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Blu-ray General Discussion Area


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I've already enabled BD on my Netflix account and have some movies on my queue. For an extra $1 a month, it's a pretty good deal, I guess.


How soon should I be hooking up my BD player for online access? I haven't had a chance to go through the whole instructions just yet.

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Well, I haven't hooked up mine to the internet and not sure I want to...yet. Most of the things that are available online don't really interest me. When you do, however, post it here and let all of us know how it goes. I also held off because as I understand that when you are connected all the time through the internet, it will look for any upgrades to the player and automatically download them into the player (at least, that is my understanding)...and I hesitat on this because in the past there have been some upgrades that turned out to have a few problems with them. (I normally won't get the upgrade until a few weeks after it has become available to see what the comments are on it.)

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I read the USA article. I guess I should be kinda glad that entertainment editors are still giving a green light to these kinds of articles, when they might be tempted to hold back due to the global financial catastrophe.


At any rate, ever have any kind of problems playing DVD-Rs in a BD player? Cause according to the manual for mine, they may not always be able to play them...

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  • 2 weeks later...

According to one report, the official number for Blu-ray players sold over the Black Friday sales was 147,000. That figure just got a big bump because it didn't include Wal-Mart. It has just come out that Wal-Mart sold 150,000 of their Magnavox Blu-ray players for $129 each on Black Friday. So, this puts the figure at nearly 300,000 Blu-ray players sold over that one weekend (and we still don't know how many Blu-ray players Wal-Mart sold of other manufacturers like Samsung and Sony).



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The L.A. Times had a good review of the new Criterion Blu releases:


Criterion's Blu-ray debut is up to snuff

'Bottle Rocket,' 'Chungking Express,' 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' and 'The Third Man' live up to the company's usual high standards.

By Noel Murray


December 16, 2008


The first wave of Criterion Collection Blu-ray discs was initially slated for October, then pushed out to November, then pushed out again to this week. For a while, home video forums were abuzz with the rumor that Criterion would never release the discs at all. The reason? Criterion's art-house product wouldn't appeal to "the PlayStation 3 crowd" anyway.


In actuality, the company was reportedly working overtime to get the video and audio up to its famously high standards, as well as experimenting with some novel packaging. The first four Criterion Blu-rays -- "Bottle Rocket," "Chungking Express," "The Man Who Fell to Earth" and "The Third Man" -- arrive today without the telltale blue plastic cases that nearly every other home video company has adopted for Blu-ray.


The Criterions come in cardboard digi-packs, with artwork identical to the standard Criterion DVDs (albeit slightly smaller, and with a discreet sticker on the front to note that the discs are Blu-ray).


Other quirky differences: During the usual Blu-ray slow-load, the Criterion logo hangs reassuringly at the upper left corner of the TV screen, and when the menu appears, it contains the novel feature "Timeline," which allows viewers to "bookmark" segments of the movie with a push of a button.


Of course, the movies look superb and sound great. "Bottle Rocket" retains the original's crisp pastels, which are essential to Wes Anderson's puckish story of three lightweight amateur crooks. Wong Kar-wai's "Chungking Express" has never sparkled this much, with its smeary color underscoring the impressionistic, intertwined sketches of two lovelorn cops.


Nicolas Roeg's "The Man Who Fell to Earth," which stars David Bowie as an alien who embraces the venality of American culture, has its booming rock soundtrack well-served by Blu-ray. And "The Third Man's" shadowy tale of conspiracies and betrayal in postwar Vienna looks perfectly moody.


Each disc lists for $39.95, equivalent to a standard Criterion DVD, and each contains the same bonus features as the standard editions: "Bottle Rocket" comes bundled with a short film that pre-dates the feature and a charming commentary by Anderson and star Owen Wilson; "Chungking Express" features a knowledgeable commentary by scholar Tony Rayns, plus a segment on Wong from a British TV series.


"The Man Who Fell to Earth" has a commentary by Roeg and Bowie and comprehensive interviews with the cast and crew, while "The Third Man" adds a wonderfully insightful commentary track by Steven Soderbergh and Tony Gilroy, plus lengthy documentaries about director Carol Reed and author Graham Greene.


As is standard on Blu-ray discs, the Criterions offer the option to jump back and forth from the special features to the movie, seamlessly.



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> {quote:title=filmlover wrote:}{quote}

> Without you, the non-WalMart figure would have been 146,999. Phew, that was close!


