Tag Archives: Blu-ray

Digital Media vs.Physical Media.


The other day I posted a Facebook status, and wanted to expand upon it here.  This is what I said:

I get that digital & cloud media are the next step. I get that ALMOST everything is available for streaming as part of a service. Anyone else weirded out by it? Some stuff… obscure or whatever just isn’t available for streaming. What happens when the companies close or the cloud’s redundant services fail? What happens if someone buys the rights to streaming movies, just to keep them from the public? What if censorship goes out of control and some committee decided certain movies are no longer available? Will they all be lost forever because no one will have physical copies? Don’t say it can’t happen… it has in the past with books.

It sparked a discussion.  Not too long after I posted that, Amazon posted this:

Announcing AutoRip from Amazon MP3: Buy an AutoRip CD and instantly get the MP3 version for FREE. Learn more: http://amzn.to/VMhFaJ

I of course shared it, and it sparked a tiny bit more discussion.

English: Photograph of Roku XDS player with re...

Photograph of Roku XDS player with remote. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like the idea of digital music & cloud storage.  I just purchased a 3TB drive, and in addition to other uses, hope to eventually rip all of my CD’s & put them on there so I can set it up to listen to all of my stuff from any browser anywhere.  Well, after I make a few decisions.

I like the idea of Digital movies & TV shows…  I love having Netflix‘s library available in an instant.  I love being able to watch a movie from Netflix or rent a digital movie from Amazon through the Blu-ray player.

I like the idea of Pandora or Google Play where there’s streaming music there in an instant.  Pandora just disappoints because of the variety of music I listen to… a lot of smaller bands that I really dig just have a minimal or even no presence there.  Google Play at least lets you upload your own mp3’s in addition to purchasing new ones.  Amazon holds your stuff in the cloud too.  I just wish all the music that I wanted was all in one place.

I have had an older external hard drive crash.  It’s not good.  I still need to get it fixed without breaking the bank.  Anything physical can be destroyed…  CD’s & Records can melt or scratch, and not too many people have 8-Trak or even cassette players any more.

My original question is as much about content control & ownership as much as anything else.  Say you purchase a ton of music that’s in the cloud… and that company shuts down.  How do you hold on to that music?  Were you just renting it?  What happens if the parent company gets into a disagreement with the management of your favorite band and their catalog is removed from your clous storage?

Cover of "Idiocracy"

“…a time when people cared about who’s ass it was, and why it was farting!”

What if you bought the movie Idiocracy and it becomes so true to life that it’s banned?  Don’t sit back comfortably and think it can’t happen.  Books are banned all the time by different groups.  No one comes & takes all of your books… yet.  What if the banned book could be deleted from your Kindle or Nook?  All In The Family would never fly on TV now, but what if it was no longer available because of its abrasive humor?

I just feel uneasy about it.

That being said, I absolutely hate cash money.  I hardly ever have it on me.  I like swiping my card for everything.  If I could use it in parking meters and pop machines, I would.  There’s a swing back towards cash though, as credit card company fees are crushing small businesses, especially if you’re making a purchase with a low dollar amount.  Is it odd that I have no problem with my money being intangible,  but when I use to to purchase an album or a movie… I need that to be tangible?

I’d like to get a good discussion going in the comments.

The Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Movies


I like movies, and I like rock ‘n’ roll.  You probably already knew (or assumed) that.  These are some of my favorite music-related films.  What are yours?

AirheadsAirheads – Such a great goofy film.  I feel that this one is underrated… maybe it has a “cult” sort of following.  The plot is ridiculous and it’s filled with all kinds of great actors.  It’s got some of the best quotes ever, and is why I will someday demand a football helmet filled with cottage cheese and naked pictures of Bea Arthur if ever given the chance to make crazy demands.  I could probably watch this movie over & over as much as I could watch the Star Wars films over & over.

The cover for Shark Sandwich, one of the band'...This is Spinal Tap – This is a no-brainer.  It goes to 11.  It’s the standard to which all other rock ‘n’ roll films are measured.  It has sustain.  Just let the DVD or Blu-ray or VHS tape or Laser Disc sit on the shelf and listen to it.

Music from the Motion Picture Josie and the Pu...Josie and the Pussycats - Laugh all you want, but this movie is super fun.  If you can’t enjoy this one, you have no soul.  I had no attachment to the cartoon in case there are purists out there that didn’t like it because fans of original things rarely like those things rehashed.  Orange is the new pink.  “3 Small Words” is a great pop song.

