C’mon, be honest now. If you have any sort of movie collection, there’s no doubt at least one title you’d rather not admit to owning. We all have them. For this week’s Roundtable, it’s time to come clean.
Here’s a look at some of our shame:
- ‘The Wicker Man‘ – Neil LaBute’s ‘Wicker Man’ remake is in my home video collection (on Blu-ray, no less) for complicated reasons. It was a heady mixture of coming across it at a very respectable price, the forethought that it would be a good long while before the unparalleled original would make its way to Blu-ray, and warm memories of watching the “highlight reel” (in which headstrong detective Nic Cage keeps screaming about bees) on YouTube. Bees or no bees, every time I come across it in my bi-weekly reshuffling of my collection, I feel a twinge of regret and, I’ll admit it, embarrassment. What if I bring over a sexy lady who has been enamored with my outstanding taste in film, and she starts scanning my collection? I’ll watch as her eyes sparkle as she counts the spine numbers in my Criterion section, then sink just as quickly when she comes across ‘The Wicker Man’ 2006: that misogynistic, sloppy, woe-begotten little film. If there’s a cinematic deal breaker (to borrow a phrase from Liz Lemon), then sure this must be it.
- ‘Speed Racer‘ – In my defense, I didn’t actually buy this movie. I was sent a screener copy to review (a review that ironically didn’t get published). Of course, this begs the question of why, after having seen it, do I continue to hang onto the disc? I mean, honestly, I truly hated this movie. Watching it was like torture – seizure-inducing, Skittles-colored, monkey-feces-flinging torture. I should have traded off or given away this disc immediately after yanking it out of my Blu-ray player. And yet, there it is, still sitting on my shelf. Part of it is a little bit of perverse admiration for the Wachowski brothers for their audacity in convincing a studio to pony up $200 million for a movie as thoroughly godawful atrocious as this. Part of it is that, even though the movie is horrible, the Blu-ray sure does make some pretty eye candy. (As if I don’t have enough other, better eye candy discs already!) And part of it is some misguided belief that one random day I may need to entertain an eight-year-old child with terrible ADD, and this will be an easy way to keep him occupied for a couple hours. (I don’t currently know any eight-year-old children, but that day might come, maybe.) But mostly… No, there is no “mostly.” I have no excuses. I need to get rid of this thing.
- ‘Martha Inc.‘ – This 2003 made-for-TV movie starring Cybill Shepherd follows the formative years of America’s most ruthless and crafty (get it?) home-keeping guru. Before she was a jet-setting multimillionaire (and occasional billionaire) corporate magnate, she was a frustrated housewife and sledgehammer-wielding weekend warrior with an unquenchable thirst for copper pots, money, and power. Like a ‘Mommie Dearest’ for the Crate and Barrel set, this campy, over-the-top account features what I’d argue is Shepherd’s best performance, set to a dramatically dark soundtrack that would make Bernard Herrmann jealous. When this one is over, you think the events you’ve just seen couldn’t possibly have taken place in real life. But boy oh boy, you sure hope they did. What’s more, after seeing this desperate, monomaniacal woman in action, angry and hungry for success, the most surprising thing is that you just might kind of like Martha all that much more. I did. That’s why I bought this DVD the day of its release!
- From the Netflix queue, the most embarrassing thing is that we’ve had ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull‘ checked out and sitting in front of our TV for at least four months in purgatory – we haven’t been able to bring ourselves to watch it nor return it unwatched. In the VHS collection, ‘Titanic’. In the DVD collection, ‘Dukes of Hazzard’. I had to venture down to the basement to see what lurked in the Laserdisc collection. Behind some cobwebs I found ‘Cool World’. In the record collection, the Bay City Rollers. I’m both embarrassed and proud of that one at the same time. S-s-s-saturday Ni-height!
Finally, Dick here had a very peculiar idea of where to go with this topic.
- ‘ Fitzcarraldo‘ – I have a big problem trying to pick something in my collection that I’m embarrassed about. Since I openly watch bad movies for fun, I don’t really get embarrassed about watching bad movies. I do get embarrassed about the movies I haven’t watched, though. I’ve had the legendary ‘Fitzcarraldo’ sitting in my house for months completely unwatched. I’m told it’s a must see. I know that when I do finally do put the disc in, I’ll love it. I’ve seen the documentary about it, ‘Burden of Dreams,’ and even a ‘Dethklok’ episode parodying it, but I just haven’t gotten around to watching Herzog and Kinski work together yet. In the meantime, I have watched ‘Heartbeeps,’ the new ‘Resident Evil’ picture, and ‘The Room’ for what must be the tenth time.
OK, now it’s your turn to ‘fess up. Tell us in the comments what movies you’re embarrassed to own.