How to Watch: Owning Discs

Personally, I’m a fan of owning media. Part of it hearkens back to the days of my youth when having huge libraries of books, vinyl, tapes, CDs and DVDs was a dream.

I had friends who were musicians and DJs who had rooms in their house just filled floor to ceiling with all their stuff.

Cinephiles who had every tape and DVD known to civilization. You’d go over to watch a movie and, whatever mood you were in, they’d have the perfect movie. Granted, as we started having kids, it was more Barney and less Kurosawa but when you have a crying 2 year old, it’s great to have the options.

Now, I know it takes up a lot of space and most movies you can stream but there are those you can’t and most services rotate their catalog every month. The flick you want to watch may not be available when you want it.

There is another reason to purchase physical media … They can’t take it away from you. While this has changed a little, when streaming purchases began, if you purchased something from say iTunes, and Apple lost the rights to stream that title, you lost your purchase.

That can’t happen when you own physical media.

Plus, let’s not forget the DVD/Blu-Ray extras!!!

The Criterion Collection is famous for not just making available gems of classic and world cinema but preserving them and creating extras for them.

Movies Anywhere Logo

As an added bonus, many discs you purchase grant you access to a Disney owned cloud-based, digital locker service called Movies Anywhere.

The service partners with the major streamers, hardware manufactures, and other film distributors to give you access to stream your purchase regardless of where you purchased it.

Simply enter the code from your package on the site and your purchase will show up in the queue of your linked streaming services.

I should mention that, depending on where you watch the film will determine if you have access to the extras or not.

Also, make sure the package states that you have access to the digital copy; some do, some don’t.

So there you have it, think about purchasing purchase the disc version of your favorite movies and you’ll never b without it!

Gear, Movies, Where to watch

How to Watch: Use Just Watch Logo

With the multitude of streaming services it’s really impossible to search all of them to find what you’re looking for… so, use

They’re in 46 countries and index almost all of the streaming services.

Simply enter the film you’re looking for and it will tell you what services it’s on, if it’s free, rent, or purchase.


Something else you need

Blu-Ray Player

As you continue on your cinephile journey, if you haven’t already, you should pick up a region-free DVD or Blu-Ray player.

Many of the movies we’re going to discuss here aren’t available via streaming platforms.

As platforms being what they are, they remove things from time to time.

Plus, if you have a great sound bar, the sound will be much better.

No purchase recommendations at the moment. We’ll add some in the near future.


Taxi Driver – 1976

Written by Paul Schrader

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Notable Cast

  • Robert De Niro
  • Jodie Foster
  • Harvey Keitel
  • Cybill Shepherd
  • Albert Brooks
  • Peter Boyle

Academy Awards – 4 nominations/ 0 wins

On Lists

  • 1001 Films
  • #52 AFI Top 100 ‘07           
  • #47 AFI Top 100 ‘98
  • #32 AFI 100 Most Inspiring
  • #43 WGA 101 Greatest
  • 1994 Addition to National Film Registry

Playing Where? Amazon, Flixster, iTunes, Netflix DVD, Vudu


In all candor, I don’t get this one. I find Vietnam related pieces hard to grasp for a variety of reasons.

But, it is a classic and has wonderful cinematography of 1970’s New York. De Niro play Travis Bickle a Vietnam Vet who drives a cab at night and is disgusted by the world and saves Iris, a teenage prostitute played by a then 13-year-old Jodie Foster. I probably have to watch this again.


A Streetcar Named Desire – 1951

Streetcar Named Desire poster

Screenplay by Tennessee Williams; Based on his original play: “A Streetcar Named Desire” Tennessee Williams

Adaptation by Oscar Saul

Directed by Elia Kazan


Notable Cast

  • Vivien Leigh
  • Marlon Brando
  • Kim Hunter
  • Karl Malden


Academy Awards – 9 nominations/ 4 wins

On Lists

  • 1001 Films
  • #47 AFI Top 100 ‘07           
  • #45 AFI Top 100 ‘98
  • #19 AFI 25 Greatest Film Scores
  • 1999 Addition to National Film Registry

Playing Where? Amazon, iTunes, Netflix DVD, Vudu


One of Tennessee Williams’ finest, with superb film direction by very same director of the Broadway play Elia Kazan. At the end of her rope, Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) moves in with her sister Stella (Kim Hunter) and brother-in-law (Marlon Brando) then … complications arise.

All About Eve – 1950

Original theatrical release poster for the 1950 film All About Eve.

Written and Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Notable Cast

  • Bette Davis
  • Anne Baxter
  • George Sanders
  • Celeste Holm
  • Hugh Marlowe
  • Barbara Bates
  • Gary Merrill
  • Thelma Ritter
  • Marilyn Monroe

Academy Awards – 14 nominations/ 6 wins

On Lists

  • 1001 Films
  • #28 AFI Top 100 ‘07           
  • #16 AFI Top 100 ‘98
  • #5 WGA 101 Greatest
  • 1990 Addition to National Film Registry

Playing Where? Amazon, iTunes, Netflix DVD & Vudu


Aging Broadway diva Margo Channing (Bette Davis) hires ingénue Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) as her assistant and let the cat-fighting begin! Plus, you put Celeste Holm in a movie and I’m there! OK, most probably won’t say that but she had an amazing career appearing opposite some of the biggest stars of her era.

Cabernet Franc -The Best of the Lot

Cab Franc Grapes on the vine

What can I tell you about Cab Franc? It’s the best and leave it at that.

No, I couldn’t do that now could I?

If you’ve ever been to a winery, to me, Cab Frac is what you smell in the air, even if they don’t grow it. You pop that cork, decant for a half hour and you get that earthiness ( sometimes called crushed gravel), strawberry, raspberry, peppers both bell and chili … I have had some that taste like a mild salsa.

And who doesn’t love salsa?

Cab Franc is grown in a variety of regions and climates: Bordeaux, Tuscany, Egar in Hungary, among many.

In the US, look for North Coast or Sierra Foothills in California, Columbia Valley in Washington or, my home region and the birthplace of viticulture in the US, New York State – Finger Lakes, Long Island, or the great Hudson Valley!

Viala et Vermorel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Viala et Vermorel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Simple Enough … Wine and a Movie? Yes.

This quest started simply enough.

Back in 2014, I heard about Mike Sacks’ book “Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers”. In it, Bill Hader lists his “Two Hundred Essential Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See”.

Book Cover: Poking a Dead Frog
Poking a Dead Frog Book Cover

I have to say, it spanned the history of film and was amazing!

Surprisingly, I had seen about 75 of them and the rest got into the Netflix queue … Well, the ones that were there, and started watching.

I then had a realization. These were just comedies and those that claimed to be. What about dramas?

I started poking around and came across the AFI Lists and added those.

Then discovered … WOW … There are a lot of lists.

But there is one thing missing from all these lists. What do you drink while you watch it?

Don’t worry. Your pal Tim’s got you.

So, for this launch, I’m starting with something a little interesting.

A sparkler from Penedes, Spain Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava Brut.

A blend of 67% Macabeo, 33% Parellada gives it a wonderful straw yellow color and a feast for your nose with a slightly smoky biscuit or bread, delicate hints of honey, fruit and flower petals. It will dance across your tongue and you’ll say, where have you been all my life?

Look. I know, it can be overwhelming … Thousands of movies. Thousands of wines. Oooof That’s a lot.

Don’t worry. It will be fun.

What to Drink