Empire RecordsEmpire Records – It’s not really about  band or musicians… but the chaos all over the store is all about rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s filled with great tracks from GWAR, AC/DC, Sponge, not quite Body Count’s “Hey Joe“, Coyote Shivers, and Rex Manning.  Ha ha.

Lemmy (film)Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch – If you haven’t seen this & you’re even a casual fan of metal, punk, rock docs in general, or even just heard “Ace of Spades” once, you need to see this.  That was a really long grammatically terrible sentence.  Lemmy would kick my ass for pointing that out.  Maybe not.  He seems like a really likeable dude to hang out with if you can get past the stink of cigarettes.

It Might Get LoudIt Might Get Loud – Not a huge fan of any of these dudes… except Jimmy Page is… well, Jimmy Page.  Led Zeppelin is amazing, I’m just not one of those dudes that has all the albums or knows all the riffs.  U2 actually kind or irks me, but the Edge seems like a cool dude & an effect wiz.  Jack White surprised me, but he’s kind of creepy.  Beyond all that, I still enjoyed this movie.  Guys talking about their love of music, the guitar, & playing… it’s incredible.

Walk the Line (soundtrack)Walk the Line – Probably one of the best biopics ever, if not the best.  Johnny Cash was a great man, and an asshole.  It’s all out there.  It’s a compelling story spanning many decades, and really a love story with Jone & Johnny.  The man in black went through a lot in life.

Ray (film)Ray – Ray & Johnny Cash had eerie similar back stories.  Jamie Foxx is a genius in this film.  It’s one hell of a great story.  Ray did it all, from R&B to pop to country.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (soundtrack)Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story – This is hilarious. Watch Walk the Line & Ray first though.  Then laugh hard. (♫ Haaaaard! ♫)

Wayne's World (soundtrack)Wayne’s World – You’re hearing Queen in your head right now, aren’t you?  Well, either that or the theme song.  Excellent!

Detroit Rock City (film)Detroit Rock City – I’m not the biggest KISS fan, but this road-trip gone awry is all kinds of fun.  I have had many less interesting adventures on the way to gigs… just attending or playing.  And, KISS does have some catchy songs… and a great stage show.

Role ModelsRole Models – OK, not a rock movie… but the KISS theme throughout is just hilarious.

CrossroadsCrossroads – The Karate Kid does a guitar duel with Steve Vai.  It’s sort of like  “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” as a movie from the 80s.  Instead of Arnold from Happy Days, you have a Blues player, and instead of Karate you have the blues.

8 Mile8 Mile – The concept is weird… a biopic that isn’t quite.  It’s a great move though.  The struggle to make it as a musician/rapper is very compelling, and Eminem’s a pretty damn good actor… playing himself…  sort of.

Anvil! The Story of AnvilAnvil: The Story of Anvil – This movie makes me want to laugh & cry.  I feel the pain that these cats are going through.  It makes you want to punch Metallica for Some Kind of Monster.  After it all it’s all about friendship & the love of music.  Who can’t get behind that?

OnceOnce – Not really a rock movie, but a cool story intertwined with music, performing, songwriting, and even a love/friendship thing.

The Pick of DestinyThe Pick of Destiny – You can maybe skip this one.  Get the Complete Masterworks instead.  It’s slightly funnier.  These dudes are awesome rock ‘n’ rollers who capture the essence of the spirit of rock!  And they battle demons…

Purple Rain (album)Purple Rain – Musicians, watch this and learn how to own the stage from Morris Day.  Oh yeah, Prince is pretty badass too.  This is a weird 80s film, but it’s one you need to see.

Honeysuckle RoseHoneysuckle Rose – Willie Nelson is awesome.  This movie is about a traveling band that looks a lot like Willie’s… with the lead singer who looks a lot like Willie Nelson robbing his ex guitar player’s cradle to the chagrin of his wife. This soundtrack is excellent if you’re a Willie Nelson fan… highlight being a cover of Leon Russell’s “A Song For You”.

Bill & Ted's Excellent AdventureBill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure & Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey – Well, the first one was cool.  I can’t wait for #3 if it ever happens!  Be excellent to each other.

Other cool movies where the music is integral… Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Rocker, The Last Dragon, SLC Punk, Some Kind of Monster, Bubba Ho-Tep, High Fidelity, Blues Brothers, Rock Star, The Runaways, and many more I’m sure.

