About this time every year when we get our tax refund back, the wife and I give ourselves a hundred bucks to blow and then tuck the rest away into some sort of savings fund. I always have enormous amounts of fun choosing things to buy with my wad of cash. The initial debate is whether to spend it on one relatively expensive item or to purchase many much cheaper things. Cheap usually wins as I really like getting lots of packages in the mail.
Amazon is the place that tends to get my money. I have a wish list that runs well over a thousand items with new things getting placed on it regularly. I love sorting the list from what I want the most to what is currently cheapest. I open new tabs with dozens of items, internally debate everything, and slowly choose a variety of potential purchases. Once thrown into my shopping cart, I discover the price tag is well over my spending limit and then begins the weeding process. Slowly, every so slowly, I painfully take items out and reconsider exactly what I want to buy. After a time, and sometimes days, I get my list down to what I can spend and I make my purchase.
Then comes the waiting. There are few pleasures greater than receiving packages in the mail several days in a row. I open the packages, relish my items, read the liner notes, fondle the special features, catalog them in my database, and gently put them on my shelves for all to see.
I adore the entire process. It is so much fun.
This year I decided to fill out my home video collection with Martin Scorsese titles. He is arguably the greatest living director and a master of cinema. His films aren’t always easy to watch, nor are they always masterpieces, but they are always worth a look. I already own a pretty good chunk of his movies on DVD and Blu-ray but I thought it would be fun to spend this year's refund obtaining the rest of them.
Just in time for this little expenditure comes Scorsese’s newest film, The Wolf on Wall Street out on DVD and Blu-ray this week. It tells the true story of Jordan Belfort who goes from selling penny stocks to becoming a Master of the Universe with all the power, money, drugs, and sex one could ever desire. It's got all the trapping of a great Scorsese epic and the reviews have mostly been very good with it garnering several Oscar nods.
I’m looking forward to watching it, and now with my tax money, I’ll soon be adding it to my collection, where it will stand proud with all the other Martin Scorsese films and even prouder amongst all the Picks of the Week.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Veep: Season 2: I’ve just started watching this Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy. It is cringingly hilarious.
The Great Beauty (Criterion Blu-ray): “A breathtaking Fellini-esque tale of decadence and lost love,” says the editorial review. I’m sold.
Musicares Person of the Year: Tribute to Bruce Springsteen: Last year, Springsteen was Musicares Person of the Year. To celebrate, they had a big concert featuring folks like Alabama Shakes, Mavis Staples, Elton John, Neil Young, and many others singing Springsteen's songs. At the end of the night, the man himself came out with the E Street Band to play a few songs and they ended with everybody doing “Glory Days.” Sounds like a fun night and now it's available on DVD.
Californication: Season 6: I like this series while recognizing its not actually very good. But it's well made, well acted, cleverly written, sexy, and funny. But it's like eating a giant bowl of Fruity Pebbles. Initially satisfying, but not very filling. Yet just as I continue to eat my sugary cereal, I’ll keep watching this show.
Mapp & Lucia: The Complete Collection: A charming social satire set in the '20s, made in the '80s and just now getting a DVD release. It starts off pretty slow it's turning out to be wonderfully funny. Read my review.
Odd Thomas: As a teen, I loved reading Dean Koontz stories. As an adult, I find them terribly written. Still, this film based upon his book seems interesting. It's got a fun story and Willem Dafoe, so I’m willing to give it a shot.