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How Often Do You Dip DEEP Into Your Collection?

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#1 of 35 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott


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Posted December 22 2003 - 09:20 PM

i guess this would be posed mainly at people with larger collections (over several hundred titles)- how often do you pull out and watch a movie that usually resides deep in your library-something that you usually just pass over without a second thought when looking for something to watch? at around 600 movies, i have tons of these. movies i enjoyed once, and i save just in case i ever get the urge to watch again, but year after year goes by and i never, ever seem to feel the urge to pop them in again- and yet i'm just sure that one day i'll want to watch them again. i'm not including all time favorites here- i'm talking more impulse buys that you enjoyed and kept, but that you may even forget you own after a while.

#2 of 35 OFFLINE   Rik P

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Posted December 22 2003 - 10:40 PM

I've got about 300 or so and have attempted to rewatch my entire collection a few times when upgrading HT equipment. First time when I upgraded my sub I rewatched several of my old favs. But the one upgrade that led to me wanting to rewatch my entire collection, was when I upgraded to a front projector(Panny L-300) this past summer. This caused me to start at beginning of my collection and still going.... Boy this really adds to the movie watching experience. I find my self glued to the couch with movies I've seen several times before. Rick

#3 of 35 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted December 22 2003 - 11:57 PM

All the time.

I have about 900 dvds, and basically just cycle through them, watching the one I haven't seen in the longest time. It's always one I like and enjoy watching (otherwise it wouldn't be in my collection), but often it's one that wouldn't catch my eye if I were selecting one to watch by scanning the shelves. Which is the whole reason why I cycle through them. Posted Image
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

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"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#4 of 35 OFFLINE   Brian Thibodeau

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Posted December 23 2003 - 01:30 AM

I recently topped 2000 and many folks ask me this question. None of them can understand watching a film more than once, and so can't imagine I'd every be able to watch all these films a second time, but that's my intention. None of them believe I'll ever have enough, but I'm getting there. As with so many people on these forums, I've got a sizeable stack of discs to get to before I can really enjoy the older titles with a clean slate, but that was my intention from the start: to get all the movies I wanted, try to watch them each at least once, then wind down my collecting and really start enjoying things from the beginning as the mood hits me, or when someone I know feels like watching something interesting. I used to have a gigantic collection of VHS (including many freebie screeners from my review-writing days for a local daily) and when DVD first appeared, I knew it would be my final format for home theatre: I didn't want to be upgrading to new formats until the day I die. Whatever replaces DVD, I'll be too old to care (and I'm only 34 now). So I went through the tape collection, made a very lengthy list of all the titles I absolutely had to upgrade, and started selling off the videos and/or donating them to the local library's AV department. The list ran to about 2300 titles, which was kind of scary at first, but has become increasingly economical as the cost of discs has plummeted over the years, in stores and online. I'm also a huge b-movie junkie and I've always managed to find acceptable discs for super low prices. So as for digging deep, I do find the urge growing. Once in a while, I'll watch an older title with my girlfriend and it's amazing how easily I get back into a film that I may have seen several times already. Now that I'm rapidly working through the pile of unwatched discs (though not the films on them) My collecting days always were numbered, as few of the newer movies are worth more than a rental or bargain bin purchase to me. Although I will always leave room for adding Asian films to my collection when the word on a title is good, as those are kind of my specialty. So I'll never be completely done collecting, but I'm already picking up far fewer titles than I used to, and there's not a heck of a lot coming up that I really need. I'm looking forward to actually having a relatively complete and fairly substantial library from which to revisit so many favorites with the benefit of age and wisdom, both of which I hope to have more of as time goes on. I guess the trick will be not to amass so many movies, or keep collecting for so long, that you really do run the risk of not having enough time to revisit everything all over again. I'm sure there are thousands of people around these boards who have far larger collections than I, and maybe they've got more time available to watch them, but for me, there had to be a limit, otherwise, I'd probably never get outside.

