Jan. 10, 2005 9:14 a.m.
Collect Them Some

I wouldn't buy Dark City on DVD if it were only six dollars. And that's too bad because it's a good movie, and Suncoast is selling it for six dollars. It's not one of those shitty DVDs Wal-Mart sells out off a trough for $4.88 either. With the Wal-Mart DVDs you're lucky if it comes with a theatrical trailer and doesn't star C. Thomas Howell.

The Dark City DVD is a New Line Line Platinum Series edition, just like those fancy 4-disc editions of the Lord of the Rings films. Its bonus features include a commentary track by big time Dark City fan Roger Ebert, another track with its director Alex Proyas (who also directed The Crow), and an essay by comic book legend Neil Gaiman. Jesus, that makes Dark City probably the nerdiest DVD ever. The only thing that could possibly make it nerdier is if it came with a Quantum Leap fanfic written by Chewbacca on the Batcomputer. And the nerdier the better when it comes to DVDs.

But I'm still not going to buy it, because price has nothing to do with it. It's probably gonna cost $5 one day, and once a DVD drops to $5 buying it becomes a sort of gratifying stick-it-to-the-man transaction: you didn't buy it when they were only asking $15 for it, or even when they sweetened the deal by packaging it together with a free less-interesting movie. You waited until it was so cheap that you could buy it and then turn around and sell it for a profit on Ebay. But really, i'm not buying Dark City and it's already cheap enough that Shelly's rolling her eyes at me not buying it.

The reason I won't buy Dark City is that it's simply not good enough to be a part of my DVD collection, and I honestly like the film. But, in theory, my DVD collection should be so good that if I were to pick a movie off my shelf with my eyes closed there'd be no chance of me putting it back on the shelf once I opened my eyes and read the title - as long as I'm in the mood for a movie I'd watch it all the way to the end. Movies like Saving Private Ryan, The Big Lebowski, and Aliens can easily go in my collection. So can four or five Miyazaki films. Not to mention Seven, Three Kings, and 12 Monkeys. And of course Boys Don't Cry, Lost in Translation, Rushmore, and future inductees Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Collector's Edition and The Incredibles.

Napoleon Dynamite? I liked it, and I'd watch it if it came on TV one day, but it's not going in my collection. Same goes for Adaptation, Ghost World, and Spider-Man 2. I like them all but they're not good enough.

But this is all in theory. My perfect DVD collection doesn't exist. In reality The Bourne Identity is slumming it next to Black Sheep and Colin Firth is all that separates Point Break from The Princess Bride. If I were to pick a title off the shelf at random, I could end up watching Little Women, or, God and maybe one day the government forbid, Face/Off.

Maybe I should just get a DVD rack for storing my favorites. I don't think I'd ever be tempted to reach for the old rack with its hit-or-miss titles. That's why I'm not buying Dark City for $6.