January 29, 2023



There must be something wrong with me.

I’m a movie collector and managed to acquire a pretty huge collection that keeps growing, exacerbated by studios & PR groups who regularly send discs for me to review on this site. While I have a fairly nice-sized house, there’s no longer space for all of them in the Dave Cave (the one room that’s uniquely mine to decorate as I see fit). Hence, the collection has spilled out into the garage, but even then, my beloved cave is still cluttered with too many movies.

Yeah, I know…first world problems.

“Why don’t you get rid of some of ‘em?” Mama Kitty suggested. “You can’t possibly think you’re ever gonna watch them all again.”

At first, I wondered what this stranger did with my real wife, briefly entertaining the notion that the woman standing before me with the snarky smirk of her face was one of the body-snatching pod people. But she was right…it made sense to get rid of some of them, especially those that - if I were to be honest - would probably never feel compelled to revisit. Why was I hanging onto them? I had dozens still in the shrink-wrap, including Dr. Zhivago. Hell, I don’t even like that movie. It was simply part of my collection because it’s considered a classic.

Thus began the big purge, spending the good part of a Saturday boxing-up over 500 movies and hauling them to Goodwill. I was kind of proud of myself. The shelves in the Dave Cave now displayed only the titles I can’t live without, while the garage was suddenly de-cluttered enough to remind me I once purchased a weight bench (which I still plan to use someday). As for Mama Kitty…she was happy to finally reach the washer & dryer without tripping on a box of old slasher flicks. 

But like an alcoholic swearing off booze by ceremoniously pouring it all down the drain, then speeding back to the liquor store the next day, I was back at Big Lots days later, nosing through the bargain shelf while Mama Kitty shopped for towels. I found Smokey and the Bandit (Blu-ray, $4.99), which I thought was phenomenally stupid even back in 1977. But hey…it’s a classic, so…

…wait a minute. Didn’t I just unload Dr. Zhivago at Goodwill, which was at least better than Smokey and the Bandit? Am I once-again buying stuff just to buy stuff?

I also grabbed The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Blu-ray, $4.99), a remake of the popular ‘60s TV show starring Henry Cavill and everyone’s favorite uncloseted cannibal, Armie Hammer. The film turned out to be a lot better than I expected and I’d probably watch it again before even removing the shrinkwrap from Smokey and the Bandit

In the same strip mall was the trusty ol’ Dollar Tree, which yielded The Curse of La Llorona (Blu-ray) and Hotel Mumbai (Blu-ray). La Lorona is easily the least interesting film in the Conjuring universe, but I nevertheless felt compelled to round out my franchise collection with a film I was originally content to sit through only once.

What the hell was I doing? Sure, it’s only a buck and a quarter - the cost of a bag of pork rinds - but why was I trying to fill shelf space that I just worked so hard to create…especially with a movie like this? Busy at Craft Warehouse next door, Mama Kitty wasn’t there to stop me, so maybe I can blame her (similar to citing your family as a reason you drink).

However, I had no such reservations about Hotel Mumbai. Coincidentally, it also stars Armie Hammer and is one of those movies I always meant to check out. I even had the disc in my Amazon cart before finding it here seven bucks cheaper. Either way, this one is money well spent. If one can overlook Hammer’s subsequent dubious life choices, Hotel Mumbai is a tense, gripping film. 

This time around, I was sort of proud of myself for passing on the opportunity to own the Troy/Alexander double feature (both dull dumpster fires), but that's sort of like turning down another beer after you've already had six. If I don’t become more discriminating during bargain hunts, my weight bench will disappear again before I make another resolution to start using it.

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