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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Floating to the Top

This might sound weird, but I'm not a big fan of DVD discount bins.

If there's one thing I don't like about DVDs, it's how movies have been turned into a commodity. They're no longer a very complicated art form. They're just another product to be pumped out to fill store shelves. And the discount bin seems to epitomize that to a T.

However, that doesn't stop me from trolling the discount bins, in the odd chance that some super-special edition I missed out on a few years back found its way into the discount bin. In between Straight-to-DVD Comedy Part 3 and Public Domain Cartoon Collection Vol. 4, there is the odd gem that floats to the top.

And that's how I've been feeling the past few days. Ever since I moved to Athabasca, there's been this one film floating in the discount bin down at the wretched hive of scum and villainy. And recently, I started thinking, "If I see that film float to the top again, I think I'll snap it up." Today, it was at the top, and I snapped it up.

And that film is Startup.com, a critically acclaimed 2001 documentary. It chronicles the rise of a dot-com-startup called govWorks.com. We watched them rise to the top of their game, become billionaires overnight, and then, happy ending, right? Nope. Because in the middle of the filming was when the dot-com-bubble burst, and the documentarians kept their cameras rolling as we watched govWorks.com fall apart.

It became the defining film of the dot-com-boom, and for only $3 in the discount bin, I was like, "Why not?"

Don't think I'll be able to watch it until the weekend though, and I'm still plowing my way through Space: Above and Beyond -- The Complete Series. Great show.

I've got so many DVDs I need a schedule to figure out when I'm going to watch them all.

And speaking of DVDs, I've been thinking about the movie rating system I use on my website. I use the patented Nib system, where I rate films on a scale of 1 to 4 nibs. I'm thinking of overhauling it. Instead of Nibs, I think I should rate them on how much money I'm willing to pay for the DVD. The scale would look like this:

Top Dollar: This is when the DVD has been out of print for a couple years, and you can only find used copies on eBay for upwards of $100. Needless to say, this is the top of the scale.

Suggested Retail Price (SRP): Kind of middle of the road. When you go into your favourite DVD emporium and pull it off the shelf, this is what you pay. Between $20 and $30 is typical.

Discount Bin: Good, but not great. $10 or less.

Tape it off TV: So bad, the only way you'll get a copy is if you get it for free. Maybe you spend 25 cents for the blank DVD.

What do you think? How's that for a movie rating scale?

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