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Josh's Blind Buys: Watching The Unseen Collection (1 Viewer)

Robert Crawford

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Robert Crawford

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Josh Steinberg

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Wow, you’re selling The Big Heat, Hombre and Zulu. Have you ever seen Zulu?

I haven’t. But I’ve had it sealed on my shelf for about three years and never once felt the urge to watch it, so I’m thinking someone else might get more enjoyment from it :)

I’m long overdue for weeding through my collection. In a perfect world, I’d keep every version of everything I’ve ever seen but I just don’t have the space. And having been aware of that forever, it’s actally kind of a relief to act on it.
 

RMajidi

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Josh, I respect and admire your discipline. Just the same, I’d like to echo Robert and Jeff’s comments re Zulu.

Zulu is, in my opinion, one of the outstanding film depictions of a real battle. It is absorbing, rousing, heroic, moving and respectful of all sides in this conflict.

Cinematically (visually, aurally and narratively), it is a glorious work, and features multiple stand-out performances from actors of the calibre of Michael Caine, Jack Hawkins and of course Stanley Baker; yet none better than Nigel Green’s superbly restrained and dignified turn.

I know that Twilight Time’s Blu-ray issue has sold out (I have the UK release), so an official product review now might seem redundant; nevertheless, I’m hopeful that you might reconsider selling your copy and instead do a retrospective review writeup. I, for one, would very much enjoy reading your reactions to this film.
 

Robert Crawford

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My first viewing of "Zulu" was as a young boy in a movie theater during its theatrical run. The movie is 138 minutes long, but it kept young Crawdaddy captivated all the way through the entire movie. What's weird about that theater viewing is that I went to see that movie by myself at my local neighborhood movie theater that is no longer in existence. I remember that viewing vividly because it was my first time seeing a woman's breast so that type of experience tends to stay with you.:blush: The movie was great then and it still remains great to me now as I have two different Blu-ray releases of it and a HD digital stream on iTunes.

I think if Josh doesn't watch this film then it's a missed opportunity on his part.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I know, I know. Here’s my thing. Don’t like war movies. Bought Zulu because I needed an extra title to hit the number needed for a TT sale bundle. I’ve had the disc for three years and never come close to watching it. I see that I can easily rent the film as a digital stream. The Museum Of the Moving Image (which is in my neighborhood) has shown it in 70mm for the past few summers. So it’s not as if giving up the disc means I can never see it.

But I’m also at a point where I’ve accumulated more discs than I have space for, and that I feel my collection has gotten a little bloated from what I’d like it to be. When I see a disc like “Zulu” on my shelf, or really, any disc that’s been unopened for years, it feels more like an obligation or a chore than something to be excited about. Ultimately, this is supposed to be a hobby and it’s supposed to be fun. At the point that it’s instead bringing me stress and anxiety, it’s time for a change.

For 2016, 2017 and 2018, I watched over 400 movies each of those years, and at least 200 of those each year were titles I had never seen before. I was practically forcing myself not to rewatch anything I already had seen out of my collection. I’m ready to spend some time enjoying what I already love and revisiting things I haven’t seen in some time. I’m happy to keep doing the official reviews which are tremendously fun to get to cover (and many of which are films I haven’t seen), but I’m looking to do less blind buys on my own. My work schedule also changed dramatically last year and the amount of time I have for movie watching has been substantially decreased. I’m forced to be more selective now. I really just want to protect my enthusiasm for this hobby by not letting myself get burnt out by it.

I’m not making any profit off of selling it; I just figure if I can put it in the hands of someone who will enjoy it more right now, that’s a good thing. But I am genuinely sorry if you guys feel that I’m letting you down by not viewing it, as that was not my intention.
 
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David Weicker

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my two cents on Zulu.

First of all, I enjoyed it, but not enough to add it to my library (I am far pickier that a lot of the posters here - my collection is about 700 movies - zero blind-buys).

My question is do you expect to sell the disc for the same price whether it is opened or not-opened? If the presence of shrink wrap doesn't factor into your selling price, why not spend 2 1/2 hours watching it before you decide to sell it.

As for it being a 'war movie', I would put it more into the 'adventure' category (the same way I wouldn't call Gunga Din or Man Who Would Be King 'war movies').
 

Josh Steinberg

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My question is do you expect to sell the disc for the same price whether it is opened or not-opened? If the presence of shrink wrap doesn't factor into your selling price, why not spend 2 1/2 hours watching it before you decide to sell it.

It's not about the money. I've had the disc on my shelf for three years. In those three years, I've had zero desire to watch the film, and every time I've taken it off the shelf, read the back description, or thought about it, there was still no interest on my part in watching the film. At this point, seeing it on my shelf just made it feel like an obligation I had. Seeing it there started making me feel bad, because I didn't want to watch it but felt obligated to. Watching movies as a hobby shouldn't feel like an obligation. I took a chance in purchasing it; it was a title that didn't appeal much to me but where I needed an extra item in the cart to be able to get a discount for items I did want.

I just found a buyer for it this afternoon, someone who is genuinely happy to have it their collection. I didn't feel any regret in accepting the sale; I felt relieved.

When I bought "Zulu," between my different work schedule and the work schedule my wife had then, I had time to watch probably ten movies by myself on my home theater each week. I now have time to watch only one movie my myself on my home theater each week, maybe two. That time is often taken up by my official reviewing duties. I was having ridiculous mental arguments with myself, not allowing myself to watch the movies I felt like watching on a given day because I felt obligated to keep working on this pile of blind buys I had made that I no longer had interest in. And each time I watched a film from that pile that didn't interest me that much beforehand, and each time I ended up not enjoying it as much as the thing I actually wanted to watch, it decreased my enjoyment of this hobby and made it feel like a job I was stuck in. That's an objectively ridiculous position for me to have put myself in. This is supposed to be fun.

I know I've made the right decisions for me because the amount of anxiety and stress that's been relieved in pulling the discs off my shelf yesterday and packaging them to be sent to their different buyers has been huge.

The good news is that Zulu remains readily available on iTunes and Vudu, and if I ever feel the desire to watch the movie, I'll simply rent it from there. Or perhaps I'll check out a 70mm screening the next time it's showing at the Museum of the Moving Image. But the point being, I'll watch it when I feel like it, which will make it much more likely that I'll enjoy it.

I hope I'm explaining this well; I'm really not trying to cause a controversy or put down anyone's favorite movies or anything like that. I'm just tired of feeling guilty about preferring to rewatch an old "Star Trek" episode over tackling a pile of shrink-wrapped movies that were impulse purchases. Or not having shelf space for purchases I actually do want to make, because that space is filled with stuff that I've lost interest in. I haven't lost my interest in collecting physical media but in the past few years, I've swung too far in the direction of "purchasing things just for the thrill of getting a good deal" and too far away from "having items on my shelf which reflect my tastes and interests as a movie fan".
 

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