#5 of 35 OFFLINE   Michael Warner

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Posted December 23 2003 - 01:38 AM

A timely question as I found myself going to the well for an older purchase just last night. I glanced at the shelf bulging with newer releases but none of them captured my mood at the time so I started blowing the dust off some very old titles in my collection. What I settled on was "Soldier," a DVD I bought 4 years ago and hadn't watched since. I was in a Kurt Russell mood after watching the new "Escape from New York" disc and that one fit the bill perfectly. And that is why I keep such a large collection of DVDs -- there's always something to watch no matter what mood I might be in.
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#6 of 35 OFFLINE   Chad A Wright

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Posted December 23 2003 - 01:54 AM

My collection right now sits at about 225 films, but I have a lot of title that are what you are describing. Something that I like to own, but probably only gets watched once or twice every couple of years. It doesn't happen often, but I will sometimes go through them on a lazy Saturday looking for something I haven't seen in a long time. As I think about collecting these films in general, I figure it's as much for other people as it is for myself. I like having a library of films that friends and family can view. I like exposing people to films the may never have even considered before. My wife recently turned her nose up when I bought the Adventures of Robin Hood. She always loves old movies when we watch them, but until she sees them, she just assumes that they will be slow and boring. It's films like this that she would never see if it weren't for my collecting habit.

#7 of 35 OFFLINE   chris*b


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Posted December 23 2003 - 02:26 AM

I have about 800 now. I probably have 300 that fit into this category. Posted Image They were impulse buys. For some reason I just buy a movie instead of renting it. I will occasionally look over my collection, and pick out a handful of the old ones, and watch them over a month or two period. I too, collect them for friend's enjoyment. I try not to watch new releases right away. If I do, I am undoubtedly going to be watching it again when people come over. Finding Nemo for example, has been played four times in the last two weeks. I am sick of that movie now. Fortunately I believe everyone has seen it now. I think with the recent purchase of my Panny 56wx53 I will be watching my entire collection over again. It is a whole new experience for sure. I watched Gladiator again last night, and it was stunning. I don't see a reason for me to ever go to a theater again.

#8 of 35 OFFLINE   Chet_F


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Posted December 23 2003 - 05:14 AM

Every 4th or 5th new title I typically watch one from the 'collection'. Then it's back to watching either TV Box sets or an unwatched gem. Posted Image
"If you’re lucky, people like something you do early and something you do just before you drop dead. That’s as many pats on the back as you should expect." - Warren Zevon 1993, R.I.P.

#9 of 35 OFFLINE   ChuckSolo



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Posted December 23 2003 - 09:50 AM

Lately I have been going through my collection and watching some of the DD 5.1 and DTS encoded DVDs that I bought before I had a 5.1 system. I am also re-watching some of my old VHS Dolby Surround encoded tapes and Dolby Stereo DVDs to see how they sound on Dolby ProLogic II. I would say that I have about 100 out of 500 DVDs that I haven't watched in a very long time. I am working my way through them though.

#10 of 35 OFFLINE   Harminder


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Posted December 23 2003 - 09:56 AM

This is exactly what I'm afraid of when I'm buying DVD's. I have to make sure there's a replay value, or I won't buy it. That's why I only have 100+ DVD's so far and I've been collecting since 1997. Not that I can't afford DVD's, it's just that I only buy DVD's with a good to high replay value. Posted Image

#11 of 35 OFFLINE   ChuckSolo



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Posted December 23 2003 - 10:12 AM

I hear ya. That is exactly why I don't buy DVDs at exorbitant prices. I actually waited until "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" was being sold used at BlockBuster before I bought it. This is true for most, not ALL of my collection. If there is a movie I absolutely must have when it is released I will buy it the first week it comes out at Wal-Mart, the "Lord of the Rings" movies for example. I would estimate that I actually re-watch only about half of my collection on a regular basis. Some movies I never tire of, "We Were Soldiers" and "Day of the Dead" for example. Others I have watched only once and probably will not watch again, "Lost in Space" and "Meet Joe Black" being examples of that. BTW - the copy of T3 I just bought used at BlockBuster was in pristine condition, no scratches anywhere on either of the two discs, and only $12.99 to boot.

