Monday, January 17, 2000

Value Unlimited

A Brief Commentary On The Movies Unlimited Catalog

How boring life would be without the creation of the motion picture. That ever-so treasured medium in which anyone with a knack at being creative can test themselves behind the camera is the cause of much attention in the free world, as each year the box office gathers in record-breaking dollar amounts, and many new faces enter the spectrum to pursue their own success. As a result, this leaves the door open for possibilities beyond our wildest expectations; filmmakers old and new are able to take us to places unforeseen by other minds. Thanks to the fast growth of technology, the restrictions of our movies are constantly being broken.

Of course, computers have done more than just hike up visual imagery. Film preservation is made all the more effective with the use of computers--the classics of yesterday that have experienced wear can now be carefully reconstructed using digital materials that had been (for a long time) previously unavailable. And when the classics are restored, we often find them released on the market in incredible quality; the new DVD format, for instance, is a video disc in which the digital technology presents the film in a crystal-clear, virtually flawless format. Whereas VHS tapes grow old and show wear, the DVD ensures that each viewing experience is the same quality as the last, never showing age or use, and always keeping the image and sound quality is near-perfect. Future technology will help even further those assets.

In any case, we as the moviegoers are always in hot pursuit of collecting our favorite titles released to home video, be they old or new favorites. Sometimes, alas, it becomes almost impossible to find rarities; titles, like those that belong to the Ingmar Bergman catalog, have never been reissued to video, and the remaining copies are scarce in the market. People are very desperate to get a hold of these rare favorites, but many are not very willing to pay large cash amounts for them. Thus, many ask the question, "is it possible to find a video retailer that sells hard-to-find tapes without the massive dollar amounts?"

The best, and by far the easiest resource, is the Internet. Thanks to years of pursuit and growth, the World Wide Web has enthusiastically drawn in millions of individuals who seek simpler ways of finding what they are searching for. And since many of my readers are in pursuit of so many hard-to-find video titles (and several future releases), online shopping is a definite resort for those desperate to find what they want. One of these places is an online retailer that is almost guaranteed to carry any product; with over 40,000 titles in their stock, it might be most accurate to say that Movies Unlimited is the undisputed champion of online video merchandise.

In addition to an online search engine filled with thousands of video entries, Movies Unlimited offers the opportunity for visitors to put in an order for an actual print catalog, something that very few Internet companies provide for their customers. The catalog, which is thicker than a good sirloin steak, provides listings for nearly all of their titles available. It runs the price of $9.95 on their web site, but is worth every penny, especially for those who are desperate to find what they are looking for.

The catalog is extensive to a fault; over 800 pages filled with descriptions and listings of the available titles are so well-coordinated, designed and presented, that no one should have the slightest trouble in navigating the book. Especially fundamental is how Movies Unlimited has separated their listings into categories, allowing a quick run-through of all titles available through certain favorite genres. In addition, a lengthy alphabetical index is provided.

Granted, the catalog does not supply much info on DVD releases--more appropriate ordering for those sorts of titles can be pursued at retailers like, and But whereas the DVD market is new and easy to collect, VHS is beginning to wane, and older products seldom pop up on search engines other than the one Movies Unlimited provides. To this effect, I encourage everyone in search of something hard to find to do business with this brilliant company. At first order the catalog--you'll be glad you did so.

Written by DAVID KEYES

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