Cinecast Episode 122 – More Money Than Brains

cinecast_promo.jpg Matt Gamble

Episode 122:
Easily the most spirited Cinecast of all time. Gamble seeks revenge, Andrew weeps and Kurt peels back the layers.

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Below the fold are the very limited Show Notes…

Show notes for the Cinecast Episode 122:

  • Swimming with Sharks (Kevin Spacey)/Opening: :00 – 1:40
  • Star Trek: 1:41 – 54:37
  • Comic book movies (or not) –> Film distribution/box office: 54:38 – 1:39:38
  • “on the road” (Marley and Me): 1:39:40 – 1:51:22
  • DVD picks: 1:51:24 – 1:56:55
  • Blu-Ray discussion: 1:56:56 – 2:01:02
  • Coming this week/Closing: 2:01:03 – 2:02:16
  • Outro Music: 1:59:53 – 2:03:22

Closing bumper music provided by Nerf Herder (iTunes profile): “Mr. Spock”


Track Row Three:

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Cinecast (Andrew and Halfyard show)
After the Credits (Marina and Co.)
Mamo! (Matt and Matt)
ALL the RowThree Podcasts on one feed
All posts and discussions from RowThree

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Stuff we covered:

Star Trek R3view
Last Cinecast episode’s comment thread
Passengers DVD post


DVD Pick(s) for Tuesday, May 12th:

Andrew:
Passengers
Passengers

Blu-Ray
Force 10 from Navarone
Force 10 from Navarone


.

Matt:
The Dana Carvey Show
The Dana Carvey Show


.

Kurt:
La Zona
La Zona

Blu-Ray
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Good, Bad, Ugly


Comments or questions?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or email us:
feedback@rowthree.com (general)
andrew@rowthree.com
kurt@rowthree.com

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Rusty James
Guest

For the record Matt Gamble impressed me in this episode. I thought he made some really good points about Spock.

As much as I prefer Nimoy in he role this Spock does have an extra-dimension to him. He's directly confronted with the dark side of his emotions to good effect. There's a palpable sense of him having to supress his anger and grief.

While there's tons of stuff you can pick at the script really is stronger than people want to admit.

I think a lot of the disappointment that Kurt and others voice can be traced to a fixation on the plot. Personally I don't care much about plot, especially in this genre. I care much more about characters and set pieces. If you approach the film from that angle it's pretty good. As Matt did a good job of forcing into the light.

Rusty James
Guest

uh oh. Nick Meyers did not invent Star Trek *naval battles*. See Balance of Terror. One of the best episodes of original Star Trek.

Rusty James
Guest

Kurt, are you really criticizing the science of the film? How is red matter inherently more luddicrous than faster than light speed. What about this film falls short of the *high water mark* set by the science of the other series, any of the series'? How is this not par for the course? I really don't think your argument holds water.

I kept wanting my name will come up in the discussion. Debate all my awesome points.

Rusty James
Guest

I think y'all wore out the word "fetishize" in this podcast.

Kurt
Guest

OK, a moratorium on "fetishize" from this point. ha! Cheers, I hope that it didn't come across in the Cinecast that I 'hated' the film as much as it looks like in Text. The new Trek film for me is 'mostly harmless' which I hope they'll fix in the sequels, now that the franchise is bankable and has the origin story out of the way…

Goon
Guest

Oh so true, this is not Transformers. Even with my complaints there is so much room for improvement, and if they make a sequel that is significantly better than the origin story, or builds upon it more, it will probably make me a bigger fan of the first one. I'm hoping it will end up like X-Men 1 that way.

kurt
Guest

Absolutely, actually X1 is about exactly right. That is the way I feel about Star Trek. And X2 while nowhere near perfect in itself was a GIGANTIC step up!

Goon
Guest

"its not a prequel" – Gamble

it is and it isnt. maybe its both. While its a reboot, when so much of it is an origin story and them meeting each other, to me its kind of like that Dumb and Dumber prequel: "When Harry Met Lloyd" 😛

I mean, its trying to have its cake and eat it to – and thats not a complaint. they're trying to find a way to fit into canon while at the same time reboot.

Its more of a prequel than Casino Royale, thats for sure.

Goon
Guest

X-Men 1 is a very long trailer for X2. I'm hoping Star Trek is the same.

rot
Guest

ugh, If you listen to the Film Junk podcast Jay lays it out how the 'convenience' of the Kirk meeting Spock on the planet makes perfect sense. It wasn't a coincidence that Kirk landed near the Star fleet base, that was where he was supposed to land. Spock was sent there to be in viewing distance of Vulcan exploding, and he too would know where the star fleet base would be and logically reside near it. Not that things have to be so logical, again I say its like nitpicking how the red shirts always die when they go with Kirk, you just go with it as part of the schlock enjoyment of the show.

rot
Guest

Kurt, would you bitch about a Hollywood Musical lacking believable plot structure and depth of plot? Can you not see that this movie is BY DESIGN a popcorn film with no aspirations to be anything but a schlocky joy ride unshackled from the needs of depth? Can't such a thing exist? Are you going to tell me that on that level, by its standards it failed? Because so far your criticisms are all based on a movie it has no intention of being, and it is as silly as me wishing there was more believability in Singin in the Rain, and how convenient the rain started to pour when he sang that song.

