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For Those Who Still Think Physical Media Has No Place in the 21st century...

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Nick*Z, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    Not sure you understood what I wrote and that was probably my fault as I was not specific enough. I highlighted that collectors were perhaps more cultured in cinema. Maybe I should have used the word knowledgable. I was referring to the serious collector who frequent forums such as these. My intention was to highlight that the majority of people watch movies in a casual manner similar to flicking the channels on cable TV to pass the time. It was not a criticism (Judgment) but an observation.

    That type of film watcher will not be a serious collector of physical media nor someone who will have a lot of knowledge of film in general. This is what I was trying to explain for collectors to comprehend who seem to me do not understand this casual mentality in the average consumer/watcher of films. Maybe I used the wrong word for creative type of personality too. Perhaps eccentric is more apt for people who seem to collect films on a wide scale.

    Serious collectors seem to appreciate the art behind making/creating a movie as opposed to people who stream movies. They will conciously choose a specific type of film in their catalogue from all ages/genres to watch as opposed to the latest release on a sudden whim without too much thought. My guess is the average streamer is someone that bought the odd DVD here or there prior to streaming becoming commercially available. Perhaps while shopping through Walmart. It's more of an impulse buy situation.

    Conversely, the avid collector will probably purchase a film via many channels and seek out particular films by a given director etc. They will also make a purchase of a specific realease of a title whether old or new via online and through other channels.

    It goes without saying that some people steeped in the history of cinema stream and download movies but as far as I am aware the majority of streamers are casual viewers. There is no right or wrong way but if cinema is to survive in the 21st century I feel there needs to be more education/encouragement on watching older and more diverse films as well as trying to help create more varied movies coming from Hollywood.
     
  2. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Again, I reject the notion that serious cinephiles only collect physical media, and that streaming viewers are less cultured in their choices.

    They’re merely delivery platforms. Each with advantages and disadvantages.

    I know people who know more about film history than most of us have forgotten who have never purchased a disc. I know people with tons of discs whose tastes are entirely comprised of pop culture phenomenons. I know people who use streaming to access services like the Criterion Channel, which offers a variety of films so wide that some have never even been on physical media. I know other people who stream to catch up on the latest Netflix show.

    In some areas, streaming availability has outpaced physical media. There are a lot of lesser known or less popular films available for streaming in HD or 4K quality that on physical are DVD only, VHS only, or never came out at all.

    I just don’t think you can make a wholesale generalization about interests or taste based on what delivery method is utilized by the viewer.
     
  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    FWIW, there may have been a point in time when a collector was more likely to know more about film but I think that’s changed with the wide availability of DVD. If you were to argue that cinephiles used laserdisc and the general public rented VHS, I think that’s easier to accept.

    But nowadays there are countless instances of rare stuff making it to streaming that isn’t making it to disc. Disc sales are down so dramatically because viewers of all walks are embracing streaming as part of their viewing ecosystem.
     
  4. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    It's entirely possible that my observation does not reflect the reality of the markets and one can only speculate I suppose unless surveys are done on the matter.

    What streaming companies do you recommend for movies not yet released on physical media or DVD/VHS only releases?

    I wasn't aware of any company doing this and so would appreciate where that type of content is available.
     
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  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    The wonderful but slightly frustrating part about streaming is that there are multiple places to look for a thing, which is less convenient than, say, going to Amazon to buy a disc.

    At streaming stores like iTunes and Vudu, where you can rent and/or purchase individual titles, there are lots of movies offered there in HD and/or 4K that are in lessor editions on physical media. Unfortunately as far as I know there isn’t a single catchphrase to search for to see those results - you end up having to search title by title and have to do your homework. (There have been some good discussions on the streaming sub forum of this site that might be of use.) One easy, quick example: the original War Of The Worlds movie is only on DVD in physical media. iTunes has a 4K version from a new restoration that Paramount hasn’t put on disc. And it comes with bonus features if you buy it. There are a lot of upgrades like that when you search iTunes. There’s an app called CheapCharts that can help you track when things go on sale there too.

    On the subscription side, I’m not currently a member, but the Criterion Channel has an amazing selection both of stuff that Criterion has on disc and other stuff they don’t. It’s about $10 a month and has a rotating selection and you can cancel and resubscribe any time.

    You’re not wrong that there’s some amazing stuff that’s only a disc but that’s also true of streaming. If you’re a big movie guy, it really is awesome to have both methods at your disposal. I love my discs but I love my AppleTV too :)
     
  6. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    **** Raises Hand ****

    I'm not a cinephile. Movies and tv shows are largely "background noise" for me when I am at home.

    With that being said. My primary viewing interests where I devote my full attention to watching, are documentaries.

    Of the types of documentaries I watch and take notes (with pencil and paper), rarely any of it was released on dvd/bluray. (Nor vhs for that matter). The few which were released on dvd/bluray, I found them in local dump bins for $2 a pop which I purchased most of the ones of interest to me. (They were released during the peak era of the 2000s decade).

    The primary source of documentaries (and semi-documentaries) of interest to me, turns out to be youtube since the late-2000s and to a lesser extent ota broadcast channels like PBS. (Also the occasional basic cable channel).

