Part 284: The Impact of Movies

Welcome back to the Week of Rockin’ Movies.  Today I wanted to talk about my own movie collection, because pretty much the whole thing rocks.  If you missed a previous installment, click below!

MONDAY:  House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
TUESDAY: The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
WEDNESDAY: 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)

RECORD STORE TALES Part 284:  The Impact of Movies

Way back, I discussed how the CD store began stocking used DVDs.  It was a slam dunk success, once the word got out.  When we had built up decent inventory,which took time, DVD sales really took off.  At first, our DVD purchases were slow.  Not enough people were selling them for us to have a large selection of movies.  In order to help maintain our stock, staff members were initially only allowed to buy one DVD per pay period.  That was to prevent us from taking all the good stuff (although some figured out ways around this if two must-haves arrived at the same time*).  Once inventory exploded, we had boxes and boxes of overstock.  We had to add a new center island to the store for the growing movie section.   Some days, we’d buy a hundred movies, but only a couple CDs.  How things had reversed!   We ended up with DVDs in our Bin O’ Bargains.  (It was in Joe‘s Bargain Bin that I acquired Incident At Loch Ness.)

This ushered in a whole new set of customers.  Now I had customers that weren’t interested in music at all.  Many people exclusively bought and sold DVDs.  I had some that were only interested in buying TV show seasons, which were expensive back then.  Now you can get a whole series for the price of what a season used to cost back then.


My friend and collaborator Aaron hasn’t had cable TV in a dog’s age.  Much like myself, he considers most of what’s on TV to be mindless, useless, and brain-rotting.  So he ditched his cable.

Meanwhile, I still had my cable, but my growing DVD collection was rendering it obsolete.  Once the restrictions were lifted on staff DVD purchases, my collection grew prodigiously.  I endeavored to collect complete filmographies from the directors that I liked.  I sought all the Kubricks, then everything by Sam Raimi, and Terry Gilliam.

Then one day in 2003, I decided to follow Aaron’s example.  If he could do it I could do it too, so I decided that I didn’t need the brain-rotting tube anymore.  I was hardly watching it anyway.  Rogers don’t like losing customers, the customer service rep asked me, “But what will you watch?” He didn’t get it.  I guess not too many people decide they’re not going to watch TV anymore, and this was long before Netflix.  Once I declined all his offers for deals and discounts, my cable was disconnected.

I lived happily without cable for five whole years.  Only my massive movie and music collection kept me company.  I enjoyed saving the money, and I continued to immerse myself in new movies all the time.  In fact, in the latter days of the record store, when I was miserable, I was more into movies than music.  Music didn’t bring me the joy it once had, it was a dark time for me.  That was when movies had their greatest impact on me.

Then I got a new job. Then I got married.  To a Maple Leafs fan.

One of the pre-conditions of marriage was that we were getting cable again.  Another pre-condition was that Mrs. LeBrain was to get the TV any time there was a hockey game on.  During hockey season, that’s three nights a week.  I didn’t realize that when the Leafs were (inevitably) knocked out of a playoff position, that Mrs. LeBrain was still going to watch hockey games right to the Stanley Cup.  I didn’t get that.  My movie watching time went down, and down, and down.  Eventually, I just gave up custody of the remote control.  I sat by as hockey and then reality TV sadly took over my screen.

I still have my movie collection, pared down a bit, to the 4 or 5 hundred that I love most.  I just wish I had more time to watch them!  Unfortunately, the Leafs are playing the Florida Panthers tonight.  Maybe I can schedule some movie time during the playoffs, since Toronto was eliminated last night.

* to be discussed in a future Record Store Tale…the story of Ivan.



  1. I like movies a lot too … but I never buy DVDs – only rent them – because, unlike CDs , I don’t watch to many movies more than once.

    And … I hate Stanley Kubrick movies! Passionately!


      1. Stephen King, who wrote “The Shining”, said that he hated the movie-version of his book that Kubrick made…and that he’d never let him director any more movies based on his books.

        I agree with him. The movie “The Shining”, like every other Kubrick film, is very over-rated!

        Sorry…just my opinion.


        1. Yup I have read that before and not just from Stephen King. The guy who wrote Eyes Wide Shut felt that way too. I have a book on the making of Eyes Wide Shut and there was a lot of conflict there too.

          You may enjoy Spartacus, that’s about as mainstream as Kubrick movies got. No weirdness in Spartacus.


  2. Nice collection! I’m not sure how many DVDs I own (it’s many!). I am a movie watcher for sure! Hardly watch any live tv (but have it because the hubs works in tv and can get a discount, but we don’t watch much live).