Goon
Guest

The convenience of where he was supposed to land doesnt really bother me, but I dont think Jay truly addressed the convenience of how they all meet and become that crew.

the problem with prequels where you have all the characters you like together, is that when they are so much younger, having them be established together so quickly makes it seem like they are some clique who never gave anyone the chance to break through, and they did this for decade. A ship would have people coming in and out among the main characters. Having this on a TV series that lasts X amount of years is one thing, having it now stretch to that ridiculous length, well it makes how they meet seem that much more convienient. At least in the Star Wars prequels, despite having to shove everyone together as linked since childhood, they still had new characters who inhabited that universe that they were centered around.

Because they skipped so much of schooling/establishment of their skills and why they deserve to be there, this movie is to some degree Star Trek Babies. We get a "3 years later" when even a montage would have been better.

Goon
Guest

"Can you not see that this movie is BY DESIGN a popcorn film with no aspirations to be anything but a schlocky joy ride unshackled from the needs of depth? Can’t such a thing exist?"

Its weird hearing these words out of your mouth 😛 – so many times you've basically said this is no excuse for anything and you dont have the time for such 'disposable entertainment'

Rusty James
Guest

@ If you listen to the Film Junk podcast Jay lays it out how the ‘convenience’ of the Kirk meeting Spock on the planet makes perfect sense

Actually Jay was wrong about that. Even Spock acknowledges it was a coincidence.

rot
Guest

@Goon,

Not really, because my criticism of Iron Man was always that it was too rigidly devoted to the superhero formula, and hit it beat by beat, I knew what it wanted to be, my problem with it was always its execution. There is room within that spectrum, and I think Star Trek is an example of how to do it, where you can still be mindless entertainment but hide your formula within a well-paced and aesthetically interesting package. Abrams doesn't give you time to think through the beats of the script because he is always pushing you forward, and that is a strength not a weakness of the film.

I think I have been fairly consistent with the BY DESIGN analysis, this same problem came up with Kurt and others trying to bemoan the loss of a Benjamin Button movie that never existed, nor was intended to exist, and yet nitpicked the film for things it wasn't, not things it was.

rot
Guest

the convenience of how they meet and become the crew, that I cannot understand being a problem.

they have to meet because they did meet, and they would have been strangers at first so its like saying how convenient these strangers met each other… don't you meet strangers on the bus or on the street everyday, is that convenient?

@Rusty

Sure Spock says its a coincidence and in a sense it is, in that they happened across each other, but the reasons both of these characters are within the same vicinity of each other is explained by the plot. Kurt and Andrew would have you believe Kirk was shot randomly onto the planet and it is a coincidence he is so close to the base.

Rusty James
Guest

@ it is a coincidence he is so close to the base.

That parts not a co-incidence. It's sort of a co-incidence that Spock is there. It's a big co-incidence that Scotty is there.

rot
Guest

ugh, its not coincidence that Scotty is there because Scotty is a stranger to Kirk!

This is insane how people think this is too coincidental. Had they been best friends, and left apart and then happened across each other on the planet, THAT is a coincidence… but the person he encountered on the planet could have been Fred rather than Scotty and then Fred would be a character on the show, it just happened his name is Scotty, why, BECAUSE THATS HOW IT PANS OUT, BECAUSE WE KNOW THE FUTURE.

Goon
Guest

"they have to meet because they did meet, and they would have been strangers at first so its like saying how convenient these strangers met each other… don’t you meet strangers on the bus or on the street everyday, is that convenient?"

You're mixing up how they meet vs. how they assemble as a crew, as a clique. If you include Starfleet they meet each other over the course of years.

But this movie shows them becoming this CREW, this clique, within this one adventure, and nobody will infiltrate this clique of young people from then on. I can believe a bunch of old people keep their clique and crew consistent. A bunch of wet behind the ears new recruits? A little strange. I'm not saying its better to introduce Chekhov in movie 3, I'm saying its a problem inherent in prequels where certain characters have to be there to please the fans, period.

If I were making a Star Trek prequel, I wouldnt have some of these characters already in their established positions – they'd be Wesley Crusher-ish ensigns or assistants, and we could maybe have a few more elder characters like Pike that these people look up to that can be part of this new universe. Is that so unreasonable?

rot
Guest

Its convenient only because we know the future, not because of anything particular in that moment of encounter.

you might as well say it is too much of a coincidence that Kirk becomes captain of the Enterprise, its just as ridiculous.

rot
Guest

ok I can accept that then, that is happens all at once, but really this is the mandate of realism in a show that never really blinks at that as an option.

Rusty James
Guest

But do you understand this is not how Spock and Scottie is OG Star Trek. None of this happened in OG Star Trek. Scottie is just assigned to the Enterprise. (Years after Spock was assigned under Christopher PIke. See Menagerie. NERD ALERT)

So they just run into the guy who , in Spock's universe, is going to be assigned to The Enterprise years later. For no reason.

Rusty James
Guest

@ But do you understand this is not how Spock and Scottie [meet in] OG Star Trek.

rot
Guest

Oh I get it the gripes are about continuity with the original tv show? This is Abrams reboot, I am fine with him describing how they get together his own way, they have to meet, so any way they meet that does not bog the story down is fine with me.

Rusty James
Guest

@ This is Abrams reboot, I am fine with him describing how they get together his own way

So am I. But it's a co-incidence.

@ Oh I get it the gripes are about continuity with the original tv show?

Yes. It's a co-incidence because Scotty is the guy from the TV show. Not just some random guy.

