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What Your Movie Collection Says About You

December 16th, 2009

I have this theory, or belief really, that your movie collection says something about you as a person. When I was younger, I would buy any movie that struck my fancy as long as the price was right and I had the money. I’d even pick up movies that were on sale based on the actor or the preview. But as I matured I noticed two things, first I would go to other people’s homes and glance over their movie collection and suddenly jump to conclusions about them and second, I noticed people doing the same to me when they looked over my movies. I think the breaking point for me was when a girlfriend bought me Legends of the Fall.

Her reasoning was simple (or so she claimed) – she wanted to have something to watch when she came over. In reality, I think she was either trying to mark her territory or introduce some “culture” into my movie watching. Regardless, she failed. I immediately threw the movie behind the TV which was sitting on a large crate in the corner.

I remember someone years later finding the movie and I could almost see the change in their opinion of me come over their face. It was brutal. I tossed it in the garbage after that.

Now, I only buy movies that accurately reflect my personality and live up to my standards. This means a movie not only has to be good, but it has to be good AND a movie that I want people to know I think is good. Are all the Harry Potter movies basically good? Sure. But I only own Prisoner of Azkaban.

On top of that, I’ll buy a movie that is not necessarily the best because it reflects me. I couldn’t wait to buy The Salton Sea because it reflects my love for revenge stories. The performances were great and while the movie isn’t for everyone, it is one of the ones I think represents not only my tastes, but an earlier version of myself (I probably would have seen this movie as many times as Star Wars if it had come out during my angsty high school days).

Now, when I go to someone’s home and they have a wide smattering of movies from all genres and of varying quality, I think either they don’t know jack about movies or they have no impulse control. Buying movies is like dressing, if you dress like a slob, regardless of how you act, you’re still a slob.

Here’s a list of my movies:

Batman Begins (Purchased)
The Frighteners (Free)
Pitch Black (Free)
The Italian Job (Free)

Blue Man Group: How to be a Megastar Live!
Diana Krall: Live in Rio
V for Vendetta
Star Trek (damn you JJ Abrams)

24: First and Second seasons (gifts)
A Better Tommorrow (wish I had The Killer – great flick)
A Knight’s Tale
Aliens (first was good but never got around to buying it and probably wouldn’t watch it often if I did)
Batman Begins and Dark Knight
Big Fish
Blade I & II (not interested in III)
Casino Royale
Charlie’s Angels (only the 1st)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Dark City
Fifth Element (requirement for all videoholics)
Final Destination (1 only, not interested in the rest)
Firefly: The Complete Series
Harry Potter III
Hellboy (1 only though I wouldn’t mind having II)
Indiana Jones I-III (not buying IV)
Kill Bill I & II (1 was WAY better and that movie didn’t need to be in 2 parts IMO)
Matrix I-II (I’d buy III but I just don’t care enough – maybe in a box set later)
Moulin Rouge
Silent Hill
Sin City
Sixth Sense
Smilla’s Sense of Snow
Spiderman I & II (not buying III)
Star Wars (all – multiple copies of IV-VI and yes, I wish I wouldn’t have bought I-III even though I got them used)
Terminator 2 (first was good but never got around to buying it and probably wouldn’t watch it often if I did)
The Crow
The Descent
The Incredibles
The Island (not up to the level of the others but the wife loves Ewan McGregor and I don’t mind looking at Scarlett Johansson at all)
The Mummy (1 only – II was pretty weak and the rest were drek)
The Princess Bride
The Ref (best Christmas movie ever)
The Salton Sea
Uncle Buck
V for Vendetta
War of the Worlds
X-men II (1 would be OK but III sucked)

Seriously? I gave that shite away years ago.

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  1. David
    December 17th, 2009 at 00:48 | #1

    What about having a copy of everything?

    When I was in college, I started downloading songs that I liked, but then I thought about being a good host. My music is not to everyone’s taste, so I tried to put together a well rounded collection of everything. I couldn’t hope to collect every song ever recorded, but movies are a different story.

    Now that I’ve built a HTPC, I’ve started to build a massive movie collection and although I am far from being there, I can envision a future where I have instant access to just about every movie ever made along with many complete television series.

    Am I going to like everything on my server? No, I may only like 5% of what’s available. But when I host movie night, there is sure to be something both my guests and I haven’t seen and can agree to watch together.

  2. Rob
    December 17th, 2009 at 03:13 | #2

    Well then, that settles it! In addition to the “Listeners’ Theaters” section (which is awesome sauce, by the way), we need to have a section on the site where we can put up a link to our movie collections!

    Closely related: could anyone recommend a really good website where I could catalogue my collection? Given that my collection is spread across DVD, HD-DVD, Blu-ray and downloads, it can be a bit tough to keep the list organized 😉

  3. December 17th, 2009 at 12:40 | #3

    Rob, great idea!

    Here’s a sampling from my collection:

    Transformers 1 & 2 blu-ray
    300 blu-ray
    Constantine blu-ray
    Planet Earth collection blu-ray
    Oceans 11 & 12 & 13 blu-ray
    Batman Begins blu-ray
    Touch the Sound
    Thank You for Smoking
    The Whole Nine Yards
    The Mummy
    The Mummy Returns
    1 Giant Leap
    The Game

  4. December 17th, 2009 at 12:54 | #4

    David – good point but if you don’t have unlimited funds (or however you are doing it) for storage/discs, better to choose what reflects you. If you have everything, that says something as well.

    Ted – Good list. I should list mine too. Look for an edit to the article in the near future.

  5. CraigW
    December 17th, 2009 at 14:45 | #5

    I have each version of King Kong on my shelf:

    King Kong Tin, 1933
    King Kong, WTC cover (1976)
    King Kong, SE (2005)
    King Kong, Extended Collector’s 3-Disc Edition (2005)
    King Kong, Blu-ray (2005)

    I believe this says I am Homer Simpson, “No one understands him (tear in eye)” re: big monkey movies

  6. December 18th, 2009 at 13:58 | #6

    OK, my movies are listed. I was going for a partial list but I pretty much put everything. I think the one movie that I’m really, really missing on that list is Galaxy Quest. That really should be there.

    And Wrath of Khan.

    And LOTRs Extended versions.


  7. December 18th, 2009 at 14:16 | #7

    Rob – These are the sites I’ve found. As you can see from my list above, I have a modest collection and don’t need to use these services. I’ve never tried any of them but wouldn’t mind hearing from people that have.


    Movie Collector Plus

    DVD Profiler

    PVD (Personal Video Database)

    Erik’s Movie Database


    This post reviews of some of the above

    Anyone want to try them all and write it up? I’ll post it here if you do.

  8. Leif
    December 19th, 2009 at 14:29 | #8

    I’ve noticed that I’ve slowed down buying movies since Blu-Ray came out… maybe I still feel scorned for going so nuts with DVD (owning ~600 titles, buying up to 8-10 a week) and feeling like I need to rebuy some titles. I’ve limited my purchasing to now just AAA titles and “reference” titles… movies to show off my system. I leave the rest to netflix to satisfy my viewing needs. I even find myself buying movies that I think suck, but still enjoy seeing it on my setup (cough cough Transformers cough).

    Current BD movies:
    Matrix Collection
    Iron Man
    Transformers 1 & 2
    I, Robot (best BD transfer I’ve seen)
    I Am Legend
    The Dark Knight
    Batman Begins
    Terminator Salvation

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