Vhs purchases

August 1st, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

VHS buying log

This is a page that I created to document my second hand film buying hobby between 2003-2006. As you can see, I don’t update it any longer. I’ve still got a fairly big collection but hundreds have been given away in favour of more space in my room.
Films bought 2006
[CC] = Cash Converters.
[BB] = Blockbuster

17 April 2006

Some 50p bargains from the car boot sale.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Minority Report
Jesus Of Montreal
Vertigo
The Stars Look Down

13 April 2006
Sorted 0.50
Girl, Interuped 0.50
Pump Up The Volume 0.50
54 0.50
Blake’s 7 16 0.50
Tony Hancock (5 eps) 1.50
Mosely 1.00
Ghost In The Shell 0.50
McCabe + Mrs Miller 0.50
Tomorrow Never Dies 0.50
Steve Coogan: Live and Lewd 0.50
Kevin and Perry Go Large 0.50
Krumar’s At Number 42 (about three hours worth) 0.50
Down Time 0.50

10 Feb 2006

Another visit to the car boot sale and another  load of tapes. One of the local charity shops is also getting rid of their videos for four for 1 pounds. A local bookshop is getting rid of its VHS for 59p a go.

Whoohoo, a string of almost unbelievable bargains in s/h DVDs.
Cast Away 2.50 – double DVD (some damage to the sticker on the back of disk 1 but seems to play fine)
Lost In Translation 3.00 – full featured DVD.

Hannibal 1.99 – double DVD. Even the woman in BB seemed surprised with this one, although she did not quibble over the price.

The Apartment 0.50
The Lady Vanishes 0.50
The Outsiders 0.50
Notorious 0.50
Late Night Shopping (new) 0.59
Velvet Goldmine (new) 0.59

Moondial 0.25
ST:DS9  0.25 – I am getting quite interested in DS9. May start collecting.
Bullets Over Broadway 0.25
Moulin Rouge 0.25

06 Feb 2006

Ed Wood DVD 2.95
Manhattan DVD 2.50

Holy Smoke 0.59

Ricky Gervais Live:Animals 1.00 (pound shop)

Fast Times At Ridgemont High 0.50
The Breakfast Club 0.50
Harry Enfeild’s Television Program: Best Of Series 1 0.50
The Lady Vanishes 0.50
Notorious 0.50
Rollerball (remake) 0.50
Eddie Murphy: Raw 0.50
The Outsiders 0.50
Vinilla Sky 0.50
The Apartment 0.50
Saving Grace 0.50

Richard III 1.00 (DVD) – Pound shop.  Olivier version.

22 Jan 2006

Visit to the car boot sale.

All 50p
{
Morons From Outer Space
AI – Artificial Intelligence
Harry Enfield and Chums 1997
The Way Of The Dragon
The Brood
Signs

Dennis Pennis: To Rude To Live}

Continue for the 2005 log.

October 2005

Personally, a Christmas check has temporarily brought an end to the lean period which extended from August. Most of my buying since the last update seems to be from either the car boot sale or various cheap supermarkets. Cash Converters have hardly any VHS these days, Blockbuster seem to have none at all and I’ve been too hard up for even the cheapest DVDs.

9 Carry On… tapes for 50p each (charity shop).

Futurama series 2 (vhs boxset brand new 5 pounds)
Futurama series 3 (vhs boxset brand new 5 pounds)
Badiel and Skinner unplanned 50p car boot sale.
Royle Family series 2 50p
Men Behaving Badly series 6 50p
Whoohoo. I now have the complete set. This is not the first time this carboot sale has yeilded exactly the tape that I needed (see tripods tape 3).
Basket Ball Diaries/Total Eclipse 50p charity shop
Two films on one tape.
Dune (TV series) 3 tape boxset. 4 pounds (new)
Never seen this or read the novels but I thought I’d give it a go for four pounds for the complete thing.
Badiel and Skinner Unplanned 50p



August 2005

I think that I am going to switch for composite summaries for now. I have started cycling as my health has improved a bit. Consequently, I can nip into town a couple of times a week. Also, due to slight improvements in my health, I have started volunteering at a local charity shop, sorting and pricing books. Between cycling and volunteering, I don’t have as much free time as I used to.

From the car boot sale which I have started to attend occasionally.
{
The Right Stuff 50p
Fatherland 50p
Woohoo Miranda! I also have the novel to on my massive pile of books.
Eddie Izzard – Dressed To Kill 50p
The Pianist 50p
Brand new, shrink-wrapped.
Cast Away 50p
I’m Alan Partridge (double) 1.00
“Smell my cheese, you mother!”
For three pounds (car boot sale){
Only Fools and Horses series 1 (double)
Only Fools and Horses series 2  (double)
Only Fools and Horses ‘The Jolly Boy Outing’.
}
Tripods 3 50p
Woohoo, just the tape I needed to complete series 1!
Black Adder Goes Forth tape 1
I need tape 2 now.
Down Where The Buffalo Roam 50p
}

13 July 2005

Yet another composite summary. I don’t seem to have any enthusiasm for the full/detailed summaries I used to do at the moment. This is should include everything I have bought since the last update.

Bob And Carol And Ted And Alice 50p -Charity shop
Linda Green (double VHS – brand new – 10 eps) 99p book shop
Deep Blue See 50p – charity shop
[Always wanted to see this for some reason. Crap. Crap CGI. Plays with the disaster/survival formula a little bit by killing characters off in a slightly different order to the one that one might expect. For the viewer with an interest in film production and writing, the crap movies can sometimes be just as useful as the good ones for analysis. Interesting to muse over why this one is crap and totally non engaging and other films of the genre are more worthwhile.]

Near Dark – 50p
This was a film that I was on the lookout for. Features 80’s actress Jenny Wright.
Mark Little – 50p Looks like some sort of live standup. I am not familiar with the comedian. Don’t know why I bought it really.
Blockbuster 1 pound each. Bought over the course of several trips.
Billy Connnolly – World Tour Of Scotland (double video)
The Supergrass
Bottom Live 1 and 2
Bicentennial Man
A Life Less Ordinary
The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin series 1 (double video)
Bottom 3 (3 eps)
Red Dwarf V – Byte 1
Much Ado About Nothing (Ken Branagh)
Bowling For Columbine
Farenhiet 911

Blake’s 7 tape  9 (two eps) 0.95p

Richard Prior Live in Concert (DVD) – 3.33
[Live concert from about 1979. I like Richard Prior but this is far from one of his best. I only got it because I needed to make up a third so that I could buy my mum a DVD she wanted as part of her birthday present. Stand up comedy tends to be of the things that goes cheapest on VHS. For example when Cash Converters had a half price offer on, I managed to pick up a fairly recent (3 years old or so) Billy Connelly tape for 25p]
Before Sunrise (DVD) – 3.33
Sequel to Before Sunrise. I was quite lucky to find it in the ‘three for ten pounds’ bin as it is quite recent.

May/June 2005

Yet another summary ’round up post’. Tut, tut.

In rough chronological order

For a pound:
{
Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends (two tapes four eps)
Pret-A-Porter
Walking With Dinosors
The Royal Family series 1
The Fast Show live (new)
The Black Adder (new) three eps
Ricky Gervias Live 2: Politics
Eddie Izzard: Circle

Raging Bull
Men Behaving Badly complete series 1 (6 eps)
Men Behaving Badly complete series 2
Men Behaving Badly complete series 3
}

Blake’s 7 eps 1+2 1.50
Blake’s 7 eps 3+4 1.50

50p each
{
Time Wars
Yes Prime Minister (three eps)
One Good Cop
}

DVDs
Johnny English 2.99 (DVD)
Man With The Golden Gun (DVD) 4.00
Quest For The Holy Grail (2x DVD) 4.00
Two pounds each from Blockbuster ‘buy 3 third DVD free’
{
Caligula
DVD with The Man Who Knew To Much, The Woman In Green, Young and innocent
[something else which I can’t remember!]
}

April 2005

Another ’round up’ post as I haven’t been updating. Basically, the result of two trips to a neigbouring town on my bicycle.

Two pounds each (DVD) from Blockbuster (marked 2.99 but buy two, get one free)

{
Brimstone and Treacle
Denis Potter film.
[I think that the point that Potter is making is this: One of the characters has concluded that God doesn’t exist or that God is indifferent or that God is cruel because of His lack of intervention the in tragedy which has befallen a young woman. Potter asks us, does it then follow that Sting’s character is ‘good’ because he precipitates the recovery of the young woman?
]
The Unknown Cyclist
I was attracted to this due to its focus on cycling (my new interest) and inclusion of Lea Thompson in the cast!
[
‘AIDS/gay issue movie’. Sentimental but not overly so by gay issue movie standards. Worth a watch. Not much focus on the actual cycling though :-/ Using a cycle race as the backdrop is an unusual take on the road-movie genre.
]
House Of Fools
Russian language film. Set in Chechnya.
[Watched it and it’s interesting. Was rather tired when watching so need to give it a re watch before deciding about it.]
Kids
Tube Tales
}

The League Of Gentlemen Series 1 1.99
For another pound I could have had another two tapes but I couldn’t find anything.

Red Dwarf V tape 2 1.99 Blockbuster

28 March 2005

After a long cycle ride, decided to swing back into town and call in a at Blockbuster.

Blockbuster Three DVDs for 6 pounds total. That’s 2 pounds each.
{
The House Of Usher
The Perfect Storm – full featured DVD
Night Of The Living Dead (4:3)
}

date unknown March

Just got back into cycling so I haven’t really been updating the log. Round up to cover the last month or so:
[

Men Behaving Badly
They were a pound each but the charity shop lady said that she would let me have four for three pounds. That gives me 12 more eps.