Goon
Guest

You dont think there was an opportunity missed for some new crew members?

kurt
Guest

@Rot: "Kurt, would you bitch about a Hollywood Musical lacking believable plot structure and depth of plot? Can you not see that this movie is BY DESIGN a popcorn film with no aspirations to be anything but a schlocky joy ride unshackled from the needs of depth?"

I am actually guilty of this. I fell into the trap of "WHAT IT WANTED" vs. "WHAT I GOT" I did enjoy a fair bit of it on a popcorn level, but there was a general 'flip the bird' to science-fiction in the construction which still offends me. I wasn't looking for 2001 or THE FOUNTAIN, but I'd have at least settled on something at the level of SUNSHINE. And I'll re-iterate that the Villain was pretty lazily written.

Rusty James
Guest

By the way Kurt, Vern's got a review up of S. Darko. He liked it to (kinda). Perhaps I'll be roused to a passionate defense later on. Probably not.

kurt
Guest

I've heard a number of positive rumblings about the film (perhaps due to LOW expectations, perhaps not) and I'm keen. There is in fact a copy sitting at home, waiting to be viewed as soon as I get all the remainder of the HOT DOCS, Brothers Bloom, Sky Crawlers, and Over the Top fest obligations off my plate, I'm diving into some Darko2. Yessir.

Rusty James
Guest

@ I wasn’t looking for 2001 or THE FOUNTAIN, but I’d have at least settled on something at the level of SUNSHINE.

But you evoked both 2001 and The Fountain in the other thread. And when has Star Trek ever been anything like Sunshine? Why does have to be like Sunshine. And isn't the fact that it's released in May and has a huge marketing push and their are burger king commemerative mugs at least fair warning of what type of movie it was going to be.

I don't think I'm advocating brain dead entertainment Mike Bay style. Just movie going common sense. Your expectations were askew.

rot
Guest

@Goon

Yeah they could have added a few, but I am not sure if you could take some out, because the fanbase might take a hissy fit if say Sulu doesn't show up until the last five minutes.

@Kurt

and given the choice I would take The Fountain over Star Trek easy. But they are apples and oranges really. The litmus test for Star Trek, at least for me, is was I bored, and not once was I, the film breezed through and I enjoyed it, and I see that if it didn't, then its natural to nitpick, but I can honestly say from my experience of the movie it was flawless enjoyment.

Rusty James
Guest

@ I’ve heard a number of positive rumblings about the film

Really? From who? I hope I don't have to start hating the film now.

kurt
Guest

@Rusty, "But you evoked both 2001 and The Fountain in the other thread." Yea, well, if I did get that, then Fuckin' A Bonus. Don't we all want our films to aspire to the best?

Mike Rot
Member

But I would argue this is the best, or close to the best of what it is aspiring to make. I don't need everything sci-fi aspiring for The Fountain anymore than I need everything dramatic aspiring for realism. melodrama is fine sometimes too.

Rusty James
Guest

@ Yea, well, if I did get that, then Fuckin’ A Bonus. Don’t we all want our films to aspire to the best?

Sure. But you said the film's bad because it's not like those things. That's where I disagree.

Certainly the film could benefit from some intellectual ambition and imagination. And it's too bad that our society has decided 'fun movies' can't have any of that.

Still, I don't think the movie's completely brain dead. And the parts that are good are quite good. I think there room to enjoy this film without celebrating stupidity.

Like I said before. To hear you tell it the movie is completely devoid of characters and themes and is just a succession of physics defying explosions.

Mike Rot
Member

regarding the comic book debate, I stick to my original argument with Iron Man, and maybe Kurt can agree with me on this:

as a subgenre, the superhero comic book movie is on average one of the most conservative of all genres of film in that they rarely deviate from a fixed formula of telling their stories, and you see the breakdown of the storytelling literally superimposed from one film to the other. This dependence on formula deadens the experience for those who are saturated in the foreknowledge of what happens next. Unless there is the kind of 'dazzling effect' that Abrams pulls off in Star Trek (at least for me) and the pace is properly amped, the mind will wander and recognize the familiar and get bored, bored even when allegedly cool shit (i.e. CGI explosions) are happening.

Its the rigid conservatism of the genre that I dislike, I could give a shit if the source material is nuanced and variegated, the films are cookie cutter factory produced on the whole. Any kind of good superhero film happens in spite of the genre's dependencies… Nolan's universe is richly layered, Joker does not have an origin, Batman is situated in a real world with stakes, and that is something unusual, a deviation from the mold.

Mike Rot
Member

Here is the wiki list of superhero films:

3

3 Dev Adam

A

Adventures of Captain Marvel

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D

The Adventures of the American Rabbit

The Amazing Spiderman (film)

Atom Man vs. Superman

Atomic Rulers of the World

Attack from Space

B

Big Bug Man

Black Mask (film)

Black Mask 2: City of Masks

Black Scorpion (film)

Black Scorpion II: Aftershock

Blade

Blankman

C

Captain America (1990 film)

Captain America (serial)

Cicak Man

Cicakman 2 – Planet Hitam

The Condor (film)

Condorman

Cornman: American Vegetable Hero

D

Daredevil (film)

The Dark Knight (film)

Darkman

The Death of the Incredible Hulk

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Drona (film)

E

Evil Brain from Outer Space

Executioners (film)

F

The Fantastic Four (film)

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

G

Generation X (film)

Ghost Rider (film)

G cont.

The Green Hornet Strikes Again!