Movies I’d like to see at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont


So, I like movies.  I’ve blogged about some childhood favorites.  I’ve blogged recently about the Hollywood Theater and In Person Productions.  Here I’d like to express my thoughts on what movies I’d like to see on the big screen in a little room over at the Hollywood.  All of these could only be enhanced by In Person bringing in a related actor, writer, director, producer, etc.  I don’t know if they take requests, but that’s not gonna stop me from blogging about it.

Kick him in the nards!

Wolfman's got nards!

Monster Squad Duh. This movie is perfect for the Hollywood Theater in Dormont.  It’s got a cult following.  I hear other theaters are doing it.  Wolfman’s got nards.  (I’ve never seen Dekker‘s other movie, Night of the Creeps… maybe that would be cool too?)  At any rate, this movie is fantastic.  The monsters come alive, they’re so evil and scary.

Boodie twaps!

Boodie twaps!

Goonies    Who wouldn’t wanna see this?  I want to say this was the movie for my generation.  It had a pirate’s treasure, kids as heroes, Sloth, and asthma.  I’m sure I wore out the local video store’s VHS when I was younger.  I’d love to see this on the big screen, in all of it’s sweeping epic glory.

C64

C64

Explorers  ⚡  I don’t think that I ever saw this film on a big screen.  I just saw it on VHS.  I’d love to see it in full-size.  I’d also like to know how many others dig/remember this film.  I mean, it had a Commodore 64 in it… and the kids made their own spaceship.  They made. their. own. spaceship!

Would you like to play a game?

Would you like to play a game?

War Games I still want to try that payhone trick.  How cool was that?  Talking computers?  So futuristic! Reminded me of SAM.  Global thermonuclear war was kind of scary, but I was too busy trying to figure out that modem.

The Crow

Can't rain all the time…

The Crow    This movie is incredible.  I saw in on VHS for the first time.  I’d love to see it in the theater.  It’s a story of revenge, it’s a story of love, it’s a story of some things being stronger than mere mortality.  The images & ideas from James O’Barr’s graphic novel were transferred quite well to the screen here, the violence was actually played down.  Making Eric a guitar player instead of a dancer is probably the only time I’ll ever say “yeah, good move” to a movie changing a comic book or graphic novel story.  T-Bird said “There ain’t no coming back. This is the really real world, there ain’t no coming back.”  But, we all know T-bird was wrong.  So, let’s bring this one back to the big screen.

Slimer!

Slimer!

Ghostbusters double feature    OK, just the first one.  They came, they saw, they kicked some ass… and should have stuck with the cartoon instead of Ghostbusters II.  Maybe we shouldn’t cross the streams.  I think I did see this in the theater, but I don’t remember it.  I wanna see a life sized Stay Puft marshmallow man, please.  (Yes, I actually had a plush one when I was a kid.)

Flux Capacitor

Great Scott!

Back to the Future marathon    A perfect trilogy.  Goofy adventure, faulty science, crazy hair, the old west, 50’s cars, cowboys & Indians, hover-boards, poop jokes, futuristic home-faxing, temporal paradoxes, a Star Wars reference, a Chuck Berry song, ZZ Top in the old west, & Huey Lewis.  What’s not to love?  Oh yeah…  the AMC DeLorean is the coolest time machine ever, and there was a sweet guitar.

We named the DOG Indiana...

We named the DOG Indiana...

Indiana Jones marathon.    Or maybe Indiana Jones month.  Four weekends, four films.  Or, only 3.  It’s OK if there’s only 3.  Unless they hand out Crystal Skull Head Vodka at the event.  These stories are too epic for your TV, they need to be shown on a grand scale.  I can hear the music in my head as I’m typing.  Now you can too, can’t you?  I’m not sorry.  Maybe I can just bring the Wii over & play Lego Indiana Jones while no one’s using the theater?  Please?

Eborsisk

Siskel & Ebert... or Eborsisk the dragon.

Willow    I think I did see this on the big screen, but I’d like to see it again.  I feel like it’s an underrated movie.  It had great effects, a great fairy-tail type story with a literal little guy taking on the evil establishment, and a world in which you could easily get lost.  Also, the villain, General Kael was incredibly scary & awesome, even if he shopped at the same store as Skeletor.

STAR freakin’ WARS marathon    I mean, come on.  Do I even really need to even state a case here?  We have the movies proper, the animated feature film, the Ewok specials.  Play ‘em all!  Please, play the Star Wars Holiday Special.  It may have to be some secret underground invitation-only thing so George Lucas doesn’t hunt us all down & destroy us, but it’d be totally worth it.

