Thursday, September 07, 2006

DVD Buffs Unite!

By Christina VanGinkel

I have a confession to make. I love movies, on DVD that is. Going out to a theater was once my favored way to take in a new show, but in recent years, I have become a closet DVD collector. My one small snippet of solace is that I know I am not alone. Walking into many a friend's house, I often notice DVD collections, some just starting out, and others well on their way to becoming massive collections. For some this is just a way to watch a movie at a price cheaper then the alternative, i.e., going to the movies. For others, it is a hobby. Ask many of those you suspect of being collectors though, and they will mutter something to the effect that I have been known to utter when cornered about the growing size of my collection, that it was cheaper to pick up a copy than it would be to go the show in a theater.

I still enjoy the occasional movie out, but for the most part, when I do compare the cost of a ticket for me and one for whomever happens to be accompanying me, one of my kids or on the very rare occasion, my husband, along with a popcorn and soda for each, I have a hard time quantifying the cost. Especially if I stop to think that for less money on average, I can pick up a newly released DVD that I can enjoy with several family members over and over, or two or more DVD's that are not hot off the new release list. I am now starting to consider my DVD collecting creeping towards the hobby end. In part because I recently realized I own quite a few copies of older shows that I have yet to watch. Oh, some I have, but others I picked up more for the nostalgia factor than I did because I planned to actually watch them. Someday, possibly when I am older and retired and have lots of time on my hands, I will eventually watch the entire DVD collection I picked up because of the fond memories I recalled when I saw their covers.

From the Beverly Hillbillies to the full boxed set of the Planet of the Apes. I also have in my collection classics such as Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price, Dementia 13, Francis Ford Coppola's directorial debut, Boris Karloff in The Terror, Bela Lugosi in White Zombie, and I even have favorite cartoons from my childhood including old episodes of Casper and Popeye! I also have the original Tarzan, and more modern classics such as Bonanza. My interests range from science fiction to westerns, to love stories, to cartoons. If I watched it once sometime in the past, and recall that I might even have liked it, it has a possible spot in my growing DVD collection.

Surprisingly, I am not a huge television junkie, though I have my current favorites that I watch weekly, especially during the winter months that where I live often means below freezing temperatures and feet upon feet of snow. Give me a DVD though, and I am hooked. It is sometimes hard to explain the difference between a good movie on DVD and a show on TV, but there is a difference. Yes, I do have a few newer favorite series on DVD, such as nearly all the episodes of Friend's, and a few X-Files specials, but those are the exceptions. In a few years time though, I will probably be considering those classics, and buying more of them.

I shop for DVD's at all the usual spots, such as discount stores including Wal-Mart and, eBay, and even the occasion rummage sale, if it catches my attention and the price is right, it has a good chance of ending up in my collection. I once purchased nearly fifty DVD's from the local dollar store when they had a collection from another store that was going out of business. I do try to avoid picking up cheap copies of shows commonly available in such stores, as the quality is rarely up to par. On the few rare occasions I have picked up a title or two in this way, after watching once I have been known to toss them in the trash because the quality was that sub standard! If you are a closet DVD collector, it is time to come out and announce to the world that yes, we collect DVD's, and no, we might not have time to watch every show we buy right away, but one day we will. Hey, I at least have a plan for part of my retirement years!

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