Monday, October 25, 2010

Ghost in the (DVD) Machine

Okay, once is pretty funny - ha ha ha - twice is beginning to feel like the universe is having some fun at my expense.

YES, I have been renting ghost story DVD's.
NO, I don't expect said ghosts to haunt my DVD player, namely --

Exhibit A - The Others

A lovely little gothic horror that proves what people have been saying for years - Nicole Kidman's face (indeed, the rest of her too in this movie) is dead. The film is notable for its twist... so imagine my annoyance when the DVD freezes two-thirds of the way through and REFUSES to play any further.

I dutifully return it to my rental place and report the defect. Joy, there is another copy!

Lady: You know you have to play something else first?
Me: Huh?
Lady: Before you play this disc...

While I ponder this, she lathers up the replacement with cleaning fluid and inserts it into some machine that whirs away merrily.

I return home, sheepishly play something else for a few minutes then try The Others Mark 2... which promptly freezes at the EXACT SAME SPOT.

Okay, like Tony Abbott I'm not a "tech head" but at this stage I'm struggling to understand how disc number 2 has inherited the flaw of disc number 1.

I try EVERYTHING... short of exploring the aerodynamic properties of my DVD player (though it was a close run thing). The thing will not budge! No twist ending for me.

Exhibit B - The Haunting

Sure, it's a bad remake that I'd forgotten I had watched a while back - Catherine Zeta-Jones' presence during proceedings soothed my vague sense of disappointment. Things were going swimmingly until 1 hour 19 minutes... then pixels attacked in ever increasing swarms until finally the disc FROZE at the 80 minute mark.

[Expletives deleted]

The DVD player is now seriously in danger of experiencing a similar trajectory to an F-16 Fighting Falcon with its fly-by-wire capability disabled ie gliding through the air with all the grace of a house brick.

[More expletive deleteds and nervous glances in the direction of surrounding units]

But I relent and concede defeat.

What puzzles me is that the American remake of The Grudge, a truly awful film, played without a hiccup the previous night. These ghosts surely have a sense of humour!

Now I have Rosemary's Baby teed up for viewing... but I'm scared to hit play lest --

A) This also freezes at some point and I accidentally maim a passerby with an airborne DVD player;

B) This is the beginning of my own personal haunting - you know, it all starts off kind of incidental and harmless then builds in intensity. Personally, I suspect the blender is what will finally do me in; or -

C) This is symptomatic of the death of the neighbourhood 'video store' (the name itself an anachronism) surely to be hastened by the advent of the National Broadband Network...

... but that topic is a whole other kettle of bees wax.

For now, I will bar myself in the bedroom and await a long, black haired child-ghost to spit out of my DVD and do unspeakable things... I'm hoping housework but that may be too much to ask.

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