Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh, the Horror

Why do DVD companies continue to shake down the general public? Time and time again film fans are given the shaft by most every company in Hollywood. There used to be the standard DVD double-dip (DD), and that was the only problem. Unfortunately today there are even more dips and more problems the consumer faces.

I would say the award for biggest offender of the DD would have to go to Anchor Bay. They have released about 8,000 different versions of Evil Dead alone, not to mention the countless other titles, and Evil Dead sequels, who have been released time and time again. The standard DD is no longer the big problem now. Each cinephile now has to wrestle with the decision - Blu-Ray or Not. I can see the arguments on both sides of the fence. On one hand why should I re-buy all of my DVDs on this new technology? Do I really need Girl’s Just Want to Have Fun in high definition? For the other side, if your TV is over 60”, or you have a theater room with a projector, Blu-Ray gets rid of the artifacting that a standard disc will show. As if this was not a hard enough decision these companies are making it worse.

A couple of months ago Paramount finally decided to release the uncut version of the original Friday the 13th on DVD and Blu-Ray, at the same they released parts 2 and 3 (in 3D!). Only part one got the Blu-Ray release while the other two were standard def only. I didn’t waste my money buying the other two since I still have the box set from 2004, the new extra features didn’t really matter to me. Now they have announced a Blu-Ray release of 2 and 3 on June 16th. I’m really glad I waited, but the insanity does not stop there. The very same day Paramount will release deluxe editions of parts 4-6, but guess what? NO FUCKING BLU-RAY! Of course they are trying to screw the public again. There were also some great fan commentaries recorded for these discs but they are missing from the extras list. Maybe they will put them on the high def versions when they inevitably come out in a couple months.

Probably the most frustrating news I have had dealing with DVDs recently would come from one of my favorite films from last year, and one of the best damn vampire movies ever. Magnolia Pictures released the Swedish vampiric coming-of-age tale Let the Right One In, which everyone should see, in March. Soon it came to my attention that they decided to go with different subtitles then were on the theatrical release. These new subtitles really dumb down the character development and change the feel of entire scenes, you can see the comparisons on Icons of Fright. After online complaining Magnolia realized they really screwed up and issued a statement saying they would be re-releasing the disc with the theatrical subtitles intact. Sound too good to be true? It is. The catch is they will not be replacing discs that you have already bought. Sigh. So fans, like me, who rushed out and bought a copy on the release date are getting it in the ass. The thanks we get for supporting their company and a great film is shitty subtitles. Now I am left with the problem of either keeping the Blu-Ray with poor subtitles or trading it in for about a quarter of what I paid for it to go back and give Magnolia thirty more dollars. I really do not want to give them anymore money, but I also don’t want to have an inferior version of the film. I e-mailed Magnolia about the whole issue about three weeks ago and, of course, never heard back.

Why do these companies continue to screw us?


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