The Green Hornet (serial)

Green Lantern: First Flight

H

Hancock (film)

Hellboy

Hero at Large

The Heroic Trio

Hulk

I

The Incredibles

Invaders from Space

Invasion of the Neptune Men

Iron Man (film)

Iron Man II

J

Justice League: The New Frontier

K

Solomon Kane (film)

Kick-Ass (film)

Koi… Mil Gaya series

Krrish

L

Lightspeed (film)

M

List of films based on Marvel Comics

The Mask (film)

The Masked Marvel

Mercury Man (film)

The Meteor Man (film)

Mosaic (film)

Mr. India

My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Mysterious Doctor Satan

Mystery Men

O

Orgazmo

P

Painkiller Jane (film)

The Phantom (film)

The Phantom (serial)

Planet Prince

The Powerpuff Girls Movie

The Pumaman

R

Rat Pfink a Boo Boo

R cont.

The Return of Captain Invincible

The Return of Swamp Thing

Robocop

The Rocketeer (film)

S

Samson vs. the Vampire Women

Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (2010 film)

Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: The Movie

The Shadow (film)

Sky High (2005 film)

Spawn (film)

The Specials (film)

The Spider Returns

Spiderman

The Spider's Web

The Spirit (film)

Steel (film)

The Super Inframan

Super Mario Bros. (film)

Superhero Movie

Superman

Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes

Swamp Thing (film)

T

Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo

The Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Toofan (film)

The Trial of the Incredible Hulk

U

Ultimate Avengers

Unbreakable (film)

Underdog (film)

The Underground World

Up, Up, and Away (2000 film)

V

V for Vendetta (film)

Venom (film)

W

Watchmen (film)

Watchmen: Motion Comic

The Wild World of Batwoman

Wolverine

Wonder Woman (film)

X-Men

Z

Zoom (film)

The ones I like are the ones that disband from formula:

Unbreakable

Dark Knight

Watchmen

rus in chicago
Guest

Kurt – the romance undermines the woman's empowerment?! man you reach to hate this film, and is your view of female empowerment still stuck in the 70s? go outside and talk to a woman, really.

kurt
Guest

Well, you know what they say about office romances. Seems even dumber in the military.

Rusty James
Guest

@ go outside and talk to a woman, really.

By any chance, would you recommend he meet a woman at this site?

http://www.theatlasphere.com/dating/index.php?pag

Mike Rot
Member

Ok finally got to the end…

This notion that people who own blu-rays are going to be screwed by the coming of the digital movies is bizarro. Do my dvds evaporate? are the digital movies said to be an improvement on them? Perhaps I don't quite value money the way most do, but to me buying a blu-ray player is not that much different from buying a dvd player, and the dvds I am getting mostly used for $15-20, something I can handle. And anyone who says the picture quality isn't different is bullshitting themselves. Granted it is a niche thing, for certain kinds of films the distinction is more noticeable, but I feel nothing but love for my blu-rays. Also don't forget I am paying to have the experience NOW, not years from now, add that convenience into the equation and I don't quite understand this holding out. What has it been, two years now the blu-ray has been out?

I think also there is this antiquated view about technology, that things are supposed to last for decades, and I don't believe in that. Case in point I have a lcd tv that has officially died, I think I have had it six years. Everyone brags to me about theie old tube tvs and how they have lasted much longer, but I don't see the significance of longevity. My ipods tends to last a couple years and die, I use them heavily and then I replace with the new technology, and I am happy to upgrade. In a way I don't want things to last, the acceleration of technology is so sharp now, that I am fine with them being more disposable, because eventually I will want that next big thing.

When exactly is the digital revolution happening anyways? And wouldn't that impact the tv you have? I could see hesitation in buying a new tv over buying a blu-ray players, a couple hundred over a couple thousand is a different story.

Mike Rot
Member

and if you are not watching Lost in HD then why bother.

Mike Rot
Member

another advantage, and one I have noticed of used HDVDs is that when Blu-Ray is beaten out by a competing technology, the sale on the blu-ray discs are well worth it. Bottom feeders might as well buy their blu-ray players now because the same $9 dvds will come their way soon enough.

Mike Rot
Member

For me to think that my blu-ray dvds would just collect dust on the shelf and be ignored in this hypothetical future there would have to be some advancement in technology, and what would that be? We have hit about as close to perfect with image quality as possible without becoming too much of a distraction. Why would I have to buy the same movie I own on blu-ray from a digital source, what would it add?

I don't see any inconvenience from buying blu-ray, at all.

This hypothetical future digital technology will I assume require new televisions? And like I said, I can understand the hesitation with buying a new tv right now, but there is no disruption to blu-ray, only benefits.

The laserdisc analogy is not a good one, because laser discs were never as mainstream as blu-ray is now. When the technology dies out, the dvds on sale will be massive, and being of the same quality of digital, for those spendthrifty among us, doesn't it make sense to go blu-ray just because it is dying out?

My questiob efore wasn't hypothetical, I am curious when the digital download is supposed to go mainstream?

Mike Rot
Member

I cannot find anywhere on the web where it even predicts when digital downloads will be mainstream. I mean I found one source that said as late as 2020.

John Allison
Editor

I haven't listened to the podcast yet but I've been contemplating the digitization of my DVD pile but I always come back to the fact that I would hate to not have my nice copy of The Good, The Bad, The Weird, or my Blade Runner Collector's case.

I know everything will eventually go digital but I'll miss the thrill of heading out to the store or receiving a package from Yes Asia. I might not even watch the movie right away but each DVD is still a beloved possession of mine.

