Eric’s Sack of Mail: pot, MySpace, DVDs, Donette

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Here we go, kids! Time for Eric’s Sack of Mail, where we read letters from people who weren’t angry or irrational!

This first one is pretty mellow, dude. It comes to us from “Kidg1000,” who writes in response to my observation that the movie “Grandma’s Boy” has no plot:

Obviously you have never smoked bud. [“Bud” is what the potheads call pot.] if you have, you would know that an actual plot would bog a movie like this down. its made simply to watch while high.

And that was my problem: I wasn’t high when I watched it. Of course, I’m pretty sure EVERYTHING is funny when you’re high, so I’m not sure that’s the best way of judging a film’s merits.

In this week’s “Snide Remarks,” I talked about my new MySpace page. This caused a reader calling himself Humpty Dumpty (e-mail address “littleskeezy”) to feel disillusioned:

I think you were more of a bada** BEFORE the myspace account. How did you ever finally allow yourself to get conned into getting one? Your logic was so good…having your own website, blog, “thousands” of readers…which I really don’t consider to be too far of a stretch….

Anyway, who needs a silly, trendy myspace? What’s it coming to?

Yes, I’m a total sellout. Next stop: podcasts!

A long-time correspondent named Craig writes in next with this question:

I was wondering if you’ve seen other films follow this pattern:

Netflix just informed me of a “film that I might enjoy,” based on my previous ratings of “Tadpole” and “Igby Goes Down,” called “One Last Thing.” I had never heard of this film, and I guess they didn’t offer it for your review either. Netflix and IMDB show it as having a release date of 2005. I checked out the reviews linked from Netflix and they’re all dated May 5, 2006 (the presumed theatrical release date), but the DVD release is set for May 23.

That seems awfully quick. I mean I’ve heard of direct to video, but are such short runs with preplanned early video releases common nowadays?

It’s not common yet, but this particular indie studio (Magnolias Pictures) is trying it. It’s basically for movies that are going direct-to-DVD after having played at film festivals or whatever, and they’re giving them a brief, cursory theatrical release first.

Why? An experiment, mostly. Presumably, people who see it in the theater won’t be aware of its imminent DVD release. So ideally, they see it, they love it — and then three weeks later, while it’s still fresh in their minds, they see it at the video store and buy it. If it were months and months later that they saw it available for purchase, they might have forgotten how much they liked it and not consider buying it.

The big studios are using the same logic with kids’ films, especially: Get that sucker out on DVD while the kids are still talking about it. If you wait nine months before releasing the DVD, kids’ enthusiasm will have cooled and they’re less likely to harass their parents into buying it for them.

“One Last Thing” did indeed open on a handful of screens on May 5, including one here in Portland. It was done without much warning, promotion or press screenings. It played for a week, I think, and that was it.

Moving on: Marie writes in regards to a previous blog entry:

You noted the age difference of the married characters in “Slither.” When I saw the movie I immediately thought that the double name of the older man, “Grant Grant” was a reference to “Humbert Humbert” from “Lolita.”

Fascinating, no?

Fascinating, YES! I hadn’t thought of that, and it could be a coincidence, but it’s a nice one.

Finally, in 2003 I wrote a column about Hostess mini-doughnuts, which they call “donettes.” I observed that “Donette” would be a pretty name for a girl. And now a girl named Donette has written to me!!

Hi There, My name is Donette, Do you think that is a pretty name for a girl? I was born before Hostess came out with donettes. It is a combination of my Mom and Dad’s first names. Anyway I was very self consious about my name until I was about 25 years old. My recommendation to parents is to not make up weird mnames for thier kids. Life is hard enough…

I agree whole-heartedly about parents not making up names, ESPECIALLY if the way they’re doing it is by combining their own names. That said, “Donette” isn’t TOO strange a name, and rather pretty. Though I would spell it Dawnette, so it least it looks like a girl’s name.

And with that we seal up the ol’ Sack of Mail until next time. Keep those rational, intelligent e-mails coming!

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