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083008 In Bu-ray heaven or hell?
.. . . . . .Not too long ago my desktop decided to commit suicide. After some deliberation I decided to get a new one and do something of an upgrade. While switching to a new desktop I made the jump to Blu-ray and 1080p at the same time. I had wanted Blu-ray for some time (especially since HD-DVD went belly up, ending the format war) and as long as I had to get a new desktop I thought I would get one with Blu-ray. So began my introduction to Blu-ray. I am babbling about all this because recently I read a post on DVDTown and another one on DVDTimes that both essentially said some of the movie
studious were frustrated with the lack of Blu-ray movie sales. They weren't saying the numbers were bad, they were just saying they had hoped for more.
.. . . . . .Here's the thing, having just upgraded to Blu-ray, I can tell them easily why the sales are not as big as they could be: 1.) Price. Both the Blu-ray equipment and the movies are marked up, often to ridiculous levels. Who wants to pay $20 or more for 'Under Siege'? How about 'Street Kings' for $27- $30? No? That is to say nothing of what you will have to shell out for a 1080p display/tv and a Blu-ray player. 2.) Compatibility. So you shell out all of your hard earned cash. You spend a ton of money so you can play any Blu-ray disc your heart desires, right? Wrong. The only player that I know for sure will play all Blu-ray titles is the Playstation 3 (which has many updates.) Other than that you can bet there will be at least a few titles you will not be able to play. 2.5) Changing format. This sort of goes along with the last one but believe it or not there are still some changes that have been made to the Blu-ray standard. If your player does not support Profile 2.0 (the latest revision of the Blur-ray discs) you can bet that there will be a few titles that will have features that won't work or worse, the movies won't play at all. I have already run into this problem and I haven't even had my new set up a month. Fortunately for me, there are work-arounds that I can use but it wasn't easy.
.. . . . . .So studios want more sales? Here's a novel idea: start making sure that your players will play all of the Blu-ray movies. Next, stop wasting time on stupid technology like Profile 2.0. Don't get me wrong, I bet down the road there will be some cool features that will be done with Profile 2.0 but let that happen in time. Nobody gives a s**t if they can upload a photo of themselves into their copy of 'Starship Troopers 3'. (No, I'm not making that up.) Finally, establish some sort of reasonable pricing scale and stick to it. The prices have been all over the map and it may be my imagination but it seems like they are just going up.
.. . . . . .Am I happy I upgraded? Well, sure but it was a lot of work and frankly should have been easier for what the equipment costs. The whole ordeal seemed eerily familiar to some of what went on with DVDs when they started to take off. Anyone else remember that? You spent all this money on a DVD player and then it would lock up on dual layered DVDs... Yeah, good times. Anyway, you can read the article about Disney's upcomming releases of their classic animated films on Blu-ray at DVDtown HERE. You can also read about the Blu-ray Disc Association Press Conference at the great, great, site DVDTimes, HERE. -Nate

 

082908 'The Fall' will be heading to Blu-ray and DVD in early September.
.. . . . . .I just mentioned in my last post that I’m looking forward to seeing 'The Fall'. Since it is only in a limited release I probably won’t get to see it at the theaters but DvdTown.com has posted (see their post HERE) about the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray release on September 9th. (At least I won’t have to wait too long to see it.) The features for both formats are scheduled to be:
  .. . . . . .*An audio commentary by director Tarsem Singh and a second commentary with actor Lee Pace, writer Dan Gilroy, and writer/producer Nico Soultanakis.
.. . . . . .*‘Making of’ featurettes and some deleted scenes.
.. . . . . .*There are also supposed to be a couple of Blu-ray exclusives: an enhanced photo gallery and BD-Live enabled content (whatever that means.)
Here is hoping that the film gets a stellar transfer! Preorder from Amazon.com via the links to the left. Of the two the Blu-ray is on the left and the DVD is on the right. In the meantime before the 9th, check out the trailer
for 'The Fall' in 480p HERE, 720p HERE, 1080p HERE and go to the official website HERE. -Nate

 

082508 Start your week off with Tarsem's 'The Fall'.
. . . . . .Leave it to the great Cartoon Brew to beet me to a post. (See their post HERE.) A movie that you probably haven't heard of called 'The Fall' is gaining a lot of attention in a limited theatrical release. The Cartoon Brew connection comes in because the film features a short stop motion sequence. The film is the second feature from the director of 'The Cell'. While I thought that film was disturbing and sported some fabulous visuals, I wasn't a huge fan of it. However, reading about 'The Fall' makes me want to go back and give 'The Cell' another try. 'The Fall' was actually completed in 2006. The story goes that Tarsem put up millions of his own money to finance the film himself. There is also a rumor that 'The Fall' was made without the use of any computer generated imagery. I have no idea if that is true and really it is sort of irrelevant. What I do know is this film looks impressive. For some reason it reminds me of the visuals in Julie Taymor's great film 'Titus'. The plot of 'The Fall' seems to be about
a friendship that forms between two patients in a hospital. One is a young girl, the other is an older man who spins elaborate fantasy tales to entertain the young girl (hence the surreal visuals.) For the time being check out the trailer for 'The Fall' in 480p HERE, 720p HERE, 1080p HERE and go to the official website HERE. -Nate