Those WERE the droids I was looking for...

|-o-|

Never tell them the odds...

Never tell them the odds...

Fanboys  ⚡  See above.  It’s a fun movie.  I’d like to see it on a big screen, it never got a proper release.  I bet you could get more than a few of the actors to come down to the Hollywood.  Let’s do this.  There’s a kid named WindowsWindows, I tell you.  This is a great film for geeks & nerds of all kinds.

Shaun's Plan

Want to go to the Winchester?

Shaun of the Dead    Zombies, zombies, and more zombies… in a romantic comedy?  Yes.  Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, & Nick Frost are geniuses.  This movie is just absolutely incredible.  I bet people would be all about seeing this on the big screen.  We could watch the regular movie… or the one with pop-up trivia.  How fun would it be to see this with a room full of like-minded humorous zombie film fans?

Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, 'Aaaaaaah?'

Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, 'Aaaaaaah?'

Hot Fuzz    Yes.  And, whatever the 3rd movie is gonna be.  OK, the movie is a little slow in the beginning, but it’s absolutely necessary for the ridiculous pacing later in the film.  This is the buddy cop film of all buddy cop films, that unleashes ridiculous action like no other.  It’s great to see a movie that celebrates & pokes fun at an entire genre.

These guys are at the movies every time we go...

These guys are at the movies every time we go...

Gremlins double-feature    I think I saw these in the theater too, but I wanna see them again.  A mogwai would be the coolest pet ever, as long as you don’t feed it after midnight, or let it near your office supplies.

Batman night!    Any/all of them, please.  Why not play some of the serials or Batman: Dead End too?  Batman is the coolest comic book character ever.  He’s smarter and more cunning than all of them combined.  Sure, he’s just Zorro with ears & more toys… but it’s such a great story & way easier to relate to than something like Superman or the X-Men, unless you’re an alien or some sort of mutant.  I mean, there’s a plethora of cartoon movies too.  It could be Batman movie day every day.

Batman Evolution

Batman Evolution

The LONE Rangers?  There's 3 of you...

The LONE Rangers? There's 3 of you...

Airheads    Some day, I’m going to write a letter to Santa, and my wish list will be as follows:  Radio Airplay, a football helmet full of cottage cheese, naked pictures of Bea Arthur, A Zon walnut bass, a PRS guitar with dragon inlays, 67 copies of Moby Dick, and a six-foot baby bottle.  You dig?  Who has ever picked up a guitar, bass, or drum sticks & didn’t love this movie?  If you just thought “me”, you might as well just quit reading now.

He was the patron saint of quality footwear.

He was the patron saint of quality footwear.

This is Spinal Tap    This movie goes to 11, and has incredible sustain.  Why wouldn’t we all want to watch & laugh together?  In 1984, everyone in a band thought this was poking fun directly at them.  And, while it was… that’s why it’s hilarious.

It Might Get Loud

It Might Get Loud

It Might Get Loud    Great movie.  I’m not a U2 fan, and I thought that Jack White was slightly annoying before this… but it was just a cool tale of the evolution of the guitar and the individual players.  It gave me insight into the three guitarists and their influences. And really, who wouldn’t want to be in a room with the opportunity to jam with Jimmy Page?

Berserker

Actually any rock docs or even concert movies being regular would be quite cool.  I just missed Purple Rain, damn it.  Anvil! The Story of Anvil and Lemmy would be great movies to see in the theater.  Why not a whole series of Kevin Smith films?  I love the adventures of Jay & Silent Bob.  Even stand-up comedy films might be cool as long as they don’t involve any of the Blue Collar guys.  Maybe even The Princess Bride, The Last Dragon, Flight of the Navigator, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure & Bogus Journey, & any of the Star Trek movies.

Bruce Leroy | The Last Dragon

He ain't no cornball! He's my brother. And he's the master.

A bad movie night with Leonard Part 6, The ‘Burbs, or Howard the Duck would be excellent.  Maybe even Pluto Nash?  (I’ve never worked up the courage to see that one.)

She's Out of My League

She's Out of My League

What about Pittsburgh set or filmed movies, like She’s Out of My League, Adventureland, & so many more?

Would you like to see any of these at the Hollywood or a theater near you?  What have I missed?  What do you wanna see on the little big screen?

☠ Good Halloween Movies?


