There’s a trend, found especially in DVD and blu-ray advertising, of inviting people to buy films so that they “own the experience forever”. Disney movies tend to go even further and tell you that “the magic is yours to own forever”, which is a bloody exciting sell if you can back it up.
Hello again, by the way. We’re talking about the nature of home video sales today, I’m easing back into it. Also, spoilers probably follow for some of history’s best-loved twist-filled films. I doubt it, I’ve not really seen any of them. But you will learn that there is a twist in From Dusk Till Dawn and that there’s that film about the woman who turns out to be a man at the end. Yeah. You been spoiled, motherfucker.
Own the magic forever? That’s not half a good thing to do if you can pull it off. Even assuming that the Disney corporation isn’t implying that by purchasing a thin slice of plastic you’ll be taking on the combined powers of Gandalf and Merlin (Gerlin’, verb. 1940s fratboy slang for something that wouldn’t at all be acceptable these days), they’re still claiming you can replicate that first joyous experience of seeing Bambi’s mum get shot and feel the same excited thrill, over and over again (I’ve never actually seen Bambi, but I can only assume that she was a baddie. You’re hard pressed to find an authority figure in a Disney cartoon who isn’t a baddie). This is of course a demonstrable falsehood. The first time you saw Bambi’s mum get shot, you were shocked to see what turn events had taken. Unless you’re wildly naive, nobody expects a film to be different the second time around (unless it’s the Cluedo film from the early 90s, which, statistically speaking, probably was different the second time), so every time you’ve opted to watch Bambi again it was safe in the knowledge that some evil mother-deer would get what was coming to her and some lucky hunter’s poor hungry children would eat well that night. Over and over and over. You sadist. Bambi’s mother wouldn’t deserve the number of murders you’ve inflicted on her, even if she was the Osama bin Laden of deer. Which, from my limited understanding of the film, I gather that she is.
I have a deep and burgeoning desire that I will share with anyone around me after three pints of reasonably nice beer, or a double vodka and coke. I really want someone to cut my brain open, dig around with a fancy laser and a couple of prodding tools, and carefully remove any and all memory of ever having watched From Dusk Til Dawn. Not because it’s an especially bad film, it sits firmly in the ‘OK’ camp – not Tarantino’s best work, but better than a kick in the teeth. But if you could sit me down in front of it, my mind blessedly clear of any previous knowledge and tell me I was about to sit down and watch a bloody crime caper with no mention of all the vampires and stuff, I’d be happy. Except I wouldn’t. I’ve no interest in watching an average Tarantino crime flick, and if you tell me it has vampires at the end in order to entice me into watching you’ve basically stopped me from enjoying the vampires. All you could really do is tell me that it’s actually a really good Tarantino flick, which would be deceitful and duplicitous of you, and we wouldn’t be friends any more after I’d learned the truth. Why do you want to hurt me?
Until such a time as film-erasing surgery and acceptable-deception-of-friends-regarding-the-artistic-quality-of-cinematographic-filmstrips becomes a thing, I find it difficult to believe that even the vast resources of the Disney corporation can really let me take the magic home forever. There’s only so many times you can find glee in the sight of an evil deer’s righteous demise before the whole thing becomes predictable.