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  • Paul Davidson

My O.C.DVD (Obsessive Compulsive DVD Collecting)

The inner-reasoning usually goes a little something like this:

“I think I should buy Garfield on DVD. I know the reviews were horrible and the movie supposedly sucked but look at all those great extra features! A gag reel! Trailers! A commentary by the visual effects assistant and the janitor who cleaned up after the editing team! Sure, the movie probably sucks, but where else can I watch the Special Nickelodeon Special about the Making-Of the movie!? I’ll get Resident Evil: Apocalypse next week. And Mean Girls, the week after. This Garfield DVD is something that I must have.”

Movies have finally taken a back-seat to extra-special DVD features.

In my recent work for Wired Magazine, I was asked to write two articles. The first, about IM bot SmarterChild will be appearing in the February issue (hitting stands around Jan 25th)… The second, which I called O.C.DVD (I.e. Obsessive-Compulsive DVD collecting) was slated for that issue, then postponed. But the article explored just this scenario:

Do people buy DVDs for the movies or the extra features?

The hard-core ones, the crazy-collectors, the ones who buy programs like Delicious Library to catalogue and keep track of their massive DVD collection, the ones who belong to DVD clubs and purchase DVDs to purchase them and own them and inflate the number of DVDs they own rather than just because they want to see a movie… They do.

I am, sadly or excitedly, one of these people.

I am about to tell you something, now, that will make you envious. It may make you hate me and/or cause you to stop reading this blog if you are a DVD collector as well. This information may stun you, permanently cause your body to paralyze itself out of extreme shock, or possibly (but I hope not) cause you to fall into a coma that will see you waking up in the 25th Century, much like Buck Rodgers, who coincidentally spent one whole episode trying to save the life of an intergalactic President played by none other than Gary Coleman which you can, yes, only see on the DVD of the entire series. (I have it.) Yet, I digress. The information that will change your opinion of me and my DVD collecting skills is this:

I have over 700 DVDs.

It’s a sickness, I am quite sure of. When Tuesday comes and the new DVDs hit the shelves at the local Best Buy, I accompany the rest of the freaks at the front door — waiting for 10 o’ clock to arrive. And then, I push my way to the New Release shelves and try to decide which ones will join my 700 friends in a wall-mounted home that has been lovingly arranged in alphabetical then release date order.

This past week, The Village, Troy and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle plagued my thoughts. Although The Village had some behind-the-scenes footage, there was no commentary or gag reel. Troy was a horrible movie with inane dialogue but a huge list of extra-features the likes of which no man had ever seen. And Harold & Kumar had the Extra-Super-Dooper Unrated Extended Edition. An edition with previously cut out raunchy footage and extra-super-dooper features that I would only be able to experience if I purchased the DVD.

It was a tough choice, but the enigma presented to me in the Harold & Kumar Unrated Edition Tease was more than the O.C.DVD-affected soul inside of me could handle.

Harold & Kumar it would be.

People often ask me if I have seen all the movies or all the extra-features catalogued and arranged in my wall-shelving. The answer to that, easily answered by observing the many unopened DVDs, is “No.” People often ask me if having all these mediocre movies like Sphere and Garfield with tons of extra features makes me feel more complete. That answer is, “Yes.”

But most of all, people ask me why I collect so many DVDs with such furvor and neverending enthusiasm and compulsiveness. And I think, deep down, it has to do with one very important thing. Somewhere, in the inner-workings of my brain, I have been convinced that the more DVDs I own, with extensive extra-features, the cooler I become.

And with 700+ DVDs, I am the coolest guy you will ever know.

Now excuse me while I get my daily shock treatment.

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