The Monster Squad

Monster Squad

I have a bunch of stuff I wanna blog about, but I need the time to sit down & do it.  [I have some goofy World (and Lunar) Domination ones coming up, some half started... that seems to be what grabs more readers/comments.]

You’ll help write this blog post for me.  If you’re seeing the link on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ … please reply in the comments section here at the blog, not in the comments stream at Facebook or Google+, & not an @ through Twitter.  If you’re logged in on Facebook or Twitter you can comment down below using either account!

This one is relevant & easy to knock out because of the time of year.  I was trolling through Netflix on the Wii the other night, trying to find a good Halloween-ish movie to watch.

Cover of "Shaun of the Dead"

Shaun of the Dead

My wife is scared easily, and wasn’t in the mood for House of 1000 Corpses-like gore or Alien-like “Ah!” jumps.  (I still can’t get her to watch Silence of the Lambs.)  I was thinking The Crow, maybe Monster Squad or Shaun of the Dead.

I thought of a bunch that weren’t available for streaming, like Wolf and Teen Wolf or even Beetlejuice.  I found myself unable to think of campy other spooky fun.

Help me build a go-to list of all of us who are too old to remember good scary/funny/creepy movies like Ghostbusters, Batman, Zombieland, Fido, Edward Scissorhands, etc.

Roku XDS

Roku

While we’re on it, does a streaming service other than Netflix offer these movies, or am I going to have to start trolling the cheap DVD/Bluray bin at Walmart?  Maybe I just need to get a device like Roku that streams Amazon movies.

What movies make you want to mentally escape in front of the blue glow of your TV under a warm blanket on a cool October day?

Boba Fett Star Wars Holiday Special Cartoon Easter Egg on Blu-Ray Set!


So, I speculated before that it’d be here… and it looks like it is!  Doubt anything else from the holiday special made the cut, but only time will tell.  This Boba Fett cartoon is a classic.

I saw this when browsing through the disc packaging, so of course I assumed it had to be there.  I mean, Boba Fett riding a dragon/dinosaur?  Certainly not in any of the films proper…

Star Wars The Complete Saga Blu-ray Inside Artwork

Star Wars The Complete Saga Blu-ray Inside Artwork

This article from Furious Fanboys confirms it & tells you where to find it:  See the Boba Fett Holiday Special Cartoon on Blu-Ray!

furiousfanboys.com | See the Boba Fett Holiday Special Cartoon on Blu-Ray!

furiousfanboys.com | See the Boba Fett Holiday Special Cartoon on Blu-Ray!

|-o-| [-o-] |-o-|

StarWarsHolidaySpecia.com | Photos | Cartoon

StarWarsHolidaySpecia.com | Photos | Cartoon

From the article:

To unlock the first appearance anywhere of Boba Fett, go to the Episode V section of disc 8 (the IV, V, VI Archives):

  • Click on Pursued by the Imperial Fleet
  • Click on The Collection
  • Click on Concept Boba Fett Armor
  • Click on First Look

Hope the quality’s a little better than these videos!

Five Stages of Star Wars Revisionism Fan Grief


Star Wars on Blu Ray

Image by nickstone333 via Flickr

Star Wars Blu-rays released today!  Woo!  I pre-ordered from Amazon with slow-boat shipping.  What agony I will be in until they arrive, but it’s a good agony.  (If there is such a thing.)

This is amusing:

Five Stages of Star Wars Revisionism Fan Grief
Five Stages of Star Wars Revisionism Fan Grief

Of all the changes that everyone is offended by the most, I feel angered at the loss of the original Ewok Celebration song (a.k.a. “Yub Nub”), and with the insertion of the horrible alien funk number in Jedi.

The originals were timeless, the new ones are terrible.  I’m surprised the nav/targeting screen graphics in all the ships haven’t been redone.  I can’t wait to watch these movies yet again, no matter if I’ll be grumbling or not… and I’m really looking forward to all the onus stuff, and hopefully some sweet Easter Eggs.

I have Star Wars fever (again).


Star Wars Series

Image by Wyckthöor via Flickr

Damn you, George Lucas.  I’m pretty sure you could sell the proverbial air conditioner to the Eskimo (is Inuit the correct term now?) without a problem, but I bet you can also amazingly re-sell him the air conditioner that he already has just by cleaning it, maybe adding a new filter, and putting a shiny sticker on it… and repeating that process every few years for the next 30 or 40.  You are a genius.

If you took a nod from L. Ron Hubbard, you could have made potentially more money by founding the official Jedi cult.  Don’t people already try to list that as a religion for the Census?  Pass the plate!

