Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Recession DVD buying

We're in a recession, I'm broke and out of work, but I still manage to scrap together a few quid for the odd DVD. The trick is, be picky, be frugal and look in places you would normal find DVDs. So here's what I bought, where and for how much (those who may find this boring and pointless, look away now):

I haven't bought much all year, money has been tight, but I've picked up a few new movies recently. Thrift has been key with these recent purchases. It really pays to look around. I find HMV quite decent for DVDs, it doesn't have a huge range and generally stocks the same old films, not too much of a turn over, but you get the odd bargain, I mean who could go wrong with €3.99 for No Country for Old Men!

I didn't avail of that particular bargain, I all ready paid full whack when it came out first! But I found La Haine for €4.99, which was great, I'd been looking for that, doubly nice as it was stacked with other copies of the film priced at €5.99 and one at €14.99. That's something else you have to be careful with at HMV, at least in Drogheda, you will find various prices in different parts of the store, staff oversight I guess, so it pays to look around.

Staying in HMV I picked up a four disc box-set of Inside the Actors Studio with Russel Crowe, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro and Sean Penn for €14.99, worth it for a little insight I thought, and who could resist the hooky charm of James Lipton. Today I bought the original Miracle of 34th Street in preparation for the season ahead and Primer, as an antidote! I've been meaning to get it for some time, but it's always been at the ridiculous price of €33.99 (don't know where they pulled that one from) so as soon as it came down to something earthly, €14.99, I bought it - can't wait to watch it!

I popped over to Xtra-vision, they're doing a good deal at the moment, most of their films for €5.99. They actually have quite a good range and some obscure and hard to find films. I got for The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, the original, I had no real interest in seeing the Tony Scott actionified version. It's great, I love that loose, gritty, honest 70's way of shooting. I love Walter Matthau's dry witty delivery.

Then I went further a field to Price Busters, a place in town that sells cheap rugs, dodgey lamps and no brand toilet cleaner, that kind of thing. But in the back of the store, hidden away from plain site, is a stack of DVDs selling at €2 each. Among the cartoon knock offs, likePig and the Spider (Charlottes Web anyone) were a couple of gems, two great anime's Blood, The Last Vampire and Metropolis (The one based on Osamu Tezuka's comic book), couldn't believe my luck! I also found two Horror Classics, Terrence Fisher's Dracula The prince of Darknessand Roger Corman's The Masque of the Red Death! all for €8 - Awesome!

Last night I was in Power City and picked up a few films for €4 each, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, In Bruges and Wolf Creek. Again, seasonal buying in there. I got Wolf Creek as it was recommended to me as a harrowing horror and a relentless marathon of endurance, sounds right up my alley, and I think it's based on something that happened in Australia while I was back packing there. I bought In Bruges more a study it again, I enjoyed the film the first time round. I thought there were good performances and the dialogue was fantastic. But I had a lot of problems with it, the structure, the level of coincidences, some poor characterization and the sloppy ending. So I want to go back and look at it again. I find it helps to look at these flawed enigmas again in an effort to be a better writer.

Also picked up The Blair Witch Project for €4. I've only scene this film once and I've been eager to go back to it again. I think it's responsible for a lot of how filmmaking is made today. It's as low budget as they come, very original and the first film really to grab hold of how the internet could be used. Times have changed. The internet is a different beast. But I think this film still retains the energy of indy, no-budget filmmaking and I'm eager to see it again.

And that's what I bought recently.

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