Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The current state of the weirdness of our movie-viewing culture (where we watch things on cable, on demand, online, on Netflix, on, Donder! on, Blitzen!) has resulted in the downsizing of Blockbuster. This should surprise absolutely no one, given their gigantic expansion nearly everywhere and the subsequent squeezing out of nearly every locally owned video store. (My own local store, Video Americain, is a mini-chain of four stores, and wonderfully eccentric. When you want to get, say Desk Set, you wonder whether it is listed under "Classics," "Katherine Hepburn," "Comedies" or "Walter Lang." Inevitably, you have to ask one of the semi-snotty employees. I love this place.) I have no love for Blockbuster whatsoever, given that they inevitably never had anything I wanted. At the one located 10 minutes away from my in-laws' place on Cape Cod, an employee finally admitted to me that although they receive virtually everything, anything that had not been rented in three months went on the "Previously Viewed For Sale" rack.

Actually, this is the only reason I ever liked Blockbuster: because the stuff I wanted would rue of quickly go on sale in the discount rack. This was particularly true of anything subtitled. ("Sir, you do realize that this movie is subtitled." "Yes, that's why I want it. The other ten in the basket are also subtitled.")

So, I have to say that the wonderful thing about the mass Blockbuster closing has been the sale. And because I don't need a copy of The Hangover, I can get all sorts of cool stuff that everyone has passed over. This is particularly cool now that all DVDs have gone down to $3 per disc. And hey, for me, this is a tax deduction! (Seriously, I'll probably use several of these in class; I already showed Hedwig and the Angry Inch as the final exam in my course on the musical.)

I had already passed through the store in Langley Park, MD a few weeks ago and hope to swing by the College Park one before they close when I get back to the DC area; yesterday, I cleaned out the one here in North Falmouth.

I can't be the only film geek doing this, however. When Hollywood Video closed last fall near campus, I picked up all sorts of cool stuff, including the Criterion version of Overlord; in Langley Park, I nabbed a whole bunch of Spanish-language stuff like Cilantro y Perejil and Tésis. I'm curious to know what other folks have picked up -- so, in an effort of full disclosure, here is what I nabbed from North Falmouth (and if you want to know why, just ask -- and I will tell why):
(Note: I'd actually like to pick up a copy of some Tyler Perry movie, but they were out of Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Can anyone suggest a better Tyler Perry?)


Carolyn C. said...

Welcome back to blogging! I have to admit that I didn't catch on to all the Blockbuster closings until recently-- up here in my NH hometown, our local video store seems to be hanging on-- but major kudos on many of your movie choices there. Although I have to say, I was not a fan of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which seemed contrary to just about everything Indiana Jones has been about.

Middento said...

Grin, I still haven't seen it... but my students tell me that my tattoo plays a role in the film and that it's "set" in "Peru," so I figure I have to watch it.