Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ashes ashes we all fall down

Confession, or Why I Finally Cancelled Netflix.

In January, I spent a little less than $10 on DVDs...  Pulse, Ju-on, and Synechdoche, New York, all used.  The first two are horror films I haven't seen.  The third is a horror film I have seen and survived to appreciate.  

Relatively speaking, $10 is a forgivable trifle. 

In February, I've already spent $200 on DVDs.  That's bad.  Stupid bad.  Nearly unforgivable bad.

At least I have an understanding and forgiving wife.

Here's how my madness breaks down...

I'm in Walmart at the beginning of last week with the girls and feel like splurging a bit since I'm happy about the new baby.
Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection Vol. 2
Clint Eastwood Western Icon Collection (High Plains Drifter, Joe Kidd, and Two Mules for Sister Sara)
Clint Eastwood Definitive Collection (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)

It's the end of the week.  I get out of tractor supply in Vestal and think that it'll be harmless to check for movies at Hollywood Video.

It's the same day at the end of the week and I'm in a really bad mood from being out shopping for too long.  In a fit of impotent rage in Wegmans, I think to myself, "I know how I'll get back at the world.  I'll piss everyone off by buying movies out of this $4.99 bin."
The Misfits
Wild Bill
A Prayer Before Dying
The Princess and the Pirate

At this point, I'm already feeling really guilty about how irresponsible I've been in my spending.  So, of course, things only get worse.

This past Sunday, I made the worst decision of all.  I went into a Hollywood Video in Ithaca (the one by the mall) that is going out of business.  All of their DVDs are on sale, including their entire foreign section that is crammed full of Criterion titles.  As sick as I am with myself for what I spent, I have to confess that it was agonizing leaving so many great titles on the shelf.  I walked away with 15 discs.  I could have easily doubled that amount with films that are just as good as the ones I chose.  All films were 3 for $25.  Compared to retail Criterion prices, that's better than a buy 1, get 1 free sale.  It's like a buy 1, get 2 free sale.  
Mouchette (Bresson)
L'argent (Bresson)
Vampyr (Dreyer)
The Bad Sleep Well (Kurosawa)
High and Low (Kurosawa)
Dodes'ka-den (Kurosawa)
Le deuxieme souffle (Melville)
Grand Illusion (Renoir)
La bete humaine (Renoir)
Pauline at the Beach (Rohmer)
The Lady and the Duke (Rohmer)
Il generale della rovere (Rossellini)
La jetee/Sans soleil (Marker)
Shoot the Piano Player (Truffaut)
The Fallen Idol (Reed)

What's really bad is that I'm already thinking about when I can get back there to see if the prices have dropped any further.  But, then I'm done.  Really.  Okay, I need to stay away until the store closes.

And so I've cancelled Netflix.

Not counting the Tom & Jerry collection, I bought 26 DVDs.  Throwing in the 3 from January, that's 29.  Let's call it 30.

I made up a few deals for myself to get Netflix back, but all of them seem unfairly skewed in my favor.

So I've made a harder list comprised of two Herculean tasks.

I can get Netflix back if...

- I watch all of the unwatched DVDs in my collection (which will probably take at least a year to do)
- I lose 50 lbs (nothing else has motivated me; maybe new movies can)

That's it.  Those are the conditions.  Goodbye Netflix.     

1 comment:

82jp said...

So, John, could you say that you're "so close to getting everything you ever wanted" in film? I don't judge you at all, but smile as I remember how amused you were by my obsession with Star Wars collectibles. I am pleased to say that I am nearly cured on that front- marriage and lack of space will do it. But I'm still a sucker for $5 DVDs at WalMart myself, so I feel your pain. Just today I picked up a 4-in-1 Oceans 11, 12, and 13 (including the original Oceans 11) at Target for $10. $10!! I liked the movies, but my wife has been wanting to see them for some time and I think my son is probably old enough the handle the PG-13 rating. But 4 films for $10!! So you see, I definitely empathize.