|So as promised, here's the post recapping B-Fest 2006.|
B-Fest, for those who have been ignoring my journal, is Northwestern University's horror, science fiction, and B-movie festival. That's twenty four hours of genre films and schlock. There's significant overlap between those two worlds.
This is my second time attending, and I carpooled with evil_jim, matt_william and henrietta1. Jim insists on attending B-Fest without knowing what's playing first, so we didn't discuss what we'd be seeing, but I'd gone through the list a few days previously and was surprised at some of the A-list films on the list. Now that I'm back, well, I can honestly say that I am no longer surprised.
Anyway, before we get rollin' here, I should point out that I've created about seven hundred cuts (well okay, twenty three) so that this post doesn't monopolize your Friends page. Most people probably won't be interested in reading most of it. The first couple of cuts and the last one bookend the actual festival, and I've also briefly discussed everything we watched. You're a smart kid, so I s'pose you probably figured it out before you finished reading this paragraph.
On Friday morning I got up, showered and dressed around my usual time, but rather than going straight out to work, I finished packing for the weekend, loaded my car, and headed out at 9:40 toward Jim's house. When I arrived, we transferred my things from my car to his trunk, and then set out to pick up Matt and Sarah on our way to B-Fest 2006!
The drive down was pleasant. We listened to an an extremely eclectic mix Sarah had made from the 365 Days Project, and Jim had brought along the archive of Songs to Wear Pants To. We didn't have to stop for any of the tolls because Jim broke down and bought an I-Pass.
We arrived in Algonquin, Illinois and found Tim's apartment. Tim is a good friend of the group whom Sarah knows from her college days. When we found his place, we stowed our luggage, met his fiance Jessica, and left to stock up on munchies for the film festival at Mitsuwa Marketplace.
Usually I tell my friends when I'm going to Mitsuwa so that they can tell me if they want me to pick anything up for them. I'm glad I didn't this time. The plan had been to grab lunch and do some minimal shopping on Friday, and then return to Mitsuwa on the way home. When Sunday came around, however, everybody was more interested in getting home than making a significantly long side trip. Consequently, we only stopped there briefly on Friday. Along with my lunch I braved the dubious-sounding avacado smoothie, which turned out to be pleasantly bland, but had the effect of grossing out my companions.
Anyway, we did our shopping. I just picked up some snack foods which ranged from "pudding marshmallows" to wasabi twists. Nothing too exciting. I was very dismayed to learn that the Yuki Discount Store has closed. Now where I am going to get my stainless steel sporks?
Around 3:00 we left Mitsuwa for the Northwestern University campus, and I got a nice ego boost from Jim's choice of Science Fiction PC Speaker as driving music. We got to the campus around 4:00, got our tickets and staked out our seats on the stage-left side of the theater. Then we mingled with the other attendees.
I met TelstarMan, and by "met" I mean "participated in a small group discussion about movies while he sold us CDs." TelstarMan (who derives his name from the piece of instrumental music, not its satellite namesake) is a guy everybody at B-Fest seems to be aware of, even if they've never attended before. He makes an annual mix CD of B-Fest-inspired/related music which he sells pretty much at cost ("one for $3, two for $5, or as many as you want for $3 if you make 'em at home"). The highlights of the B-Fest 2006 mix include a song by Clint Eastwood, a track from the soundtrack from The Apple (an Orwellian glam-rock musical which was shown at B-Fest last year), and, as always, some random version of Telstar.
The other song that always appears on TelstarMan's CDs is The Cockroach that Ate Cincinati by Rose & The Arrangement. I despise that song with the irrational anger of a thousand firey red hot suns, but remembering not to rip it as an MP3 onto my hard drive is a small price to pay for gems like the Sammy Davis Jr. cover of the theme from Shaft (well, that and $3). Anyway, TelstarMan, if you're reading this (and he might since he has a livejournal (which has only been updated once (but it was recently))), I recommend that you check out Cheepnis by Frank Zappa. Of course, I recommend that everyone check out Cheepnis by Frank Zappa. It's a great little song about monster movies.
Eventually, they ushered everybody out of the theater, then filed us in one by one so they could check our tickets. On the way inside I recieved a copy of the program and my complementary Official B-Fest 2006 Plastic Cup, an Official B-Fest 2006 Temporary Tattoo, and a pair of Official B-Fest 2006 3D Glasses. I got back into the theater, found my seat, and read through the program. The show started at six.
