First off, GOOD NEWS! The brand new ATD BADGE PACKS arrived! And they are BEAUTIFUL! I will thus be doing a major post run today and getting them out to the four corners of The Earth. Get your orders in here!
So my plan for Easter, before I got all ill and bedrid, was to watch Blade Runner then make loads of music with that fresh Ridley-Scott-At-His-Prime inspiration fresh in my consciousness. Now, I could easily download Blade Runner, but it’s ana amazing movie that, unlike most movies, i know I will want to watch over and over again, along with whatever extra, related shit I can find. It was Thursday afternoon, and I’d been in central London with my wife and the in laws. I figured I’d pop by the Westfield on the way home, pick up the Final Edition DVD, with all the extra documentaries and art work and commentaries and behind the scenes sweet shit, then go home and watch it on the projector with burgers. HEAVENLY SHIT.
So Charlotte went to the supermarket and I went to Westfield. Westfield is supposedly the biggest shopping centre in London. If you were American I guess you’d call it a “mall”. It opened here in Nu Olympia last September on Charlotte’s birthday to terrifying and tremendous fanfare, and is a pretty gross monument to our contemporary values, but, you know, big fuck off shopping centre. I should be able to get a DVD.
It takes about ten minutes to walk from one end of Westfield to the other, and there are three floors. I walked each one carefully, yet saw not a single place that sold DVDs. I knew there was a HMV in there somewhere though, so I retraced my steps. Nothing. Eventually I happened upon a large electronic touch screen map of the place, so I tried poking at that, but it was broken, and unresponsive. Round the back, however, was a good old fashioned paper map which lead me to the HMV, tucked away round a corner behind an ice cream stand.
The HMV was like one of the ones they have in airports – small, mostly dedicated to games and DVDs, negligible music section. The music section is basically one shelf with the top twenty CDs on it. The mobile phone section takes up more space. But I wasn’t there for music. I was there for Blade Runner.
I found the B section, but no Blade Runner. They had Blue Crush, but no Blade Runner. I was shocked and appaled. I found a member of staff – one of three in the whole place – and asked where Blade Runner was. “In the Bs,” he said flatly, without meeting my eyes. I explained that I’d already looked in B and couldn’t see it (but I DID see Blue Crush). He said in which case they didn’t have it. I said this was ridiculous, that Bade Runner is one of the greatest movies of all time, and what kind of a shop that sells movies doesn’t stock Blade Runner? He replied angrily that they must have run out, in which case when it was time to restock they’d order more. I replied that in this digital day and age that was insane and backward, that digital tracking systems should alert them to when important titles were running low, and automatically reorder, and that their prehistoric business practices were going to force me into piracy, to which he replied, “whatever, do what you have to.”
Not to be defeated by a man evidently tired if his job and day, I asked the man at the counter if he could check if they had Blade Runner in stock on the computer. And, sure enough, they had one copy left, apparently in the 2 for £10 section. So I had a look, but it was not in the 2 for £10 section (Blue Crush was). So the counter guy called over the angry dead-eyed guy who’d already told me if it wasn’t in the B section they didn’t have it, and he looked at me with as much languid loathing as he could muster, then shuffled off saying he was going to look in the stockroom.
Ten minutes later he returned and said it was not there, and thus “probably got nicked.” “Is there anywhere else round here that sells DVDs?” I asked the counter man. He shook his head, sadly. “Wow,” I explained. “It really is all over, huh?” “It’s over,” the counter man agreed, grimy.
So I left London’s biggest shopping centre empty handed, and returned home. With all these newfangled streaming and downloading services there’s got to be a place I can get a Blade Runner Final Cut bundle, I thought. We are after all, Living In The Future.
But it wasn’t on Love Film, and it wasn’t on Netflix, and it wasn’t on Amazon in any way that didn’t involve a physical copy turning up days later.
Stephen Hague tells me he’s been getting movies off of iTunes so I tried that, but no luck.
I then realised I’d not inserted a space between “Blade” and “Runner”, so I tried it without the space, and BINGO! Blade Runner!
But just Blade Runner. No extras, no documentary, and at a whopping £7.99 for a digital file, it was £3 more than the DVD. Hell, the 2 disc DVD’s £4.45 on Play, as someone on twitter let me know. I was shocked. You’re going to charge me almost double the price of a DVD for a digital download of just the movie? No commentary, no documentary, no art, no bock, no stock rooms, no vans, nothing… What kind of an idiot do you take me for?
I thought, “fuck you mane, I’m going to Demonoid.”
So I did. After four hours of trying to legally purchase a classic movie I was being forced into “piracy”. Half an hour later, I had torrented a beautiful digital copy of the Blue Ray, with all the extras (and I’d bought a copy of the DVD from Play, for The Future). I dragged the files onto a USB stick, plugged it into my Xbox, and laid back on my bed to watch Blade Runner on my wall. It was even better than I remembered. When it finished I got up, went into the studio, and made some beautiful Blade Runner inspired music.