After visiting the IMDB website, I noticed a banner advertising
the film for Charlie Wilson's War, just released on DVD, with the statement at the bottom
reading "OWN IT NOW ON DVD". I think to myself, why? Why own it now?
I haven't seen the film. A quick look at RottenTomatoes.com confirms
it's been reviewed highly. Heck. Even Hoffman got an Oscar nod for his work in it.
I'm sure all signs point to it being worth seeing. But do I really need to own it?
This rant is by no means a slam to the film. Quite the contrary, I truly
believe that if I do take the opportunity to see it, I'll like it very much.
I see no reason to think otherwise. However, this introduces the idea of what
DVDs are worth owning, versus a one-time rental. What is off-putting to me
is the statement the ad makes. First of all, why should I bother to come to
the conclusion that I should own this DVD? Second, why do I have to own this
On the first point, I would want to own a DVD if I know for a fact that it's
a film I would love to see again and again, and relive the experience it may give
to me, the simple moviegoer. Lately, not a lot of movies have given me that kind
of experience, or deliver on it enough to warrant me wanting to relive anything.
Another reason would be if I was a true fan of a particular actor/actress/director.
For example, if it's a Woody Allen film, and a really good one, I'd like to own it.
I own quite a few already. Not all, mind you, as I'd like to stick to the good
stuff...at least to the ones that work for me. I'm a fan, but not die hard.
I'm more casual, but I like what I like.
With that said, there are many films that I've seen once, enjoyed them,
but never cared to see them again. As good as Charlie Wilson's War may be,
I'm afraid that one would be as such. I can easily imagine that I'd get a kick
out of it, but unless it gives me an experience that really challenges me,
or makes me wish for more, my expectations remain neutral.
One that comes to mind is Quiz Show. A brilliant film I saw in the theater.
It was thought provoking, and I wouldn't mind seeing it again.
But I don't feel the need to own it. True, it was good. But it didn't leave me
feeling a desire to run out and see it again.
So I think for the most part, it's my own personal preference.
On the second point, the marketing demand that I own a DVD now is ludicrous.
Once it is out, that's all I need to know. There's a short list of movies I do want to own,
but the need to do it right now is not feasible. At the moment, I need gas money,
so first things first. I'm a patient person when it comes to owning movies. My need to get
it once it hits the shelves is rare.
It's not like for a comic book, which is different all together.
I used to be a serious collector, with the understanding that if a comic book hits the shelf
that I know will be in high demand, I had better be there the day it touches that shelf,
or I can forget about it, (unless I go to ebay, and pay far more than original retail. Yuck.)
To this day, I have yet to own Green Lantern #47, which is hard to find. It's from the
story arc of when Hal Jordan loses his mind. It's a comic book I'd love to own NOW.
But outside of paying a few bucks, I'll wait. If the marketing demand to "own it now" were
applied to comic books, as I think they should to a more realistic extent, I'd be more
apt to agree. Once it's gone from the shelves, it's gone, and then your left chasing
websites, online bids, collectors that might sell, blah-blah-blah.
But back to DVDs: should I follow my former comic book M.O. for them? I don't think so.
Example: I'm a big fan of Sweeney Todd the Musical. Having heard it on cassette
countless times, seen the broadway production on TV, and experienced the Tim Burton
film on the last day it was shown in a dollar-theater I go to, the DVD is a must have.
I want it. I would love to have it.
I will one day get this DVD. I just don't see the need to have it right now.
That's a lie marketing wants you to swallow. If it's got a popular
name or rep to it, it has to be something I should buy right now.
Another example: I have yet to see the movie 300. I want to see it.
I kick myself for not seeing it in the theater. I've seen enough to know that I'd even
want to own it. However, I do know if I wait a couple of years, a sale will come by,
and then I'll get it. Just like the sale I came across a few weeks ago for a video
store going out of business. DVDs were marked down to seven bucks a pop.
VHS? A mere buck-fifty. I walked out of there with a box load of movies, rich
with titles I was curious about, and a few I wanted to own. A couple that I've
seen so far are set to be thrown in the trash.
Others, like Shaun of the Dead, I'm keeping. I loved that one.
Unless those brilliant-minded money marketers can deliver a way to reduce the price
per gallon at the local gas station, my money spent will go where it has to.
And unfortunately, with priorities in tow, when I pull up to the gas station,
look at the cost per gallon risen to $3.60, I'll cringe, take a deep breath, and
unscrew the gas cap. The needs of my livelihood, for the sake of getting
to work and back, demands that I get these several gallons to
add to my tank right now. No marketing is necessary for me
to come to that point, because sadly, it sells itself.
(If this blog entry looks warped, don't blame me. I tried to make it look presentable. I really did!)Tags: dvd, money, lie, gas, vhs, now, buy, marketing