Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.
Every now and then after work I’ll stop at a local discount store and pick up some Shasta Tiki Punch, the only place in town I know of that carries this delicious hybrid of Hawaiian Punch and 7-Up. My supply was running low, so last week I swung by the store, grabbed a couple of 4-packs, and headed for the checkout stands. As luck would have it, my usual route to the registers was blocked, so I detoured down another aisle, one I’d never traveled before, and found a shelf containing hundreds, if not millions, of used Blu-ray and DVD movies, all packed in cheap cardstock envelopes and priced anywhere from one to three dollars each!
I quickly set the cans aside and began sifting through the stacks, which surprisingly had some big-name titles among the cheap cartoon sets and straight-to-video action films. Right off the bat I found three which I considered purchasing: Escape from New York, the original Prom Night, and one I’d heard good things about, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. Sadly, there weren’t that many $2 Blu-rays to choose from, so my trio of finds were all on DVD. But as I was flipping through the multitudes of $1 discs, I happened upon this:
No, I couldn’t believe it, either: a Criterion Collection edition of The Third Man! For a freaking BUCK! And not the earlier edition from 1999, but the updated 2007 release, that originally retailed at $39.95 and featured a new, restored high-definition digital transfer. The crazy thing is, both editions are now out of print, and a used copy of this more recent 2-disc set is currently selling on Amazon for $98! There was only one disc in the package, but as I found out later, this Disc 1 also contained two audio commentary tracks, something the earlier version didn’t have.
And though I already owned the 1999 edition, which had also been digitally restored and looked outstanding, there was no way I was going to pass this opportunity up simply because I’d be double-dipping…c’mon, it was a BUCK! If anything, I’d have a newer and perhaps cleaner print to watch, and…wait a minute. What if there were other Criterion discs buried in these rows upon rows of discount movies? I quickly but carefully flipped through each row again, hoping I’d find a dollar-priced Seven Samurai or The Virgin Spring. Nope, no such luck.a
But what I did discover was that the copy of Escape from New York I was holding was not what it first appeared to be; upon closer inspection I saw that it was a Disc 2…bonus features only, and no movie. Ha! I immediately returned it to the pile, then imagined some poor schmuck an hour later yanking it off the shelf, racing home with his unexpected find, and settling down to a night of Kurt Russell sci-fi action, only to discover he’d be watching featurettes and photo galleries instead.
So if you’re looking to add movies to your collection at a very cheap price, and don’t mind owning a disc with no case or cover art, then head on over to your nearby Family Dollar store and have at it. And while you’re there, pick up some Tiki Punch to enjoy with your popcorn…trust me, you won’t be disappointed.