy picture book dealies. Do they still make those? They’re sort of a condensed version of the story with stills from the movie.
Anyway, beyond Ms. Stewart, there’s so much to love about this movie. It tells the story of Alex, a bright young man trapped in a life he desperately wants to escape from, who learns that the video game that has served has his only means of escape from his life really is his escape; the game is a test designed by an alien to find someone who has the skill and talent needed to fight in a war light years away from Earth.
I saw the movie again a couple of years ago, and while the special effects – this was the first movie to make use of computers for almost all of its effects – were extremely dated, they held up surprisingly well.
Love this movie.
So why don’t I own it?

They Live
“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum.”
What more needs to be said, other than, “Why don’t I own this movie?”

Real Genius
Who can hear the song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” without thinking of this movie? I mean, apart from people who haven’t seen this movie?
When I lived in Tucson I had all of the movie channels, and every day, on one channel or another, this movie was on. And I would watch it every time I saw it on.
So why don’t I own it?

The Crow
This is one of my all-time favorite movies, and in fact, held the number one spot for years.
It’s the rare example of a movie actually being superior to the source material (not that the comic is exactly chopped liver; it’s just that the movie is that good).
To be fair, I used to own this, but a lack of money necessitated selling it to a used book store for some much-needed cash.
Cash isn’t nearly as much of an issue anymore, though, so why don’t I own it?

Strange Days
This is another movie that I will sit down and watch whenever I see that it’s on.
Love this movie.
So why don’t I own it?

I know there are more movies I could add to this list, but I can’t think of them right now. And I think that actually answers the question as to why I don’t own them; unless something reminds me of them, it never occurs to me to buy them.
I mean, yeah, I could go onto Amazon right now and go on a spending spree while they’re on my mind, but I don’t feel like shelling out that much money in one shot. Besides, if I’m going to go on a spending spree, I’m probably going to buy comics, since, while I love these movies, I am, as I mentioned, not really a movie buff, so I prioritize things differently.
In any case, that certainly filled up some blog space, didn’t it?

1 comment:

Merlin T Wizard said...

Hm, "Why don't I own that" or thinly-veiled wish list so close to Christmas? Masterfully done, sir.