#12 of 35 OFFLINE   Lanny_B


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Posted December 23 2003 - 12:50 PM

From the sound of things, I don't want 2000 DVD's in my collection. Unless I didn't pay for them I guess. Were I in a different position with my budget I suppose I could think differently. Posted Image

Anyway, I counted that I am up to about 60 DVD's right now. I feel that's quite a hefty amount, and I've got most the ones I really want. I still feel like I don't pull out my old ones enough.

Here's my collection. Some I've sold though.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with it. It's hard enough to find enough space to store them in the house. I don't think I need to reach a point where I'm buying them just for collector's sake. I never really considered myself a big time collector.

#13 of 35 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted December 23 2003 - 01:58 PM


I know exactly how you feel. My collection has well over 1000 DVDs in it and not only are there hundreds of titles that I have only watched once, but I am willing to bet that there are over a hundred that I have not even watched once! Posted Image

Unfortunately I see that trend only getting worse due to the following:

I have other priorities and interests that consume my leisure time so I am lucky if I can watch three DVDs a week. Yet on average I purchase five DVDs a week. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to realize that as long as that ratio continues I will always have a growing number of DVDs that I'll never watch even once let alone twice!

Even if I were to stop purchasing DVDs and neglect everything else in my life to just watch the DVDs I now have, I would still have to spend at least forty hours a week for over a year in order to watch the entire collection just once - and that does not count any of the extra features or worse, the hundreds of hours of commentary tracks!!!

This is also why I was surprised to read the following:

Fellow Texan, george kaplan wrote:
I just have to ask George what kind of cycle he is on that could possibly allow him to watch his entire collection more than once. Posted Image

Regardless, considering the fact that not only do I have more DVDs in my library than I'll ever have time to watch and that I continue to add more DVDs than I get the chance to view spurs the obvious question - then why have such a large collection in the first place?

There is no right or wrong answer, but for me, I have a large collection for the following reasons:

1) I despise renting (limited selections, poor condition, inserts not included, many times only the MAR, fool-screen, and/or non-special edition versions will be available, the hassle of returning them (even Netflix is more of a hassle than simply putting the DVD back on the shelf).

2) I absolutely adore film and love to share this passion with family and friends and as such I am constantly lending out DVDs so even though the majority of DVDs in my collection rarely get seen by myself, it is my hope that they are being enjoyed by others and perhaps influence them to have a greater appreciation for film making.

3) I also like having films handy such that I can browse the shelves and watch which ever inspires me rather than be limited to only a small group of films. Having a large collection also allows me to do another favorite event, and that is creating montages of movie clips of genres, actors, directors, etc. These make for excellent background viewing during parties for which everyone seems to always look forward to.

#14 of 35 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted December 23 2003 - 03:21 PM

Well I live in Texas now, but was born and raised in California (Costa Mesa right next door to Newport Beach), so I'd rather you thought of me as a fellow Californian. Posted Image

The short answer (which is still pretty long) is that watching movies is my hobby, it's how I spend my leisure time. I typically watch for about an hour in the morning before I go to work. My wife and I will typically watch a couple of hours at night, and I go to bed after her, so I usually watch another hour after she goes to bed. That's 4 hours on a workday, and of course I watch more than that on weekends. And though that sounds like a lot, I still have time to do lots of other stuff with my wife and son. So, in part it helps that I don't need a lot of sleep (in bed at 11, up at 4:30), and that I don't have other hobbies.

As for the cycling, well, it's very complicated, but the following is a basic approximation.

1. There are certain movies we watch once a year (e.g., Groundhog Day on groundhog day).

2. I tend to mix in new films I haven't seen with ones in my collection.

3. Movies I haven't seen are either recorded off my TIVO (mostly off TCM), or on dvd from Greencine.

4. My wife isn't into this as much as I am, but she still will watch a movie with me every night or so. These are a mixture of new purchases and ones we own that she likes.

5. On my own, I cycle through as follows:

- dvd in my collection
- tivo/rental of a movie I've never seen (to see if I want to add it to my collection)

6. As far as the dvds in my collection, I cycle through:

- new dvd I haven't yet seen (that I know my wife won't want to watch), including all extras except commentaries
- old dvd in my collection my wife doesn't want to watch (rewatching only certain extras - mostly deleted scenes)
- a dvd commentary (I only listen to these once, and only if it proves to be interesting).