That's good to know! :P


Thanks for also posting the NYT article. I think I posted a link in Movie Rambles or some other thread as well.


Quick question for you: do you have a hard time being able to activate closed-captions when playing a movie on your blu-ray player? Because for some reason I can't get them to display when playing any movie with CC on the blu-ray player, but they show up just fine if I use a regular DVD player.


I frequently check whether a movie has CC since they come in handy to have on when making screencaps.



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In answer yo tour question about captions, I assume you mean subtitles. There is a button on your remote that says "Subtitles." Click that and it is good on both DVDs and Blu-rays. If some titles prove a problem, it will be that of the disc manufacturer and you may have to go to the button marked pop-up menu.

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No, actually, subtitles are very different from closed captions. Whereas subtitles in English almost always have to be selected in the menu, closed-captioning is supposed to be automatic. People who have CC activated will see the closed-captioning in their TV sets, regardless of what they're watching, if it has CC. So, it could be broadcast shows, cable channels, or DVDs.


So to be more concise, English subtitles aren't a problem with the blu-ray player, but closed captions are.

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I assume this is something you've already seen but chose not to post. It's the "Little Lumps of Coal Awards" from High-Def Digest. I think it's some pretty good info, especially for those who are relatively new to the Blu-Ray experience and should be careful about the weaker BD releases.


*Little Lumps of Coal: The Worst Blu-rays of 2008*



I was especially disappointed to see *Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid* picked as one of the Top Ten worst blu-rays of 2008, because I like the movie so much and also since Paul Newman recently passed away. If it is indeed as bad as they say, I hope they'll re-issue it again at some point with a better transfer and better sound.

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It was just one of many articles on Blu-ray, and one person's opinion, so I didn't even think about posting it (and, of course, never as important as our own thread on the best of 2008).


Since you posted this one, you might want to post the other one where he picks his favorites.

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*_The Dark Knight_ Breaks Blu-ray Records!*



Source: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group

December 17th, 2008



Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has announced that The Dark Knight has sold more than 1.7 million Blu-ray Discs worldwide, including over 1 million domestically:


The Dark Knight took the world by storm on Blu-ray and DVD, breaking records for 2008. The blockbuster hit from acclaimed director Christopher Nolan became an instant must-own classic with Blu-ray sales of over 1.7 million units and total DVD and Blu-ray sales of 13.5 million worldwide*, including consumer sales and rental sales, in one week. Brisk consumer sales - totaling over 10 million with one week of sales reported - are expected to continue through the holiday season. The Dark Knight is the best selling Blu-ray title in history and will become the best selling 2008 title overall this week. The response to the digital copy offering included on the Blu-ray and Special Edition DVD has been remarkable with the number of consumers activating their digital copies approaching 300,000. The Dark Knight is already the number one movie for the year on the iTunes 2008 Chart.


The Dark Knight marks the first time that a major feature film has been shot in part using IMAX? cameras, marking a revolutionary integration of film formats. The Dark Knight Blu-ray disc takes advantage of the marriage of IMAX? and 35mm formats by using the hybrid master to replicate the unique theatrical experience. The IMAX scenes are also included on the 2-disc Special Edition as bonus materials.


The Dark Knight comes from Academy Award? nominated filmmaker Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, The Prestige, Memento), and features commanding performances from Christian Bale (Batman Begins, 3:10 to Yuma, The Prestige), Academy Award? Winner Michael Caine (The Cider House Rules, Children of Men), Academy Award? Nominee Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain), Gary Oldman (Hannibal, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Aaron Eckhart (Thank You for Smoking, No Reservations), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Stranger Than Fiction, World Trade Center) and Academy Award? Winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby, Wanted).


* The Dark Knight figures included sales data from US, UK, Canada, Japan, Benelux and Australia

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*Blu-Ray Review: Remake of ?The Women? Fails on Every Level*


CHICAGO ? The long-delayed remake of ?The Women?, the 1939 classic film that has been in the pipeline for years, should have stayed in terminal development hell. The grating, unbelievable dramedy from writer/director Diane English wastes a talented cast including Meg Ryan and Annette Bening on a two-dimensional, cliche-ridden screenplay and the Blu-Ray release for the film represents a rare misstep for Warner Brothers.


A lot of big releases have hit the marketplace hoping to grab a little bit of the Christmas dollar, but I think ?The Women? is in the mix just because its producers and studio want it to get buried in the rush. Maybe no one will notice that ?The Women? is one of the worst movies of 2008 and we can all move on to bigger and better releases in 2009.


