September 28, 2000

Viewer Discretion Advised

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The door in the men’s room of Uris Hall swung open in slow motion and as I turned the corner to fill the one empty urinal, it dawned on me in whose presence I was relieving myself. At that moment, together in one room were Professor “X,” Professor “Y,” Professor “Z” and me. I write a DVD column while these men (whose names were removed by the law office to protect the innocent) were prodigies, pissing away the minor threads of stupidity in their systems and making way for new society-shaking theories. The room was filled with an intellectual silence and it dawned on me that those three men comprised some of the most influential schools of thought within this university as well as throughout the educated world. The collective genius in the room was mind crushing and while I stood there, staring at the wall, engrossed in a secret battle to see which man would continue their stream the longest, I started to think about this weeks DVDs.

Like tapping on a baby’s soft spot, some DVDs can be wildly entertaining. On the other hand, you might find that talking about these movies in public earns you the disrespect of your peers, and somehow gets your name on the mailing list for: a) a satanic cult in middle America, b) Planned Parenthood, and c) the new Visa platinum card. I’m not particularly sure how these groups get the names for their mailing lists, but if I were you, I would stay in doors and watch the following movies. This week’s new hot DVDs are From Dusk Till Dawn and The Scream Trilogy.

When I first showed From Dusk Till Dawn to my roommate freshman year, he was appalled at its comic book-esque story line and its neglect for an intellectual transfer from a gripping drama to a schlock horror film. Obviously I should have put on a different movie six minutes after our parents left on that move-in day back in August of 1998, but I didn’t, and he subsequently transferred to NYU.

Looking back on the episode I know now that it wasn’t the movie that drove him away, but rather the format he viewed it in. VHS (sorry to use the “V” word) just couldn’t handle this movie. In its DVD incarnation you get numerous deleted scenes, cast commentaries and a new featurette that outlines the making of the film. This is a charming story of a family vacation and the violent debauchery that takes place south of the border.

The Scream Trilogy is a four disc set that not only delivers the same plot line on three separate discs, but also includes a bonus disc with interviews with the cast that delve into where the actors got their motivation. Says one star, “I stared at the title of the movie for about 12 hours, yelled obnoxiously when the cameras were rolling, and trusted that director Wes Craven would weave the scenes together into a coherent story line.”

I would have thought more but my stream was dwindling and Professor “Z” was already washing up. Time was short and so I wondered aloud, “Will I ever be surrounded by such intellectually gagging pee-buddies again?” But this only won me an uncomfortable glance from Professor “Z,” and Professor “Y” just shook his head and turned away. I left that room with an accomplished column and a feeling of self-assurance that I go to a great University. And for what it’s worth, Professor “X” went the longest.

Archived article by Bradley Werner