Archive for the ‘DVD’ Category

Blade Runner Final Cut DVD - New DVD Feature Details

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Blade Runner Ultimate Edition Screencap

Following up on my earlier Blade Runner Final Cut post, I found this unofficial product mock up and disc set feature details and that we’ll get the official announcement at the San Diego Comic Con.

Here’s the feature list courtesy of Binary Bonsai:

Disc 1 - The Final Cut (2007):

  • Ridley Scott’s definitive new version of his science-fiction masterpiece includes added & extended scenes, added lines and new and cleaner special effects.

Disc 2 - 3 Complete Film Versions:

Disc 3 - ‘Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner’ Documentary

  • Newly created documentary: Through interviews with the cast and crew, critics and colleagues, this feature-length documentary provides a mainstream-friendly yet meaningful in-depth look at Blade Runner’s literary genesis, its challenging production and controversial legacy. When all is said and done, this will be the definitive documentary on the film.

Disc 4 – Enhanced Content Bonus: (TBC)

  • INCEPTION - Featurettes and galleries devoted to Philip K. Dick, the birth of Cyberpunk and adapting the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.
  • PRE-PRODUCTION - Featurettes and galleries devoted to script development, conceptual design and abandoned sequences.
  • PRODUCTION - Featurettes and galleries devoted to principal photography and locations.
  • POST-PRODUCTION - Featurettes and galleries devoted to deleted scenes, music and visual effects.
  • RELEASE - Featurettes and galleries devoted to marketing and reaction including Trailers, TV Spots and Promotional Featurettes
  • LEGACY - Featurettes and galleries devoted to the film’s resurrection and impact.

Disc 5 - Work Print Version & Enhanced Content:

  • Including the rarely seen Work Print version and potentially the 52 min. Channel Four (UK) documentary which was the first serious documentary created for the film.

Additionally, the set will come packaged in a limited ‘Blade Runner’ briefcase holding the five-disc digipack with foil-enhanced and embossed slipcase. The goodies inside will include a lenticular motion image from the original feature, a collectible model spinner, an origami unicorn, a collection of photographs and a letter from Ridley Scott.

When I mentioned that the “Voight-Kampf” brief-cased collector set to Beth over dinner last night, she responded, “Nerd alert, nerd alert… Why the hell does it come with an origami unicorn?” I took her question seriously, “Because the Miami Vice police chief guy [we don't watch Battlestar Galactica] would leave little origami sculptures for Harrison Ford and it somehow meant he was a replicant, though I don’t agree with this interpretation.” Paige concluded the conversation with, “Oooh, unicorns!”

(Via Cyberpunk Review.)

Popularity: 22% [?]

Audio: The Movie DVD Review

Monday, October 9th, 2006

Is it a bad sign that I’m worried about copyright violations when watching this DVD that promises to explain analog audio and issues around its transformation into digital? The Family Guy’s evil pointing closet monkey and R. Crumb’s “Keep on Trucking” dude show up in a few slides of this poorly produced Powerpoint presentation. Yes, Audio: the Movie is a Powerpoint presentation. It makes every Powerpoint mistake in the book: literally illustrating whatever the narrator is talking about with Microsoft’s included stock art and photos (many don’t even make sense like a picture of a sleeping baby whenever the disc warns of math), blue and purple gradients on text slides with dithered, drop shadowed triangles and circles framing bullet point after bullet point, all full motion screen grabs of the company’s audio editing application, DC Six, are pixelated and unreadable. Worst of all, the narrator’s voice track isn’t well recorded.

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Popularity: 14% [?]

Public Library’s $10 Visa Minimum Ruins My Day

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

I never carry any cash. I figure, anything I need can be bought with my Visa check card. I use it for small purchases at Starbucks ($1.87 every weekday for a grande coffee in a venti cup with a cold soy topper (they used to charge me for soy, but not after I complained that New York City Starbucks provided a soy carafe at the “creation station”)) lunch, the bookstore, video store, grocery store and whatever else asks me for money. The Check Card transactions get posted to my bank account allowing me to track all my purchases. I don’t have to deal with change and tip jars. It reminds me that I’m living in the twenty first century.

Last night, with pockets empty of cash, I tried to use my Visa check card to pay the Naperville Public library $2.20. The $.20 covered a previous late fee (I know I returned the book on time, they just didn’t process it until the next day). I was paying the $2 for renting the American Splendor and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow DVDs.

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Popularity: 31% [?]

Jurassic Park DVD’s DTS Soundtrack Bites Me in Half

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

We watched Jurassic Park over the past two nights (it’s not overly long, we just have to start it late after my daughter’s in bed and the sun sets). Steven Spielberg’s movie holds up after all this time in only a few areas. Some of the actor’s performances (I’ll tell you who sucked: John Scottish-old-man, his grand daughter, the little kid at the opening dinosaur dig site that Sam Neill threatens to gut, and the hatchling velociraptor—so wooden, like an animatronic puppet covered in strawberry jelly popping out of an egg) were standard Spielberg over-emoticons, the writing is a little forced in the science-y parts as described by Jeff Goldblum (if you liked Michael Crichton’s take on cloned dinosaurs you’ll love what he has to say on the "myth" of global warming), the effects are great when the monsters are puppets and not CGI, in those scenes the filmstock gets all grainy and soft. What I really couldn’t believe was the sound of those dinosaurs.

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Popularity: 12% [?]

GetGray Calibration DVD Review

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

GetGray is a hobbyist produced home theater calibration DVD. You can only buy it through internet download, as it’s a VIDEO_TS folder you burn to a DVD-R. As implied by the title, the DVD’s primary purpose is to track your digital display device’s underlying gray scale with the aid of a color measuring device like the Colorvision Spyder2 or Gretag Macbeth Eye One Pro.