Here's the lineup, with commentary:
6:00 p.m. Introduction
Welcome, here are our sponsors, etc., etc. Nothing of too much consequence, just a general "hi, welcome, sit down."
6:05 p.m. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
I haven't seen Superman IV since its original release when I saw it with my friend Ben, and I don't remember being terribly impressed with it then, either. The plot: Some little kid wants Superman to disarm the world's nukes, Lex Luthor clones an evil Superman to do his bidding, and I can't figure out whether Margot Kidder is attractive or not. The movie pushes a couple of political hot-buttons, but otherwise feels like an anti-war version of those mid-'80s PSAs which featured characters from popular kids' shows ("I pity the fool who don't drink his milk!"). Christopher Reeve was credited as a cowriter of the screenplay, but I'm not sure how Gene Hackman got roped into this particular sequel -- poor guy must have been fulfilling a contractual obligation. The whole theater yelled through most of the movie, so I didn't catch much of the dialogue.
Superman introduced a lot of B-Fest's audience-participation conventions. At numerous points people got up onstage to interact with the movie characters. Others had created signs to show at appropriate times during the films. One gentleman had brought a large wheel from a toy car, which he rolled across the stage after nearly every explosion, and acts of violence and misogyny were accompanied by shouts of "USA! USA!" from the audience. Jim and I did a fair amount of yelling during the movies, so did Tim and Jessica. I think everybody cracked some pretty good jokes.
7:40 p.m. Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3D
B-Fest will probably be my only opportunity to see 3D movies in a theater, so I enjoyed the opportunity. The plot of this one, essentially, revolves around an anthropological expedition which ends in disaster when something starts killing the participants.
You've seen this movie before at least twice with a different title. Creature is a movie which has been imitated so many times that it no longer seems original, but discounting that it really is pretty good. The pacing could be better, as there are long stretches which are devoid both of action and significant plot development. It probably sounds stupid, but for me the high point of the movie was the moment when, as a fish swam toward the camera, somebody behind us yelled "holy mackerel!", and Jim and I both turned around at the same time and yelled "oh my cod!" You can't rehearse something like that. Well, you can, but we didn't.
9:05 p.m. Godzilla (1998)
I remember seeing this on its initial release, and though I wasn't enthralled, I don't remember it sucking so much. Very probably I was taken in by the action on my first viewing, as there seems to be an awful lot of it. Now though, I can see the film's flaws through its clever pacing. Godzilla is too portentous and runs longer than it needs to, thanks to a couple of false endings which worked the first time I saw it, but dragged the second time. It could have been very entertaining had the story been less serious, but instead they chose to cast a whole bunch of comedians in a very grave movie which (unlike Japanese Godzilla movies) disdains campiness rather than embracing it. I had a hard time sitting through this film. A lot of festival participants referred to it as G.I.N.O. -- Godzilla in Name Only. Initially I was disappointed that the producers declined to include Godzilla by Blue Öyster Cult in the soundtrack, but in retrospect, I appreciate that the song remains untainted.
11:25 p.m. Raffle for Door Prizes
Yep. There was a raffle. Jessica won a copy of The Damned, which I gather is about transvestitism in Nazi Germany. I don't much care to find out. Anyway, many prizes were given out, and the most popular seemed to be DVD copies of The Wizard of Speed and Time. Speaking of which...
11:45 p.m. The Wizard of Speed and Time
This is the live-action, stop-motion, short version of the film which, as I said in my VoicePost, is the happiest thing ever committed to celluloid. Ever. People streamed the stage to participate in its showing, and it was very much enjoyed by new B-Fest attendees. After the film finished, they ran it again backwards and upside-down. It kicked the collective adrenaline level up a few notches, which is just what we needed.
midnight Plan 9 From Outer Space
Plan 9 is considered by many to be the "worst movie of all time," and I have to wonder just what the criteria for that title are. When I try to think of what would have been the worst movie I've ever seen, I tend to think of things like Dungeons and Dragons which was expensive to make, received a tremendous amount of hype, and ended up being painfully difficult to sit through. Plan 9 is a cakewalk by comparison. Sure, its failure lost somebody's small fortune (approximately $60,000), but it's downright entertaining for people going into it knowing it's bad. I can't say the same for Dungeons and Dragons.
