Tuesday, September 09, 2014

DVD Haul

Last Friday I went out to do some pawn shop looking for DVDs. That's where I find most of my DVDs.  I hardly ever buy DVDs new.   When you're out shopping like that, it's best not to have a hard want list.  Sure there might be DVDs  I hope I run across, but I try and remain open to whatever I find, and generally have several things on my "want list".  I'm mostly  just out there looking--I may not buy anything.  I try and not buy any blind buys either because I can always screen them first through Netflix to see if they're worthwhile. 

I've been hoping to run across a copy of Pacific Rim ever since I saw the film, but I finally took the plunge and just bought a cheap copy off eBay.  I just got the single disc one, as generally speaking, I don't care too much about watching all the bonus extra features.  Sometimes I think they're just fluff or filler, but sometimes they can be really fun to watch and can be informative. It depends on the movie, but I don't worry too much about that when pawn shop hunting.  One exception,  I do like a lot of the extra feature stuff that they've included on the Doctor Who DVDs, ,which give insight into the history of the program, or the episodes, or something on the writers or actors, etc.--those can be plenty of fun and insightful.

Skyfall is one of the DVDs that's been on my want list ever since I saw the film.  I've always been a Bond fan,  and although I have favorite actors that have played the 007 role, and favorite films from the franchise, I enjoyed how Skyfall was a return to form.  Craig's portrayal of  Bond is how I enjoy him to be played, more serious.  Yes, you have to overlook a lot of the gun play, some of the crazy action scenes, but overall that's par normal for a Bond film. I enjoyed Casino Royale as well, and still might have to pick up that one, but I was more excited to find this one.  I think Daniel Craig has done a great job with the role, and hope he sticks with it a while longer.

Haywire might have been a bit of a splurge, but I remember watching it off TV, and thought it was a pretty good action film.  I've been reading a comic called Velvet, by Ed Brubaker, that is similar in style and story, and it reminded me of that and it's like a female James Bond film.  There's a mixture of martial arts, action, and a double-cross in it, which also happens in the comic.  At any rate, for two bucks, I thought, why not.  I wanted to watch it again anyway.

Dallas Buyers Club, baby.  I spoke about watching this film on another blog post, and thought it was one of the better films from 2013.  McConaughey found a role he could submerge himself into, and the way the film was directed felt just right.  I thought the film was shot  in Dallas it was so convincing, but turns out it was shot in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana.  Shortly after watching it, I queue the TV series, True Detective.  It's another one I highly recommend watching if you haven't done so already.  It took me a few episodes to warm up to it, but once I did, I wanted more.
This is a bit of cheat.  I didn't find it in the pawn shop trip.  I actually found it online while looking for movies on eBay, probably around the time I found the Pacific Rim movie.  It popped up, and I thought, what is that??  It was marked as a Buy It Now item, and was just marked $20.  It contains seventeen movies by the Japanese studio, Ghibli.  I thought, that can't be right. Although I already have a copy of Howl's Moving Castle, which I think I found on a pawn shop excursion as well, and have Porco Rosso taped on a VHS, I haven't seen some of these films.  Plus the price was super cheap, so I wondered what this was.  I quickly did a web search and found out it was a bootleg from Malaysia, and although a lot of fans bitched about this and that, and there's no extras, and so forth; for the price, I couldn't pass it up.

I've already watched Kiki's Delivery Service, and parts of Howl's Moving Castle again, just for a comparison, and it looks fine to me.  So I'm happy.  I look forward to watching some of the other features.  For a bootleg, it's packaged pretty well.
Yes, this is the epic pawn shop find in a way.  For one, I've been wanting to see this episode of Doctor Who.  It is after all the 50th Anniversary Special, and has some cameos from some of the other doctors in it--all of them in fact. It just features their picture throughout the feature (many are already deceased) in some sequences, but I thought that was a cool tribute to all the past actors that have played in the series. There's also a special cameo at the end, which I won't spoil.  The story is pretty good too.  There's also some cool special bonus features on it like the one called, Doctor Who Explained.  If you are not familiar with the British SF series and you are curious about the longest running SF on TV, well, you should at least watch that special feature. 

I had my doubts about this episode, as I've had my mixed reactions over the newer regenerations of the doctor.  Some of the episodes have been hit and miss with me.  But watching this 50th Anniversary edition got me back into watching Doctor Who again, new and old.  When I bought the DVD at the pawn shop, the clerk at the front, just popped open the DVD case, took a quick look, and said, okay two bucks even though it is a blu-ray, and 3D, but also contains the regular formatted disc.  Who was I to quibble?  I paid him my two bucks and trucked.  It's certainly worth a watch if you're a Doctor Who fan. 




At 2:46 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

I saw this Dr Who episode on BBC America. Good fun.

There is something to be said for that approach to acquiring DVDs, beyond the bargain. You probably see flicks you otherwise would not,and so uncover a surprise nugget of gold here and there. Amazon’s “you might also like” is not only more expensive but, for me at least, has been a mixed success.

At 8:33 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

Rich, yeah, the Dr. Who DVD is great fun, and I thought a good 50th Anniversary. If ever you have some free time, it's hard to beat pawn shop hunting. I used to do this back in West Texas along with friends, so it's a habit with me. It sated my collectors mentality and gets me out of the house, and nothing like finding a bargain too.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

Yeah Craig is excellent as 007, certainly one of the best and has been blessed with great scripts and directors to work with. Some of the other actors were not so lucky (Pierce just couldn't catch a break after "Goldeneye"). I think I like "Casino Royale" a little more than "Skyfall" but just by a half star.

I still need to see "Haywire", I heard it was a lot of fun and the cast is impressive.

Great find with the studio Ghibili box set. Some of those bootlegs are actually pretty impressive if you just want to watch the film/series and don't care about the best print or the best sound. I'm planning on delving into full Miyazaki next year, so it will be fun hearing what you think about some of these films.

At 11:10 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Yes, I like Casino Royale too, Roman, and may pick up a copy later. It's just the past few times I've been out looking at DVDs, I find something else that appeals to my collector's "want list" or is a bit harder to find, so it gets shoved further down a step or so.

It's always fun though to go out and look around and see what's available. I've already sampled a few of the Ghibili films, and they appear to be clear and made well. I'll be interested to read what you have to say about some of them.


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