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How Many Movies Do You Watch More Than Five Times?

by Jerry Del Colliano March 09, 2022
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It should come as no shock to you, if you follow my audio/video columns, that many of my friends are, well, pretty much crazy. One former powerful lawyer in Los Angeles today owns hundreds and hundreds of units of apartments, and is happier than I’d ever seen him when he was a 100 percent contingency-based lawyer. In his post-legal career, my buddy’s days start almost always with a round of golf, as he plays in competitive amateur matches six out of seven days. When not limited by COVID restrictions or closures, he and his girlfriend eat out at each and every one of the newest, most cutting-edge restaurants all over Los Angeles’ Westside and beyond. In between popping off a smooth 82 (Lon is a USG 9-handicap, thus an 82 likely would win all of the prize money) at Mountain Gate Country Club or eating at Sichuan Impression (one of Los Angeles Times’ 101 Best Places to Eat in Los Angeles, and I can vouch for this Chinese joint with 5 stars of my own), he and Allyssa go to see nearly every commercial movie released. They see all of the blockbuster Marvel movies. They see all of the “For Your Consideration” touchy-feely dramas. They go deeper to hit up the more off-beat theaters near where they live to see concept films about gay cowboys eating pudding (thank you, Eric Cartman). They see basically every movie at every level of film-making, which is no small feat.

1-StackofDVDsWould you be shocked to know that they have no meaningful home theater in their condo? No 85-inch screen. No 5.1 surround sound. No 4K UHD video. Not at home, at least. I guess they don’t need one if they go to the actual movie theater five days per week (they are the ones watching movies on the cheap at 3 PM on a Wednesday). Despite having a robust library for books, Lon and his girlfriend don’t own many movies on home video, either. A dozen or two titles collected over two decades plus, ranging in format from VHS to DVD, and none on Blu-ray or beyond.

While Lon and Allyssa’s consumption of media isn’t typical for home theater enthusiasts, it does bring up an interesting question as to how many movies the true home theater enthusiast might aspire to physically own or have in his or her “digital locker” of sorts.

When I ran my former home theater publication (up until late 2019), I had a writer for me who was Mr. Home Video. He wisely developed relationships with the public relations departments of the seven major Hollywood studios. When he reviewed their movies, he smartly sent them a link (aka: a clipping – a word relevant in the long-ago in Hollywood PR), so that the publicists knew that they got what they needed from the relationship. He got the faucet turned all the way on in terms of films from the studio, be it on DVD, HD-DVD, Blu-ray, and ultimately Ultra-HD-Blu-ray being him sent to him at home. His main goal was to build a mighty collection of silver discs and, as of this day in 2022, he owns over 3,000, but that is a tiny fraction of what he ultimately was sent or reviewed. Those are just the titles that he kept. In a story of smart finance, the fate of the movies that he didn’t keep ended up on eBay.com, where he made a machine to sell relatively new release movies that were watched at most once. He was so successful with this project that he was able, solo, to put his highly capable and ultra-smart daughter through at Top 25 university in California. My wife recently scooped her up as a new hire at the publicly-traded, cyber security company where they now both work.

I can easily get in trouble if I were to make fun of somebody with 3,000 movies, as I have about 2,800 movies and TV shows (not counting 1,200 CDs) on my old-school 56-TB Kaleidescape movie server. I’ve got most of the Top 250 movies. I’ve got all but the latest James Bond movies. I have nearly every TV show worth your time on demand, and many in 1080p Blu-ray quality. The question is, why?

Kaleidescape Server

Unlike music, where I might listen to a recording over and over and over again, there are only so many movies that I am willing to watch beyond, say, a handful of times. Obviously, the category of “home theater demo scenes” is important for any enthusiast looking to show off or test the performance of their system, and that could make up a group of movies that one might circle back to for that one killer sequence, but how many movies will you watch start to finish like you might listen to Magical Mystery Tour or Electric Ladyland or The Wall?

There is a modest group of movies that make my all-time list, but not nearly as many as there are musical recordings that I can’t live without and plan on listening to hundreds and hundreds more times, start to finish, before I am done on this planet. I recently made a list for myself, and it was about 25 movies. Then I asked some of my home theater enthusiast friends, and even if they had big collections of media, they didn’t watch too many of the same movies over and over. Rarely was the answer to my question above 50 movies total, in the all-time/any-time list.

My list of 25 says a lot about me. Airplane!, Fletch, Animal House, The Naked Gun, Caddyshack, Slapshot, Happy Gilmore, This Is Spinal Tap are at one wing of my all-time collection. The Godfather (I and II – don’t even mention III to me), Goodfellas and even Casino are on my list. Pulp Fiction is an easy watch anywhere-anytime. I have more Hollywood, oddball favorites, like David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross and Robert Altman’s The Player. But how much deeper is the core collection? About 25 movies, even though I own almost 3,000 in some format or other.


What’s eye-opening is how my family consumes movies. First off, they watch far more movies and television shows than I do. Until about this time last year, my wife worked as an executive at Amazon Studios and had voting rights for the Emmys, which meant we got nearly every bit of content sent our way with additional digital access. On top of that, we’ve got a well-equipped DirecTV package, as well as streaming options that include Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney+, HBO+, AppleTV and likely others that I don’t even know about. When my wife, mother-in-law, and/or son want to watch content, they go to the Roku and dial in something through the pay services that we have. I can’t remember the last time that they went to the Kaleidescape, although they absolutely could with the flick of a Crestron remote button.