So what's so bad about Plan 9? Mostly it's full of mistakes because they did too few takes of any given scene. A gravestone wobbles when somebody bumps into it. Day changes to night and then back again in several scenes. A man walks offscreen and is hit by a car, but his shadow shows that the actor is standing just out of shot. An actress is referred to both by her character's name, and by her real name. The script could also have used some tuning up -- the film opens with a speech about how the future events which inspired the movie are taken from the sworn testimony of the participants. Ultimately, the conflict hinges on the "fact" that sunlight is comprised of atoms.
The midnight showing of Plan 9 is a staple of B-Fest, and has audience participation traditions similar to those of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Every time Tor Johnson appears on screen, people shout out "TOR!" Bela Lugosi's appearance is always accompanied by "BELA!", but as his character is mostly played by someone else, the other actor is always greeted as "NOT BELA!" There's also an ongoing argument over whether the patio furniture in the movie (which is also the bedroom furniture...) is wicker or rattan. Frankly, I think it looks like cast aluminum, but I'm sure I'm outvoted. My favorite of these traditions is the flinging of paper plates, which is done whenever a flying saucer appears onscreen. Many in the audience bring huge stacks of plates and write messages on them. I saved quite a few to and have transcribed them below. No, they don't make sense to me, either.
- B-Fest: You are getting geeky... Veeeeerrrry geeeeeeky.
- My wife spends all my money... She's mad I wrote this. Sometimes the truth hurts.
- Fight or Fuck? Tor and Vampira.
- PAPER PLATE MAD LIBS: (name of movie) is the most (adjective) movie in the (place)!
- Do I know you?
- They're dead, Jim!
- I am single male. Call me at 773-XXX-XXXX
- What the f*** is the internet?
- Young Love
- William Shatner for B-Fest President
- Gurney-Cock Mambaza will educate you about tertiary colors. 765-XXX-XXXX
- Mr. French
- Bela Lugosi's Chiropractor
- This plate intentionally left blank.
- The truth is in her.
- I want a pet Godzilla.
- Up from the depths - 30 stories high - breathing fire - his head in the sky... GODZILLA & GODZUKI!
- Plate 1985
- I go to eleven.
- 'Twas bullets killed the beast!
- I'm training to be a cage Tighter. - Kip
- Plate on the Moon
- I don't really have anything funny to say.
- I am still single male. Call me at 773-XXX-XXXX
- Your weapons are useless. Reliance upon them is death.
- You all smell!
- NO PANTS.
- What's your problem?
- Superman to UN: "Obey me!"
- Queen on Outer Space, eh? Well I didn't vote for you!
- Single male. 773-XXX-XXXX
- Plate 18: Plategrinder
- The KringleCityConspiracy.com
- The Texas Plate Massacre.
- Entropy! Coming soon.
- Plan 8
- Lars Hansen is going to be my advisor.
- Can you get the vacuum to fuck this cake?
- laze's! pew pew pew
- Plan 7
- Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
- Meesa hate Jar-Jar!
- BAKED SCROD
- She-Ra was hot.
1:20 a.m. Coffy
Another B-Fest tradition is the early-morning blaxploitation film, and this year's was Coffy. I actually like Coffy, though I have to confess to having slept through a bit of it. Coffy is the anti-Charlie's Angels with Pam Grier as the titular nurse-turned-vigilante. It's popcorn cinema, but it also pushes a lot of buttons and breaks a lot of gender rules. True blaxploitation films are interesting because they were made by enterprising white people to pander to a certain segment of pissed off African Americans at a time when the people involved thought they were doing something important. These days everybody's embarrassed about those movies, no matter what color their skin is. I wonder how we'll feel in 30 years about Hollywood's current crop of exploitive attitudes.
Uh, anyway... Coffy... Worth checking out as an outstanding example of a dead genre. Also because it features a young, svelte Sid Haig (Captain Spaulding from Rob Zombie's films), and of course Pam Grier.
3:00 a.m. Mystery Short
Knights on Bikes was a short film which, amazingly, is exactly what its title says it is. Even more amazing is that it was directed by Ken Russell, whom you know as the director of The Who's Tommy, Lisztomania, Altered States, and The Lair of the White Worm. IMDB lists this as his second film, so apparently Mr. Russell has sunk to his highest level. The general reaction to Knights on Bikes was a whole lot of "WTF?" with a little "zzz" mixed in.
