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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

How I Trained My Dragon. With Liquor.

Posted on December 8, 2010 at 5:40 PM

As I’ve mentioned in the past, Dana is no stranger to couponing. She has given our printer – purchased under the guise of some kind of journalism need heretofore unrealized – a singular purpose in life, which is to inkjet out barcode after barcode in $.50 to $1.00 increments. In fact, she spends SO much time at the computer swag-baggering her way through Internet coupon sites and is so intimately involved with couponing that I could probably start calling her coupon collection “Sister Wife.”


I’ll not deny that I DO relish the times when we get to the register and I see those moneys coming off the bill; all those <$.50> and <$.75> and double-value-savings that really make pulling out the AmEx a bit easier. Truth is, I enjoy and welcome every opportunity to save money. (Actually, I prefer every opportunity to *avoid* spending money. My dad, who is fond of saying things like, “The Sciacca name stands for Quality!” or “The Sciacca name stands for Hard Work!” often times making it tough  to tell if our family might in fact be part of the Duracell battery collection. Anyhow, my dad instilled other values in me like, “You’ll never find any money looking up!” and “A penny saved is a penny that you’ll have for another day!” So, when there is a fight or flight choice between spend or don’t spend, I flee to don’t spend.) When I started at Custom Theater, I broke out a coupon one day for lunch – at a McDonald’s I think – and I got the name “coupon John.” It was often sung to the Blotto’s tune “I Wanna Be a Lifeguard” to something like “Jo-oh-ohn likes to use a coupon! (Coupon!) Jo-oh-ohn like so save some cash!” Clever, true.


So, somewhere along the way Dana signed me up for a monthly Redbox code. This randomly arrives as a text message with a code to go and get a free movie rental (well, a free $1.00 credit, meaning that Blu-rays cost me $.54). So the other day the code comes in and since Dana has been hating my Netflix queue lately (admittedly, we have hit a bit of a rough patch, going through some C-list titles till I get the time to log-in and reorder my order. Really, though. Who can find those extra 45 seconds in the day?) so she implored me to go out and get a Redbox. And even agreed to handle the return chores the next day. (Returning movies, so 20th Century, reminding me of so many reasons why I hate Blockbuster!)  So we looked on the Net and found that a local box had “How to Train Your Dragon” available in Blu-ray. Lauryn, who happened to be within earshot, immediately ramped to a fever pitch of, “Oh boy! We’re watching a movie?! The Dragon movie! For me?!” So, apparently, it was suddenly a family movie night!


I heads down to the Redbox and after a moment of panic when I couldn’t locate the Dragon Blu-ray – and a brief internal struggle of, do I get the DVD version and face my own total, crushing disappointment over watching inferior audio and video, or do I get a different Blu-ray and totally rain on Lauryn’s family movie parade – and then just as I’m about to make the hard choice (I’ll never tell which...) I see Dragon and all is saved. While I’m heading towards my next stop – the olive bar to load back up on bleu cheese stuffed martini olives (my joys are few and specific) – I see this sign: “Today only – 10% off any 6 bottle wine purchase!” Then I see this pallet of Yellow Tail wines. Marked down from $8 to $7. Then marked down again to $5. Then with a $1 off coupon per bottle. So I grab every single bottle I can find a matching coupon for (sadly only 8 ) and head to the register. (Apparently, when it rains delicious wine deals, it pours them. I’d just barely gotten my 15 bottles of Laithwaite racked away and now this!)


Brought the disc home, dropped it into the Kaleidescape, fired up the projector and popped open a bottle of Yellow Tail Shiraz. (Yes, Kim Lancaster, I agree; this is nowhere near as good as a $30 bottle of something else. But for $3.60 to drink with popcorn, if I start to feel like I’m missing out on something, I’ll just pop open another bottle and drown that thought in more mediocre Shiraz.)


While I always love watching movies on the big screen with Lauryn – oh yeah, and Dana. She was there too!  – the Dragon movie just cemented in my mind that no one does it like Pixar. Sure the animation was good, and the nighthawk dragon thing reminded me of an F117A Stealth Fighter, and the story was OK, but it just lacked that element that Pixar seems to own. There was no...heart. I didn’t really care about any of the characters. I surely wasn’t vested to the brink-of-tears level like Pixar characters have you. Go on, pick your worst Pixar movie. You can’t, right? Cause they’re all awesome. Even if there were such a thing as a *bad* Pixar film (OK, gun-to-head, Cougar Town style, my worst is probably A Bug’s Life...but it actually hurt me a little to have to pick and I still loved it!) is still a great everybody else’s film. Remember when the other guys tried to do A Bug’s Life? Yeah. It was call Antz. And it was awful. Proving that just because you hire a ton of voice talent, you aren't going to insure a great movie. It is the writers and the story that makes -- or breaks -- the movie. I think that if there is a heaven that good writers go to, it is Pixar. Where they are free to spend eternity pitching ideas and doing brilliant rewrites and Segue-ing around the hallways drinking Snapple Iced Teas and free-trade lattes.


So, in conclusion... Mostly free Redbox coupon code. Great wine deal at the grocery. Mediocre movie with the family. Thus concludes Monday night at the Sciacca house...

Categories: December 2010, Movies, Beer/Liquor/Wine

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1 Comment

Reply Geoff
9:31 PM on December 9, 2010 
I actually really liked that movie; I even recommended it to keely and the kids. You're not a cat person are you? That's exactly while you'll never understand me. You'll never understand me... Also, your couponing sound like so much work. Where is the fun when impulse is gone? Do they often coupon organic free range local omega fortified brown eggs? I didn't think so...