Blockbuster 1 pound each.
{
Harry Enfield
In Bed With Madonna
Red Dwarf Series 5 tape 1
Blue Steel
The Wall: Live From Berlin
}

Frasier six eps – 1.50.
]

18(?) March 2005
Secrets And Lies [1.00 CC]
Comic Relief: Rude For A Reason [1.00 BB]
Nicholas Nickleby [1.00 misc shop]
Bring Me The Head Of Mavis Davis [1.00 BB]
Pushing Tin [1.00 BB]

23rd February 2005

[Blockbuster buy one get one free 2.99 each. So effectively, 2 pounds each
Taboo (DVD)
I had read some of Boy George’s Sunday Express articles from an online archive and wondered if I’d ever get to see his musical in some form so this was quite a nice find. Some nice extras on the disks.
Straw Dogs (DVD)
Another thing which I had read about and wondered if I would ever get hold of. Full featured disk with plenty of extras.
9 1/2 Weeks (DVD)
Bare bones disk but nice to have a good wide screen copy of a film that I hadn’t seen in ages.
]
8th February 2005

Only Fools And Horses 7  eps 1-6 [4.99 record shop]
Amnesty International – The Secret Policeman’s Ball 1976 1977 (DVD) [1.49 The Works]
Brand new

25 Jan 2005
28 Days Later (DVD) [4.00 CC]

Natural Born Killers uncut (DVD) [2.95 Record Shop]
Good price for a full featured DVD.

{3 for the price of two Blockbuster 5.98 total
Multiplicity
The Heart Of Me
Planet Of The Apes
}

The Night Porter [0.95 record shop]
Journey To The Center Of The Earth [0.50 record shop]
Das Boot [1.99]
1.99 is a lot for me for VHS. BB’s current offer on VHS is three for three pounds but I just couldn’t find anything to got with this. I decided that it would be a bit silly to pay an extra pound for two videos that I didn’t even want.

20 Jan 2005
{
3 for 3 Pounds Blockbuster

The Big Man
The Thing
Peter Kay Live
}

Jude [1.00 CC]

04 January 2005
Now that the shops are open again, it’s time to pop into town to see what the January sales have to offer.

The Classic Collection – The Detective (DVD) [4.99 The Works]
This was reduced in price from 9.99 in the January sales. It is packaged as a boxset with five DVDs. The films are black and white detective thrillers. There are two Alfred Hitchcock films, an Orson Welles, a Sherlock Homes staring Basil Rathbone and something else of the same era.

The League Of Gentlemen – Complete Series 2 [2.99]
Something else reduced in the sale in The Works. I have never actually seen this series before but I’ll give it a go.

The Addiction [95p Record shop]
They had this in for 1.99 for several months with no takers. It’s a rather unusual vampire movie that I’ve seen before. Probably one of my favorite horror movies. It turned out to be brand new and still shrink wrapped inside the box. Really, I need a DVD copy of this film.

Romper Stomper (DVD) [2.99 Record shop]
This is supposed to be quite good.

The Tribe Series 1 Vol 1 Eps 1-4 [0.50 Record Shop]
No idea what this is. The premise seems to be vaguely compatible with my interests in post apocalyptic survivalist fiction.

This Year’s Love [0.50 BB]
Brit film that I wanted to see again.

Metropolis [0.50 BB]
Never seen this all the way through. I don’t know if it comes complete with a soundtrack.

Newman And Baddiel – Live And In Peices [0.95]
Woah baby! This is one of the things that I have been looking for ages. Probably the highlight of today’s trip.

Animatrix [99p]
Brand new. Bought from a shop that sells loads of cheap but new stuff. I’m not a fan of The Matrix but I’ll give this a go.
26 November 2004
Solaris [3.00 Market stall]
This guy’s prices are really eccentric. I saw this for four pounds in CC and had considered it.

Doctor Who: The Sun Makers [50p BB]
This is a fantastic price for a Dr Who tape. Now I will have to fret over the mental image of them putting out 30 Dr Who tapes or Blake’s 7 tapes for 50p like they did with all the ST:TOS stuff.

Space 1999 [1.00 Market Stall]
Not quite as good at the 50p one from last time.

ST: TNG [50p BB]
Tape 52
16 November 2004
The thought of all of those lovely TNG tapes lured me back to Blockbuster. This time I decided to take a bus into a neighboring town to visit their Blockbuster (I’ve just read that back and it’s apparent that I’ve got some serious problems). They had even more stuff but no ST and the prices weren’t as low. The PSB video was quite a find and I had read about it and had wondered how I would obtain a copy. I then caught the bus back home and popped into my own native BB. The Blake’s 7 video was also very welcome. Now I’ve got this terrible idea that they’ll put out 30 B7 tapes for 50p each the moment I left the shop.

Airwolf (DVD) [1.25 BB]
Three eps.

Fairwell to Arms (DVD) [1.25 BB]
Gary Cooper version.

I also got five more TNG tapes [2.50 BB] mostly series 6/7.

Blake’s Seven (Orac / Redemption) [0.50 BB]

Ben Elton [0.50 BB]
1990 ish. May have watched this years ago.

Space 1999 Volume 11
I’d never seen Space 1999 before. Nice to get a video of a TV show that is only five years old for once <G>.

Les Miserables [0.50 BB]

Neighbors: How it all began [0.50 BB]
The first four eps of this soap. 1984, it says on the tape. Had a strange desire to see this. I was a viewer from the beginning but got sick of the recycled plots/characters and probably simply outgrew it. I wouldn’t mind seeing something from about a year after these eps to revisit some of the old characters.

11/12 November 2004
OK, here’s the deal – my local Blockbuster seems to be getting rid of all of their Star Trek VHS stuff. They also have a two for one offer on used DVD and VHS. This all added up to spending a lot in one go. They had loads of ST:TOS for an effective price of 50p (99p buy one, get one free) and I decided to bite the bullet and buy all of the eps that I didn’t have. This meant buying 18 tapes for 9 pounds which is a lot of money for me at the moment. 36 eps (give or take) for less than the price of a DVD. I couldn’t resist picking up some ST:TNG at the same time. I even went back the next day to get some more. I really enjoy series 6&7 of TNG so I returned the next day for some more. Again, I can’t really afford it at the moment but I get a lot of enjoyment out of them and I decided that I might as well stock up while they are cheap.

I can’t be bothered to type them all in but suffice to say, I bought 18 ST:TOS tapes [9.00] and six TNG tapes [3.00]. Most of the TNG tapes were series 6/7.

Good Will Hunting [1.50 BB]

The Time Machine [1.50 BB]
I thought that I would take a chance on this for 1.50. A few extras including two commentary tracks.

Continue to the 2004 log

30 October 2004
You Only Live Twice DVD (DVD) [2.99 BB]
Sailor Moon [0.50 charity shop]
26 October 2004
Bright Young Things (DVD) [2.99 BB]
I first saw this in the ex rental section for 9.99. On a subsequent visit I noticed it for 2.99 so looked it up on the Internet when I got home. It looked like something I would like but when I returned to the store, all of the copies had a price of 9.99 stamped on them. It was as if the 2.99 pricing had been part of some wonderful dream rather than something that really happened. Then, today, it was back to 2.99. That story seems pretty uninteresting reading it back but I was really pleased. Anyway, it features a director commentary track (Stephen Fry).

09 October 2004
Getting really low on cash now so I have to choose my purchases carefully.

Lee Evans Live [49.50p]
[Like a lot of stand up, it’s of variable quality. Contains some quite brilliant moments such as the mime work at the beginning which is synchronized to music and sound effects. It would seem however, that Lee Evans is one of those comedians who knows when the material is weak so compensates by delivering the punchline in silly voice and punctuated with swear words.]

Heavenly Creatures [49.50p]

Bless This House [49.50p]
[Best appreciated as a quaint period piece.]

ST:TOS – Bread and Circuses / Journey To Babel [49.50p]
[JTB I already have on another tape. I found Bread and Circuses to be quite a watchable ep despite poor user reviews on the net. It’s a Roddenberry co-penned ep which indulges his love of ‘alternative parallel earth development’ which requires a bit of suspension of disbelief or some very complicated scientific rationalization. Quite enjoyable satirical moments – “If you cause the ratings of this show to drop, we’ll do a special on you!”. Oh and Kirk (probably, it’s implied) gets it on with a non-green skinned lady.]

05 October 2004
Goldfinger (DVD) [2.99 BB]
The extras look really interesting. I could have paired this with You Only Live Twice and then qualified for a free DVD but I couldn’t find anything to make up the third.

The Black Hole [0.50 CC]

This Life [1.00 BB]
Four eps.

The Glass House [1.00 BB]
I heard someone mention that this was a good prison movie.

Heathers [1.50 BB]

Pretty In Pink [1.50 BB]
About the only 80’s John Hughs film that I have never seen. Actually, I need to get hold of 16 Candles at some point.
21 September 2004
Platoon [1.00 CC]

Soldier Blue [49p BB]
Western. Needed something to make up a pair in the buy one, get one free BB deal.
[Something of a mixed bag. It’s starts off as a typical corny ’70’s western. I’m not really a fan of the genre and I quickly began to wonder if I would be able to even finish watching it. About half way through it starts to pick up and I decided to stick with it (I rarely give up on a film). The character of the film really alters in the last 30 minutes or so when it starts to confront the realities of a cowboy+Indian battle and then a massacre of the Indian camp. The violence near the beginning and particularly at the end of the film is quite extreme (children being decapitated etc) and really jarring given the character of the rest of the film.

I started off disliking this film but by the end, I had to respect it’s attempts to make a bold statement about historic mistreatment of the Native American Indian people. As a film it’s too un even to rate very highly, however. The quality of my tape was poor.
]
17 September 2004
Fight Club [1.49 BB]
Great film that I had only seen once. Perhaps this will be a DVD purchase in the future.

Happy Birthday To Me [49.50p BB]
80’s Horror
[Not bad typical 80’s slasher film.]

Planet Of The Apes [1.49 BB]
Supposed to be crap. A splurge but why not?
[I had low expectations going in but it wasn’t really that bad. The ending really is stupid though.]

Horror Double Bill: George Romero: Document Of The Dead/Dario Argento: Master Of Horror [2pounds market stall]
I passed this by before but it seems to be two horror movie documentaries on one tape.

Slugs [50p BB]
80’s Horror

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme series 1 (DVD) [4.00 CC]
They had series 1 and 3 for four pounds each. I’ve never seen this before so I decided to risk 4 pounds on it rather than 8. If it turns out to be really great, I’m going to regret passing on series three.

Fever Pitch (DVD) [3.00 CC]
Replaces ex rental VHS.

Tales From The Black Museum [1.95 record shop] (double VHS)
Documentary about the contents of Scotland Yard’s criminal museum.

