Good, Uh, DVD Hunting, Saturday, February 25, 2023: Relics Antique Mall–“I Have This Gift Card”

The end of last week was a little… rough? I was called to St. Louis to be the awake person for a medical procedure that had almost killed my brother two of the first three times he’d had it done. So it was about seven hours driving round trip to spend fourteen or sixteen hours in a variety of hospital waiting areas and a couple of hours with my brother. He actually made it, although the doctors are pretty much using him as a test case for his condition now, and whole practices come to see him and try to learn from him.

So I came back on Friday afternoon. On Saturday, we volunteered at a 5K race since we were too late to sign up for it only to learn we were at a water station on the marathon route (well, the 10K, half marathon, and marathon route). Which put us in a church parking lot from 7:30 to almost 4pm.

So afterwards, I had a snooze and then wanted a little retail therapy. Actually, I was still looking for a copy of Demolition Man since watching a Critical Drinker YouTube video on the movie some weeks ago:

Ah, gentle reader, the lies we tell ourselves. I had not a Relics gift certificate, but the remnants of a Visa gift card of unknown provenance with about $35 on it. I figured I would hit the big DVD booth and maybe look around for some others. Surely someone would have it.

Well, I found several things not named Demolition Man:

I got:

  • Jonah Hex, a movie based on a DC property, but not a DCEU thing.
  • Born in East L.A., a Cheech Marin comedy from the 1980s.
  • Reservoir Dogs, Quenton Tarentino’s opus.
  • National Lampoon’s Holiday Reunion as I’ve generally been pleased with the National-Lampoon-badged comedies I’ve seen recently National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie, National Lampoon’s Adam and Eve, and even National Lampoon’s Black Ball inspired me to buy a bocce set).
  • The Other Guys, the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy which my oldest says is not very good. But he does not have the same perspective as I, a watcher of direct-to-cable movies in my youth, have. Which is to say a low bar to quality films.
  • The Hangover Part II since I just watched the first one.
  • Inception, the dream/alternate reality? mind-bending movie that made a splash some years ago.
  • The Transporter/The Kiss of the Dragon two-pack. I saw a “set” of The Transporter and The Transporter 2 which was really The Transporter bundled with some other random DVDs in the case. The particular booth was not fastidious with the DVDs, leaving a bunch of them in a jumbled box, but it was inexpensive. I got several from that booth, but this set from another. I’ve seen both of these movies, but it’s been a while.
  • Fantasy Mission Force, an early Jackie Chan.
  • The Green Hornet, the 2011 version.
  • The Punisher, the non-Dolph Lundgren version.
  • Mystic River, which I’ve heard is good.
  • GoodFellas, a mob movie which I have not seen as I’m not really into mob movies. But I’ll watch it, and Casino which I have in the two-VHS version around here somewhere, someday. After all, I did watch the three Godfather movies two years ago.
  • The Blind Side which I’ve seen before, but I am apparently on a Sandra Bullock kick.
  • The Lost Swordship, a Chinese movie from the 1970s?
  • The Animal because who does not love Rob Schneider? Most people, I reckon, but I like his comedies.
  • Terminator: Salvation just to start closing out the Terminator properties. I think I saw the trailer for this ahead of another film recently.
  • Spies Like Us the Chevy Chase and Dan Ackroyd film from the 1980s.
  • Lethal Weapon 4 in case I didn’t have it. Turns out, I do have a box set of all four, so this is a duplicate I’ll donate sometime.
  • Paycheck, the Ben Affleck paranoid science fiction film. I’d recorded this on a DVR and watched it at one point, but I don’t actually remember it that clearly. Which might be the start of my paranoid voyage of discovery!
  • Hard Boiled, a 1990s John Woo film.
  • Collateral, the film where Tom Cruise is the bad guy.
  • Get Shorty, a 90s film based on an Elmore Leonard book. Man, the 1990s were full of Leonard-based films, ainna?
  • My Super Ex-Girlfriend, a Luke Wilson comedy with Uma Thurman.
  • Leatherheads, the George Clooney old-time football comedy.
  • Sideways, the Paul Giamatti film that tanked a wine varietal for a number of years.
  • The Expendebles< the first in the series of old action hero team-ups.
  • Miss Congeniality 2 since I’m on a Sandra Bullock kick which might have started with watching the first one last month.

That’s 29 films. A couple of times, I found a DVD in one booth (often the large booth in the back that deals exclusively with DVDs), and when I found a copy at another booth for less, I’d take the first one back. Well, almost. When I was standing in line to check out, an employee who encouraged me to put my stack in a cart instead of threatening to spill them all over the front of the store pointed out that I had two copies of Sideways. So I gave it up.

I managed to keep the total at roughly $50. Which means my mix of $2 and under DVDs leaned toward the under. So I told my beautiful wife I only spent $15, but that’s because the money is fungible. I used the regular credit card to make the purchase because a line had gathered, and I didn’t want to slow things down any more than taking stickers off of 28 DVDs already had. So now I have another $35 to spend on frivolous things, which I might or might not actually use the gift card for.

And, gentle reader, I remind you why I started buying DVDs in earnest in the last couple of years: Because I realized not only did I want hard copies of films so I could watch what I want when I want it (see this rant from seven years ago) but also because sometime in the near future, DVDs will disappear from the cheap secondhand market.

Although they’re not gone yet from the antique malls, this trip to Relics proved the price curve is about to trend upward (as record prices did within the last few years). The big DVD booth had priced certain recent or rare DVDs at $5 or $10. So DVD prices on the secondhand market are in the process of moving from easy accumulation to you must really want it range. Which is likely to trigger more buying from me whilst I can get videos for a buck or two. And, hey, I have this gift card…..

And, thanks for asking, my brother is doing well. Or at least he’s doing well enough that he’s not telling me how he’s doing or reaching out to me at all. Which could mean he’s in the hospital. Who ever knows with that kid?

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