3:15 a.m. Gas-s-s-s!
Perhaps I would appreciate Gas-s-s-s! better if I hadn't left to make my VoicePost in the middle of it, but I doubt it. Gas-s-s-s! is a completely incomprehensible, post-apocalyptic hippie comedy directed by the great Roger Corman and aimed squarely at the sort of people who would have purchased tickets to movies like The Monkee's Head and Frank Zappa's 200 Motels. I can tell that there is a plot, and that I missed it, though I did appreciate the little bit of identifiable social commentary which did show through (namely, the bad guys are a team of fascist football players). Also interesting to see Talia Shire, Ben Vareen, and Bud Cort in early roles, but not otherwise recommended (probably). As I said, I ignored a lot of the movie, and it didn't help that a lot of people were catching their second wind as the movie started and yelling through the whole thing.
4:40 a.m. Tromeo & Juliet
Troma films are another staple of B-Fest, which is unfortunate because they are nearly always unwatchable for me. Tromeo & Juliet is the exception, which does not mean that I'm recommending it. As one might guess from the title, T&J is Troma's version of Romeo and Juliet. The tagline on movie's poster reads, "Body piercing, kinky sex, dismemberment. The things that made Shakespeare great.", and this is a very accurate description of the movie's content. T&J boasts Troma's highest production value (at least up to its release in 1996), and is the only Romeo and Juliet adaptation I can think of which features an onscreen nipple piercing and a pregnancy which ends with rats and popcorn erupting from Juliet's bloated stomach. I mention these things as a litmus test. If they sound fun to you, then by all means, see Tromeo & Juliet. If not, stay far, far away. I like this movie, but the last time I saw it was in November, 2000, after crabmoon begged me to bring it over to theenigma42's house, and then begged me to turn it off. I'm not likely to revisit it for at least another four years.
T&J was preceded by a trailer for Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, which looks fun. Matt suggested that I check it out, and since Jim is also interested, I may be gullible enough to do it.
6:35 a.m. Mystery Shorts
Tomb It May Concern
I can't even find an IMDB page for this one, and I tried misspelling it a couple of times. Tomb Itmay Concern is some kind of softcore porn short which takes place in a newly discovered Egyptian tomb. That's about as far as we got, and I'm assuming it's porn because we got a look at the mummified (read: standing still) princess with little tape Xs covering her nipples just before the film abruptly stopped. Jim was posting to his journal at the time and totally missed this one. Big loss for Jim. Really.
There was another short -- I have no idea what it was called. Black and white, looks to have been made in the early '70s. Tasted a lot like David Lynch's earliest films, but wasn't him. Mostly it featured a woman singing in a faux-operatic voice (faux because she's obviously not well trained) as she dances around a teenage kid and physically molests him. I'd like to see it again, if only to get past the initial "what... the hell... is this?" reaction, which was experienced by everybody in the theater.
ADDENDUM: I am informed by Sarah this film is called "You Are What You Eat." Go figure.
We thought this was called Rap, but I can't find it on IMDB. It's a short film about gender roles which really doesn't have an agenda or even a point, much like last year's Masculine or Feminine? Recommended for anybody hoping to see penises when they least expect to, but not for anybody else.
6:55 a.m. Graffiti Bridge
This is a Prince musical which I was either unaware of or blocked out of my memory. The story has something to do with rival nightclub owners. Shortly after it started I got bored and decided to go to sleep (emphasis on that word because I want to stress that I consciously realized that Graffiti Bridge wasn't worth my time). I woke up again as the last song was ending. IMDB tells me that I missed some subplot about angels and demons, but I just don't care.
At this point, I realize that I'm saying a lot of negative things, and I feel the need to mention that I did have a great time at B-Fest. Even the worst movies were mostly entertaining, thanks to constant mockery provided by the audience.
8:35 a.m. Earth Girls are Easy
Earth Girls are Easy was a surprise hit for the group I was with. I'm not sure why this was a such a big deal... I remember seeing it on its original TV broadcast and enjoying it (then again, I must have been nine or ten). It's reasonably well-liked, just extremely dated in a way that only '80s movies are. It's typical of aliens-come-to-earth-looking-for-a-good-t
ime-and-find-it-while-trying-to-look-inc onspicuous comedies, except that it stars Geena Davis (on whom everyone, apparently, has a crush) and Julie Brown (on whom we don't). Also Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carey and Damon Wayans, all pre-stardom as sex-objects. Weird. I had forgotten that EGAE is a musical, and is in fact visually very impressive, both in set design and special effects. There were some serious professionals working on that film.