08 September 2004
Missed a couple of updates. I suppose this is composite update

Novocaine [80p CC]
Being Considered [99p BB]
Dr T And The Women [99p BB]

24 August 2004
Small Time Crooks [0.50 record shop]
Poor box but tape is fine. One of WA’s more recent films.
[Not bad WA film.]

Timescape (aka Grand Tour: Disaster In Time) [0.50 record shop]
Box very poor. Tape OK but old.

Trust Me [0.50 record shop]
Film staring Adam Ant!
[Woah, what a turkey of a movie.]

Strictly Ballroom/Carry On Doctor/Human Traffic/Death Train (DVD) [3.00CC]
I’d already picked up A Strictly Ballroom/Carry On Doctor double bill for three pounds. Hmm… And then I see this. Human Traffic was the film that I was after. I’ll give my old double bill DVD away. [update: No one wants it!]
[Human Traffic was good. It’s very ‘Trainspottingesq’. Very interesting film and worth three pounds on it’s own. The DVD itself was good and complete with extras (which I haven’t watched yet).

Death Train was a silly straight to video piece of rubbish. All in all this three pound DVD set has proved to be a bargain.
]

16 August 2004
Friends Series 7 eps 21-23 [1 pound]
Friends Series 8 eps 9-12 [1 pound]
Same source as previous set, see below for details.

Desperately Seeking Susan (DVD) [3 pounds CC]
Always wanted to see this. Widescreen and some interesting looking extras.
[Watched. Undecided about the film. Seems a bit overlong and muddled. I’ve started with the commentary track which seems quite interesting as it features the writers.]

Clockwork Orange [50p CC]
Slightly tarnished box but the tape is recent and good condition. Didn’t say so on the box but it’s Widescreen.
[Good quality and widescreen. A great film. I wont even begin to analyze it. One of my favorite (short) novels too, BTW.]
14 August 2004
The Score [99.5p BB]
[A fairly standard ‘one last job’ heist movie.

Brando’s final film appearance. Difficult to comment on his performance without dwelling on his size. He is huge. In his biography, he admitted that he is no longer interested in acting and he does seem to lack commitment, sometimes seeming distracted.

I had read some wild stories about the production. One claiming that Brando had refused to wear trousers in some scenes so that he would be shot from the waist up. I didn’t see one single scene in which Brando was shot from the waist up. Perhaps was can put this down to an attempt to maintain the image of Brando.

Edward Norton is someone that I have seen in a few films. His first appearance in this film as a mentally disabled person is mesmerizing in it’s intensity. Method at it’s best. I felt, however, that he was unable to maintain the same intensity in subsequent scenes when adopting the false handicapped persona.

Other than that, the film is average in most respects.
]

Men Behaving Badly  [99.5p BB]
Four series 5 eps.

The Very Best Of The Royle Family (DVD) [3.95 The Record Shop]
I’m not very familiar with the series. Funnily enough, I saw an ad with someone selling this for five pounds (ex postage, I assume) earlier that day. This DVD contains assorted eps from series 1,2 and 3. The box doesn’t specify any extras.

06 August 2004
Friends Series 7 eps 13-16 [1 pound]
Friends Series 7 eps 17-20 [1 pound]
[I used to like Friends. There, I’ve said it. I hate the people in it but I found the series really funny. The characters are despicable ‘modern people’ with the outlook of high school popular kids. However, I found the writing to be really funny. As you can probably tell, I feel torn – Friends is the embodiment of everything that I consider worthy of my hatred but it’s also a very funny sitcom. Each rep contains SO many funny gags and the performers are very skilled comic actors.

Anyway, I watched Friends it up until around series four when I stopped watching satellite TV (I gave up on terrestrial a couple of years before) and I was curious to see how the series had progressed. I found these tapes in a great big bargain shop that I like to go into.]

Earthquake [95p Record Shop]
[70’s disaster flick staring Charlton Heston. Really quite a good example of the genre. I had a quick look at the user reviews on IMDB which were mostly negative. I think that enjoyment of something like this requires a appreciation of the genre. The Kenneth Branagh adaption of Henry V and Earthquake aren’t comparable films. Earthquake is a rather good if formulaic 70’s disaster flick.

The special effects are mostly surprisingly good for a film of this type and age. Some of the miniature work, in particular is quite convincing.

The best of this genre is probably The Poisidon Adventure, IMO.
]

Jul 30 2004
Still making far too many trips really. Cash Converters sale has ended. The VHS prices are still good but not amazing anymore. However, ultra low s/h DVD prices continue at CC. There were loads of feature films at three and four pounds but nothing I really wanted. I’ve also discovered a new market stall that sells DVDs and videos. I’m going to have to get the hang of getting into town on Friday/Saturday mornings to visit the market. His prices are extremely eccentric – five pounds for each for the Red Dwarf videos and yet two pounds for some features on DVD. I got a couple of good deals from him. The Record Shop is stocked up with stuff again.

David Baddiel and Rob Newman – Live At Shaftsbury Avenue [1.00 Market Stall]
Woohoo! I’ve been on the lookout for this for years. I wonder if it wonder how well it will have aged?

The Fabulous Baker Boys (DVD) [2.00 Market Stall]
Great price. Replaces taped off TV copy.

Hollow Reed [49.5p BB]
Modern British Film. Stars Joely Richardson but I bought it because the excellent Ian Hart is on the cast list.

Outside Providence [49.5p BB]
Had to find something else cheap to pair with another video to qualify for ‘buy one, get one free’. Farley Brothers film.
[A comedy that isn’t really sure if it is a comedy or not. A few attempts at humor but too dry to succeed as a comedy and not really strong enough to succeed as drama. Some fair performances but a bit of failure all round.

The soundtrack is all period correct (1970s) and does not include a single duff track.
]
Ben Elton Live [50p record shop]
Silent Running [95p record shop]
Picture on cover looks really old fashioned but this is a 2000 release in excellent condition.

Jul 17 2004
A trip to the dentist is my excuse.

A Team Box Set 1 [2.50 CC]
A Team Box Set 2 [2.50 CC]
Marked at 5 pounds per box but the all videos half price sale is still in effect. 19 eps for five pounds plus the embarrassment of buying it :-)
[I was discussing this the other day. Quite often, people use the expression ‘so bad, it’s good’ without really meaning it. The beautiful thing about the A-Team is that it really is so bad that it is actually good. Bad is converted to good with nearly a 100% efficiency. Every laughable aspect of it takes on a new, ironic meaning that is good.
]

13th July 2004
Intimacy [50p CC]
[Just watched. This is a film that I had wanted to see for a while so I was really pleased when I saw it on the bottom shelf in cash converters. I had read a short story by Hanif Kureish, which I enjoyed greatly. The box was a bit battered so it was marked at 1 pound but with the half price sale in effect, that made it 50p. Actual tape condition was good.

The re-occurring theme of this film is that of boundaries and of crossing those boundaries: A man violating the assumed boundaries of his anonymous, monosyllabic, sexual relationship with a married woman by following her and entering into her personal life; She breaks her marriage vows; The woman’s husband exceeds typical conversational familiarity with a complete stranger; The social standards of mainstream society are crossed in a squat environment; Conventions of a romantic context existing in a sexual encounter are disregarded; a literal, physical barrier, one of safety is being disregarded in the case of condoms and forgetting to put one on in the heat of passion; In the theater group the actors are trying to cross the boundary of committing emotionally to a scene. The dialog is often philosophical in nature and philosophy is concerned with exploring meaning rather than assuming conventional attitudes.

Why are these people crossing these boundaries? Perhaps the only clue to this comes from considering where they are crossing to. The main character is searching for some meaning in life. He is asking himself what he wants and satisfying this desire in a crude, direct way. He is fulfilling a sexual desire with a woman but without the periphery of a normal relationship. The term ‘relationship’ could only be used in the strictest sense rather than the popular meaning when describing the way in which these two people interact. They have no conversation outside of utilitarian necessity.

But, the main character is not a desensitized person. He is a feeling, thinking being and the source of his angst is that he is asking ‘why?’. He wants some meaning. And he wants to to know what he wants. He tries to fulfill his needs in a direct way but afterwards, he is still unsatisfied.

These are philosophical questions that the film is posing – What are the social conventions that bind us in regard to our sexual relationships? What happens if we abandoned those conventions and stripped the sexual relation ship to it’s essential components? What are the dangers of this approach? The main character is not an anarchist but is abandoning convention by acting in an authentic manner. He calculates what he wants to do and then he does it.

Ironically, the film also crosses another boundary, but one of British cinema. Some of the sex scenes go beyond the the typical limits of what the BBFC would allow. The film features acclaimed actress Kerry Fox (An Angel At My Table, Shallow Grave) actually felating the male actor and in another scene arousing him manually and a few scenes briefly show his aroused, erect penis. The BBFC made the controversial decision to pass these scenes uncut.

I am in two minds about the BBFC’s decision in this case – Yes, I feel that I should have been allowed to see these scenes if I wanted to. But, the BBFC made this decision because this is an ‘art’ film. I think the rules about what is decent should not depend on how ‘artistic’ the film is. To my mind, this means that the BBFC are making a moral judgment about art. Who is to say that a hypothetical ‘Carry On…’ style film that featured hardcore sex scenes is indecent, liable to cause harm or offensive whilst a serious film with artistic merit and the same type of sex scenes is not? Some would argue that the opposite is true; that a frivolous, superficial film who’s only function is that of deliberate and unashamed titillation of the viewer is less offensive and less likely to ‘corrupt and deprave’ (a phrase that is part of the the government’s definition of ‘indecency’) the viewer.

I suspect that it is possible to make meaningful, entertaining films and films of artistic merit without nudity and without sex scenes. However, I am sure that very few films would be truly stifled artistically if absent of scenes in which the actors actually have sex together. And I say this as a fan of pornography. A new convention of allowing hardcore sex scenes in mainstream films is open to abuse by cynical film makers – Images of sexual activity and nudity = $$$ in our society and that is a fact.

I’m sorry to harp on about the sexual content of the film but I will make one more point: ‘Guardian reader’ style film critics assure us that the sex scenes are not arousing or erotic. To this I would say, don’t believe everything that you read in the Guardian or anything that you are told by one of it’s readers. A Guardian reader is so sophisticated that very little arouses him/her. I am not a Guardian reader.