Today I'm on vacation. I watched Home Alone with my wife, and on my own Henry V (greencine), Mister Roberts (from my collection) and part of Alexander Nevsky (greencine).

As I said, it's actually more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it. While there are some dvds I've bought in the past year or two that I've only seen once yet, most of them I've seen multiple times. Of course as my collection grows the cycle time gets longer, but I do buy less and less these days (I currently own everything I want that's been released. There are only 40 dvds I'm interested in that have been announced for the first half of next year, and some of those are upgrades, and only about 80 other titles that I would be interested in, although every once in a while I rent a movie that I end up interested in purchasing).
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#15 of 35 OFFLINE   Chuck Watwood

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Posted December 23 2003 - 08:48 PM

I recently had a 700 plus DVD collection until it was stolen approximately 3 months ago. Since that time I have started to collect all over again. I find that many of the old titles I once had are not so important to me and I am much more selective about what I purchase. So far, I'm back up to around 125 DVD's. I purchase many DVD's when they go on sale, etc. I am much more selective when it comes to purchasing new releases. The theft of my collection has changed my collecting habits without a doubt. I tend to purchase movies that I would certainly want to watch again from time to time. Many of the titles in my old collection were movies that I would probably never watch again. I was so caught up in the quality of DVD compared to VHS that I went nuts initially. I had been collecting since about 1999. DVD and a HDTV was and continues to be addicting.
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#16 of 35 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted December 23 2003 - 11:35 PM

It's like people who have a large library of books; they collect those books because they love them and need them for reference or to lend to a friend. No one would ever question the idea of keeping large quantities of literature! But it's those regrettable 'impluse buys' that are of the main concern in my opinion. I myself am very careful about what I buy - although I own about 400 DVDs, but I know how easy it is to spend $20 on something that seems interesting, only to find that it is quite dull and useless. Of course, one could exchange it, but that's something that you really don't want to make a habit of doing. The best thing to do is to concentrate on the DVDs of films that you truly, truly love and appreciate. Gordy

#17 of 35 OFFLINE   Jon Martin

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Posted December 24 2003 - 02:22 AM

I honestly don't know how many discs are in my collection. A year ago, I tried to do that DVD Profiler program, got up to 500 discs, got scared of how many I had and stopped entering any. Since then, I've bought a lot more so would rank it somewhere close to 1000. But the problem is, the majority of my collection is in boxes. I don't have enough space to have them all out to see. All I have out are the newer ones, the ones I watch often, and a lot of the TV box sets I am watching. Once in a while I will go through the boxes looking for a certain title. I do rent from Netflix a lot, I'm on the 5 at a time plan (and for the person who said above that returning DVDs to Netflix is a hassle, were they kidding? Rip off one piece of paper, seal the envelope close, drop in your or any other mailbox. Easier than finding where on the shelf it came from and all that.)

#18 of 35 OFFLINE   Brian Thibodeau

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Posted December 24 2003 - 03:29 AM

The man with 2000 DVDs speaks:

I think I have issues!Posted Image

But I regret nothingggggg!

Nils, the clip compilation thing is a cool idea. I used to make comps of wicked martial arts fights from my Hong Kong movie collection, which makes up over 500 pieces in my collection, so I never wanted for material! I only made about three hour-long tapes, but they still entertain visitors all these years later! Easier to make these, too, since the discs weren’t copy protected.

And George? I think I’m in love with your wife. I hope one day my girlfriend will develop into a fine, understanding person like her, willing to accept my illness and yet know that it will never consume every waking hour of our lives. She was a bit shocked when she first met my collection, but she’s warmed considerably over the past year that we’ve been dating, and has come to appreciate the therapeutic benefits of just blowing a couple of hours together putting our brains on autopilot and staring at the screen. She’s well aware I have stuff that she’ll never want (or need) to see, but has been consistently surprised by the stuff I’ve shown her so far.

As Gordon mentioned, people rarely get the fish-eye for having collections of literature, and it was my girlfriend’s own massive collection of books (and shared love of hanging out in bookstores; we’re such geeks) that I used to illustrate how easy it is to fall deeply in love with a hobby. For her it was books, for me it’s movies, although I do have a rather large collection of books myself, but it’s easily half the size of hers.

