November 9, 2000

Viewer Discretion Advised

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While researching this week’s column in my study, deep in the bowels of Uris Library, some strong emotions filled the stale air. My study, which is never visited by other students, resides well below the fish-bowl, the cocktail room, and the stacks. The room is aptly named “the Dugeon,” which I’m sure was supposed to be named “the Dungeon,” but someone stole the “n” well before I started visiting the place.

Down in the depths of the Dugeon, 99 monks and I were doing research for my article. Time was going by quickly because the monks were chanting their renditions of Richie Haven songs. All was well, until suddenly a fight broke out between Brainy- and Vanity Monk about this weeks DVDs.

“Gentlemen,” I said, “before you bring your problems to ‘Papa Monk,’ why not tell me what the problem is?”

Vanity Monk then explained to me that the Special Edition release of Mission: Impossible 2 includes audio commentary by director John Woo, exclusive cast and crew interviews, a segment on stunt sequences featuring interviews with Tom Cruise, a stunts featurette entitled “Mission Incredible,” an alternate title sequence, a Metallica “I Disappear” music video, a parody of M:I-2 on the MTV Movie Awards with Ben Stiller, and theatrical trailers.

The argument that Brainy Monk advanced was that the Metallica video belonged on the Donnie Brasco DVD because all it has is audio commentary by director Mike Newell, deleted scenes, interviews, cast bios, a photo gallery, and production notes.

Obviously, I was out of my element and the tension in the room was getting so high that some of the monks were starting to forget Richie’s lyrics. I headed over to the Statler for lunch and while waiting in line for my chicken Caesar wrap, watching those luscious folds of green get mixed and tossed about in that creamy Caesar dressing, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “I can’t believe Bush is the freakin” president.” My arms started flailing about wildly and I went into a short episode of anaphylactic shock, then stopped, straightened myself out, and left the Statler.

When I returned to the Dugeon to finish this article, I found that Jokey Monk, Grouchy Monk, and Clumsy Monk now joined Brainy and Vanity in their debate. Grouchy Monk felt that the Metallica video didn’t belong on DVD at all, Jokey Monk felt that the video should be converted to MP3, and Clumsy Monk finally blurted out that the video belonged on this weeks release of Beastie Boys: DVD Video Anthology, which includes audio commentary by video directors Adam Bernstein, Evan Bernard, Tamra Davis, Spike Jonze, Ari Marcopoulos, and David Perez, an interview with the cast of Sabotage, the world premiere director’s cut of Nathanial Hornblower’s “Intergalactic” spin-off “The Robot vs. the Octopus Monster Saga,” storyboards, rare still photographs, a cappella versions of some songs, more than 40 remixes, and over 100 multiple video angles and audio tracks, switchable at anytime during playback. Clumsy’s take on the situation was that the Beastie’s DVD was more music oriented and thus allowed for the Metallica video to be on it.

Before any more argument could ensue, Papa Monk walked in and quieted the crowd. “Monks, we have to monk hard because Brad has an article to write,” he said. “If we want this week’s column to be monky, we need to monk like we’ve never monked before. So please get back to your tables and monk him to write a monkalicious piece.”

At that, silence filled the room. I retired to a private place with Monkette and the monks went back to work and went on humming Richie Havens.

Archived article by Bradley Werner