  3. Before people think I’m a Luddite, I own many DVDs (though not as many as Mike, apparently), and we get more from the library all the time. With all of that and an internet connection for news and blogs, and many library books, I’m set for watching and content. As for the cable, it was 1996 when I gave it up. And I didn’t even watch it much prior to that. I was living with a girl at the time, and the TV belonged to her. We never fought over what to watch because I just didn’t care, and left the room (generally) when it was on. When we split up, she took all of that crap with her and I just never bothered to replace it. I like to think that my head is much quieter, not having been subjected to all of the inanities of TV (shows AND adverts), but I have nothing scientific to prove it.

    I wonder if anyone uses it for (as Sarca called it) live TV anymore. Even my parents PVR things, and if they can figure that out, most people can (and probably do). When I worked at the bank, I was always shocked when I saw people’s cable bills, though. Ugh. I can think of much better ways to spend that much money per month.

    Funnily enough, the one thing I do miss is hockey. Well, not hockey prior to when they (necessarily) changed the rules to disallow all the hooking and interference they’d allowed for a few years, there. Oh, and I still strongly dislike teams that play the trap. I know it works (New Jersey won a Stanley Cup with the damn thing) but it’s really, really boring hockey to watch. Anyway, I’d be with Mrs. Lebrain on this one, hockey is one of the pleasures. I only ever managed Saturday night Hockey Night In Canada (we didn’t have a cable package for more channels thus more games). But if I had a TV, that’d probably be the only thing I’d watch.

    Mike, my lovely wife told me that Strombo’s gonna be on HNIC as the new Ron McLean. Whaddaya think of THAT? Me, I think he’d need to slow down – he talks too fast, most times. But if he’s passionate about the game, hes a good, young presence for the game. Anyway.

    Mike, you’re missing an obvious solution, here. The big box stores will sell you a 19″ TV for
    about $100. Or spend $200 and get 32″. Whatever, that with a $40 blu-ray player and you could have your own little viewing center in the offices of Lebrain Enterprises and watch whatever you damn well please while the hockey is on.

    This is a good write-up, though. I like the way it pulls the reader along. Good on ya, mate!


    1. Oh, and if I don’t have a TV how do I know hockey’s better to watch after the rules changes? My parents live an hour and a half away, but whenever I’m there, my Dad has the hockey on.


    2. When we move and I have my man-cave, this TV conflicts will be a thing of the past!

      And yeah I heard that about Strombo. I don’t know man. I really like his insight with things like the Rush interview he did. Or Robert Plant. It has to be tricky interviewing a guy like Robert Plant, and he did a great job. Sports though? I just don’t know. It’s a whole different game (pun intended).


  4. If you guys watched tv, you would have watched Strombo’s show probably, and you would know how passionate he is about hockey. He is a real fan and he is also a great interviewer. I think it’s a very imaginative move.
    Does Mrs. LeBrain not make any demands to have the tv for the Blue Jay games?


  5. My condolences to Mrs. LeBrain after the late season Leaf collapse. I found the Olympics were so strong this year that the NHL doesn’t seem quite up to the same standard. I’ll probably still watch all the Penguin games though.

    Nice collection!


    1. Thanks man!

      When the Leafs are out, I have “permission” to cheer for the team I like, which would be Boston. GO BRUINS!

      In know Jon Wilmenius is NOT a Boston fan!


      1. When Joe Sakic retired, that was the last of my childhood heroes to play in the NHL so since then I can’t say I’ve had a huge emotional investment.

        Which may have actually made watching more enjoyable – last year I cheered for the Bruins because of Jagr. In addtion to his supreme talent, I admired how long he kept the mullet alive in the 90s!


        1. I think it’s a style everyone should sport at least once!

          He’s a beast, I think he’s 6’9″ off the ice, throw on the skates and equipment and he’s quite the presence. Nice to see Iginla having a great year in Boston as well


      1. Me too. Things used to turn around in the collection a bit better when Blockbuster still existed and I could take some DVDs in for trading. Not any more…Now I don’t even know what’s in there…


        1. Yeah, my thing is I’d rather give my movies away to someone who would enjoy them, than sell them for $1 or $2. I used to be able to get $5-$10, but prices have dropped a lot since.


  6. Awesome. I managed the transition from VHS to DVD at the store. It was my baby, then some guy was hired and he made my life miserable. Thankfully he got fired but my lust for the gig had long been gone. I find myself these days really not watching stuff aside from kids shows and the occasional glimpse at an A’s or Warriors game when I get a moment. We don’t have cable in the main room but we have a streaming device and we just use that. I’m not a huge movie buff, but tend to like stuff I can watch over and over again, just for the quotes. My partner hates tv, I really do love it, well I love the idea of it but for the majority of my adult life I’ve not had cable. Watched way too much growing up. Yeah I was a latch key kid and damn proud of it!!


    1. Occasional someone will say to me, “You need to see this show. It’s amazing.” I usually go from there to Wikipedia to learn more.
      The last time I was hooked on a show was Breaking Bad. Bought season 1. Bought 2, 3, 4, and BOTH 5’s. I was hooked.

      I’m curious about Game of Thrones now.


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