 

082208 Review of PowerDVD Ultra 8
. . . . . .Want to play High Def on your computer? Thinking of plunking down the cash for Cyberlink's PowerDVD 8 Ultra? Read my review before you spend your hard earned coin. The software does work but it does not have an important feature in high def. For me it is almost enough to
not recommend the software. By the way, what is up with that lady on the above PowerDVD splash screen? The whole thing looks like an ad for LSD. "Come on kids, tune in, drop out, and watch flying DVDs circle your face! Woooo!" If you do decide to get the software help me out, and buy it from Amazon via the link above or the one in the review. Before you spend the money, read the full review HERE. -Nate

 

081208 Planned protest of Ben Stiller’s ‘Tropic Thunder’.
. . . . . .I can’t help myself, I had to post about this. Mental disability advocates are planning a protest of Ben Stiller’s upcoming action comedy ‘Tropic Thunder’. They are demanding changes be made to the film. Oh dear. When is it the job of people with mental disabilities to edit films? Actually, now that I type that, I realize the M.P.A.A. has been doing it for years and many people would say they pass for mentally retarded. Look, I haven’t seen ‘Tropic Thunder’, it could be the worst movie ever made but it is not the job of support groups to call for the censoring of a film. You want to boycott, fine. If the film is a turd, it will hopefully die on its own. You can’t tell the filmmakers what and what not to put in their film, even if what they make is horribly offensive. I get that if you look or act different from everyone else then your life can be that much harder and to have a film give people a ton of ammo to pick on you with
does suck. So don’t see the film and if you want to make a positive statement, make your own friggin’ film. See an article about the hubbub HERE and yes, I do kinda’ want to see ‘Tropic Thunder’. See a trailer for the film in 480p HERE, 720p HERE, abd 1080p HERE. There was a parody viral video made to promote ‘Tropic Thunder’ that was shown at the MTV movie awards. The clip was very funny and showed up on sites like Youtube. In a case of companies not getting the joke, the video kept getting removed because of copyright issues. Apparently the powers that be missed the joke. It was finally left online and can be seen via Youtube above. 'Tropic Thunder' opens this week. -Nate

 

081108 Over the weekend Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes passed away.
. . . . . .This past weekend comedian Bernie Mac and musician Isaac Hayes both passed away from unrelated illnesses. Oddly enough they are both supposed to be in the upcoming film ‘Soul Men’ along with Samuel Jackson (pictured left .)  I was a fan of both men and it is a shame to see them go. Mac was only 50 and while he has had some health problems in the past, I was surprised to read that he had passed away. He was truly funny and he could make roles that should have been forgettable stand out. Such as his performance in ‘Ocean’s Eleven’. His interplay with Matt Damon when they pretended to fight with one another was probably one of the funniest moments in the film. I think the first time I noticed him was when he played a ridiculously flawed Judge Peabody in ‘Booty Call’. Hayes was probably best remembered for his theme song to the film ‘Shaft’. He wrote music, acted in a variety of roles and gained a whole new audience with his frequent appearances on the show ‘South
Park’. I remember liking him in the great film ‘Hustle & Flow’. R.I.P. gentlemen. See an article about Hayes passing HERE. An article about Mac’s passing can be found HERE. -Nate

 

080508 ‘Monsters Vs. Aliens’ trailer.
. . . . . .So, I seem to be on a bootleg trailer theme here and since everything seems to come in threes I thought I might finish off the trailer trilogy with the bootleg Comic Con trailer for ‘Monsters Vs Aliens’. Directed by Conrad Vernon (‘Shrek 2’) and Rob Letterman (‘Shark Tales’,) ‘Monsters Vs. Aliens’ (a.k.a. ‘MVA’) looks like a fun animated flic’ from DreamWorks. This short trailer was at WorstPreviews.com HERE and it has some annoying audio issues for the first 1/3 of the trailer. Even with those issues the trailer is still worth checking out. ‘MVA’ sports a strong cast including Seth Rogen, Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson, Paul Rudd,
Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, and Stephen Colbert. Like the past three of the Real Political Face Talk Bootleg Trailer Trilogy, I will link to the high quality trailers when they show up on the web. In the meantime check the bootleg ‘Monsters Vs. Aliens’ trailer above. -Nate

 

080408 Start your week with ‘The Wolf Man’ trailer!
. . . . . .Here is another Comic Con trailer that has shown up on the web. Thanks to whoever originally posted this. It has shown up on Movie-List.com HERE. I wrote about ‘The Wolf Man’ last Halloween (HERE) and am still interested in this film. Originally this was going to be directed by Mark Romanek but he stepped out and was replaced by Joe Johnston of ‘Jumanji’ and ‘October Sky’ fame. I really liked the minimalist make up that was used in the photo from my Halloween post. The final wolf make up in the film looks closer to the original 1941 film make up and I’m not sure what I think about it yet. I was really curious to see what the Romanek film would have looked like but the Johnston one looks suitably moody. I love the original and am looking forward to the remake. Benicio Del Toro seems perfect for
the role and he is joined by  Emily Blunt, Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving. See ‘The Wolf Man’ trailer above. I will post a better quality trailer when it appears on the web. In the mean time check out ‘The Wolf Man’ trailer above and see what you think of it. -Nate

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