Thursday, August 31, 2023

Last Weekend's Purchases

I bought a couple of films last week.

Paradise Alley and A Christmas Story

I ordered Paradise Alley shortly after hearing Terry Funk had passed away. The reason why I did that is because Funk plays one of the wrestlers in the movie. 

I first came across Paradise Alley when I was quite young. My dad introduced me to the film by saying 'it's like Rocky, but with wrestlers.' That sentence intrigued me to watch. Unfortunately, at that time in my life, I found it boring and did not finish.

The point my dad made have tried to make is (a) it stars Sylvester Stallone and (b) it is about people being down on their luck and looking for an opportunity to get out of their predicament. 

Oh.. and (c) it contains wrestling.

Fast forward to 1998. My interest in professional wrestling has grown and Terry Funk is one of the living legends. I notice that Paradise Alley is on one of the Sky Movies channels so recorded it on VHS.

I must have watched it hundreds of times after that.

I particularly recall asking my best friend if he had ever seen it. 'No' was the answer. I don't think I did the 'it's like Rocky, but with wrestlers' sell job. I know I mentioned Terry Funk was in it. That might have been what sold it to my friend.

He enjoyed it.

The second purchase came on Sunday when I was browsing for A Christmas Story products on Amazon. I typed in 'A Christmas Story..' and the website predicted I may have been looking for 'A Christmas Story 4K'.

I was not looking for A Christmas Story in Ultra HD because - until that moment - I didn't know such a thing existed.

To be frank, I was not entirely sure I wanted to own another copy of A Christmas Story. However, the 4K Ultra HD edition comes with commentary by the film's director - Bob Clark - and Peter Billingsley (Ralphie). 

What also made me want to buy it was the extras also include Jean Shepherd reading the story of wanting the Red Ryder BB gun from his radio show. I have heard those episodes many times, but - to own my own copy in this way - was a plus.

I ordered the package on Sunday morning. It arrived later that evening. When I opened it, I showed my nephew. His response was classic.

'Again? Why?'

I pointed to the cover - '4K. Ultra HD.'

I'll watch the film with the commentary in time for the annual Diet of Christmas Films post on Christmas Day.

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