And like you, George, I’m also buying far less than I used to, and have always strived to pay as little as possible (used CD shops, bargain bins, on-line stores, ex-rental stuff, trading for VHS in the early days). I too have only a couple handfuls of titles to get in the coming year. The end is nigh, at least as far as American cinema favourites are concerned. I knew in 1997 that my DVD collection would be quite large one day, but I made a list of what I intended to buy and have arguably stuck to it with only minor digressions. I was at an age when DVD debuted that I had pretty much been saturated by the kinds of films and genres that interested me. I now own probably 95% of the titles I INTENDED to buy and have it on good authority (mainly here) that major portions of the remaining 5% are coming out in the next year. Once that’s done, I’m sure I will pick up the odd thing that I see theatrically or after renting, but to be honest, the Hollywood product of the last couple years just doesn’t inspire me the way it used to. I blame computers. Or something.

The only aside to this I must make is my Asian film collection, which is a separate entity in its own right. As I mentioned, I have around 500 Hong Kong movies (on DVD, but another 300 on VCD), about 150 Korean films, and about 90 or so Japanese movies and 5 Thai films. The other two thirds of my collection are predominantly North American films and small pockets of Euro genre stuff. So it’s a pretty varied collection. The Asian stuff, however, is so cheap to collect (as low as $4-5 a disc in some parts of Toronto and a couple of on-line shops) that it actually makes MORE sense to me to buy it than the U.S. stuff. And better still, I can take the risk because anyting I don’t feel warrants a second viewing gets donated to my local library’s phenomenal AV centre (one of the largest collections in Ontario, no less), which allows a working schmoe like me to indulge in a little philanthropy and feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I see the little “Donated by...” sticker on so many of the movies in their Asian sections.

My biggest weakness when I first got hooked on movies all those years ago may have been simply liking too much!!

#19 of 35 OFFLINE   Joe Reinwald

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Posted December 24 2003 - 03:29 AM

I have sort of a mixed bag on this. I've got a little over 200 titles, so definitely at the lower end of the scale here. I went through a Criterion phase--I have maybe 20--when I discovered dvdplanet's 35% off (I was new to collecting, so thought it was a short-term deal). I love the movies, but I can't tell you how many times I've skipped over The Blob or The Element of Crime for something a little, well, easier to sit through? -Joe

#20 of 35 OFFLINE   Brian Thibodeau

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Posted December 24 2003 - 05:15 AM

Speculation can be a dangerous game to the accumulative thinker. I actually got completely OUT of collecting comics for the same reason. They taught me to draw and led me down the road to graphic design, and they often entertained me, but when the market got glutted in the early to mid-90's, and everything came to be about multiple covers, foil relief plating, inserted trading cards and a serious onslaught of artists who all drew like like Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane or - shudder - Rob Liefeld, I took a hike. While the comics were one of the factors that fueled a love for cinema, when DVD came around, I knew it would be my last big bang and so, even with some 2000 titles, there's not a single one I don't intend to watch again some day. I don't plan to shuffle off this mortal coil for at least another 45 years or more (God willing) so theoretically should be more than enough time to revisit all of these discs when the mood hits me, particularly now that I'm winding down my major collecting years. For now, it's my goal to simply watch everything at least once, which means simply plowing through the "unwatched" pile on the shelf (mixed in with occasionally watching older stuff with my girlfriend). I sincerely hope there will be many periods where other pursuits make it all but impossible, but it's nice to know that as when I'm older, barring any natural disasters, etc., I'll have a nice library from which to pick any movie that suits my fancy. I think most everyone one on these forums, and especially the heavy purchasers in this thread, will find their saturation point, if they haven't already. The love of cinema won't die, but surely not everyone wants to have so many pieces that there's a) not enough time to revisit them in their lifetimes or b) too much to leave behind when we move on, sticking loved ones with the unenviable task of divvying up the spoils of something for which they may not share the same passion. The vast majority of my collection is earmarked for the AV department of my local library someday many, MANY years from now (hopefully), as I mentioned in an earlier post, so there's always some good to come from having a large collection.

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