MCC Home Video Scorecard #12: Year-End Title Dump, 2017 Edition

Bob Newby!

Bob Newby, worthiest descendant of the House of Gamgee.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: the recurring feature that’s me jotting down capsule-sized notes about Stuff I Recently Watched at home. In this batch: once again this ostensibly regular feature wound up saved for a rainy day, only to be held in reserve through any number of downpours and snowstorms. I’m already several viewings into a 2018 edition, which means it’s now or never for my 2017 catch-up. I’m a little annoyed at how much time I devoted to Netflix shows throughout the third and fourth quarters of the year, but if I’d watched a lot of movies instead, then this entry would be three times longer and take at least twice as long to write, thus making all the easier to procrastinate into 2019 and beyond. Or all the easier never to write. But I grow weary of finding reasons not to write. One of my many reasons for creating a blog nearly six years was to find reasons not never to write.

Hence: on with the writing! And the viewings! And the writing about the viewings! Double bonus points if I’m not the only one who reads what I write about what view!

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“Following”: the Last Gap in Your Christopher Nolan Collection

Christopher Nolan, Following, Criterion CollectionAs of this weekend, I can now say I’ve seen every full-length motion picture directed to date by Christoper Nolan. In December 2012 his debut, Following, earned a Criterion Collection re-release. Shot in 1998 in 16mm black-and-white, it was minimally restored for this edition, with the original aspect ratio and much of the old-media grittiness retained for historical verisimilitude. Its seventy speedy minutes contain an amateur no-star cast (as well as crowds of unwitting “extras” captured on the fly) and were shot for just five thousand dollars, a bargain compared to other self-financed B&W debut films from the same decade (e.g., Kevin Smith’s Clerks, Robert Rodriguez’ El Mariachi). With such budgetary constraints and no established names involved in the creative process, a casual browser would expect Following to feel like a young-adult vanity project fit only for YouTube.

Shame on that casual browser, then, with so little faith in the Nolan brand name. Continue reading

DVD Shelving Systems: Where All Collectors Agree to Disagree


Alphabetization is my friend, but it doesn’t rule everything I own. Honest.

I understand why people would own multiple DVDs and organize none of them. Their ways are not mine. Not everyone cares to expend the effort required to achieve that level of control. They have better things to do with their free time. Meanwhile on my end, when I want to pull a specific movie from the shelf, I never have to spend several minutes sifting through randomized stacks, staring at rack after rack in vain, or checking under the furniture in desperation.

In a brief side discussion after a previous entry, I mentioned in passing how my DVD organizational system suits me but not necessarily my family. If they watched DVDs more often, this might be a more pressing issue. They’re well aware I’m happy to help them locate specific titles, just as any helpful librarian, curator, or clerk might. Besides, if I allow them too much input into the process, they’ll do as they please, sticking any given DVD in any open slot, turning it all into a pell-mell pit of chaos. Everything would be ruined and I’d cry.

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