And while some of his reasons are a little far fetched and wonky, I agree with the sentiment. Everyone I know, and I mean EVERYONE has been moving to digital media the last few years. People are ripping films to their computers and ditching their collections. People are subsisting off Netflix, and Hulu and Amazon Prime. People are snagging digital codes and filling out their Vudu dance cards.
And yet they still come to my house to borrow movies.
Why? Because the movie they want isn't on Netflix. Or Hulu or Amazon. Not at the time they want to watch it anyway. That's reason one. In the instant gratification nation we live in, I don't want to wait for Top Gun to show up somewhere if I feel the need for speed. I own it. I'll watch it. Oh, the sixth movie in that franchise is coming out this summer and you want a refresher before hand? Got you covered.
I'm the guy who can get it for you.
Mostly because I've already got it. I'm even a contentious buyer, always choosing the BluRay/DVD combo pack if it's available, because I know some people haven't upgraded to blu ray yet, and this way I can still loan things out.
I’ve championed physical media for years, first VHS, then laserdisc, then DVD, now BluRay, and maybe 4K down the road. Between my girlfriend and I, we have over 3500 titles, all alphabetized, catalogued in a computerized database and stored on custom built bookshelves. No worries about a film dropping off Netflix, or that a storm knocked the internet out. or my Plex server is acting weird.
Are there inconveniences? Sure. Moving sucks. When we moved into our new place, the first thing we set up, before the bed, or the kitchen or bathroom (you know, essentials) was the DVD shelf. I had to, so that I could unpack the 26 boxes of movies and get them out of the way before the rest of the furniture arrived. And yes, physical media is prone to scratches, or kids with peanut butter hands. But you know what? Just like anything else important, with a little care you never have to worry about stuff like that. Not really. Treat em like you would books. Don't break the spines or dog ear the pages. Oh, and if I wanna watch something, I do have to go all the way downstairs to get it.
These are things I can live with.
I’ll admit, I’m a package whore. I love all the little bonus things like collectible posters and lobby cards and figures and poker chips that they package in special editions. We collect Steelbooks, so it's not even uncommon for us to spend hard earned cash on a movie we already own just to upgrade to a better edition or cooler box. I love the box art, I love browsing in stores just taking in the artwork, original theatrical poster or otherwise. And yes, I even go so far as to set up the box on the TV stand after popping a disc in to showcase what's "now playing", just like we used to do at the video store. I love the special features (even if I don't watch them), director's commentary (check out Paul Verhoeven and Arnold Schwarzenegger on Total Recall for a hoot). I love the menus, especially when they are clever and pretty.
Sure, streaming is convenient, but nothing will ever replace the tactile experience of scanning the shelf, pulling down a title, and setting it to spin. And when the inevitable apocalypse comes and brings the media clouds crashing down, I'll fire up my doomsday generator, pop some corn and watch a flick while you all fight the zombie hordes.