Fanboy rant that you’ve already heard a million times over aside, George Lucas is a creative genius, and no matter how much we love to bicker about changes with new actors/voices, re-releases, re-edits, mis-colored & re-colored lightsabers, flying CGI droids, who shot first, and dancing Yoda…  it all comes down to the fact that we love the Star Wars films and feel some kind of connection to them.  If we didn’t feel so strongly about them, we (hopefully) wouldn’t waste our time bickering.  (Sorry, can’t let it go: I still want “Yub Nub” back, I hate hate hate the new Ewok song in Jedi.)

Of course I’m going to get the Blu-ray version.  To have them all in one package?  Awesome.  Seems like forever-ago that I was pontificating on what I’d like to see on a Blu-ray release.  Now that it’s almost here & available for pre-order, I’m getting jittery… like I’ve had too many cups of coffee.  Maybe I did that, too.

At any rate, this was sparked by a killer article from The Digital Bits that you might want to check out:  The 2011 Star Wars Saga Blu-rays – First Insights

Bill Hunt is a lucky bastard that got a preview of the discs, and he shares the goods with us.  Basically there are a lot of error fixes, clean ups, and a bunch of sound remastering and rebuilding.  Some cool bits…

One thing I should confirm for you at this point: The original theatrical versions of the Original Trilogy are not included on these discs. Personally, I never expected them to be. I know a lot of fans want them, but it’s clear that Lucas has no intention of making them available at least for the foreseeable future.

Figured as much.

In addition to these sorts of fixes, significant additional dirt removal has been done, more garbage matte lines have been cleaned up and other little “fixes” have been applied as well. Here’s an example of one such fix done to Episode V. For years, fans have complained that in this shot of the Wampa attacking Luke’s Tauntaun, you could see part of the puppeteer’s arm because the costume didn’t extend quite far enough… Now, that’s been fixed.

Cool.  But I hope they don’t fix the clumsy Storm Trooper

For Episode IV, however, “getting it exactly right” required a rather extensive forensic effort, as this material just wasn’t cataloged with future surround remixes in mind. In many cases, Matt and his team went back to original analog tape recordings made in 1976 to get the best quality of all the required elements. As a result, it’s fair to say that the surround mix for Episode IV was almost completely rebuilt from scratch, with Matt comparing his work to the original print master to ensure its creative accuracy. And at every step of the way, director George Lucas and original sound supervisor Ben Burtt were consulted to ensure that the mix reproduced as closely as possible their original intent for the film’s sonic experience. In fact, Matt says he played the film’s reels many times for George, in 15-20 second chucks, to get his feedback.

Crazy.  I think I’m going to have to break down & buy a surround-sound system just for this Blu-ray release.  Maybe a better Blu-ray player too.  Any ideas on how to convince my wife why this is necessary?

Now, you’ll recall that a little bit ago, I said these should probably be best considered new 2011 versions of these films, and not the 2004 DVD versions. All the fixes and corrections alone justify this in my opinion, but there’s another reason too… and you can probably guess what it is: Once again, George has apparently added a few new “surprises” into these films. I don’t know what they are and didn’t get to see any of them on Friday, but I was assured that there will be “new things to notice” when we watch the films. I think we can safely assume that one of them will be the new all-digital Yoda in Episode I

More tweaks?  Hopefully more archive/deleted footage put into the films in lieu of additional background lizards, droids, clones, or new musical numbers.  (Although, if more aliens popped up in the background… like the ones from Close Encounters, Alien, Predator, Cowboys & Aliens, or even a Klingon, that would be kind of geeky fun.)  I’d like to see the Revenge of the Sith ending that Simon Pegg wrote about in his book.

What the other changes to these films may be, I have no idea, but I suspect there will be no lack of blog posts on this very subject within hours of the first discs becoming available to fans.

Or even before, I bet.  Ha ha.  Get the Star Wars tissue box covers ready.

Now then, let’s move on to the extras. Is it really worth getting the Complete Saga set just to get the three extras discs? For me at least, the answer here is clear: Absolutely. Yes… I’ve now seen many of the Original Trilogy deleted scenes. No… I can’t tell you much about them (believe me, that drives me as crazy as it does you). But I was pretty surprised by them and in a good way. What I can tell you is that they are substantial – at least for the Original Trilogy. This isn’t just dribs and drabs stuff – it includes long sequences. And they’re extremely cool. Frankly, for me this is the real draw of the entire BD release. As you’ve seen in some of the teaser clips Lucasfilm has released, they’re not pristine, but most of them are in HD – at least the Original Trilogy clips. And trust me, they’re well worth seeing. It’s stuff some of you have wanted to see in good quality since 1977, along with a few things fans may not have known even existed.