As for switching to Blu-Ray… well when I get a player for my computer I'll probably just buy Blu-Ray discs when I find them on sale. I'll probably only buy ones I don't already own on DVD unless its a really good sale.

I am trying to curtail my purchases though. I've got too many movies I haven't seen yet that I own. So far this week I've only bought one DVD which was the original Gone in 60 Seconds and I got it for 5 bucks so it was too hard to pass up.

Matt Gamble
Guest

For me to think that my blu-ray dvds would just collect dust on the shelf and be ignored in this hypothetical future there would have to be some advancement in technology, and what would that be?

The technology already exists. Smaller Indie distributers already sell digital versions of their films, and Netflix's Roku player will start streaming HD films this year. That means for $6 a month you'll be able to watch any Blu-Ray movie you want, whenever you want.

Hell, theaters have been digitally showing movies that are streamed from a central online database for close to a decade while AMC is going to go entirely digital by 2012. Theaters can even stream HD 3D films from an online server if they so choose, and they often do.

rot
Guest

Yes but I mean mainstream, to the point of killing off blu-ray. Blu-ray has announcements coming out a year in advance, and as far as I can tell its putting more and more rather than less and less.

Unless I am wrong, we in Canada do not get Netflix, nor do I get HD Lost on abc.com which I am pissed about.

$6 is a rental for a film, the site says around $15 to own a movie. Same price for me now with blu-ray.

Also, I am confused, those waiting to hitch onto the digital future, you are still buying regular dvds, yes? Which makes more sense to do, buy dvds which are guarenteed to be lower grade quality or buy blu-rays which are going to be on par with the digital films, and so is not a loss buy but an addition one will not need to purchase again digitally? Not all films benefit from HD, but a lot do, and if there is a waste of money in my opinion it is still buying into a technology that is twice removed from the present. I am planning on buying Wendy and Lucy on regular dvd because there is no blu-ray, and it is $18, and for the same price I can get blu-ray dvds, this argument about cost-effective doesn't make sense to me.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

When my DVD ROM dies in my PC, I'll more than likely upgrade my player to an OEM BLUray player if they are ~$50 (if not, I'll just plop in a $15-$20 dvd rom. Also, currently my projector is only 720p, so when that goes (currently it just turned 5, and is still running the original lamp quite fine). I'm sure there will be a massive step in quality when viewed at 100" – but the movies look pretty good right now. And it being poor, poor, poor 2009. I've only bought a couple dvds this year, and those from the $4 bins (or online deals). since I see most things in the cinema when they release, I can usually wait the year or more before buying the DVD used in a rental shop. I used to import a lot of Asian and Scandinavian cinema, but I've backed off on that lately.

I've been meaning to buy Synecdoche, NY though. Just haven't been in a place that has had a copy yet.

I guess I've been reluctant to 'go out of my way' to upgrade. Until criterion started releasing films in BLU, it seemed like unless you wanted new blockbusters, there wasn't all that much 'cinemaphile cinema' being put out in the format. This has obviously changed in the last couple years. But I'm with andrew in that I don't plan on upgrading too many discs – maybe Paprika, Zodiac or Chungking Express.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I wouldn't say cost effective is the reason I'm reluctant to upgrade (unless of course you mean my 700+ DVD collection being upgraded).

The real reason is inertia. I'm simply too lazy to upgrade at the moment, all my equipment works fine and co-operates. I'll hang onto it until something breaks, then replace it with newer stuff. I've never been a bleeding edge guy with gadgets. I buy stuff when it comes down in price, or when there is an obvious advantage to do so (I was an early adopter of Digital Cameras in 1998 because of the saving on film would pay for the camera in a year…yet I held onto my 1.3 megapixel camera until 2007 when I could get a digital SLR for under $500 – (that would be three models back in the Canon Rebel series of prosumer cameras).

rot
Guest

admittedly the range of blu-rays at the moment is still not as wide as I would like. I probably own twenty or so and they are the things I want to own, and there are maybe five or six others I just haven't got around to buying but will buy.

I am curious if Objectified when talking about Apple ever broached the subject of longevity of products declining over the years because it does seem fascinating to me that as the tech curve gets more acute, the life span of technologies shorten as well. It seems preprogrammed into it, so they break down earlier to coincide with the ever replenishing designs. This is my second ipod, and without fail it has died after a couple years of use, right after my warranty expired.

Kurt
Guest

Rusty, sorry dude. S.Darko is a mediocre shit burger. Shackled to the visuals and style of the original, with nothing original to say.

The narrative structure plays like a bet between two drunk wannabe screen writers that just watched Psycho, Forrest Gump and The Lost Highway.

Daveigh Chase should be pretty embarrassed with this.

I felt sorry for Sol Starr that had to leave Deadwood to play a cameo as innkeeper. Other than his performance, everyone is pretty awful in the acting department.

Too bad, because the film is shot pretty good (Utah is purdy anyway) and the soundtrack selections and score are great. But when they are mimic-ing the Darko effects and symbols the film is laughably inept, and when they aren't in 'weird mode' it is simply boring.

D.Darko worked because there were so many moments and details of humanity – From Donnie's mom's reaction to the gym teachers fanaticism, to Donnie's dad, "I hope they don't fuck us on the shingle match", to the two school teachers moaning about the dumbing down of the education system.

