The wife and I recently bought a house. It's the first time we’ve ever done that. We talked about it for years but had never been stable enough in our jobs or location that we felt it was possible. When we moved back to my hometown a couple of years ago, we started talking about it seriously. A little over a year ago we started looking. Got pre-approved from the bank, connected with a realtor, and visited every house within our price range within a 50-mile radius.
Turns out it's really quite difficult to choose a place that you are going to live in permanently (or as permanently as we’ll ever get, which is probably more like five years). We found one we liked and put a bid in. Lost it to a friend of my father's. Found another one we liked and came to similar results. Found a third one, put another bid in, was beat out by nobody, and then our bank came back and decided that, no, they wouldn’t be giving us the money they approved us for months ago. It was something about our work history and how my wife and I have spent the last decade taking turns working and staying home. All of which makes sense, but it would have been nice to have been told before we wasted so much time and got our hopes up.
We spent another six months in our little crappy apartment waiting to get a little more solid work history under my wings. Went with a different mortgage company who initially said we were good. Looked at more houses, made more bids, then the bank gave us more trouble.
Another five months passed in our increasingly terrible apartment complex. Talked to more banks, and finally, after a whole lot of begging, secured ourselves a real, honest-to-god house loan. Looked at so many houses that our eyes went cross and everything blended together. Settled on one that wasn’t perfect, or even exactly what we wanted, but was $30,000 less than what we expected to pay and that kind of cash allows one to overlook certain problem areas.
We’ve spent the last couple of weeks doing repair work, painting a few rooms, and moving everything into the garage that we haven’t absolutely needed. We’ll be moving the rest of it on Tuesday.
It's a two-story house with the bedrooms upstairs and the living areas down. The television is down. I’ve been living in a tiny apartment for two years where I’ve had to turn the volume down on all my movie and television watching past 8 o’clock when my daughter goes to bed. With this new arrangement, I’ll finally be able to hear all the violence, the gore, and the screaming in films like Blood and Black Lace without fear of my daughter waking up from the nightmares.
That’s enough to make this new Arrow Video release of Mario Bava’s classic giallo my pick of the week right there. But given Arrow’s track record of amazing transfers and loads of extras, not to mention the steelbook packaging and I’m over the moon for this thing. I can’t wait to watch it at full volume (or at least volume enough that I don’t need closed captioning to understand whats being said). [Read Kent Conrad's review.]
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Suture: Arrow Video leaves their usual palette of b-grade exploitation flicks for some '90s arthouse cinema. After seeing a rough cut, '90s indie darling Steven Soderbergh came on board to executive produce this neo-noir with a fascinating conceit. You can read my full review of it here.
House of Cards: The Complete Fourth Season: When Season Two of this Netflix political drama came out, I noted that I needed to catch up on Season One and promised to be a better watcher. I failed in that regard as I’m still somewhere in the middle of Season Two while the show has continued to barrel on without me. Truth be told, it's lost some of its luster for me and I keep hearing it gets even more soapy as it goes along. Still, there is something delightful wonderful about Kevin Spacy in this role.
Only Yesterday: Isao Takahata, director of Grave of the Fireflies, made this film for Studio Ghibli in 1991. This is the first time it has seen an American release. It's a drama about a 27-year-old woman who decides to take a trip to the country and while there, re-examines her life.
The In-Laws (Criterion Collection): Arthur Hiller comedy starring Peter Falk and Alan Arkin as two very different people having zany adventures together.
By the Sea: Angelina Jolie wrote and stars in this drama alongside husband Brad Pitt. Set in France in the '70s, the two play a married couple who are growing distant from each other, at least until they visit a quiet, seaside town and interact with its vibrant inhabitants.
Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama: I remember watching this film late night on some cable station as a teenager. I’m sure it's terrible but it brings back all sorts of nostalgic feelings.