Here’s another irony – the film is good. I’d be sitting and smugly shaking my head at what a great little British film I had picked up even if I had never heard of it and it’s notorious sexual content. There isn’t a great deal of plot, in a conventional sense, but lack of coherent motives and explanations was obviously intended in this exploration of the life of a man who is desperately searching for some meaning.

The acting is mostly naturalistic and the actors generate a feeling of realism by apparently pausing and thinking and murmuring. You can see them being effected by things that happen and them wondering how they should proceed.

Visually, the film has a nice style – I wouldn’t mind seeing it in wide screen. The score is apt and sets the mood well.

In conclusion, a good film if you like moody, introspective, character driven films that pose philosophical questions.
]

A Smile Like Yours [49.5p]
[Awful. The male lead is an actor that I have noticed in a few films so tend to look out for. The film is a romantic comedy without the comedy. Without funny comedy, anyway.
]
Wonderland [half of a 2 for 99p in BB]
British Film.
[Watched this morning. Wow! What a great film this is. Picking up something like this really does serve to vindicate my approach in obtaining all of the films that I watch. I’m going to leave it for a few months and then consider promoting it to my top 50 list.

The first aspect of the film which impressed itself upon me was it’s grainy visual quality. It looks like it is shot on Super 8 but I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that this is DV that has been post-processed to look like Super 8. [Update – it was shot on 16mm]. Most of the scenes rely on the natural lighting present in the environment of the shot. This aproach to scene illumination exagerates the grainyness of the film stock.  A lot of the scenes use hand-held cameras. Even though the picture quality is grainy, some interesting visual effects are used such as slo-motion and sped-up motion. All of this adds up to give the film a unique visual signature that is very conducive to establishing a mood which is entirely compatible with the narrative.

The acting is mostly naturalistic, reinforcing the documentary feel. Much of the dialog has a realistic, improvised feel. The characters are working class Londoners. Perhaps the visual style of the film was, in itself, intended to provoke an analogy – it posseses a rawness coupled with sophistication which functions as a metaphor representing the characters who seem unsophisticated but live within the modern environment of the inner city.

There are considerable number of central characters but their stories are related and the film does a good job of spending some time on all of them whilst never making the story seem overly disjointed (a problem that Born Romantic -scroll down- seemed unable to overcome). I would have preferred clearer indications, from the beginning, as to the relationships between all of the different characters. Although, the gradual revelation, as to who is related to whom and in what way may have deliberately employed for artistic reasons. Anyway, I’m always idiot about things like that and always fail to pick up on points of that sort; I suppose that if two people are sisters, they must share the same parents and the ex husband of one sister must know the other sister.

The acting ranges from good to superb. At it’s height, the acting convinces you that you are watching a fly on the wall documentary.

The film is emotionally affecting to the point that it is uncomfortable to watch in places. One of the relationships featured is that of a married couple who have come to hate each other. This is recreated with documentary like realism that is painful to watch. I found myself wanting to slap them both and shout, ‘Get out! Get out of this hell and start new lives while you still can!’. I think that this is the central theme of the film – that of ‘assessment of ones life’.

It is a side effect of the naturalistic feel of the film that it doesn’t really try to force any conclusions, choosing instead to allow the audience to make their own. Personally, my sympathies with some of the characters were divided – these people are suffering but they are suffering the consequences of the choices that they make. The man who wants to leave his job is an example of this – he decided to get married, get a house and start a family, he is now unable to leave a job that he hates. He finds himself stuck in a situation that he is unable to escape from but can’t because of the choices that he has made. This is not a fate that has been imposed upon him from above.

Another example of this theme concerns the woman who has sex on the couch of man that she has just met. Incidentally, the lead up to this features some fantastic naturalistic acting where the actors are really committing and using acting technique to access and stimulate their own instinctive emotional memories. After the act, (we are saved the pleasure of a ringside seat as the film cuts away and spends some time on another subplot) she is disappointed by his unresponsiveness and coldness towards her. He has got what he wanted from her and now he wants to discard her. And this is my point about action and consequence – what did she expect? She went to bed (well, went to to couch) with a fantastic looking guy that she hardly knew. She was attracted to him because he was beautiful. She knew nothing of his intentions or his character. She sufferes the consequences of what she did.

This scenario has special meaning for me when paired with another scene – and I hope that I have correctly interpreted the intention of the film maker in this case. I think that the former scene is a mirror image of an earlier scene in which the gender roles are reversed. In the earlier scene, a man and a woman engage in a sexual act in her place of work (at night, when it is closed). Afterwards, the man begins to ask her where she lives and other things about herself but she is disinterested now. She had got what she wanted. Perhaps the man then goes through the same emotional experiences as the woman in the afore mentioned mirror twin of this scene; we never find out. Due to societal prejudices, the majority of the audience will interpret the two scenes differently.

This film is about people who epitomize the model of the modern young Londonite. They have no religious beliefs or any ideology that we are shown beyond a doctrine of mere survival, utilitarianism and easy pleasures. As a consequence, they are mostly miserable. Another characteristic that modern young people (people of my generation) often feature is a lack of accountability and this ties in with the theme of action and then consequence.

I didn’t feel sympathy for Gina Mckee’s character until the very end. I don’t think I’d be spoiling anything for someone who has yet to see this film by saying that the final scene is a masterclass in how to capture the essence of and then, with great acting, reconstruct an authentic moment of romantic attraction. The two characters seem to be illuminated by what is happening to them. A really beautiful, magical scene of real chemistry and compelling to watch.
]

Mona Lisa [50p CC]
[Damn, this looked very interesting and was in wide screen but the tape went wonky half way through. I had due warning when it made weird noises while rewinding. Shame as it looked like an interesting film. Another 50p down the drain.]

Desperado [50p CC]
[Pretty absurd action film. A few nice action sequences.]

Beautiful People [50p CC]
British Film

Enigma [50p]
Battered box but actual tape fine.
[I had low expectations of this but it turned out to be OK. WW2 espionage thriller

The film simultaneously dramatizes the deciphering of the naval codes in use by the German’s in WWII and also the more personal events in the life of one mathematicians that are unfolding simultaneously.
]
Gabriel And Me [0.50 CC]
Features Billy Connelly. From the writer of Billy Elliot.

Two for 2.99{
I’ve really got to stop doing this – buying something that I wouldn’t touch with a barge-pole normally just because it’s cheap and on DVD. Neither of these films were much good and, at 2.99 for the pair, I could have bought six decent 50p films on VHS instead of these two.

Daddy And Me
[Poor. It was the presence of Brenda Blethyn (in the cast, not the shop) that made me pick this up. Both her talents as an actress and the intriguing possibilities of her character (a psychologist) being introduced into the family group are wasted though.

I suppose the house that the couple live in is supposed to be representative of an ideal suburban life that they have chosen.]

The Last Producer
[Poor. Under utilized cast and poorly executed ideas. TV movie, I presume.]
}
05 July 2004
At it again, I’m afraid. I know, I know. Actually, the evening visit to Blockbusters provided the additional treat of seeing the Simpsonesq exclamation “From Executive Producer – Kevin Spacey” on the box of some straight to video piece of junk.

Blockbuster buy one, get one free. Two 0.99s and two 1.99s. So, 2.98 for all four.
{
The Parole Officer

The Proposition

The Man On The Moon

The Bone Collector
[
Falls back on the modern plot device cliche of ‘we’re going to play a game’. It’s a common shortcut used by screenwriters these days. The ‘master criminal’ is doing things for no reason while leaving coded clues for the hero to decipher. This allows the film makers to contrive interesting situations for the entertainment of the audience without having to do the hard work of inventing a plausible reason.

Most of the actions of the killer are never fully explained. Really, the explanation is ‘this is a movie and these are interesting things to show the main characters doing’.

Not much of the plot is very believable or convincing and this is why I bought it. Sometimes, I like to sit back and be entertained without having to engage my brain at all. On this level, the film does succeed to some extent.

I felt that I got my pound worth out of this movie.
]
}

28 June 2004
Eeek. I’m making far too many visits at the moment. I’ll have to cut down. Anyway – that said, another day, another couple of carrier bags full of videos for about the price of a high street DVD. Much the same conditions were in place as my last scavenging trip up to the surface of the planet, in terms of sales that were in effect. As before, I’ll record the actual price paid in the Cash Converters sale. S/H DVD prices continue to plummet.

Blockbuster two for one – The woman behind the counter added this up wrong and I plucked up the courage to challenge. It was worth the risk of being wrong, looking a fool, embarrassing someone and having to speak to a human female to get my three pounds back! To me, three pounds equals perhaps six films in the current Cash Converters sale!

I had already received my change and my receipt when I challenged. They were very friendly about it and got the problem sorted out after much discussion amongst themselves and prodding of the cash register. I instinctively said ‘thanks’ as I took my three pounds back but there was no apology forthcoming from them.

This isn’t the first incident of this type and I would have to say that, in Blockbuster, it’s essential to keep a running total of the cost in your head and be prepared to challenge. On one occasion, a different woman assured me that there was no advantage to pairing the ‘buy one get one free’ tapes in any particular order as the cheapest one is free (there is). I feel a bit guilty being too critical as some of the older staff are very good and know their job.

2.99 for the pair
{
Panic Room
Jodie Foster! If I ever meet her, it will be good to be able to discuss one of her more recent films.
[Somewhat average in both quality and originality. Not really worth 1.50. I suppose that an actress such as Jodie Foster has to weigh up tactical career considerations when choosing a script – this film might might establish that she could, in theory, work in the action genre.

The the story is on the level of a straight to video piece of rubbish that you might find on TV at 2.00am and end up watching to combat your insomnia (actually, I suffer from almost constant insomnia but I don’t watch TV anymore).

The film is tarted up with a few high tech visual effects. In some sequencing, computer modeling is used to allow the camera seemingly physically impossible movements. For example, the camera might appear to move through some wooden spells that form a barrier at the top of a stair case. Obviously, in the original shot, there were no spells in the barrier and they were added afterwards in a computer. These shots to add a bit of visual excitement to the film but the quality of the modeling is rarely completely convincing. They have the quality of a ‘flashy reveal/transition shot’ rather than something that you might consider ‘real’.
]

I.D.
Saw the trailer for this on the start of another film and wanted it. See, advertising does work.
[Watched. A film about the culture of football hooliganism in the 1980’s.

