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Thrift Store Adventures Volume 5: VHS Edition

The last few themed installments of Thrift Store Adventures turned out better than expected, so I’d like to ride the coattails of Ryan’s review of V/H/S with a discussion of VHS tapes, most commonly found in thrift stores, along with used bookstores and garage sales. To be realistic, VHS tapes are outdated, bulky, you can degrade the tape by rewinding it improperly, you can degrade the tape by watching it too many times, magnets don’t really work well around them and they’re afraid of water. Why watch something on VHS when you can watch it on Bluray? Well, “it’s not available on Bluray or even DVD” is the best answer to that. I collect VHS tapes because they’re cheap, and because I have a fondness for 90s anime. Most have made it to DVD, although when a production studio closes the distribution rights it owned may not be immediately available. Some are formally out of print, or in that græy area until another studio comes along to re-re-release the anime on Bluray. It’s an innocent “thrill of the hunt” kind of collection, where I’ll occasionally look through a thrift store’s VHS selection and see if there’s anything I recognize or anything that looks cool, and might only pay more for something I clearly owned or wanted to own. Here are seven examples of the kinds of tapes I’d buy: Read the rest of this entry

Terminator 2: A Film Class Analysis

 

What follows is an analysis I wrote tonight for my American Cinema class regarding Terminator 2 as it relates to science fiction genre conventions.  Participation in this class could generously be referred to as “woeful”, and rather than launch my work pointlessly into the ether, I thought it might be fun to share it with readers here.  This is by no means a complete synopsis of the film, I could talk for days about this one.  Rather it focuses on two or three genre conventions, and approaches the story from that standpoint.  My cap for this assignment was also three double-spaced pages, or about 800 words.  I came in just under the line.  Imagine, struggling to edit DOWN to a cap for a college paper rather than arbitrarily ballooning out sentences to meet some ridiculous minimum requirement.  It was a pleasure to write.  Quoted and page-referenced lines are taken from the textbook American Cinema, American Culture, by John Belton.  It’s a good read, I recommend picking it up if you get a chance.

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