Nice.  I might have to start having Star Wars nights again.

What’s more, each film has two audio commentary tracks – the ones that were on the previous DVD release as well as an all-new commentary compiled from tons of vintage and archived interviews with the cast and crew. Finally, I’m assured that there are indeed a handful of “very fun” Easter eggs scattered throughout the set.

OOOH.  How will I find these?  Ha ha.  I’m going to have to set up a Google News alert or something.  I’m never good at just finding them on my own.

Go read the main article, it’s worth it if you’re a geek… and there are some killer photos!

In with that, they point to yet another article, that says exciting things like…

On the special features, we spent 3 years sifting and digging through 30 years of material that is in the vaults at the Ranch, it’s been quite an undertaking.  We uncovered boxes that hadn’t been opened in over 20 years, it was a very dirty experience! We looked through work prints, we found dailies, we went through behind-the scenes videos, we really uncovered a slew of new gems that we’re really excited to share with the fans.

Oh what I wouldn’t give to dig through those archives.

Q: Is the holiday special on there?

A:  You’ll have to wait and see!  The holiday special is a challenge, but look for some Easter Eggs – what’s a Star Wars release without a couple of Easter Eggs?! J

I’m guessing not the whole Holiday special, but maybe a clip…  especially the Boba Fett cartoon.  A clean version of that would be excellent!  (If it exists, watch it have overdubs from Temuera Morrison

If the whole special shows up, that would be killer.  No one ever asks about the Ewok movies.  What about those?  When are we going to get more forest creatures, lost footage, and an all-new CGI Gorax?  How about Cindel & Mace running around in Jedi somewhere?

Oh yeah, maybe Troops will pop up as an easter egg!

Thanks to HarrisPoll Surveys, PNC/Visa Points, and a jar o’ change, I was able to pre-order from Amazon for only $2.49 out of pocket.

I can’t wait until it gets here!!!

Global Thermonuclear War


Those are still scary words.  Ha ha ha. 

Today, I was made aware (via ThinkGeek on Twitter) that this was the day in 1983 that the movie WarGames was released.  This is one that’s at the top of my “favorite movies from my childhood” list.

Another Twitter post (from TB5918) linked to some cool WarGames sounds at Movie Sounds Central.

When I was younger, the USSR was still around and there was this really weird thin Cold War line between them being the enemy or a friend.  It was clear that our respective governments were unsure of the other, but the people in each place were just curious about each other.  They were a great movie bad guy.  Every stock film bad guy was a Communist from the USSR because they were so easy to identify and to fear.

WarGames not only appealed to the budding computer geek in me, but it really pointed out to me that maybe the Soviets weren’t the bad guy.  Maybe we were.  Maybe no one was.  Plus, the whole machines taking over thing kind’ve messed with my little mind.

I was also fascinated with how he hacked a payphone.  I never did get to try that out(For the kids, this is a payphone.)

I know my parents had to spend mad cash on renting this VHS (and possibly Betamax, we had one of those first…) for me multiple times.  I have it on DVD at home somewhere now.  I rescued it from the Walmart $5 DVD mid-aisle bin.

I really recommend checking this out if you’ve never seen it or if you have no idea what I’m talking about.  If you have seen it, go watch it again!  (Hey – even Rotten Tomatoes likes it.)

I’m gonna have to make a “Favorite movies from my childhood” list.

Maybe I can convince the wife that we need to watch this tonight, to mark the occasion…

WarGames | JOSHUA

Joshua

Star Wars Night – Movie Order?


We finally decided on a starting date for a continuing series of Star Wars movie nights at our house, so “Cut the chatter, Red 2.  Accelerate to attack speed!”

We need to decide on a movie order.  Chronologically, they go like this, I think…

  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars (animated microseries)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (3D CGI movie)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (3D CGI series)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars: Droids (animated series)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (made for TV movie)
  • Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (made for TV movie)
  • Star Wars: Ewoks (animated series)
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Then we have a bunch of other stuff that could be included…

  • The Star Wars Holiday Special
  • Fanboys
  • Family Guy: Blue Harvest
  • Family Guy: Something Something Something, Dark Side
  • Robot Chicken: Star Wars
  • Spaceballs
  • Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (Hey, Mark Hamill & Carrie Fisher are both in it, right…?)