10:15 a.m. Breakfast Break
If I've ever found a movie offensive, it would have to be Breakf-- oh, wait. This was where we took a time-out for everybody to stretch and have breakfast. I brushed my teeth, and then wandered around with Matt and Sarah. Jim found us, and we went over to the table where you can suggest movies for next year's Fest. I made several suggestions, including Shock Treatment, Circle of Iron, Forbidden Zone, Death Race 2000, and the Dr. Phibes philms. Doubtful they'll make it onto the list, but it's like voting for an unpopular candidate. When the other side wins, you can console yourself knowing that you at least tried to help.
10:45 a.m. Rhinestone
Rhinestone is an especially painful version of Pygmalion. Dolly Parton is a country singer, Sylvester Stallone is a cab driver, and she has two weeks to make him a successful country star. If she loses, she has to have sex with a greasy nightclub manager. The best moments inspired people in front of me to make up funny country songs, but the worst moments forced me out to the school's computer lab, where I checked my e-mail, looked at my Friends page, and then took a walk. Some of the people who had brought air mattresses or collapsed into chairs during the night were still sleeping.
The movie was still playing when I walked back into the theater so know I caught at least half of it. Interestingly, Sylvester Stallone cowrote the script, then apparently rewrote it, and his rewrite is the one that was filmed. I can only assume that he is responsible for all of the Dolly Parton's Chest jokes.
12:45 p.m. Cobra Woman
I tried to get interested in this one, but the people around me were too loud for me to hear the dialogue. Eventually I have up and intentionally dozed through most of it, but it looked like it might have been fun if I'd been able to pay attention to it. I won't speculate on the plot, but it had something to do with twins sisters (possibly a case of mistaken identity?) and a monkey. Lon Chaney Jr. was in it, apparently, but that's not enough to make me sit through a movie I can't hear.
Oh, but Cobra Woman did have one good part: The stage is the only flat, open space in the theater, so a few people use it to catch some sleep. Jim had taken a nap through part of Rhinestone, and was still up there when Cobra Woman started. The projector was had gotten out of alignment and the picture was way over on stage right, so he got up and pretended to tug at it. The picture centered itself properly, and Jim managed to move perfectly with it. It was hilarious and got a great response from the crowd.
Just as an aside, Cobra Woman actually replaced Queen of Outer Space, which was on the schedule but must have been damaged or for some other reason unavailable. I had really been looking forward to seeing Queen of Outer Space because it heavily influenced the titular segments of Amazon Women on the Moon, which happen to be my favorite parts of that movie. Oh, well.
2:00 p.m. Mystery Shorts
People Soup is a short subject made by Alan Arkin (yes, that Alan Arkin) and starring his two sons. I quite enjoyed it, but the rest of the group thought it was wretched. The plot revolves around two brothers, one of whom is performing an experiment in the kitchen (read: mixing condiments at random). He persuades his younger brother to try the concoction, and observes as his sibling is transformed into a chicken. Later he tries it and becomes a sheepdog. This probably sounds abysmally stupid, but it's actually very funny and earned an Oscar nomination in 1970. Apparently it's based on a story Arkin published in the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, which makes me very curious as to what the original version was like.
Fossils are Interesting
No they aren't.
The Superstition of Walking Under a Ladder
A ridiculous biblical explanation of the origins of the ladder superstition. Unfortunately, it's not slapstick enough to be immediately identified as a comedy, and it's obviously not true. Good fodder for heckling, though. So was Fossils are Interesting.
2:20 p.m. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
Superbabies was roundly hailed as the worst movie we sat through over the course of the weekend. There is something inherently offensive about talking baby movies. They appeal only to young and gullible children, and to a small sliver of the fundamentalist population who can't handle art or controversy. I know of what I speak -- the Crazy Baptist I used to work with once told that the Look Who's Talking movies were (and then she lowered her voice) "pee-your-pants funny. I'm sorry I said it like that, but those are the only words for it."
