Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Pact Is Over!

Yes my friends, Doc and I have gone one year without paying for movies. That means, we didn't buy DVD's, go to the theater, or rent movies on our dime for 365 days. Woo-hoo! We did it!

There have been many times of weakness, especially in the beginning. Doc and I are both huge impulse movie buyers and that seems to be cured. I think, spending idle moments flipping through our DVD storage books, and seeing how many CRAP movies we have has turned on a light, at least for me. I will probably never buy a DVD on impulse again. I don't ever want to be stuck, broke, and bored, looking for a movie and being faced with a Lee Marvin retrospective. No thank you!

Not seeing movies at the theater wasn't as big of a challenge. Face it, we're broke, so going to the movies is a real luxury and a rarity even without the pact. But these are the movies we bravely missed this past year:
  • Night at the Museum
  • DaVinci Code
  • Superman Returns
  • Casino Royale (ouch...still haven't seen it but it tops Doc's list of must-haves)
  • Click
  • Borat
  • The Devil Wears Prada (I got this from the library yesterday...)
  • Dreamgirls
  • The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
  • Eragon
  • You Me and Dupree
  • Rocky Balboa
  • The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Final Destination 3
  • The Queen
  • The Lake House (Phew, dodged this bullet!)
  • Man of the Year
  • Snakes on a Plane
  • Clerks II
  • Letters from Iwo Jima

No big loss, in hindsight, wouldn't you agree?

Movies we did see, through the kindness of others or for free:
  • The Last Mimzy
  • Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest
  • Cars
  • Talledega Nights
  • Jackass: Number II
  • V for Vendetta
  • Curious George
  • Me, Eloise
  • Veggie Tales: Moe and the Big Exit
  • MST3K Escape 2000

As you can see, a majority are kids movies, but overall, these were movies I enjoyed and don't regret seeing. I am looking forward to the summer blockbusters as well as seeing smaller films in an actual theater. But it will probably still be a rare occaision for the time being, what with the babysitting and financial situation being what they are.

This pact has had quite an effect on me personally. It helped me to realize what a compulsive buyer I am. I now consider most every purchase carefully. I've actually started making gifts for people instead of buying them movies, which is much more cost effective, as well as creatively gratifying. Actually, I used to get quite a thrill going shopping. Now, I become aprehensive, almost overwhelmed when I go into a large store, like Target or Walmart. I don't want to be swept away by the so-called "bargains" or "price roll-backs." Because, frankly, it all adds up, bargain priced or no. Now, I can go into Target and leave having only spent $20 instead of $200.

My pick as first movie to see now that the pact has expired? Hot Fuzz. See you at the movies!


  1. Congratulations! This is a really great thing you did for yourselves.

    I'm not a shopper anyway, but I found that because Rowbear and I moved a lot over the last few years we have pared down what we have.

    That's also a good thing about living in an older city house - there is just no room for storage, so it helps us to minimize what we have.

    I know everyone says that once you have a kid stuff just ends up exploding all around you, so I'll let you know how that all goes.

    Congrats again, well done!

  2. Huzzah for you!

    Any new pacts on the horizon?

  3. Thanks, Tanya & Phil!

    No new pacts on the horizon. I've got pact-fatigue. I probably won't be giving anything up again until Lent.

  4. Well, I guess if you had a little substance abuse problem, then the pact was a good thing.

    Personally, I don't know why you really need to buy movies when you have Netflix.

  5. Actually, I enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine. Too bad the DVD commercials totally give away the twist at the end.

  6. Viki: I've found that having a dvr has really helped get through the year. It's almost as good as having netflix. I may sign up for that again soon.

    Deadspot: I'll put it on the list!

  7. price cuts and rollbacks are over-rated-- trust me, I put up a couple hundred signs over the last two Sundays at Bullseye at 6 AM. Their big rollback is, on average, only about $2 or maybe $4, sometimes only a buncha change which is hardly worth going ga-ga over.

    Thanx to Netflix and now our new friend, Redbox, we've seen most o' those flix you've mentioned. the problem is that my mate keeps loosing the damned discs or not mailing them back so spending $30/mo for movies when we may only get to see, at most, 5 of 'em is making me realize how stupid Netflix is. I've learned from your pact meself!!

  8. holy-crapoly!! I admire your adhesion (stick-to-it-ness).

    ---10,000 Spoons

  9. What are these "movies" you speak of? We get out so seldom... sigh...

  10. You have tremendous will power. I never coulda done it. Way to go! Now, I have a few things to recommend...

  11. No no no!! Missing "Dreamgirls" was a loss!! But it's fun on DVD too. Congrats on your achievement; I was unaware of this torture you were putting yourself through.

  12. Oh and thanks for the link. Yours will be coming. Love what you did with the "Special Guest Stars" thing too.

  13. Congratulations. I'm quite impressed. But "Borat" is the only movie on the list I've seen and would recommend. And even that I'm not so sure. If you've seen his show, you've seen the movie. Although there are some huge laughs in it.

  14. Good job Flann! I wish I had the willpower to do that. Wait, I do. I don't do ANYTHING. Now, I don't feel so alone! :) xo

  15. Speaking as the other half of the pact holder, I must say this has been an ordeal. At the local grocery store they had a bin of "bargain" movies and on a whim, I went through them, just to see what I was missing out on. Most were crappy made-for-HBO movies from the early eightys, but when I found "Paint Your Wagon" with Lee Marvin, AND Clint Eastwood, I almost caved in. It was $2.50, and it is a musical, AND THEY BOTH SING!!! It was all I could do to put it back. The only other serious temptation that I had was the new Bond movie. It was supposed the be an edgier and more cold blooded Bond, as well as being more true to the Ian Flemming story, e.g. less gadgets, less Hollywood schlock, more realistic, etc. al. I was hoping to see this at the theater, but such was not to be. I mean really, a Bond film is meant to be seen on a forty-foot screne, not the foot and a half one that we have at home. A foot and a half is enough for most any comedy or drama, but an action film demands the big screen treatment.

    On behalf of Flan and me, thanks for all of your encouragement.

    God Bless, and see you at the movies!


  16. That took some doing. It may be time for me to try the pact. I compulsively buy the dvds too but I'm getting better. I think I am anyway.

    You're gonna love Hot Fuzz.

  17. I am such an impulse buyer and I can't tell you how many times we have bought movies that we ended up not even liking and there they sit collecting dust.

    We signed up for Blockbuster Online because the plan made sense for us and my mom offered to pay for it for a year as a gift but honestly our movie watching has decreased since the weather has been nicer.

    We never go to the theaters because I'd rather wait for the DVD so that I can have potty breaks, my own couch and access to beer...the whole experience is always better that way.

    It's totally awesome you went a whole year...I think I could do it...think.

  18. COngratulations to the both of you. I still think going cold-turkey was more pressure on you than you needed, but I'm glad it worked you think you can go back to buying movies minimally?

  19. Congratulations! I will never have your discipline.

  20. We just watched Hot Fuzz, and it was cute. We haven't seen that Shawn of the Dead, although I understand it's the same guys?