The lead is miscast and never really becomes believable as a thug, IMO. The change in his personality is a sudden switch rather than a more believable, gradual transition. It’s never clear whether this complete personality shift is the result of mental illness brought on by the stress of his assignment or an actual change brought on by a rejection of the values of his old life as a middle-class suburban home owning policeman.

One of the policemen has trouble maintaining a convincing undercover persona and keeps making mistakes but the potential consequences of this are never realized.

The lives of the other characters in the film are never explained or explored. Hints are given about some higher authority that is organizing the hooligans for some purpose but this is never explained either. There is an implication that one of the undercover police men has committed a serious crime and that this event was captured on a security camera but the details of what happened are never revealed.

For a better study of (albeit American) undercover police officers getting drawn into the world of the people they are supposed to be gathering evidence on, see Donnie Brascoe or Rush.

This film has gritty scenes and some good performances but absolutely no depth. It offers no insights to explain the behavior of the characters.]
}

99p for the pair
{
Snatch
I’ll give it a go for 50p but I hated L, S+TSB.
[An improvement on Lock, Stock… but still not really my scene. Visually, it makes an effort.]

U-571
[Hollywood produces some good, some awful, a great deal of adequate and a small amount of fantastic material. This is adequate.]
}

The Evil Dead [1.00 CC]
Fair condition. I’m not wild about these films but now I have all three.
[Watched. It’s more of a conventional horror movie than the other two. The visual style that the series is famous for hasn’t quite developed at this stage. TBH, I’m not really much of a horror fan.]

The Hills Have Eyes [0.50 CC]
Looks like a horror.

Only Fools And Horses 17 [1.00 CC]
Follows on from the last one I bought.
[A good couple of eps. One of them has the bit where Del falls over in the wine bar.]

Billy Connelly – Erect for 30 years [0.25 CC]
I’m not surprised if he’s married to lovely Pamela Stephenson (sorry, I’ve just watched the Carry On film). As with music videos, stand up comedy (and some TV comedy) tends to be really cheap.

Guest House Paradiso [1.50 CC]
[Watched. Hmmm… Not really all that great. There is a ‘making of…’ feature at the end of the tape in which Ade reveals that they had three hours of material and then whittled it down to what we see here. A few decent gags but if you watched the trailer or the ‘making of…’ featurette, you’ve probably seen most of the best ones. Having a plot wouldn’t have harmed this film at all. Current favorite of mine, Simon Pegg has a few funny moments. ]

The Wedding Singer [0.50 CC]
[Not really that great. I think one of the problems, for me, is that I like watching cheesy 80’s comedies so, many of the films I watch are set in this era and of this type. Really clumsy attempts of humor as the characters make future predictions which are ironic and inaccurate. Just not that good a movie. Why not shop around and watch an actual 80’s romantic comedy instead?]

Start Trek: First Contact (DVD) [2.00 CC]
Probably one of the best deals I’ve found on s/h DVD. A bit light on extras (just two trailers), I think this is a part of a box set that has been split up. It will replace my taped off TV copy.
[I purchased a really cheap DVD player at the beginning of the year. Mainly so that I could go after a wider range of cheap stuff when I saw it. I love VHS but when prices are comparable, I’d go with a DVD copy. The real attraction of second hand VHS is that it’s cheap.

And this is the first thing that I’ve got on DVD where I felt that my enjoyment of the film was significantly enhanced because it was on DVD. Ironically, it’s also one the best value DVDs I have obtained so far. It’s a special effects move and it looks absolutely great. It also makes good use of the frame. Aesthetically speaking, it’s almost a different film on DVD and in widescreen. Stereo sound further enhances the experience and I’d be curious to know what full 5.1 sounds like.

As a film, it’s one of the better ST films. It’s not quite as good as 2 or 4 but it is probably the equal 6 or 1 (which I like, even if many don’t).
]

Strictly Ballroom/Carry on Doctor (DVD – double) [3.00 CC]
[Watched Carry On Doctor. It’s the colour one. Not bad, not the best Carry On… but still quite good. I actually had to lie on my side with laughter as Hattie Jacques and Jim Dale burst in on Barbara Windsor and Kennith Williams. “Oooh Matron! I assure you, this is all quite innocent.” Not that it really matters for this kind of film but the transfer was Widescreen and really great quality. Shame that there was nothing in the way of extras.

Strictly Ballroom. A film about a group of post war North Of England steelworkers who realize that they can make a few extra quid with their revolutionary new men’s swim wear design. Not really. A cliche ridden Australian film about two young dancers.

***Spoiler***
They fall in love with each other and win the competition. There. I’ve spoiled it for you and you don’t have to watch it now.
]
26 June 2004
I had to go into town for a dentist appointment so none of what follows is technically my fault. This will probably be one of the biggest single updates I’ve ever done. Cash Converters had a sale on – all VHS videos half marked price. Not only that but they seemed to be over-stocked so most of the stuff that was out was really cheap. I had to leave loads of marginal stuff behind (ironically, probably stuff that I would have jumped at in leaner times) but I had to carry it all home and I am always having to think of storage. In general, the second hand DVD market seems to have really taken off. Blockbuster still had their two for one sale on. This meant that I could get two DVDs for 1.50 each, in some cases. Finally, the record shop has just moved to moved to bigger premises and had loads of stock. As ever, the stuff at the record shop is super cheap. I also managed to pick up some more quite recent British Films, a current interest of mine. Thinking about it, I should have stocked up on some more ST:TNG for a pound a tape. Probably just as well I didn’t think of that.

I’ll record the actual price paid in the Cash Converters sale.

Being John Malkovich [3.00 CC]
This is suspiciously cheap. As I said, I think that the second hand DVD market is really starting to take off. Looking at the DVD surface, it seems fine. A bit smudged maybe. We’ll see how this one plays. I haven’t seen the film before but, at this price, I can afford to take a chance.
[Watched. Played back fine on my usually picky player.

Interesting film. As is typical for a US, high-concept film, the great premise is never fully exploited but having said that, it’s still a nice film.

In the scene in which people are thrown onto the grass at the side of the freeway, they appear suddenly outside the top of the frame. In cinema, a ‘magical appearance’ is often depicted with an accompanying bright flash, a sudden appearance of a doorway of some kind or other visual effect. In this scene, people just appear outside of the scope of the film and I think this is characteristic of the entire film. Full explanations for things are never given and it is left to the imagination of the viewer to provide the answers.

Highly recommended.]

Only Fools And Horses volume 16 [1.00 CC]
Feature length ep in which Del meets his wife. I can’t think of a better ep actually. At two pounds I would probably have passed it by but in the half price sale it was a pound.
[Just as good as I had remembered it. ]

UFO Review [0.50 CC]
Bought for a friend. When my friend Ian came for a visit he said that I should pick this up for him if I ever saw it for 50p.

The Enemy Below [0.50 CC]
60’s WWII submarine drama.

Iris [0.50 CC]
Battered Box and ex rental but the tape inside looks fine. Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent and Kate Winslet. I’ll give it a go for 50p.

Drugstore Cowboy [0.50 CC]
Old Battered Box. Apparently, a quite decent Gus Van Saint movie.
[Watched. It was an old edition and the picture was a bit soft but certainly watchable. An interesting movie.]

Shallow Grave [0.50 CC]

Philadelphia [0.50 CC]
Wanted to see it again. This is probably considerably less than I paid to rent it when it came out.
[Not a terrible film. Good performances but too sloppy and PC to be all that effective or engaging on an emotional level. Politically correct Hollywoodized gayness – when a gay person throws a party, all of his friends are gay too and they all dress up in fancy dress and are ‘extrovert characters’ and ‘super-camp’ stereotypes. I mean, the guy even likes opera.]

Wonder Boys [0.95 Record Shop]
I think this is quite recent. I’ll give it a go.

French and Saunders Best Of Series 4 [0.95 Record Shop]
[Really great. Highly enjoyable although F+S is hardly ‘laugh-a-minute’ comedy, it’s ‘sit and watch as the characters do strange and often surprising things’ alternative comedy .]

The Land Girls [0.95 Record Shop]
[Sentimental, nostalgic and not very engaging. The attitudes and behavior of the characters, sexual and otherwise are really out of place for the period.  Not much of story. The old structure of an emotional, an intellectual and and physical character is used here.
]

Block Buster’s two for one offer
{2.99 for the pair  –
The Final Curtain (DVD)
Peter O’Tool and (more importantly) Julia Sawalha. I passed this by last time I was in but the IMDB reviews made it sound like the kind of thing I like.
[A bit of a duffer. One wonders if this is really the best script that O’Tool and Julia were offered that year.

Julia looked so beautiful at times I feared that I might have to stop the film. I really should begin stalking her. If only geographical and economic concerns weren’t preventing me. If a female began to stalk me, I’d be flattered and consider rewarding them with sex. I really need to find the chords to Julia by the Beatles. She couldn’t fail to be at least slightly moved by that. Her goodwill could work to my advantage in the court room.
]

The Trial (DVD)
Funnily enough, this is an adaption of the Kafka novel that I am reading at the moment. I actually had the novel in my backpack while I was standing in the shop.
}

{2.99 for the pair
French And Saunders
Live on stage in 2000. This will make a nice contrast to the other F+S live tape I have (search down).

Billy Elliot
}

15 June 2004
I popped into Blockbuster again to make sure that there was nothing that I had missed the day before. I had to leave behind loads of great stuff. I can’t remember how I paired them in the two for one offer but the total was 8.95. I went a bit overboard with the Gattaca DVD. It was 5.99 but 2 for 1 but unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything else in the DVDs that I wanted. In effect, I paid a bit more than the three pounds I would have if I could have paired it with another 5.99 DVD.
{
Loser
[Features a male and a female actor from American Pie. I would say it’s the better film. It’s neo-bratpack ‘American college comedy’. It’s not all that heavy on the laughs actually.