    It is unfortunate that youtube is my primary source of documentary viewing material, though not surprising in the end.
     
  7. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    Great! I will have a look. That's why I have not yet gone into streaming. The sites I have checked they do not seem to have a simple A to Z list of all the films they have so trying to find the films you are looking to watch is difficult.

    Why are they not making a better job of this?

    I will see if I can find what I am looking for
     
  8. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    When it comes to film analysis whether conscious or unconscious, most of my "analysis" is guessing what generic tropes are being used in a particular film or episode. Figure out if the generic tropes lead to generic outcomes/conclusions by the end of the film/episode.

    I use to read web sites like tvtropes a lot. Almost like an encyclopedic documentation of deconstructing what tv/movie writers are thinking.
     
  9. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    Sounds like you have an interesting hobby and a frustrating one at the same time.

    I personally think the hobby of watching films is almost insatiable. I am constantly writing down films on my ever growing list that I want to watch/purchase on Blu Ray/4K after trying to no longer add any films to it.

    At this rate when I eventually die I will have a list of thousands of films to watch that I did not manage to comlplete. :)
     
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  10. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    I think there are many things to look for in film analysis. It's dependent on the personality of the viewer on what they personally like, I suppose.

    There are many directors that have admitted to putting hidden themes in their films and many people have fun trying to find them.

    Some people might appreciate the sound more and look for effects to that end.

    Let's face it, there are many layers to creating a film and this is what makes the hobby interesting even if it is just appreciating the film for its entertainment value.
     
  11. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    It would have to be a film which captures my interest deeply, in order for me to do any further analysis beyond just guessing the generic tropes. I can only count on one hand the few films which this would indeed be the case for me.
     
  12. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    If I really wanted to look more in depth into "hidden themes" in a more general sense, I would be reading more books on subjects like philosophy or well researched history books.

    Watching movies over and over again, would seem like an inefficient way of understanding.
     
  13. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the problem with it is you can probably over analyse a film too. If you are looking for things to fit then you can make them fit one way or another which totally detracts from the story of the film.

    It's also a subject that is difficult to prove and unless you can get agreement from the people involved in the making the film it can look very silly indeed.
     
  14. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    I would agree with that. One of Stanley Kubrick's favourite books was "Codebrakers the story of secret Writing". A book I have been meaning to read for a long time but have not acquired yet but must do sooner or later.
     
  15. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    I came to this realization slightly before napster.

    The first time I wrote a program to read the sectors from a redbook audio cd, and dump the raw data into a file on the computer's hard drive, it dawned on me that this is the ultimate "cheapening" of the cd disc format which completely decoupled recorded music from needing to have the physical disc.

    Even in those days circa mid-1990s, it only took around 15-20 minutes to rip an entire audio cd disc to a raw data file. (On Linux, all you had to do to play the file was dump it into /dev/audio to activate the soundcard.)
     
  16. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    I have several books on classical codebreaking including that one by Kahn. It can make for interesting plots in a tv show or movie. Unfortunately it would look completely foolish with modern digital encryption. (Such as at the beginning of the first Matrix movie).

    Modern encryption simply doesn't work in the same manner.
     
  17. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    I was thinking more along the lines of Phillip K Dick type movies, like Blade Runner or Total Recall. Some of these themes seems to be stuff that some philosophers were thinking about.
     
  18. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Thinking about this more.

    In a completely subjective manner, I think the ultimate "cheapening" of the dvd format for me, was when I first saw how easy it was to copy an entire dvd with the "dd" command (on Linux) in 20 minutes. The first disc I did this on, was The Matrix dvd.

    (In those days circa y2k, one had to run another program to crack the encryption keys on a dvd disc. After that, it was running a second program to remove the encryption from the vob files from that Matrix dvd iso).

    Nowadays this can all be done with the press of a button in 11 minutes or less. ;)


    Nevertheless at the time back in y2k with this "rip now, watch later" mentality I had for dvd discs, it dawned on me that it completely divorced vewing from owning any dvd discs or tapes. I imagined there would be a time in the then-future, where giant hard drives can store hundreds of movies all ripped from dvd discs (whether legal or illegal).
     
  19. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I've considered subscribing to various streaming services on occasion. The *one* thing that always stops me is the inability to find out exactly what movies and/or TV shows they offer. If I can't search your database and/or get a comprehensive list *before* I give you money for a subscription then it just isn't going to happen. Most seem to hide what's leaving their service as well. Add to that some of the worst examples of a user interface I've ever seen and streaming becomes a no-go for me.

    I have Amazon Prime - but that's mostly for the shipping. I *do* watch something that's "free" on Prime Streaming on occasion and have purchased hundreds of movies/TV shows using the digital credits for slow shipping, but it's quite rare with typically one or two movies/TV episodes per month. It's inconvenient, I tend to forget it's there, and their user interface is horrid.
     
  20. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    There are third-party sites that do list everything available on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu etc. But it's important to keep in mind that titles are going to cycle in and out fairly regularly. They're not permanent databases of content.
     
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