S.Darko plays like a cheap horror show more often than not, and badly for that. I was not impressed. The film seemed desperate at best, pathetic at worst, but more than anything, a major missed opportunity, I'm sure someone could have actually made a movie with some of the material.

Rusty James
Guest

@ Daveigh Chase should be pretty embarrassed with this.

naw, definitley not. I loved her weird half smiles. Her melodramatic dialogue and funny line delivery.

The movie looks and sounds great.

And how can it be mediocre and shit.

Kurt
Guest

Uh, storytelling? The script is laughably bad. MST3K bad. Uwe Boll bad. It's slavish to Donnie Darko, and can't do similar things 1/100th as well. I mean the actors are shackled to something pretty awful here. Otherwise, I don't disagree that the film looks and sounds great. But it is boring as shit when I wasn't rolling my eyes…

Rusty James
Guest

@ Uwe Boll bad.

It is not

Kurt
Guest

The screenwriting is; that's what I was saying.

Jay C.
Guest

Sorry, late to this one.

As possibly expected, based on Matt's dropping of my name during the blu ray discussion, I am in disagreement with a few points made at the end of the show.

First off, Matt: Have you actually watched Casablanca on blu ray? I'm thinking no based on your comments. If you think this is a format that isn't conducive to presenting natural film grain, I suggest you check out:

Rio Bravo

The Third Man

The Stendhal Syndrome

The Wrestler

Actually, it's not even worth listing the films. More often than not, film grain is appropriately upheld for blu ray releases and can be replicated to a far more successful degree than SD DVD has ever been able to achieve. Sure there are certain releases that fall victim to DNR and edge enhancement, but certainly not as many as STANDARD DVD. Also, people seem to always ignore a major plus when it comes to HD: PROGRESSIVE SCAN.

As for the intentions of blu ray owners; I wouldn't write them all of as dumb idiots who just want to hear/see explosions on their killer HD systems. I think it simply comes down to the fact that not everyone in the world is passionate about film and some people simply want to be entertained on a basic, disposable level. I'm sure there are car enthusiasts out there that would criticize our collective lack of diversity or creativity in our choice of automobiles. How about video game enthusiasts that roll their eyes at the thought of people casually playing Halo 3 or Grand Theft Auto 4 when there are so many good homemade, underground indie games out there? Movies aren't everyone's 'thing'. To some, it's simply disposable entertainment, and I don't think that makes them stupid or intellectually dumb. It's just not as big a part of their lives as it is ours. No big deal. I'm content with playing Street Fighter 4 and not digging in to the underground games from around the world because I see gaming as a way to occasionally pass the time. It certainly doesn't make me an idiot I hope.

As for kicking myself for owning a blu ray player when streaming HD is the norm…are you currently kicking yourself for owning an SD DVD player now that Blu Ray has made its tech obsolete and streaming and on-demand SD (and in some cases, HD) is now available? Doubt it. Not to mention the fact that blu ray players play DVD's.

Finally…cost. I don't think this was really brought up, but for all of those people who still complain about the cost of blu ray, how about complaining about the cost of SD? The format is obsolete in terms of tech and the discs themselves are practically worthless. Just try trading in a used DVD and see what you get for it. Yet, there are still many new releases priced in the 20-30 dollar price range. Now THAT is a rip off.

Matt Gamble
Guest

First off, the comment was meant as a joke. If it didn't come across that way I'll take full blame.

Now on to the discussion. I know blu-ray is conducive to showing film grain, problem is early on they were purposely scrubbing the grain from releases. Sony wasn't going after film fans, they were going after tech heads. That is an important point and I think a big reason why Sony has struggled to increase market share among film buyers. Gamers and tech heads don't buy a lot of movies, and because those were the early adopters Sony hasn't seen the growth they anticipated. That's a flaw in their business model.

I know several people that own Blu-rays and I wouldn't call any of them idiots, but they've also dumped $5K+ for there Blu-ray setups because they were early adopters. That is a massive financial investment and for me the cost benefit simply isn't there. It was for them, and I assume it was for you, but to think that it is for most people is short sighted IMO.

As for DVD's being obsolete, I've owned some of them well over a decade, and my most popular movies Ive watched well over a hundred times each. The cost benefit was realized years ago and so its hard to get upset when technology moves forward. It would be like being upset that my 10 year old car with 300,000 miles finally broke down and needed to be replaced. I got my use and then some.

Cost is a valid point, but the problem is both formats are grossly over priced. CD's were cheaper to manufacture then tape yet they were always more expensive, and the price never really dropped. Problem is Blu-rays will struggle to compete with the price of digital streaming or downloading. The physical infrastructure required to produce and ship physical product is massive, and the cost incurred follows accordingly. And because that cost exists, it gets passed onto the consumer. Blu-rays will never drop below $20 for new releases IMO, while I'll be stunned if digital downloads ever top $10 once they become fully realized.

So not only do you save on the cost of a $500 player, but you save on each disc you purchase. That is a huge uphill battle for Sony to fight, and as of yet they haven't shown me a model that seems capable of countering it. Neither has the music industry, or newspapers for that matter. Blu-ray is dead, it just doesn't know it yet.

Jay C.
Guest

Well, while you're waiting for the future of full HD downloads, I'll be enjoying my brand new Star Trek 1-6 blu ray collection. To each his own.

As for blu ray being dead and now knowing it, the same can be said for many things that are still viable formats: vinyl, cd, dvd, film stock.