The Blu-Ray release for ?The Women? matches the ineffectiveness of the film itself. The video transfer in 1080p High Definition with a transfer ratio of 1.85:1 is surprisingly flat for Warner Brothers, the studio that usually produces the most vibrant and colorful pictures on the market. It can be difficult to tell if it?s the bland color palette employed by English or the transfer, but ?The Women? barely looks HD on Blu-Ray. And the sound is also a weakness, almost entirely mixed to the front speakers, even the score.


As for special features, ?The Women? includes a few deleted scenes and two featurettes - ?The Women Behind the Women? and ?The Women: The Legacy?. It?s not surprising that there are no commentary tracks on ?The Women? as that would require the people who made the film to sit through it again. Follow their lead and pretend ?The Women? never happened.



BrianTT on December 23, 2008

HollywoodChicago.com, IL

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Have read two fantastic reviews of the Blu version of *Zulu*, so I have decided to order my first import from Amazon.uk. With shipping it was about $23.00. It's region 0, so plays everywhere.


I'll let you know what it is like when I get it.


For now, I can only imagine how good it is from reviewws at dvdbeaver.com and blu-ray.com. Someone who ordered it into the U.S. said in a thread at blu-ray.com: Just arrived in today's mail, and it is simply amazing. I have it on VHS and Laser Disc (remember them) and this one is so perfect I am for once speechless. Every blade of parched grass, every mountain crest, every weapon, every movement, every drop of sweat is there in perfect register. I sat in a theater and saw this film fives times when it came out in 1964, and I cannot remember all this detail, all this color. If you buy one more Blu Ray DVD before the end of the year make this that choice.


And another person said: Mine came in the mail today..... WOW the best PQ of any Blu I have seen


Apparently, this film is public domain in the United States, so it is unlikely any studio here is going to issue a Blu-ray of it. The UK may be the only way to go.

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If anybody is thinking about getting into Blu-ray, tomorrow (the 26th) would be a good day to do so. Fry's is having a one-day sale on the Sony S550 for only $249. This is the model I have and it costs $399 normally. When people are interested in buying a player, I only recommend two models, Sony's S350 and the S550. These are the newest models from Sony and both are 2.0 BD-Live. Loading times are very fast for discs and do a good job of upconverting your DVDs, too. The S550 is the superior, more expensive model, because it has a 7.1 analog output, and internal decoding for most any audio formats.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was just checking the release dates for the next few months of Blus, and it looks like there will be quite a bit I will be buying. Among the classic titles I am interested in are:


King Kong (2005) Jan. 20

Being There Feb. 3

Taxi Driver Feb. 3

Amadeus Feb 10

Pretty Woman Feb. 10

Raging Bull Feb. 10

Gandhi Feb. 17

Kramer vs. Kramer Feb. 17

French Connection Feb. 24

Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology Mar. 10

Gulliver's Travel (1939) depending on quality Mar. 10

Pinocchio Mar. 10

Quo Vadis Mar. 17

The Robe Mar. 17

The 400 Blows Mar. 24

Goldfinger Mar.24

The World is Not Enough Mar. 24

Moonraker Mar. 24

An American in Paris Mar. 31

Gigi Mar. 31

South Pacific Mar. 31

The Seven Year Itch Apr. 14

Ghostbusters June 16

Woodstock July 28

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Oct.


Plus these with release dates to be announced:


Beauty and the Beast


Bridge on the River Kwai

Dr. Strangelove

Finding Nemo

A Fistful of Dollars

For a Few Dollars More

Forbidden Planet

Gone With the Wind

The Graduate

Grand Prix

Guns of Navarone

King Kong (1933)


The Music Man

North by Northwest

A Star is Born (1954)

Superman: Ultimate Collector's Edition

The Wizard of Oz


and there are lots more to be announced, including a possible Mary Poppins later in the year.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Just noticed that Sonystyle.com has an excellent special on their great S550 Blu-ray player (naturally, that's the one I have). Normally, $399, now at $299 PLUS you get a $100 card credit on your future bill when you apply for and get a Sony Card. (I did the same thing a few months back and it only took about a week for them to apply the credit.) So it ends costing only $199. This is a terrific deal, believe me (LOL, no, I am not associated in any way with Sony.). Matter of fact, it's a deal that is $50 better than what I got!!!



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