The Triumphant Return of Physical Media

Readers, you'll never believe what happened to me. I bought a blu-ray.

For years, streaming media and digital copies have been my battle cry. I generally only watch movies once so there seemed to be little point in owning discs and I was primarily a PC gamer. I started buying physical games again with the Switch, because first-party Switch games hold their value so well money_face, and I guess that got me used to the idea.

This year I found myself running into a problem where I would want to stream a movie that either moved to another platform in the interim or had gone into streaming limbo. Despicable Me vanished right before we were gonna watch it. Later, I saw a trailer for the upcoming 3rd movie and realized they must have pulled the movies from streaming. We marked Kung-Fu Panda to watch and the next day, after some confusion, I realized the movie was in fact NOT available to stream, much to Minnow's disappointment. (As of this writing, the Kung-Fu Panda movies are streaming across different platforms so you need to sub to at least 3 different services to watch them all.)

THEN I kept finding myself in the position of being unable to stream a film and needing to rent it for $4 or purchase digitally for $15. I wouldn't mind renting movies except everyone is so damn annoying about it. I have to watch the movie within 24 hours, I can't split it up into two viewings, and so on. Look, your friend neonaut has the attention span of a ripe grapefruit and can usually only tolerate about an hour in front of the TV. At my best, I split movies into 2 viewings and I don't necessarily watch both parts on consecutive days.

Right after the Great Kung-Fu Panda Debacle of 2022 I saw Kung-Fu Panda and Kung-Fu Panda 2 at the secondhand store for $3 a pop party_face and thought, why not? And ever since I've been slowly accumulating secondhand blurays of titles that aren't immediately available to me on my current platforms. As the shelf has grown I find I like having a selection of guaranteed movies we can watch anytime the mood strikes, even if we're not watching them too often.

My kid watched the Captain Underpants movie ($6 used btw) maybe 4 times over the course of several weeks. The streaming options for that movie are so weird I wasn't even sure how to stream it short of signing up for Fubu. confounded

Anyway, this is a bit of a mental shift for me, since historically I don't like having "stuff" around, but I guess it was inevitable considering how the catalogs get divvied up as the number of services increases.