One criticism I would make of it is it’s treatment of one of the ideas – namely the use of rape-drugs by the loutish kids. Now, I’m the least politically correct person that you could meet but the treatment of the subject is flippant to the point of being almost surreal. Nasty teenage young men, away at college for the first time probably do connive to convince girls that they like them and maybe even try to get the girls drunk in order to seduce them. But I find it hard to believe there is anything normal about a group of teenagers who have a massive supply of rape drugs stashed away in their dorm which they intend to use to date rape their female peers. It’s a serious, sinister idea and not very comic.

The nasty, loud mouthed, intellectually inferior, ‘popular kids’ who ‘fit in’, seem to have lots of girlfriends when they are not out raping, so, that bit is quite realistic :-)

Overall, a nice contemporary update of the genre. Well worth a watch IMO.
]

Gridlock’d
[A nice film that I had seen before.]

Greenfingers
[A shallow, feel good comedy that tries to emulate The Full Monty. I suppose 50% of British films try to be like either The Full Monty or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and I hated L,S&TSB.

The comedy of fat blokes with exaggerated Northern accents discussing the finer points of pretty flowers wears thin quite quickly. I’m trying to think of a good joke about the shallow performances and gardening but can’t at the moment.

The lead male is miscast or disinterested. I suppose that he would defend his performance by saying that his character found it difficult to express emotion. OK then.

It’s not awful but it’s… shallow… as I keep saying. Not an awful film but probably the worst of all of the bumper load British films that I have acquired over the last couple of weeks.]

Private Parts
[Self serving and probably inaccurate but very funny film.]

Hold Back The Night
[A nice British film and a real find for half of 99p.

It’s a good film. It’s about as far away from a mainstream Hollywood blockbuster as you could get – The characters are well developed and the film is successful in it’s attempts to give some incite into the lives and attitudes of the two main characters and the non-mainstream underworld which they inhabit. It has features such as a ‘plot’ (not just an extended premise) and character development. It expresses ideas which are worthy of consideration and debate.

One problem with the script is that some of the exposition is somewhat contrived and it’s expression a tad obvious and unsophisticated. For example, the female lead often says things that don’t ring true – they are just too accurate, detached and analytical. These lines are there to explain the motivations of the characters to the audience but the writer should have found more elaborate and less obvious ways of conveying these ideas. A typical, cliche device for this sort of exposition would be the use of flashbacks (or flash forwards) to a session with a psychotherapist. Having the character just saying these things is clumsy and not in keeping with quality of the rest of the film.

The dialog is often rather heavy handed. In particular the young woman’s use of the F-word is almost comical at times.

In short, a keeper although probably not appealing to all tastes.

]

Gattaca (DVD)
[I would say that this film is slightly overrated. It is, in reality, a good film but a masterpiece compared to the junk that most Hollywood sci-fi is.]
}
10 June 2004
Demons In My Head
[2.50 CC DVD]
A whim purchase. But probably a bit on the expensive side for a pure whim. It looks like an independent Australian horror film. I was in two minds but then I noticed “Best special effects and music.” – Whitby Film Festival on the cover. You can’t pass by something like that. Actually it’s so exclusive that it is still awaiting five votes in the IMDB.
[A genuine independent film. Some nudity, which the actress must regret now. A few clever moments but probably never to be watched again. It has a few genuinely good moments. I would suggest that the director had enough good material for 30-45 minutes and that that’s the film he should have made. If anyone reading this, (if anyone ever reads this) and would like to buy it, then it’s erm… really great.

***additional: 20 June 2004. I’ve just discovered that there is a special edition with improved special effects and extra ‘making of…’ features. So, I’ve been had. ]

Ministry Of Sound The Annual 2003 DVD
[3.00 CC DVD]
A bit of ‘research’, so, a legitimate expense.

The Very Best Of One Foot In The Grave
[0.99 Record Shop]
I have mixed feelings about One Foot In The Grave. Some eps are funny but some are not. This has five eps, none of which I have seen.
[This series is quite highly rated by others but other than the occasional genuinely hilarious moment, it’s quite unfunny. The ‘serious’ bits are completely out of place in such a lightweight sitcom and make one squirm.]

Cocktail
[1.00 CC]
Always wanted to see it. For some reason.
[Lots of scenes that make you shake your head and say ‘Ah, the 80s…’]

[Blockbuster 2 for 1 2.99 total]
{
Night Of The Living Dead (remake) / The Return Of The Living Dead
Widescreen. Had there been no two for one offer in effect this double pack would probably have been worth it for 2.99.
[Watched night of the living dead now. Doesn’t really add much to original (other than colour). Worth a watch]

So, I Married An Axe Murderer
A Blockbuster two for one. I had to choose something else to make up a pair. Not a bad film. I like Mike Myres.
}

[Blockbuster 2 for 1 1.99 total]
{
As I said before, Blockbuster sales can be a great way to pick up unusual films. These seem to be two fairly low budget British films for 0.5p less than a pound each.
Me Without You
[Just this minute watched this. It’s an interesting, thoughtful film but overlong. It turns into a bit of chick flick by the end. Much of the last half hour could have been cut out. Worth watching and probably the best new film I have seen lately.]

Born Romantic
[Why is it that every British film seems to feature good performances and a poor story?

The primary shortcoming of the script is that the character development is very shallow. One reason for this is that there are simply too many main characters. Most ensemble films feature characters who are closely related to each other either through friendship or other ties.

In the same way that every character seems to have an equal amount of screen time, each subplot seems to be treated as though it is equally important. The net result of this unorthodox approach is an almost confusing mixture of plots and characters, none of which is given the depth of exploration that it deserves. I think that it would have been a better film if two or three of the characters had been brought to the fore and those that remained could have been demoted to the status of secondary characters. Another way they could have gone is to develop it into a mini series – there is enough raw material in terms of characters and plots.

It’s a very London-centric film but that, in itself, makes it interesting to someone like me. The characters are super-modern Londonites and to an almost absurd degree in some cases. One negative aspect of this is that it becomes difficult to care about people who are so desensitized and ‘modern’. For example – in one scene, a man a woman arrange a date, despite the fact that the man is lying in bed with the woman he picked up last night. It’s OK, said pick-up concedes that she doesn’t care as she was merely there for a shag anyway.

Jane Horrocks is great (as ever). If the afore mentioned character demotion/promotion reshuffle had taken place, her character should have been given the most time. Horrocks creates a believable character and one that I care about and sympathize with. Horrocks is a very skillful comedic actress who has a talent for transforming herself into a rich, fleshed-out character.

Anyway, I hope that I haven’t been to critical about this film. It wouldn’t be worth commenting on if there weren’t so much good content here. I’ll tell you something that I do know – criticism is difficult but actually writing and creating something worthwhile is harder still. Certainly worth a watch and I’m sure I will soon re-watch it.
]
}
28 May 2004
I was really tired when I went into town, so I tried to be cautious with my VHS purchases. Game had Die Hard DVDs for three pounds if purchased with something else. I was buying Tomb Raider III for 99p so I should probably have got it. Game is the computer shop that sold me Donnie Brascoe for 99p (brand new) in the midst of one of their other mad sales. I also passed on Groundhog Day s/h for 4 pounds. I might look up the DVD online to see if that is a good price and if the extras are worth having. Now I’m wishing that I had at least looked at those ST:TNG three episodes per tape tapes for two pounds each.

In other news, Cash Converters prices are low at the moment.

Absolutely Fabulous series 2
[1.50 CC]
Two tapes. Damn! And to think that I thought that getting series 1 for three pounds was a bargain. I didn’t have to think twice as I needed series 2. The tapes were fine although, the previous owner must have been a smoker.

Evil Dead part 2.
[1.50 CC]
A bit expensive but I was glowing from my Ab Fab find so, I didn’t mind paying 50p too much for this. I had seen this a couple of times for three pounds and had theorized that it’s price was unreasonably high due to the fact that it mentioned in the film High Fidelity.
[A visual style that is like being drunk, throwing a hammer up in the air and then the hammer landing on your forehead. Almost no plot. Worth watching although it should probably have been called ‘Attention Deficit Disorder: The Movie’. III is probably a bit better.
]

New Years Day
[0.99 Blockbuster]
Bought on a whim. Ex rental from BB. Sometimes BB ex rental prices are sky high but other times, they are more reasonable. For example, when they are feeling generous, anything that seems non-mainstream tends to go for a pound or so. This is great because you end up with independent films that never quite hit the mainstream and ‘foreign’ films like An Angel At My Table for a pound or so.


30 April 2004

A friend popped over, so we popped into town!

Election!
[1.00 CC]
A turkey really. 7.4 on IMDB!

25 April 2004
Prices for recently added stock at Cash Converters are really low at the moment. There was some great stuff that I had to leave behind. I almost picked up The Tall Guy for 75p (I have it on DVD) just to give away as a gift. In particular, 80’s films seem to be really cheap at the moment. All 7 videos on the list from Cash Converters came in at under five pounds total.

Fast Getaway
[0.50 CC]
80’s film staring Corey Haim :-) I have actually seen this. I seem to remember that it was pretty poor. It will do for a day when I am in the mood for some 80’s cheese.
[So bad, I couldn’t even be bothered to watch it all the way through].

Space Sentinels
[0.30 CC]
Looks like a 70’s sci fi cartoon. I’ll give it a go for 30p. In only fair condition.
[Nah. Gave it away in the end. I don’t think that I like ‘kids’ cartoons anymore. That just comes with being 28, I suspect. Although, I did give it to a 32 year old.]

Rob Roy
[1.00 CC]
[Load of crap really. I ought to set up a seller’s account on Ebay to get rid of this stuff that just has to be stored in my bedroom.]

French & Saunders
[1.00 CC]
A live performance.
[Watched now. Not really all that funny to be honest. Not as good as the other F&S video that I have.]

Rosie Dixon Night Nurse
[0.50 CC]
Looks like a sub Carry On 70’s sex farce. It looks like quite a modern tape though.

Defense Of The Realm
[0.50 CC]
No idea what this is.

The Experts
[1.00 CC]
Late 80’s cheese.
[Quite a poor film, hardly worth the price of the tape really.]