"As for DVD’s being obsolete, I’ve owned some of them well over a decade, and my most popular movies Ive watched well over a hundred times each."

First off, I think the numbers at which people think they watch certain movies are greatly exaggerated. I've always thought I've watched some films over a hundred times, but I seriously doubt it's the case. That's just a side note. As for blu ray, who's to say current blu ray owners aren't going to get the same use out of the discs they own? Will there be a nation wide law enforcing the destruction of blu ray discs once streaming HD is the norm? I know lots of people who still listen to their vinyl collections and get great enjoyment out of them. The investment is as worthy as you make it. If there's such a resistance to blu ray as a technology due to the eventual realization of streaming HD, I don't know why anyone would continue buying SD DVD's either. At least blu ray discs are of equal quality.

Matt Gamble
Guest

I clean my apartment to Transformers: The Movie. I can assure you I've probably watched it somewhere near 300+ times. I've worn out more then a few discs from watching them too many times. I'm fairly certain this means I'm better than you.

Well, while you’re waiting for the future of full HD downloads, I’ll be enjoying my brand new Star Trek 1-6 blu ray collection. To each his own.

And I've got digital copies of every Star Trek movie, for a fraction of what you paid. I'm quite happy with what I have, as I'm sure you are with yours.

As for blu ray, who’s to say current blu ray owners aren’t going to get the same use out of the discs they own? Will there be a nation wide law enforcing the destruction of blu ray discs once streaming HD is the norm? I know lots of people who still listen to their vinyl collections and get great enjoyment out of them. The investment is as worthy as you make it.

I'd hope they attempt to. But most people simply don't have the money to invest in a player and a 60"+ HDTV, plus pay the additional $10 a movie to enjoy a slight increase in visual quality. There is a reason why Blu-ray struggles to maintain market share. Remember when Sony "won" the HD war and claimed within a year they'd control 50% of the market? That's almost a year and a half ago and they've climbed all the way up to 10%.

If there’s such a resistance to blu ray as a technology due to the eventual realization of streaming HD, I don’t know why anyone would continue buying SD DVD’s either. At least blu ray discs are of equal quality.

People have already invested the money into DVD players. Their TV sets already allow them to see a huge difference from VHS to DVD. The infrastructure already exists. Sony had to build all that, and rely on people to throw out their huge collections and build new ones as well as invest in expensive upgrades on multiple platforms.

The simple fact of the matter is the real format war was never between HD-DVD and Blu-ray, it was whoever won that and DVD. And DVD is winning by a landslide. People are content to wait until digital downloading/streaming is a reality (which it already is) and they are choosing to move to that format and keep their DVD collections, which also happen to look great on an HDTV. Blu-ray isn't a bad format by any means, its just that Sony has once again failed to convince the general populace that they NNEED to buy their product.

I hate to sound like a collar popping douche, but facts are facts.

rot
Guest

finally someone on my side.

and I say again, and echoing Jay, if blu-ray ended tomorrow, I will still have 20 films I can rewatch to my heart's delight and 20 films I will not need to buy digitally. This notion of loss truly baffles me. To me the loss is having gone two years without HD because you are waiting for digital mainstream.

also don't you need a HD tv for digital? That doesn't change anything, the actual additional cost of a blu-ray experience is the player and the discs, and they are not that expensive.

Andrew, in that post you linked to the guy was bemoaning the BD-Live features, and I agree, I have not once used that feature. I generally don't care that much about extra features. But you cannot argue with the picture quality when you see it, that is why I own a blu-ray player. Zodiac is fucking amazing, and Lost, like I said, cannot be watched any other way.

and who said you needed to replace your collection, Andrew? Not all films benefit from a HD upgrade… A Scanner Darkly for example I have to believe cannot look any better as it does on regular dvd on my HDTV. I have been tempted to buy Death Proof, but again, isn't the point of that film to reduce the quality of picture, so what would be the point?

Films I own that mandate the upgrade

Rio Bravo

Zodiac

Lost

Madmen

No Country for Old Men

The Dark Knight

The Fountain (the regular dvd version is utter shit)

Sunshine

Bottle Rocket

Chungking Express

thats as far as my memory serves me…

Jay C.
Guest

Matt: You're stoopidz.

Rot: A Scanner Darkly is actually pretty crazy in HD. This goes back to the progressive scan thing; I've found that animation benefits extremely from the HD upgrade because the interlacing on the previous SD versions wreak havoc on the lines in those films/tv shows. Although I'm sure the SD version of that movie is good. Solid blocks of colour are much easier to handle. But I assure you, the HD upgrade is quite impressive. As are the Disney classic animated features.

Back to Matt:

"And I’ve got digital copies of every Star Trek movie, for a fraction of what you paid. I’m quite happy with what I have, as I’m sure you are with yours."

I bet your digital copies didn't come with THE CAPTAIN'S SUMMIT ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION HOSTED BY WHOOPI GOLDBERG! BOOM.

"But most people simply don’t have the money to invest in a player and a 60″+ HDTV, plus pay the additional $10 a movie to enjoy a slight increase in visual quality."

Aren't you asking for the same investment from people to enjoy streaming HD? HDTV's are the standard now. Anyone who needs a new TV are practically forced to get an HDTV. If HD digital streaming were to become the norm, it would face the same problems as blu ray in regards to making converts. In fact, I think it would struggle even more considering the non-tech crowd — like my parents, who own a blu ray player — know how to buy a disc and put it in a player but don't know anything about computers. They certainly can't enjoy the benefits of any sort of downloading/streaming on the computer at this point. Perhaps once it's widely available through their television, but still, they will likely need a 'player' or device for that, which will cost them money. If the upgrade is an issue for blu, it's as much of an issue for streaming.

