If you read other L.A. Blogs, you’ve probably noticed a book survey that’s making the rounds. Nancy R. tagged me, but thankfully with the caveat that it could be about movies, because I don’t read many books, and I really don’t care whether or not you do.
1. The total number of books I own: Holy fucking Christ on a cracker, am I actually supposed to go count them? About seven large drawers full of DVDs, a couple shelves of VHS tapes that are probably so degraded as to be unwatchable, and various Playboy videos around the house, most of which I haven’t watched but simply grabbed from the freebie table back when there was a New Times LA and they kept sending us this stuff.
Note: If anyone would like a free, random Playboy video, send me an S.A.E. with appropriate postage. You may get one I watched once, but never more than that. Most are still sealed.
2. The last movie I bought: Donnie Darko Director’s Cut. I mostly buy stuff in the used DVD bins at Hollywood video or Cockthruster where they’re 3 for $30, but this one never showed up there. Now that I know Jimmy Duval, I wanted to see him trying to be all scary again. Plus his action figure comes out later in the year. The last movie I paid to see in a theater was REVENGE OF THE SITH, for the second time.
3. The last movie I saw: This may have changed by the time you read this, but as I type, the last movie I saw was RIZE, the new documentary about the hip-hop dance styles of clowning and krumping. Now I have to write a review of it.
4. Five movies/DVDs that mean a lot to me:
-2001: A Space Odyssey. My favorite movie, and one I don’t own on DVD because it is a BIG SCREEN EXPERIENCE, period. Fortunately, it tends to keep circulating on the big screen, and I see it every time. If you’ve only seen it on a TV screen, you DON’T GET IT. I didn’t, and I’d seen it many times on TV before finally getting a theatrical view.
-Black Belt Jones 2: The Tattoo Connection. Because it features my first-ever DVD commentary track. I had nothing to do with the movie, and had never heard of it before, but I tried to do my research online, and managed to persuade Gregory Weinkauf to do it with me. Hilarity ensued. And I like the movie more and more — it’s kung-fu meets blaxploitation, with plenty of nudity and wonderfully bad dubbing done somewhere in England, so all these Chinese guys keep calling each other “Damn Bastard!” in north UK accents.
-Until the Night. Because even though you have to either watch the deleted scenes or sit all the way through the end credits, it is still my feature acting debut. And I did commentary with a legit movie star, Kathleen Robertson.
-Flash Gordon. The fact that it’s the only VHS tape I still watch regularly tells you something (I would watch Cool as Ice often, but the tape has deteriorated). A sci-fi epic as sweeping as the Star Wars prequels, yet done with no CGI whatsoever. An epic story that takes its time (it’s always drastically edited for time constraints when it airs on TV) and builds up the characters before flinging them into battle. A helluva violent PG movie. A strange universe that doesn’t feel the need to explain or justify its odd physics (“hot hail,” giant floating moons within the atmosphere that have their own ecosystem, etc). The light-hearted tone that nonetheless manages to take the jeopardy seriously.
And that theme song! A DVD version is needed.
-My bootleg DVDs of the original Star Wars trilogy, burned from the Laserdiscs before George Lucas decided that the movies in this format should never be made available again, replaced for posterity by 1997 rereleases with new CG-effects that already look more dated than anything in the older versions. No Sarlacc beak, no Hayden Christensen ghost, no “Jedi Rocks,” no Wampa costume, no badly redubbed Vader, no Jedi landing scene inserted into Empire backwards, and no freakin’ Greedo firing first. Everyone wants these, and I’d be happy to pay George the money if he were to actually make these available.
5. Tag five people and have them do this on their blogs: Because I’m tagging them, it means this has to be about movies, because I don’t give a shit what you’re reading. I don’t know if everyone I tag will ever see this, but…