My psychiatrist’s office is in the next town over, so I generally rely on the graces of others for a ride every two weeks. The alternative is a $40 round trip cab ride with a driver who, more often than not, smells like rubbing alcohol.
I like to get into town an hour early so I can walk around. It’s not much of a city, but it’s ten times the size of my little village and has an actual “downtown”. Until this past summer there was a used record store I’d hang out in — a couple of years ago I sold four seasons of The Sopranos there so I could pay my heating and hydro bills. I could generally find something obscure but cool there, plus they always had a great selection of stickers and band logo postcards.
But they went out of business and now the only “record store” left in the area, other than the box store stuff, is a tiny, dark downtown pawn shop. The only time I was in there I bought two PS2 games. Their entire CD collection was stored in a small cardboard box behind other stuff on a bottom shelf.
Last year a really nice, decent quality video rental place opened up in town, and it’s right across the street from my psychiatrist’s office. So I’ve started buying movies instead. For less than $20 I can walk out with four used movies worth seeing a few times.
They’ve got at least six bins of used movies for anywhere from $3.99 to $9.99, and a bunch of shelves with three for $22 deals. In September I picked up “Pan’s Labyrinth” for six bucks, and “White Heat” with Jimmy Cagny for… I think twelve. I’m always willing to pay a little more for the classics.
Yesterday I bought “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly”, “The Professional”, “The Woodsman”, and the original “Dawn Of The Dead”.
I can remember watching “Good, Bad, Ugly” for the first time when I was teen. Back then, if a movie was meant to be shown in the widescreen format, the TV station would show it as a fullscreen so everyone looked like they were twelve-feet tall and most of the action happened off-screen. But it was still the coolest movie I’d seen to that point.
There were a bunch of movies that came out in the early nineties, like “True Romance” and “Romeo Is Bleeding”, that mixed hyper-violence with mostly cartoonish romance. “The Professional” was definitely one of the better ones, but the relationship dynamic — at least in the version released in theatres — was a father-daughter one. I do have a soft spot for protective fathers in movies. And the body count was pretty high. And I do have a soft spot for a high body count.
The Woodsman is a fantastic movie. Very low body count, however. It’s about a paedophile, played by Kevin Bacon, trying to adjust to life after being released from jail after twelve years. The two best acting parts I saw in 2004 were this one and Christian Bale in “The Machinist”. “Woodsman” uses the “Little Red Riding Hood” fable as the background… oddly enough there was a decent movie a year later called “Hard Candy” which also used Riding Hood as an allegory for paedophilia.
I think I’m using allegory properly. Christian Bale’s “Bacon Number”, by the way, is two. Bale was in “Batman Begins” with Sarah Wateridge, who was also in “Where the Truth Lies” with Kevin Bacon. I had a friend who was an extra in a few movies, so I can remember mine is pretty low… but I can’t remember the connections.
“Dawn Of The Dead” is George Romero’s original “Dawn Of The Dead”. After “Dawn” the best zombie movies I’ve seen are Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead”, a modern day remake set in a mall and filmed in Toronto; “Shaun Of The Dead”; “Bubba Ho-Tep” — technically a mummy movie, but it’s Elvis vs. The Mummy, and that should be on everyone’s list in every genre; basically everything starring Bruce Campbell, and; “28 Days Later” but without the happy ending.
I still had a few minutes before my appointment so I also picked up nine pairs of socks. Six all grey, and three grey and black. The socks I put on before my appointment had no heels left, and the toes are frayed. And they were my good pair.
The Woodsman is a fantastic film. I think it is Bacon’s best performance except Sleepers.
You should pick up some Shane Meadows stuff if you can. Great English Midlands director
I love the local blockbuster for cheap ass movies. Got 4 for 20 the other day. Lars and the Real Girl-AWESOME.
The Professional has been a favorite since my Dad rented it when I was 15 or so..
Hooray for new socks!
I don’t recognize any of Shane’s work on his IMDb page, Scott, but from what I’ve read he’s got a vision I’d find interesting. Try and find something by Denys Arcand… he’s an older established Canadian director, but I think you’d like his humour. His most known works are “Jésus de Montréal”, “The Decline of the American Empire” and its sequel, “The Barbarian Invasions.”
Hi Thor…. I haven’t been able to find “Lars And The Real Girl”, yet. But I did buy “Half Nelson” a few weeks ago. I haven’t watched it yet, but Ryan Gosling is supposed to be spectacular.
When I was living in Stratford there was a Blockbuster there which had incredibly obscure movies like “Our Lady Of The Assassins”, which is still one of my favourites.
Hi FW… I totally agree, hooray for new socks! Since I put on my new socks it feels like my feet are ten times happier. I have happy feet.
You said “genre.”
i love the original ‘dawn of the dead’
might have to add that to netflix since i’m too broke to buy dvds right now, even the cheap ones!
watched ‘the strangers’ the other night-really bad horror film although i had heard great things about it! too bad. they don’t make them like they used to.
wow – so many fantastic movies got a mention. The Woodsman, Hard Candy, the Machinist, Jesus of Montreal, Half Nelson, Our Lady of the Assassins…..
plus I really like Shane Meadows’ directing
Half Nelson is superb.
Wow, i’ll never forget the Woodman. It was one of those staring off into space when it was over flicks, thinking, holy shit, how do i feel about that? Total conflict, which is always indication of awesome performances. The Machinist was similar for me.
Great picks, Gabe.
gotta love it.
The Woodsman, that is. Shit, not enough coffee.
The Woodman’s different. Amateur porn.
Hello Bunk… I’m not sure I had a choice but to use “genre”. Plus, I’m French so I think I should get a pass.
an invincible summer… what’s the deal with NetFlix? We can’t get it here, so I’m curious if there’s any special security on the DVD’s to prevent people (like my brother) from copying the movies to their computers…
Don’t forget Bubba Ho-Tep, Nurse Myra. It’s probably the coolest movie on the list… of any genre.
Dame, Christian Bale lost sixty pounds (60lbs!) for his role in The Machinist,… then he put it all back on in just a few months, plus another ten or fifteen, for his role in Batman Begins. Take that DeNiro, you lazy poser.
not sure if you can copy the films to computer. i’ll ask a friend who does this and let you know…
i work in the film biz so i’m not a fan of it but something tells me it’s possible w/netflix 🙂
“Netflix does not promote, foster or condone the copying of DVDs, digitally delivered content, or any other infringing activity. Any unauthorized use of the Netflix website or its contents will terminate the limited license granted by us.”
From what I can find NetFlix doesn’t place any algorithms of their own on the DVD’s, but does allow the movie people to put their own anti-piracy software on them.
NetFlix put out a warning recently because Sony placed something called “ARccOS copy protection” on some of their releases, which “intentionally puts corrupted sectors on the disc to prevent it from being copied.” But it messes up certain brands of DVD players, including the XBox… which kind of makes sense.
So their “by-mail” service seems to be a copy-at-will program, but stuff off their website and their TiVo partnership has some software protection.
I don’t understand what’s preventing them from having a Canadian branch, but you can rent Canadian movies (YAY)… I’d recommend:
Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy
The Barbarian Invasions
The Hanging Garden
Phil The Alien
Pingback: Three Movies A New Game And A 1500 Calorie Lunch « …salted lithium.