6-CaseLogic  7-Marie-Condo-BookCover

In past homes, I have spent major money on custom cabinetry just to house my various media collections. When I lived in the Brentwood part of West Los Angeles, I had custom woodwork done for SACDs, DVD-Audio discs, 2,000 Compact Discs, DVD-Video discs, HD-DVDs, and Blu-rays. It cost a fortune and was an epic pain in the ass to manage if you wanted to take out a few titles and listen. I ripped the SACDs and DVD-Audio discs onto a portable hard drive, and sold them to an audiophile who was over the moon to get such a robust collection of music in HD. The Compact Discs and DVD-Video discs went into Case Logic cases, and haven’t been touched in a decade. Simply put: there is no reason. You can’t hear or see a difference between a recording on a hard drive and one spinning in an Oppo (I sold my Oppo, too, although it made me sad, as they were one of my favorite AV companies).

Is it Time to Dump Your Silver Disc Collection?

CaddyshackMy question for you is: could it be time to go Marie Condo and look into to the art and beauty of having fewer physical things, in this case, silver discs with movies on them. Imagine how much space you could clear up in your media room if you consolidated your movies? Imagine how much less clutter you would have in your theater? Would you have access to any fewer movies? Unlikely. Would it cost a fortune? Not really, as many of today’s streaming services only cost a fraction of the cost of a Blu-ray. Would you have more 4K video? That is almost a lock with today’s streaming. And for the movies that you don’t already own – you can “rent” them for as low as a few bucks if they aren’t on one of your paid streaming services or your movie isn’t in your digital locker.

Before you write me off as certifiably insane (easier to do than one might think), make your own list of must-have or will-watch-more-than-five-time movies, and report back here in the comments what your number is. Is it 25, 50 or more? What would you do with all of the room that you saved by getting rid of your movies or consolidating them down to a much smaller form factor? Heck, you can even donate them to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. I saw a news segment on the Salvation Army’s receipt just for home video. Maybe you can get some money back on your taxes while modernizing and de-cluttering your theater. That could be a win-win but check with your CPA first – okay?


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Recent Forum Posts:

mono-bloc posts on May 06, 2022 00:39

I'm afraid my DVD / BR collection is restricted to Music concerts / performances. I only have a small collection compared to others here amounting to about 120 disc's. But music DVD's are restricted in both content and numbers produced.

Bucknekked posts on May 05, 2022 13:01
I'm a bit late to the party on this topic. But, like so many other topics that involve media I find it interesting what others think and what they are doing. For my own personal tastes, I keep original media and store it as part of my disaster plan in my gun safe. The original copy of a disc is the final arbiter of “the truth” when it comes to copies of data. Beyond the discs, I have ripped all my media (movies and music) in to a digital library that has many copies on many platforms. The labor is what's valuable and not losing any due to a failure somewhere is relatively easy to construct.

For new stuff however that I do not own a disc, I am happy to watch it via streaming and let it go at that. Most likely its because I am not seeing anything being produced lately that I want to watch more than once. In the odd occurance where something is really good, I will go ahead and buy the disc and put it in my library.

I have an RV and we travel. So having movies for movie night is a very nice feature. The easiest way to achieve that in an RV on the road is simply having the disc and dropping it in the player in the RV. I may try streaming someday but it hasn't happened yet on the road in my RV.

Love the topic. Its always good to know what the other brethren are thinking and doing
lovinthehd posts on May 02, 2022 19:21
brianapp, post: 1555384, member: 39713
Seriously?? The “special edition” crap, IE a reason to re release in theaters to give something to say in the ads as new, with NEW scenes. They did a major clean up of the video and audio giving both the THX treatment, great. They did some re edits, OK. They created several new CG content that looks like crap, sticks out against the totally practically shot original and adds NOTHING to the story. Now if you go to Disney + to stream it that is all you can get. When they did the 30 anniversary release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, they included ALL version on the dvd. We have been waiting 20 years for them to do the same for Star Wars or at least offer a restored but unaltered version.

Never paid attention to the disc releases much, figured some day I might get a BR set reasonably priced once they finished the series but haven't really looked either….but do believe I saw a re-release in a favorite theater of ep.4 many years later (and now many years ago) with some edits….but I probably am not someone who would analyze differences or even notice them. It's not exactly great sci-fi to begin with….can be fun but….
panteragstk posts on May 02, 2022 11:10
Trebdp83, post: 1555418, member: 43634
I really only purchase DC or Marvel movie discs anymore. Though, Disney continues to frustrate. I did not purchase the last couple of Disney Marvel movies on disc because the IMAX Enhanced versions with the expanded aspect ratios are available only on Disney+. Those IMAX Enhanced titles are something to see on my new TV.o_O

Digital rentals are convenient but overpriced. If on sale, I have rented a few here or there. I usually wait for discs at the Redbox and use points or promos to get many of them for free.

Years ago, I made many digital purchases from Microsoft using my XBOX 360. The licenses expired and I was no longer able to view the content and was out a few bucks.

I saw a few had the IMAX Enhanced stuff, but haven't watched yet. I'll have to check some out to see what the fuss is all about.
Trebdp83 posts on May 02, 2022 10:26
I really only purchase DC or Marvel movie discs anymore. Though, Disney continues to frustrate. I did not purchase the last couple of Disney Marvel movies on disc because the IMAX Enhanced versions with the expanded aspect ratios are available only on Disney+. Those IMAX Enhanced titles are something to see on my new TV.o_O

Digital rentals are convenient but overpriced. If on sale, I have rented a few here or there. I usually wait for discs at the Redbox and use points or promos to get many of them for free.

Years ago, I made many digital purchases from Microsoft using my XBOX 360. The licenses expired and I was no longer able to view the content and was out a few bucks.
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