Life As A House
[1.50 Record Shop]
A preview of this that I saw made me want to watch it. I like Kevin Kline and remain undecided about Hayden Christensen. I had seen it for about two pounds at Cash Converters which was a bit more than I was willing to pay.
13 April 2004

Henry V
[1.99 Record Shop]
I’d seen this a couple of times and pondered over it. I like Ken and I am trying to get into Shakespeare

Father Ted
[2.00 CC]
Four eps from series 2 + Christmas Special.

Nixon
[0.95 Record Shop]
I thought I’d give this a go for 95p.

Return Of The Living Dead 3
[1.00 CC]
Cheesy 80’s horror, it would seem.

Entity Force
[0.50 CC]
This stuff is always really cheap. I admit that one reason I have taken an interest in it is that I can pick it up so cheaply. It’s in an old fashioned cardboard sleeve so I am not holding out any great hopes in terms of picture quality. Stars a young (and hopefully, naked) Meg Tilly.

Frankenstein
[1.00 CC]
Wanted to give this another go. The Ken version.

City Of Industry
[1.00 CC]
Apparently a gangster thing. I quite like Timothy Hutton.
11 March 2004

As reported before, Cash Converters seem to be abandoning their high price experiment! I also picked up an ep of Morse and the mini series ‘East of Eden’ for my mum.

Kramer Vs Kramer
[1.00 CC]

One Against The Wind
[1.00 CC]

Lord of Illusions
[1.00 CC]

Now 3
[1.00 CC]
1984 video companion to the pop compilation series. Lot’s of great 80’s videos.

23 February 2004
Cash Converter’s prices seem to have gone back down which should be good news. Lots of semi-decent stuff for a pound. The record shop continues to have rock bottom prices.

Hot Shots
[1.00 CC]

Hot Shots: Part Duex
[1.00 CC]
I don’t remember this being all that good but someone told recommended it recently so I’ll give it another go. A nice companion to part one.

Turtle Diary
[0.50 Record Shop]
Again, I felt like a cheapskate buying the cheapest tape in the shop but it looks like a rather quirky British film, so I’ll give it a shot for 50p.

10 February 2004
Had to go into town to get a new mattress. Most of the shops were closing, so, might as well pop into Cash Converters then! CC’s prices may have started to decrease again.

Jerry Maguire
[1.00 CC]
I have watched this before but I didn’t think much to it. However, as it is a Cameron Crowe film, I’ll give it another chance.
[Eeek. The picture on this was really poor. The film was, as I had remembered it. Rather a low point for Crowe.]

Bottom Live 2
[1.50 CC]
3 was quite poor but I seem to remember that 2 was OK.
[OK. Better than 3. Now, I need to get hold of 1 or even some of the original series.]

Rabid
[1.00]
Old video in only fair condition. I LOVE low budget horror.
[Not bad.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller
[2.00]
Eek. Paid a bit too much for this. It’s an old tape, so the quality isn’t going to be fantastic.

Battlefield Earth
[1.25]
I have a feeling that the low price will be somewhat reflective of the quality of the movie, in this case :-)
[Now watched. It is a silly film. Actually, it’s nowhere near as bad as I had been led to believe. I think I prefer it to The Fifth Element, for example.]

5 February 2004
Looked around a couple of the usual places and couldn’t find one single interesting thing. A couple of marginal things in CC but the new price system meant that they were too expensive.
14 January 2004
Had to send a parcel, so, I might as well go all the way into town, right?

Tron
[2.00 CC]
A bit on the expensive side for a pan and scan very old video. However, I had just said that I wanted to watch it again.

Fever Pitch
[1.50 record shop]

The Classic Bond Collection
[80p CC]
A Bond documentary of some kind. Probably an oddment from a box set.

3rd Jan 2004
Had to make a return trip into town as I left some blank CDRs on the counter after I a paid for them.

Dawn Of The Dead
[1.00 CC]
I’ve been after this for a while. The condition is only fair. It’s in an old style cardboard sleeve.
2nd Jan 2004
The X files tapes were one of the best value finds I’ve ever made!

X Files – Files 1, 3, 5, 6, 7.
[50p each]
50p each! Mostly three eps per tape edited into a mini-movie. 2.50 for the lot.

Men Behaving Badly
[0.95p]
Final Eps of series 4 apparently. I watched some of the first couple series when it first came out.

28th (?) December 2004
Yet another trip into town. Taking advantage of Christmas funds.

Apocalypse Now
[1.00 CC]
In perfect condition and widescreen. Just when I thought that the days of getting a bargain from CC were over.

Pet Cemetery
[1.00 CC]
Stephen King adaption.

Continue to the 2003 log

24 December 2003
Back into town for some last minute Christmas shopping.

Andromeda tape 1 (three eps)
[1.00 pound shop]
Sci fi series that I haven’t seen before. Brand new.

Andromeda tape 2 (two eps, although the box says three eps!)
[1.00 pound shop]
As above.

The Tall Guy (DVD)
[3.99 Blockbuster]
Splurge fever! I decided to treat myself to a widescreen DVD copy of one of my favorite films.
22 December 2003
Nearly Christmas time and splurge fever is starting. Hopefully, I will soon be penniless again soon.

2001
[2.00 CC]
Pan and scan copy to tide me over.

Lonely Guy
[2.00 CC]
Christmas inspired splurge fever made me pay 2 pounds for something that is probably worth 1.
16 December 2003
Another slew of bargains that make me feel like I’m lying when I tell people. Actually, I’m so out of touch with what other people like, that they are probably disinterested in my tales of high quality VHS bargainage. I’m going to have to do some re arranging in my bedroom to accommodate all my VHS.

An Audience With Billy Connoly
[1.00 CC]
Almost Famous
[1.00 CC]
I’m surprised that such a new film was only a pound. It is ex rental though. It stars Jason Lee! It is also written and directed by Cameron Crow, a film maker that I follow.
Repo Man
[1.00 CC]
Don’t know much about this but I heard it was good.
Harry Enfields Brand Spanking New Video
[1.00 CC]
I was just saying to my mum, the other day, that I would like some Harry Enfield on tape. I think that I was referring to something more ’95 era but for a pound, I’ll give it a go. Perhaps a bit up to date for me.

[Just finished watching this. I bought it because I was curious to see what old Harry Enfield was up to these days. On the whole – I thought that it was poor, although there were a few funny moments in the 90 minutes.

This style of comedy is sketch based and the sketches are character orientated and to some extent situation orientated. Any assessment of how good the new material is boils down to how good the new characters are. I think that, for sketches of this type to work, it should be possible to summarize the character and the situation in one or two sentences. The two 50’s guys who live together and wear cravats would be a good example of sketch that is ill-defined and lacks an easily graspable coherence.

The characters/situations that did work (for me) include the ‘still married and still shagging after all of these years couple’, the ‘little bloke who compensates by picking fights with everyone’, ‘Chris Nice’ and the ‘”people think we’re sisters” mother and daughter’. See how those sketches can be summarized succinctly.

Another characteristic common to the more successful sketches is that they are based on observation. The observation, ‘you know how people who are old sometimes lie on their death beds and make a poignant monologue about something arbitrary and irrelevant and then remember something like a TV program that they wanted to watch and then suddenly recover’ isn’t very evocative of anything that most people would readily recognize. On the other hand you could make an observation about a middle aged married couple for whom the sex was routine to the point of talking on the phone or reading a news paper while doing it. It’s based on, an admittedly exaggerated, reality. That sketch also relies on the crudity of Enfeild’s motions during the sex act. There’s no slow mo, no gasping, no clawing of backs, no body oils, no music. It’s presented in a unrefined manner which makes it a bit less palatable, makes the viewer uncomfortable and is therefore comic.

Even when the ideas could be successful, they just aren’t developed enough. For example, the writers haven’t made enough effort to find new ways for the ‘embarrassing, indiscreet pharmacist’ to be embarrassing. It’s the same sketch over and over again. The funniest iteration is the one in which he pops out of two doors which aren’t immediately apparent. There is a bit of inventiveness and an element of surprise in that one.

So, in summary – Some of the characters work and some of them are less successful. There should have been a throwing out stage of some of the characters that were never going to work. Unfortunately, even the characters which do work aren’t developed properly.

Anyway, it only cost me one pound and 90 minutes of my time to find out what the ‘new’ (2000) Harry Enfield was like and there were a few laughs to be had along the way.]

The Stand Parts 1+2
[2.99 Record Shop]
This ties in with my interest in post apocalyptic fiction. I’d always wanted to see it and now I can! The case condition was poor but the tapes inside look fine.

[Just watched. It started off OK but the last 3/4 or so were disappointing. (spoilers follow)

I found the religious aspects of the story a bit tedious. There is a joke from a Woody Allen film about a priest who is watching a boxing match. The mother of one of the participants asks the priest if will bless her son. He agrees to do so adding “Although, it’ll help if he can punch.” God helps those who help themselves, in other words.

At the end you are left feeling that all of the efforts and sacrifice made by the characters were in vane because ‘God’ sorted it out for them. Watching it through to the end gave one a feeling similar to watching John Carpenter horror movie in that you end up getting angry with the characters for choosing such a stupid course of action. In the end, no effort made by the characters makes any difference to the outcome of the story.

There is a line in ST:V where Kirk asks “Why would God need a spaceship?”. I have to ask why ‘God’ would need a nuclear missile.

By the half way point, the pacing becomes rather poor. It feels like they are struggling to stretch the story out to fill their alloted time. Shame because it really has some fascinating and macabre moments.]

Leading Women [2.00 CC]
{
See one of the previous entries that mentions Scissors. I passed it by on another compilation but I don’t think could have been the same collection of films because Girls Just Want To Have Fun is a film that I had wanted to see. I had considered getting GJWTHF as part of a three for ten pounds deal but I couldn’t find two other films that I wanted. I’ve had mixed experiences with these ultra low budget collections although I have never felt that I didn’t get my money’s worth out of them. 50p a film on DVD!
Girls Just  Want To Have Fun
Scissors
When The Party’s Over
Emerald City
This one might have extra interest as I like Australian films.
}

The Devil Obsession
[0.50 Record shop]
Another low budget horror for 50p from the record shop. As before the condition is poor and the video looks like a very old release. If it’s as good as The Dark Side (see previous entry), I’ll be happy.

