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Naked Lunch

Last year, in the middle of the holiday shopping season, I decided to take a leap of faith I rarely take: buy a DVD of a movie I have never seen, but I'm sure its commentary track will be worth hearing.

Prior to last year, I had done such for True Romance when I saw that Tarantino had a commentary track on it. Prior to that DVD, Tarantino only showed up as a guest on commentary tracks. He had a desire (and I believe still does) to not do commentaries for the movies he's directed. Since he only wrote the script for True Romance, I'm guessing that an exception had been made. And I'm glad that it was because it's a wonderful track.

I bought David Cronenberg's The Fly on Blu-ray for less than $10 last year. I remember hearing about the film when I was in elementary school, but I never got around to watching it. I knew Cronenberg did fantastic commentaries with thoughtfulness and a calm demeanor. I think I learn a lot when I hear him speak. A recent listening to the track on Videodrome further illustrated that attitude.

I have yet to watch The Fly but I will watch it very soon and I'm glad I have it in my library. But recently added to the to-watch pile is Cronenberg's take on Naked Lunch. Yes, that supposedly "unfilmable" movie that Cronenberg did with Peter Weller in the early 1990s. And yes, another film I have never seen before.

I have few gripes about Netflix, but sometimes it's hard for them to carry a Criterion title. When I rented Videodrome, I got the bare-bones edition with a semi-decent transfer. I didn't even look to see if Naked Lunch came out on DVD before Criterion's version, but I figured it would be hard to get and it was way down my queue. Given a recent sale of all Criterion titles, I decided that the $18 plunge for Naked Lunch was worth taking. I mean, come on, I doubt I'd waste my time with this flick or be embarrassed it was in my library.

I don't own many DVDs that I've taken leaps of faith on. It's an understandable point of caution. But the times I have taken that leap, the rewards have been plenty.

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