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Popularity: 28% [?]

Sanyo PLV-Z3 LCD Projector Settings

Friday, June 9th, 2006

I feel good about my home theater set up when I can go into a high end dealer and feel unimpressed with their demo rooms. I watch the usual African savanna HD stream projected onto a 120" diagonal fixed screen by a $30,0000 Runco front projector and line doubler combo and sigh. I know what I have at home is better for a fraction of the cost because I’ve tweaked my front projection system to a higher level than intended by the manufacturer.

I also lose confidence in mainstream home theater magazines when a casual reviewer pans my projector for flaws that are easily overcome with a color correction gel filter, a Colorvision Spyder2PRO monitor calibrator and careful manipulation of user and service menu settings. The magazine’s editorial dogma may skew their opinions toward the lowest common denominator (L.C.D.), Joe-Best-Buy, but it doesn’t speak to me.

Continue reading Sanyo PLV-Z3 LCD Projector Settings

Popularity: 28% [?]

HD DVD Launch - Top Titles that Geeks Wish They Could Buy

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

At Frye’s over the weekend I saw two half shelves worth of HD-DVD software. This is only remarkable because I had not been to an electronics superstore recently to see such a display. I know they’ve been out for weeks or a month or a I don’t care.

The HD-DVDs were grouped at the end of the anime section just before the nature and historical videos. I can’t remember the first weeks or months of DVD’s launch but it was probably just as pathetic (I remember only seeing Eraser and Twister DVDs for a year before I cared about DVD as a source of entertainment). The discs were packaged in the same clam cases as normal DVDs, the "HD-DVD" banner at the top was the only tip-off. Blockbuster!/must buy! titles included: Rumor Has It, The Chronicles of Riddick, Van Helsing, Swordfish, Doom.

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Popularity: 9% [?]

Blade Runner DVD - New Special Editions Fall 2006 and 2007

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

I’ve been into Blade Runner since it came out in 1982. I remember the color full page ad I cut off the back of the Seattle Times Sunday Tempo section and thumb-tacked to my wall. My Harrison Ford fever was high after the Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Ridley Scott is finally releasing a restored 1992 Director’s Cut (saw it in the Fine Arts theater in Chicago) this September. Later in 2007 a "final cut" will be released in theaters and then a super-deluxe-special-edition with multiple versions of the film (now I can finally enjoy the voice-over narration again—those fly by scenes seem so empty without them)(Ridley Scott better record a commentary track too).

Variety.com - Marathon ‘Runner’: "The restored ‘Director’s Cut’ will debut on homevid in September, and remain on sale for four months only, after which time it will be placed on moratorium. ‘Blade Runner: Final Cut’ will arrive in 2007 for a limited 25th anniversary theatrical run, followed by a special edition DVD with the three previous versions offered as alternate viewing: Besides the original theatrical version and director’s cut, the expanded international theatrical cut will be included. The set will also contain additional bonus materials."

In 2007 I’ll have another two additions to my Blade Runner curiosity cabinet. The cabinet’s past and current contents: Director’s Cut DVD, VHS (permanently borrowed from some guy in high school), CD Soundtrack, S.M.H. vol. 4 (featured top anime sculptors’ diorama interpretations of the Blade Runner world—"Post Bla-Run Syndrome"), Starlog magazines, PC Game, Plager Katsumate Series-D blaster resin kit; Books: Retrofitting Blade Runner : Issues in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner, Blade Runner: The Inside Story; second draft of the script, and failed attempts at making my own action figures, 1:6 scale sculptures and Hot Wheels spinners.

(Via Rotten Tomatoes.)

Popularity: 17% [?]

Pirates of the Caribbean DVD Ruined by Edge Enhancement

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

Sunday night, the wife and I stayed up late to watch all 143 minutes of The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl DVD (we’d planned to only sit through half of the movie). Distracting technical difficulties barred me from having a good time watching this Jerry Bruckheimer production based on a Disney theme park ride.

The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl DVD is cursed by edge enhancement. A crunchy halo surrounds Jack Sparrow set against the Caribbean’s blue skies. Every jib, mast and rope on the Black Pearl lost their fine detail under the confusion of edge artifacts.

Edge enhancement or ringing is so distracting that I am tempted to pause the movie and double check all my sharpness settings on my Panasonic S97 DVD player and Sanyo PLV-Z3 projector. The projector must have its internal sharpening turned all the down to avoid any ringing. The DVD player introduces its own edge enhancement or ghosting at its upsampled 720p and 1080i resolutions, so I watch it at 480p.

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Popularity: 9% [?]

Mobile Video Convenience versus Home Theater Quality

Monday, May 8th, 2006

I’ve never bought entertainment software for convenience’s sake. If I try to purchase something I already own, Wife_o_Geek vetoes with, "Don’t you already have that? We need diapers." I can’t smell a dirty diaper while riding the train to work, watching Samurai Champloo on my PSP. We move out of electronics and into the baby aisle.

Why buy expensive UMDs and iPod TV Videos from the iTunes Music Store? You can rip and re-encode the DVDs you own, right? Not so fast, that’s illegal and you’ll get sued by the MPAA.

When dealing with electronic forms of entertainment you want your money to go toward improvements to the experience: higher resolutions, bigger screens, more surround sound channels, crisper and clearer, less noise, whatever. You may have a hard time paying for tiny resolution, formatted for a 2 inch screen, mono or stereo sound (Dolby Pro Logic II on headphones with some UMD titles), and compressed and noisy audio and video.

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Popularity: 13% [?]