"People have already invested the money into DVD players. "

Same can be said in regards to digital downloading. And anyone who watches a streaming HD movie currently available through digital cable should be able to notice the difference in quality. The second there's any sort of action, everything turns blocky. There are still things that need to be resolved in terms of HDTV broadcasting and streaming. Bit rates being one of them. This may be coming, but I'm pretty sure it's in the hands of broadcasters, and if all of these people can't even tell the difference, then I don't see it changing soon.

In no way am I claiming that digital downloads/streaming will never catch on. They will. I just don't think it will be as fast as people think, and I also don't think it will completely wipe out blu ray in the process. I think there are factions of people that still want a physical disc. Look at how long music pirating/downloading has been around, and yet we still have cd stores. Sure, many of them have closed since, but you can't tell me the physical CD is going anywhere anytime soon. There's still money to be made on box sets, special edition packaging, blah blah blah.

As we already established; you're happy watching your Transformers disc 300 times while cleaning your apartment, and I'm happy watching Faces of Death in glorious 1080p while doing my sit ups. So be it.

Matt Gamble
Guest

also don’t you need a HD tv for digital? That doesn’t change anything, the actual additional cost of a blu-ray experience is the player and the discs, and they are not that expensive.

Here is the rub I think, for most people buying a player and paying $10 more per disc IS expensive. So much so that they aren't convinced the format change is worth it.

Matt Gamble
Guest

I bet your digital copies didn’t come with THE CAPTAIN’S SUMMIT ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION HOSTED BY WHOOPI GOLDBERG! BOOM.

Well played.

Same can be said in regards to digital downloading. And anyone who watches a streaming HD movie currently available through digital cable should be able to notice the difference in quality. The second there’s any sort of action, everything turns blocky. There are still things that need to be resolved in terms of HDTV broadcasting and streaming. Bit rates being one of them.

HDTV refresh rates don't help either. Not sure what industry standard is in Canada but in the US it is 60Hz which results in a 3:2 frame rate and noticeable juddering. Until 120Hz becomes the standard Blu-ray's visual potential just won't be fully realized here in the States. Which is a shame, as the thought of a 1080p, 120Hz DLP projector makes me swoon.

In no way am I claiming that digital downloads/streaming will never catch on. They will. I just don’t think it will be as fast as people think, and I also don’t think it will completely wipe out blu ray in the process. I think there are factions of people that still want a physical disc.

That argument simply holds less and less water as time passes because people will be able to burn their own discs if they desire physical copies. I'm more surprised smaller Indie studios aren't pushing digital distribution, including files for the jackets and labels so people can burn the films however they see fit. It would drop distribution costs a ton, and allow them to offer a price point that is competitive with Big Box retailers.

I'm sure Blu-ray will linger for some time, but I'd be stunned if it outlasts DVD, simply because it doesn't have the market share that DVD does. Blu-ray is a great tech, no doubt about it, but consumers care more about convenience and cost in the long run, and Blu-ray has struggled to make headway in those areas.

Now if Transformers: The Movie is released on Blu-ray I fully reserve the right to retract all my statements and become a full fledged Blu-ray whore.

Kurt
Guest

My kids watch a ratty old digitized from VHS DIVx file of Transformers: The Movie which I've had since 1999. I had no idea they finally released on regular DVD, but then again, Bayformers opened a lot of doors to getting the olds stuff put out in modern formats. I'm quite surprised there isn't BLU Ray versions of "Orson Welles vs. Leonard Nimoy" (as in the most surreal scene from the film).

Jay C.
Guest

There is a UK blu ray release of the film, which means the North American one isn't far off.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Blu-ray is the greatest thing EVAH!

rot
Guest

Yeah but I guess I am not directing my comments to the hypothetical everyman, this is a movie blog, my audience are people who seem to care about movies, but are ok with an inferior platform to watch the films. This individual SHOULD care about film grain, should want the film the way the director wanted it to look. If they are film fans, they would spend the extra money to watch them this way. dvd costs are practically the same, at least for me as I buy them used, and the machines are not that expensive.

From what I am hearing its not the cost so much as the notion that digital is on the horizon, and I have been since the beginning arguing so what? This same horizon gazing was happening two years ago. Are you so sure that its going to happen now? The netflix thing is not an option in Canada, as far as I am aware. If anything blu-ray is getting there first, is enjoying the films now rather than later. its worth paying to have something now. or are you the type of person who waits to retirement to travel?

do it now, this summer the LHC experiment will be initiated and there will be no world to enjoy. Even Dan Brown says so.

Goon
Guest

I dont have a hi-def TV let alone a Blu Ray, but for whatever my ignorant opinion is worth I think its a bit difficult if not futile to predict how the masses are going to adapt to new technology even months down the line.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Yeah but I guess I am not directing my comments to the hypothetical everyman, this is a movie blog, my audience are people who seem to care about movies, but are ok with an inferior platform to watch the films.

Well if that is your argument why are you watching the movies at home when Blu-ray is inferior to film?

its worth paying to have something now. or are you the type of person who waits to retirement to travel?

No, I wait to travel for when I have the money so I can enjoy the vacation, not worry about scrimping so I can make it through the experience as unscathed as possible.

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