South Park – Series 2 Volume 5 – Chef’s Chocolate Salty Balls – Chicken Pox
[0.95 Record shop]
Two eps that I didn’t have. 50p per ep just to avoid downloading them.
8 December 2003
Some mothers do ‘ave ‘em
[3.00 CC]
At first I saw this and hummed and hared over the price. Three pounds seemed a little high for two or three eps, even though I love the show. Upon closer inspection, it transpired that the tape contains five eps! Excellent condition too.

Loaded Weapon 1
[1.00 CC]
Deliberated but decided that I wanted to watch it again.
[Watched now – eek. A few good moments but basically crap.]

The Forest
[0.50 record shop]
The prices in this shop are great. Another suspiciously cheap bargain. It looks like another crap 80’s slasher film. It would seem that it even involves couple going camping and being terrorized by a killer.

Large Breasted Woman – “Wow, that was great. I’m tired now. Hey, what was that noise?” Guy – “I don’t know, I ‘ll just go look.”

If nothing else, I’m curious to know what a film that has an average rating of 2.4 out of 10 is like. Condition was only OK and the tape is a cardboard sleeve.

[Watched – The acting, production values, direction, story, dialog, cinematography and soundtrack were crap but apart from those things, it was pretty good. It actually looked like someone’s student film. If it was, that student should be expelled.

My copy was made more interesting as it occasionally switched over to a b&w thriller that was dubbed in French. I can’t imagine how this happened because, rather than being in one long block, it switches over to this other film on about three occasions. Perhaps someone decided to censor the film when it got too awful (in terms of quality of plot and acting, not in terms of it becoming too scary)?

Like all of the best examples of this genre there is a bit of (to use a technical term) ‘Bare Booby Action’. Unfortunately, this nude scene is part of the b&w film.]

The Darkside
[0.50 record shop] Another slasher. Again, I was quite prepared to give this a watch for 50p. I felt really cheap, taking the two cheapest tapes in the entire shop to the counter. And then I remembered that I am cheap and don’t care what people think.
[Actually quite good. Creepy low budget film about a reincarnation cult.]

Daydream Believer (aka Girl Who Came Late) / Picking Up The Pieces
[2 pounds CC DVD]
A budget double sided DVD for two pounds. One of the films features Woody Allen and David Schwimmer. The other film looks crap. Possibly worth it if the one with WA is any good.

[The WA film is basically a turkey but worth a single watch. It’s one of those ‘independent’ films but that features big actors etc. Ironically, it’s in wide screen and the disc contains quite a lot of extra features.

The other film was a made for TV Australian film. It being Australian made it a bit more palatable but basically, it was crap.]

TNG – Final Mission / The Loss
[2 pounds CC]
I decided to tip my toe into slightly earlier episodes to see if I like them. Another one featuring Wes.

Things that I deliberated over and passed on included Deliverance Wide screen for 2.50.
Tuesday 25 November 2003
Quite a good haul. I actually didn’t go into all the usual places as I was so loaded down with stuff. I was also worried that I had spent a little bit too much. Even saying that, I had to leave some great stuff behind though. A few pence less than 13 pounds in total :-/

Absolutely Fabulous series 1 (double)
[2.95 from the record shop]
This is a great deal. I hardly have the patience to watch a series in dribs and drabs and one episode at a time these days. I had just been thinking to myself recently that I would like to see some of this series again. And there it was. 6 eps 50p per ep. They are in good condition too. One tape still has the shrink wrap on. Obviously, someone (with poor taste) got the set as a present, didn’t like it and never bothered to watch the other tape.

David Badiel Live
[95p from the record shop]
In excellent condition. It looks a bit modern for my taste (the back of the box says ’97) on it.

Al Pacino Box set
[5.00 CC]
Sea Of Love, Carlito’s Way and Scarface. A bit of a splurge but I really wanted to see Sea Of Love again and I have never seen the other two. [does calculation] 1.6r per film isn’t too bad.

ST:TNG
[2.00 CC]
The First Duty – The Cost Of Living
Not quite in the same league as last weeks find of a later edition with three tapes per ep for 95p but two pounds seems like the new standard price for two eps per tape TNG now that Cash Converters have changed their pricing structure. Another series 5 tape with and ep that features Wes and an ep with Marjiel Barret. I still don’t want to commit too much cash to getting into TNG (although TOS is buy-on-sight, if I don’t already have it) but if I see an ep that looks intriguing, for 2 pounds or less I think I’ll start getting them.

Mr Bean:
[2.00 CC]
Pilot – The Return Of Mr Bean – The Library
I was after some proper eps of this after my mum got me a copy of the Mr Bean film as a present (sorry mother but yuk!). Two pounds is an OK price. There was a tape with some later eps for 2.50 but I passed on it.

Sharp
[four tapes, two pounds each]
Didn’t cost me anything as I got them for my mum and she paid me back.
Tuesday November 11 2003
Cash Converters didn’t have the DVD of crap straight to video films for 2.00. Oh, how I regret my indecision. I made a foolish compensatory buy of /another/ DVD of straight to video crap but for 1.50 this time.

Action Classics
{
[1.50]
Four films on two DVDs for 1.50. You can’t really complain at that. They are all 4:3 and all but …River Kwai have rather poor transfers that look as if they were done from video masters. Each of the films had some interesting aspect to it that made it worth watching apart from perhaps Skeleton Coast.

Return From The River Kwai
Not as bad as you might think! Not really connected with Bridge Over The River Kwai apart from the period really. It received some fairly vicious feedback reviews mostly due to the fact that the film tries to associate itself with Bridge Over The River Kwai. Admittedly, it is a fairly disrespectful association to attempt to make as Bridge Over The River Kwai is a wonderful film. If you try to view it as a completely separate WW2 movie, it’s certainly worth a watch.

The Klansman
Terrible quality transfer. This is one weird movie – It’s a low budget blaxploitation movie from the 70’s. At one point it features OJ Simpson saying ‘the only thing that the white man understands is this [brandishes hand gun]’. OK, pretty good so far. But…  it defies all casting logic as it also stars Lee Marvin and Richard Burton and the lady from Thunderball. Richard Burton’s American accent is terrible. Weird.

Skeleton Coast
The worst film in the package. I suppose it is fitting that an African-American co production that was destined to go straight to video should be shot on video too. It looks awful, the plot is stupid and the acting is poor. Just a piece of late 80’s straight to video crap really.

Massacre In Rome
A rather downbeat WWII drama.
}

ST:TNG 5.2
[95p]
Three very good series five eps. Again, at a price that makes me feel like I am lying when I tell people. These really are great eps. I had forgotten just how good series 5 TNG can be. I think that Cash Converters now have a standard price of two pounds for the older two ep tapes and I might consider collecting them.

To think, there was a time when CC had what looked as though it might have been every TNG tape at the same time as their two for one offer. The tapes were 3 pounds a tape but under the two for one offer, that would have amounted to 1.50 a tape. Unfortunately, I was too skint to take advantage.
Thursday November 6 2003
Hmmm… I should have picked up a s/h budget DVD which featured four films for 2 pounds. One of the films was Scissors which features Sharon Stone.

Battlestar Galactica vol.1
[95p]
The first four eps from series 1! In excellent condition too. One of those bargains that makes me feel like I am fibbing about when I tell people. The tape has three episodes and a total running time of 2hrs and 20mins. The only problem is that by the end, I find myself wishing that I had the other volumes. Although it’s stock-footage-tastic and big-hair-o-rama-vision, I’d forgotten just how good BSG was.

Scum
[1.50]
Great film.

Tuesday 28th October 2003
Went shopping with Ian. I was a bit rushed in Cash Converters so I might have missed some really good stuff. The record shop had Scum for 1.50 and once again, I passed it by. I was looking at something else and then accidentally knocked about five videos off the shelf (it was the shelf’s fault, it wobbles when you take things off). After drawing attention to myself and putting it all back, I forgot about Scum. I had to deliberate over loads of things that day but I am utterly skint now and every precious pound is sacred.

French And Saunders: The Video
[CC 1 pound] Circa 1990 French and Saunders. Some really funny sketches.

Vampire Wars
[CC 1 pound]
How could I resist something with a title as good as that? Anime. [doh! This has turned out to be part one of something 25/11/03]

Chasing Amy
[CC 5 pounds(!) DVD] I bought a s/h DVD of this to replace my taped off TV copy. The extras and commentary track are great and the film was already on my top 50 list. I paid too much for it really as the box wasn’t in very good condition. It was my first ‘splurge’ and I only got it as I had bought my first DVD player earlier that day. A policy of only buying things that I consider to be super good value will hopefully resume now.
Mon 29th September 2003
I’m a bit flushed at the moment (by my standards). I got seven tapes (for less than seven pounds) but I forgot to go to one of the shops normally on my ‘route’.

{
I got these four tapes from Blockbuster. They were really cheap ex rental tapes plus there was a two for one offer on them. I know someone who used to work there so the nice Blockbuster lady said that I could pay for the cheaper of each pair. She even arranged them for maximum cheapness and then replaced a broken video box with a brand new one :-) This means that they averaged out at less than a pound a tape!

As of right now [01 Oct 2003], I have watched Groove, How To Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog and Tape. They have all turned out to be pretty interesting films. Groove and Tape are fairly ‘independent’ films (note the use of the word ‘fairly’ and the quotes). Blockbuster stopped selling really cheap ex rentals for a while but I hope that this is the start of a revival of this trend. Basically, less than four pounds for four really interesting films.

Groove
I have just finished watching Groove. It’s a low budget film set in the underground new york rave scene and it was very interesting.

How To Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog
Fairly low budget film with Kenneth Branagh.

Tape
Tape looks like it was shot on digital cam corder and it all takes place in one room with three people. It would look like an independent film if not for the mainstream stars and the star director. Need to look this up to find out some of the story behind the production.

It Was An Accident
Now watched. London gangster thingy but more of a comedy than Lock, Stock… (and much better than that piece of poo also). The dialog is colourful and well written and everyone talks like a Massive Attack album.
}

Some Kind Of Wonderful
[CC] 1 Pound. Another John Hughs film! I watched this when really tired so I haven’t formed an opinion about it yet[01/10/03].

The Longest Day
[CC] 1 Pound. 60’s WW2 film.

Indochine
[CC] 1 Pound. French language film.

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