I’ve come to a realization:
I am addicted to buying DVDs.
This is not a shocking revelation. It’s something I’ve strongly suspected for awhile. And I’ve often joked that I collect movies like others collect Precious Moments figurines. But I’ve now come to accept that it’s not just a desire to collect my favourites – it’s a compulsion to own as many as I can; it’s a deep-seated need to buy a movie because it’s a classic, or because it stars someone I love, or because it’s cheap; it’s a sickness.
This realization hit me last night as I watched a movie that earned its spot in my collection by fulfilling two of the three previously mentioned criteria – Pandorum (#24), starring Ben Foster, Dennis Quaid and Cam Gigandet, was purchased on Boxing Day at Wal-Mart for $5. Why? Because it was Boxing Day, aka “Sandra’s Annual DVD Shopping Extravaganza,” and it was $5. How can you say no to a $5 movie? What’s that you say? Normal people do it all the time? Touché, sirs. Normal people see a crappy movie for $5 and go, “why would I spend $5 on a movie I’ve never seen that looks not so great? That’s $5 I could use toward a movie that I know will be awesome.” Sandra sees a crappy movie for $5 and goes, “$5?!? YES PLEASE. Any other crapfests in there? Let’s dig!”
Pandorum wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen, and in truth, if I caught it one Friday night on the Space Channel, I’d probably enjoy it in that, “this-isn’t terrible-but-I-don’t-really-need-to-own-it” kind of way. You know, like every movie I watch on the W Network on the weekend (True story: I’m watching The Wedding Planner right now.) Basic breakdown: Sexy Ben Foster (who I may or may not have mentioned on here before) wakes up in a space tube, full of tubes and wires, screaming, and with no real memory of where he is or what he’s supposed to be doing. After wandering around the abandoned spaceship he finds himself on, he stumbles upon an equally disoriented Dennis Quaid and the two set out to try and determine what the hell is going on. During this time they meet a couple of rag-tag survivors running like hell and hiding from, as best as I can tell, some sort of mutant Reaver/Cave-Monster-from-The–Descent hybrid?
The rest of the movie plays out as they try to figure out what the hell these things are, what the hell happened to the ship, how to fix the ship’s reactor (which also happens to be – *gasp!* – the nest for these creatures!) and most importantly, who can they trust? Which of them could potentially be suffering from the infamous space dementia known as – wait for it – Pandorum? Fantastic.
Let me just say that while the movie is not, in retrospect, one I really need in my film collection, it is not by any means awful. The story is decent, the action and scares are pretty fun, and Ben Foster is phenomenal in it, as expected. Whether he’s a Jewish teen coming of age/falling in love with a black girl in the 1950s, a villainous cowboy, or, you know, a mutant with wings, Ben Foster gives 1110% to every role. Fun fact: there’s a scene in the movie where Foster’s character eats a live bug – Ben Foster insisted that the bug really be alive, not prosthetic, dead, or fake in any way. That, my friends, is commitment. But is this a movie I feel I’m going to want to watch and re-watch in the future? Is it a movie that I feel others should see and that I should share with them? Of course not. It’s a movie that starred cute boys I love and cost $5. End of story.
I’d also like to take a moment and point out that I’m not alone in this debilitating addiction. My brother also suffers from an insurmountable need to stop and dig through the bargain bin at any store with DVDs to sell. He also gave in to the allure of Pandorum (though I suspect if he were to tell you all about it, his summary would include a rant about how overrated he think Dennis Quaid is and how he’s not actually all that talented, but his opinions do not necessarily reflect those of this blog. Except sometimes.) My brother also bought Point Break and Navy Seals solely because they were referenced in other movies he loves and it made him laugh. Seriously:
I also have a friend who’s film collection trumps mine so significantly, I am in awe. Jealous, flabbergasted awe. And the ratio of movies watched to movies owned is not as equal as one would expect.
Maybe I should start a support group: DVD Addicts Anonymous. A safe haven for film nerds to gather and discuss the shameful DVDs they own and watch more than they should ever admit to (*cough*House On Haunted Hill*cough*), the movies they buy just for the sake of owning them (I loved it the first time I saw it in theaters, but I don’t think I’ve watched Million Dollar Baby since buying it), and the films they buy just because it’s there (welcome to the list, Pandorum!) Anyone else out there want to join?