Superbabies is beyond repugnant because as a sequel, it created a market -- or the perception of a market -- where none really existed. The critics hated it, and (as if to prove P.T. Barnum right) its theatrical release garnered a mere $9 million. Interestingly, it was directed by Bob Clark, who also made the aforementioned Rhinestone, as well as A Christmas Story, Black Christmas, and Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things.
Anyway, Superbabies was really unpleasant in a way which very few other movies are. I had hoped to sleep through it, but having zonked out for most of Cobra Woman I ended up catching most of it. The plot -- such as it was -- revolves around an ex-Nazi's (Jon Voight) plan to control people through their televisions. Luckily for us, his father was a German scientist who developed a secret formula which -- screw it, I'll cut to the payoff. Voight's character has a younger brother who ingested some secret syrup serum or something which stunted his growth and gave him superpowers. Kahuna -- as he calls himself -- is a seventy-year-old man trapped in a four-year-old's body who has nothing better to do than perform acts of vigilante justice on behalf of the world's children.
It's not funny or cute and we were taxed heavily by the massive amount of stupid involved in the movie. Someone must have sensed that we were losing morale because they ran an unscheduled showing of The Wizard of Speed and Time. I joined everybody up on the stage to see what the audience participation was about. Turns out that they lie down on the stage, watch the screen, and stomp their feet as if they're running. This makes sense if you've seen WOSAT. If not, it probably just sounds silly. If nothing else, it gave us another adrenaline boost just in time for...
3:55 p.m. King Kong (1933)
King Kong was a controversial choice because it's "too good for B-Fest," but darn it, I think we earned a little treat at the end. Besides, as noted in a recent episode of the Cult Movies Podcast, any chance you get to see a pre-World War II movie presented on film is a chance to savor. (And thanks, Matt, for pointing out the podcast.)
For anybody who hasn't seen the original King Kong, it may not be initially impressive. The stop-motion effects are jerky and awkward in comparison with modern CGI, and the performances are a little ham-fisted. Still, it's the mother (or more appropriately the father) of an entire genre, and its influence can be felt in films ranging from Jason and the Argonauts to the Lord of the Rings. Everybody didn't appreciate it at the time, but King Kong was a landmark technical achievement which influenced Hollywood's special effects for decades. The story, if not first-rate by today's standards, still holds up as well as the best of that era.
People liked King Kong -- a lot. Arguments over its appropriateness were forgotten, and people just enjoyed the movie, though in all fairness there was a great deal of heckling. During the scene where Kong tangles with the dinosaur, Jim ran up on stage, got on his hands and knees and "slapped the mat" three times. Kong rose and Jim congratulated him for winning the fight. The perfect timing was pure luck, and it worked beautifully.
Playing King Kong right after Superbabies probably helped it seem brilliant, too.
After the festival, we were all pretty beat. We packed up our stuff, and I noticed that a lot of people had left, probably at the breakfast break. We headed groggily out to the cars, which (predictably) meant getting soaked in the rain.
The consensus was that we should find somewhere to find something to put in our mouths, find the cars again, find Tim's place, and crash, which we did (and we even did it in the right order). We stopped at a busy pancake house called Kappy's where we were the only ones under 65, and none of us ordered pancakes. I had the best cup of decaf I've ever had, and it was followed by the worst cup I've ever had. Afterward we made it to Tim's apartment and more or less collapsed.
Ten hours later we were up again, and on the road after showers and a sumptuous breakfast feast prepared by Tim, Jessica and Sarah. Okay, so it was eggs, bacon, sausage and a selection of cold cereals, but if somebody else prepares the meal for me, I can almost always justify describing it as "sumptuous." We dined in front of the first third of the movie Clerks (meaning that we watched Clerks for about half an hour, not that we only saw a third of the screen). With breakfast over, we said our goodbyes and began the trek home.
So how was the weekend, you may ask? It was a blast. Tiring, but a blast. Will I go again next year? Absolutely, provided ticket prices don't jump again. I was a little surprised, coming home, when I realized that unlike last year, I hadn't seen anything I absolutely had to obtain a copy of (though to be fair, I already own four of the movies (six if you count the copy of Godzilla I gave away unopened, and the copy of King Kong I've been putting off buying)).
Oh, I said something about life-altering philosophical -- wait, what was it? Deep Philosophical Reflections™. Let's see... Oh, I've got one. If they ever make a Baby Geniuses 3, I'm seceding from the human race.