With Amazon taking over where most brick-and-mortar stores left off, the thrill of the hunt for physical media has never been more simple. Gone are the days of getting into your vehicle, hopping to one, or a handful of stores, hoping that whatever release you’re looking for is in stock. The agony of defeat, coming home empty-handed, has been replaced with one-stop shopping to fulfill every item you desire. Is that a good thing, though? Sure, it sucks when you don’t find what you’re looking for, but there’s a flip side to that coin: the ecstasy of when you find what you’re looking for—or even something you weren’t expecting to find. Those endorphins kick in; you feel good knowing you found that missing link in your collection.
Unlike Volume Two, my latest pick-ups came courtesy of my local Goodwill. While not a significant haul, two items, in particular, made my day.
Hobo With A Shotgun (DVD)
I remember when the 2007 double-feature Grindhouse debuted in theaters. Catching the film on opening day was one of my favorite movie-going experiences. The two feature films from Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, plus fake trailers and commercials spaced into Grindhouse’s runtime; it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
I recall around the time of Grindhouse‘s theatrical release that a trailer for a film, Hobo With A Shotgun, would be attached to certain prints after the creators won a contest. The trailer didn’t screen at my theater, but I caught it later on YouTube. It fit the aesthetic that Grindhouse was going for and looked entertaining enough. Cut to a handful of years later, the trailer is now a feature and released to the masses.
I caught it, enjoyed it well enough, and went on with my day. Now, in 2022, I’m cruising Goodwill, and what do my eyes see? That’s right, Hobo With A Shotgun—on DVD and still sealed. You might be wondering, “Why go for the DVD? Heck, there’s even a new Blu-ray edition coming soon.” And to that, I say: it’s brand new. A movie that relishes in the Grindhouse traditions of the past might not look that hot on Blu-ray. Just because a picture can be pristine doesn’t mean it should be. Plus, I haven’t seen the movie in years. So, dropping two dollars on a slice of cinema I recall enjoying a decade ago doesn’t feel like a financial risk.
Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers (DVD)
Do you recall how I mentioned finding that missing link without resorting to Amazon? Obtaining the first two films of Peter Jackson‘s first trilogy got my endorphins popping. “Wait a minute,” you might say, “you can buy The Lord of the Rings films anywhere for cheap.” I agree with you there, but the editions in this article have been on my radar for years.
As I mentioned above, the editions I snagged were the DVD editions of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. What makes these “must-haves” to me is they are the four-disc extended editions. Two discs house the feature, while the two additional discs hold the special features, or “appendices,” as the packaging states. The multi-fold packaging fits nicely into a hard exterior case with each disc individually housed and includes a map insert as an additional bonus.
And these are indeed for sale on eBay at about five or six bucks a pop. Why take the simplistic route when you can drag out the hunt for almost two decades? I never wanted to take the easy way. In my mind, if I missed them the first time, they weren’t worth it at the moment—I’ll play the waiting game. And wait, I did.
About a year ago, the first part of obtaining these editions came to fruition when I found the final film in the trilogy, The Return of the King, at the Goodwill. The box, discs, and additional contents were in immaculate shape. The words of Wayne Campbell from Wayne’s World hit me after snagging part three, “They will be mine. Oh, yes. They will be mine.”
Here we are, a year later, and I have completed my quest to obtain the New Line Cinema Platinum Edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD. I know it’s silly not to take the easy route and instead take the long and arduous journey to complete my physical media pilgrimage, but there’s something to be said about biding your time and enjoying the thrill of the hunt. Sometimes patience pays off, which is why it’s a virtue. And, hell, for a combined total of six dollars, I have completed a long-sought physical media goal. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.
Personally, I try to refrain from online retailers as much as possible when seeking out physical media. I like getting out and about: seeking out something special or possibly coming across a disc I wasn’t expecting to find. There are plenty of days when I go home empty-handed, and sometimes that may be for the best. At least for my wallet. Other days, my internal collector gets giddy if I stumble across a disc or discs that pique my interest or allow me to cross off one of many media releases on my wish list. Such is the life for a physical media collector—ebbs and flows.
As has been the case with most of the latest hauls from the Goodwill, the quality far outweighs the quantity. Have you been second-hand shopping lately? Did you pick up anything worth mentioning? Check back often as there is always good stuff at the Goodwill!