Monday, September 26, 2011

Standing In Front Of the Fridge

Everyone has had the experience of standing in front of their open refrigerator, unable to choose which plate of leftovers to heat up. That's kind of how I'm feeling at the moment with movies. With my son now back to school and my work hours switched to second shift, I have - for the first time in many months - the weekday mornings and early afternoons to myself. Coming up on these open days, I expected that I'd be logging some serious hours of movie watching. But it hasn't been like that at all. Instead, I'm finding myself simply staring at my tape and DVD collection, unable to make a decision on what the hell to watch - much less what to write about.

There's a kind of denial at work when it comes to collecting - whether it be movies, books, or records. As a fan, you build a collection with the expectation that these are things that you'll be able to enjoy in the days and years ahead, over and over, at your leisure. But at a certain point, you have to realize that your life simply won't be long enough to enjoy all these things that you've amassed. Like, not even if you were a vampire or something. I look at my movie collection, a collection that adds up to tens of thousands of hours of films and televisions shows, and I have to admit that, even if I live an exceptionally long life, that I already own more movies than I'll ever have the time to watch again. As much as I'd like to go back and watch all of them at least one more time, I know that I won't.

Sorry, Ghost Ship. Nothing personal.

Some people lament that they never had the experience of climbing Mt. Everest, or never learned to scuba dive, or never visited Paris before they died but I'm more likely to regret that I didn't watch From Beyond nearly enough. Several years ago, I stopped buying movies with the same frequency that I used to. But even with slowing down, I'm still surrounded by stacks of movies that remind me of just how little time there is in a day, a week, a year, or a life.

In the face of that existential quandary, there's only one decision to make - the same one that I always make while standing at the open fridge.

I go with comfort food.


Matt-suzaka said...

Yeah, I suffer from those same thoughts. I often find myself going from my Netflix instant queue to my DVD collection and back and forth again and again. It can drive a man insane!

I often find that I am more apt to watch a film that I haven't for the sole reason that I feel like there isn't enough time to actually sit down and watch as many films as I want to in my lifetime, let alone watch them two or three times.

Then again, I do always seem to make time for both Bloodsport and Commando, but that's a whole different ball game right there!

Jeff Allard said...

Word. I think if I actually determined which of my movies I rewatch the most, I could whittle my collection down to, like, fifteen or twenty essential films and one of them would be Commando

sm_hayes90 said...

I hear you on this one. I haven't stuck to my movie watching as much lately. However, the month of October is right around the corner and I always try to squeeze in as many horror movies as possible. I did 47 last October, but was doing all my schooling online then. I hope to still fit in a decent amount this time around.

Also, I would say the horror movie I end up going to most often is Pet Sematary. I like the cheesiness of it as much as I like the creepy parts (the sister, Zelda), and Jud is great character too. I think it's a bit of an underrated horror movie.

deadlydolls said...

I echo Matt. I can waste 30 minutes just combing through my queue to find the right film to watch. It's intense.

In the end, I experiment most of the time and then every few weeks, find I go on a bender with the classics I own: Starship Troopers, Dawn of the Dead, The Running Man, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and a few select more.

Jeff Allard said...

sm_hayes90, I don't know if PS is underrated or not. I get the impression that it's pretty well regarded. I have mixed feelings about it myself. It came out when I was in college and thanks to having to finish a paper, I didn't go see it with the rest of my dorm floor, who all came back raving about it. I saw it by myself a few nights later and felt that too much had been left out of the book and that the casting of the main couple was weak. But...I've soften on it in the years since and have to say there's some really powerful scenes there.

Emily, when I look at my movie collection - well, at least the portions of it I can fit in my own house, the rest residing in my mother's attic (and basement!) - I sometimes think about my late grandmother's collection which consisted of about ten VHS tapes of her favorites. I have to wonder whose collection was more wisely managed.

Dom Coccaro said...

My collection is an anomaly. I have so many rare/obscure titles that most horror buffs would kill to own, but I rarely watch movies more than once. I would rather watch something I haven't seen. When I do get the itch to revisit a favorite of mine, I realize that it's not within my reach.

For instance, I recently craved Ginger Snaps (the film, not the snack), but I don't own it on DVD. I thought I did, but I was thinking of my VHS copy. And my VCR is on the fritz! Stupid shit like that happens to me all the time.

Cheap Beer said...

I get stuck doing the same thing. Usually it comes down to too much of a selection. Maybe it's some odd joy of owning a stake in something you're a fan of.

....and I usually end up watching THE FUNHOUSE.

Mummbles said...

I totally know what you mean, I often feel I have so many thing to watch and just never enough time to watch them all. I really wish I could just take one day off each week and dedicate to watching things I have missed out on.

Bob Ignizio said...

I've cut back on the movie buying a lot in recent years, as well. There are a handful of movies I want to have on Blu Ray (Commando would make the cut for me, too), mainly so I can share them with my son when he's older, but I just don't have that collecting bug for movies like I used to. Plus, with so many movies available to stream instantly from various sources, it just seems kind of silly to take up space with something that's only a couple clicks away.