Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Why I Am Blue About Blu-ray
Posted by Courtney Small
As a person who loves to watch movies, people are often perplexed to find out that I have not yet upgraded to a Blu-ray player. I am still rocking the standard DVD format, and to be honest, I am quite fine with that. While I love the idea of having a much crisper image to look at, the idea of re-stocking my shelf with the same films I already have just does not sit well with me.
A week or so ago I indulged a little by stopping by the closing sale at my local Blockbuster. Although I only intended to browse, I ended up picking up 15 DVDs by time I was ready to leave; and that was after I had to discarded another 10 just based on wallet constraints. The thing that my wife found shocking about the 15 titles I picked up where that bulk of them were not “new” titles. I had picked up: The first two Godfather films, The Indiana Jones Trilogy, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the first two Alien films, The Great Escape, There Will Be Blood, Volver, The Lives of Others, Grindhouse, Sin City, and This Is Spinal Tap. Many of these films I already had on VHS.
Yes, VHS, that archaic format that helped to shape my, and many other movie lovers that are part of my generation, cinematic taste. In fact I still have my two VHS holder towers, and countless other storage accessories, in my mother’s basement. I even still have a working TV/VHS combo player down there hooked up to my old PlayStation 2. Whenever my mother holds a family dinner, and my younger cousins are pounding away on PS2, I cannot help but peruse my old VHS collection. About 40% of those movies are now staples in my DVD collection but there are some, such as a few of the films listed above, that I held out on upgrading to DVD for one main reason...repackaging.
Part of my resistance to upgrading to Blu-ray is directly related to that fact that I got fed up with studios releasing numerous versions of the same film on standard DVD. It is bad enough that I own two different copies of Donnie Darko, not to mention my wife’s three different copies of Dirty Dancing, but look at how many copies of both the Alien films and The Godfather films have been released over the years? I could not justify buying a film I already had on VHS on DVD at full price only to find out yet another “special edition” or “director’s final cut” version has hit the market. By upgrading to Blu-ray, I would in a sense be subjecting myself to the same financial punishment I had already endured with standard DVD.
I am not opposed to the technical advantages of the Blu-ray format, I am merely against the way studios are trying to drain every last dollar from me. Sure getting The Indiana Jones trilogy on Blu-Ray seems exciting now, but will you be jumping for joy when the Blu-ray, which you spent $50 on, is now being sold for $5 because a newer edition has become available. I am aware that with the advancement of technology, it is only a matter of time before I am forced to succumb to the power of Blu-ray. If I am lucky, I can skip the format altogether and just jump straight to the next big DVD format that is decided on by the folks at either Mircrosoft or Sony when they release their next incarnations of the Xbox and PlayStation systems. Until then, I am happy to be called a grumpy old man for sticking with my standard DVD format. Now where did I put that walker?