Time And Again

Though I’ve never seen it, I bought a copy of Wall Streeton Blu-Ray this week.

I’ve heard it’s a good movie, and rather significant, and all that, I’ve just never really cared enough to watch it.

I bought it because the sequel is coming out this weekend, and I want to watch the first one so I can watch the second.

That said, my feelings about the sequel are really not that much different than the first. It looks rather interesting, but I don’t know that it’s really something I would, for its own merits, be in a big hurry to go see.

Either movie individually, I’d be somewhat blasé about. Put both of them together, and I’m extremely interested.

Basically, it’s less the plots of either movie that I’m interested in, than the passage of time between the two. Between the two movies is a span of 23 years, and I’m a sucker for long-term storytelling like that.

I watched the original Rockyon DVD, but, while I’ve seen bits and pieces of the next four Rocky movies, I’ve never watched any of them all the way through. I never had any desire to do so. Rocky Balboa,I watched the weekend it opened. I loved the idea of the character being revisited 16 years after the last movie, and 30 years after the first.

I’m also a sucker for aging for some reason, and can easily get into movies that deal with that subject. It wasn’t as long a gap since the first movie, but that’s part of why I love Star Trek II,which is a meditation on the aging of Kirk and his crew, 16 years after the beginning of the five-year mission. It’s fascinating to see them deal with being past their prime, a theme that was even more prevalent in Rocky Balboa; you never see movies about action heroes after the action ends. This was one of my disappointments with the latest Indiana Jonesmovie, I would have preferred it deal a little more with aging and the passage of time. (One of my disappointments.)

To a lesser extent, Kevin Smith dealt with this in a different way in Clerks II;his characters are still young, but at an age that they should no longer be the man-children that they were in the first film. I’m intrigued by the rumors of a third Bill & Ted movie for the same reasons. I have a hard time envisioning a real-time-aged Bill and Ted.

And, oh, sweet Tron: Legacy. Old Jeff Bridges and young Jeff Bridges in the same movie? Yeah, count me in.

What about you? Do you have any favorite long-delay sequels?

Home Movie Watching Poll

So I saw in the newspaper last Sunday that Best Buy was running a sale on the awesome Jeff Bridges country music movie Crazy Hearton Blu-Ray. Now, I don’t necessarily want to watch it right now, but it’s definitely a movie I could see myself wanting to watch and/or inflict on others in the future. So there’s some temptation to go ahead and buy it now to have when that day comes.

The problem with that is this that I’m beginning to fear that I made a mistake. I watched the format wars between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD with great interest, planning to upgrade from DVDs the moment there was a clear winner. By Christmas two years ago, it was obvious Blu-Ray had one, and I got a Blu-Ray player.

I wanted to switch as early as possible because I buy a decent number of movies, and didn’t want to keep investing in DVDs, which at that point were clearly an obsolete format. But now I’m wondering if I’ve done the thing I was trying to avoid doing. I was so focused on which format was going to come out on top that I never stopped to consider that the issue of which physical medium would win was beside the point.

Online digital streaming and downloads are becoming increasingly common. To be honest, even after investing in Blu-Ray, I probably watch more television shows that I download from iTunes than I do movies that I buy on disc. And it sounds like Apple is about to take things further with Apple TV (iTV?) soon, which could further the balance.

So, yeah, if I buy Crazy Heart on Blu-Ray this week, am I doing exactly what I tried to avoid doing with DVD two years ago? By the time I want to watch it, will I be wondering why I was still investing in physical media in late 2010?

I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on the matter.