We could also do a night with Hardware Wars, Thumb Wars, Troops, and any other recommended Star Wars fan/parody shorts.

There’s the issue of IV, V, & VI.  Do we watch the laserdisc rips, the latest DVD release, or both?

There’s the issue of watching them in release order vs. chronological order, too.

We could watch the 6 movies, then the other stuff.  We could watch the 7 movies (including the CGI Clone Wars one) then the other stuff…  We could sandwich in the Ewok movies where they belong…

So many choices, it’s like trying to successfully navigate an asteroid field.  Don’t tell me the odds, just vote below!  You can pick two choices if you’re indecisive like me…

Star Wars Blu-Ray Speculation


THE TEN Things That The Forthcoming Star Wars Blu-ray Should Include.Yesterday via Twitter, I saw an article from TheForce.net about another article (or Editorial, I guess) at DVDACTIVE: THE TEN Things That The Forthcoming Star Wars Blu-ray Should Include.  Of course, I felt the need to weigh in.  I for one am salivating at the prospect of all of the movies being released in one package and the prospect of new  (and newly unearthed) material.  After all, Mr. Lucas has stated over the years that they’re all part of one large story.  They ought to be presented that way, right?

Firstly, I agree with Marcus Doidge who wants all versions of the movies (especially IV, V, & VI).  I’m going to guess that all of us do… or at least we want the option to watch the edit that we prefer.  Some of us are quite partial to the Emperor being a lady in a mask with chimp eyes, Han shooting first, and not having either version of the Han/Jabba scene… I guess.  Personally, the most annoying offense to me is the newly recorded Ewok celebration song and the wholly unnecessary new musical number in Jabba’s palace.  “Yub Nub” for the win.  I’d certainly like the option for those parts of the movie to play through seamlessly as I want to see them!

I don’t see this happening though, as George Lucas seems to consistently say or imply through many interviews that each new edit is getting closer to his original vision, and that all previous versions are rendered irrelevant by the new scenes and additions as they were meant to be.  It’s almost like he’s angry or spiteful for people being so attached to their favorite versions.

Toward the end of his THE TEN list though, Doidge cites that he wants to see something new… as in a wholly new feature for Blu-ray in general.  I also agree with this… why not a “Choose Your Own Adventure” type movie?  Fan edits exist out there… why not have the option to do that in your Blu-ray player before the movie begins?  Perhaps with an option to save your favorite personal versions?  I envision a multiple choice check-box type of scene listing before the movie begins where you can pick if you want to see Han shoot first, a glowing translucent Sebastian Shaw or Hayden Christensen, and maybe finally a newly filmed scene where the Wookie gets a medal?  I’d like to see it.  It would be more fun that a straight-up “pick your release”, as it would be all yours.  Making your own movie would be as easy as building your own sub at Quiznos.

Love the pop-up idea too.  Geeks like factoids, right?  This has to be a no-brainer.  There is a wealth of information out there… there could even be multiple pop up factoid tracks.  Info/trivia from within the Star Wars universe could be on one track, and film production or special effects notes, bloopers, release histories, etc. could go on another.

As far as extras… I would expect no less that all the deleted scenes that we’ve seen before plus more, a documentary or two — something cool like the History Channel’s Star Wars Tech or Legacy Revealed.  A gag-reel type montage of Star Wars parody clips would be awesome too… like Bill Murray singing “Star Wars” on SNL — anything in that vein.

I’d really love to see Mr. Lucas finally buckle under pressure and release the atrociously awesome Holiday Special.  Why not?  It’s out there.  Copies exist.  Get a clean copy and put it out there, or digitally clean up one of the bootlegs!  Why not make money off of the camp of the whole thing while you can?  You can’t tell me this is the one morality/vision line that George Lucas can’t cross?  If you’re that embarrassed, put it as an Easter egg somewhere on one of the Blu-rays and never acknowledge it again.

Also… why not include the made for TV Ewok movies, and the new animated Clone Wars movie?   Then we could watch ALL of them in chronological order.

This is how it goes, isn’t it?

  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars (animated microseries)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (3D CGI movie)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (3D CGI series)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars: Droids (animated series)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (made for TV movie)
  • Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (made for TV movie)
  • Star Wars: Ewoks (animated series)
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Call me crazy, but barring any restrictions from my bank account… I’d buy ‘em all in one package.  Maybe it ought to come with a working Dejarik board?