HTF UMD REVIEW: Napoleon Dynamite

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by David Galindo, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. David Galindo

    David Galindo Screenwriter

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    [c]Napoleon Dynamite (UMD)
    Region 1 • PG • Subtitles: English • Available Now

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    Fox has hit the UMD scene with five new titles, and if Napoleon Dynamite is any indication of how future titles will turn out on UMD, then we are all doomed.

    Thoughts on the Movie

    I find Napoleon Dynamite to be pretty tepid. There were some funny moments, but mostly I was waiting for the movie to end to I could get back to some Midnight Club 3 PSP. It was OK.

    I’m sitting here in front of the computer, trying to think of how I felt about the movie. Some things to type. Anything. Nothing comes to mind. This movie doesn’t really sway me one way or the other. I suppose the only real question I have is… can someone please tell me why this movie grew to be so amazingly popular? I honestly can’t see the appeal.

    I suppose you have to be at the right age (or mentality) to really laugh at this movie. I did like the scenery, and Pedro is probably the star of the movie moreso than Napoleon. My sister, who is eight years older than I am, loves this movie and loves to quote lines in everyday situations. I argue that “Gah!” is not a movie quote but an expression, but she seems to disagree. Sigh.

    This is not a movie to blind buy. You should definitely rent before buying, and if you like this movie, it is also likely you’re a candidate to watch it over and over again. Twice is more than enough for me, thanks.

    Oh, and in case your wondering, this UMD contains the wedding scene after the credits.


    Video Quality

    Before the movie starts, the warning that the image was “cropped to fill the screen” appears. While I appreciate the warning, it wasn’t really necessary, since the original 1.85 ratio is cropped to 1.78. That’s millimeters on the screen, folks. But in that regard, why was it necessary to crop the movie at all?

    I remember watching the DVD and noticing how colorful the grass was, which is not present here. The whole film has a bit of a washed out feeling to it, which is totally unlike the DVD. Too bad, because I really dug those green pastures, which are more dark green here. Not a great transfer, but serviceable.

    2.5/5
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    Audio Quality

    There really isn’t much going on in the movie, just voice and the occasional music. Everything sounds pretty crisp and clear, and the music sounds great. No problems here.

    3/5
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    Extras

    Angry doesn’t begin to describe how I feel. There are no extras. There is no chapter selection. Nothing.

    The menus are OK, and have a kinda unique charm, but nothing amazing. There are previews to Transporter and Dodgeball.

    Now, why am I angry? Because Fox is charging $30 for this UMD. That’s right- no chapter selection, no extras, yet its $30 to buy.

    Pathetic.

    0.5/5
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    Overall…

    I am angry at Fox. They did not put a chapter selection on this movie, or it seems on any of their releases. No extras. And believe it or not, this movie had a MSRP of $20 two weeks ago, until Fox quietly raised it to $30.

    This UMD has a bland video transfer, OK audio, and OK menus. But why oh why couldn’t they add a chapter selection? And for that matter, why not add a small extra? They could fit an English, Spanish and French track, but not the commentary that was on the original DVD? Not that it was good, but it would have helped.

    When people complain, “UMDs are stupid! Pay $30 for something I can get for $15? No way!” I have to correct them. Sony and Lion’s Gate releases their back titles for as low as $12 with usually great audio and video, as well as chapter selections. Buena Vista charges $30, but you can find it for $25, and they make some of the best UMDs available with extras and superb presentation. But Fox’s UMDs are everything a UMD should NOT be. I do still have a bit of hope for Fox… after all, Sony turned around their UMD quality and is really on a roll… but their first batch seems to be pretty bad.

    Had they charged $20 instead, I could be a bit forgiving. Had they kept it at $30 but put a chapter selection, I might be slightly more understandable. But they leave me no choice. This is one of the worst UMDs I’ve reviewed. Not the movie, mind you, but the UMD.

    What a damn shame.

    1/5
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  2. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    It's amazing how we have become so accostomed to chapter selection as the norm (and rightfully so with a non-linear format). I'm wondering how the DVD is formatted for this title. There are some DVD titles (the names escape me right now) that have no chapter stops on request of the director. Robert Zemeckis pops to mind. Perhaps this is an example of that. I can't even begin to imagine why chapter stops would be left out otherwise. [​IMG]
     
  3. PerryD

    PerryD Supporting Actor

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    Chapter selection screen doesn't seem mandatory to me since the PSP remembers the last position of the movie when powered off, although I can't imagine why it is left off since the movies themselves contain chapter stops. I'm trying to think though how often if at all I go through the chapter menu screen while watching my DVDs. Not including the DVD's commentary track is definitely more of an annoyance, especially at the prices they are charging.
     
  4. David Galindo

    David Galindo Screenwriter

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    Well, for a movie like this quick scene access is key. If you decide to play a game and come back to the movie, you will lose your place. There are chapter stops, but you have to go through each one before getting to chapter 15, for example. [​IMG]
     

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