Why I made the Switch to Blu-Ray

I am an absolute movie fan. I am the sort that loves to go to the movies, not just to shell over eight bucks for something I can rent in just a few months’ time for practically free, but for the entire experience: the crowds of jabbering people, the uncomfortably worn-down seats, the nauseating smell of burnt nachos and stale popcorn smothered with buttery-like fake sauce… hmm, this is sounding a bit negative, isn’t it. Maybe I should just stick to the movies themselves.

Let’s try this again.

I am an absolute movie fan; I love movies. Watching movies, experiencing movies, listening to movies as I pretend to study or do the dishes… my collection is 220 DVDs strong (excluding my VHS collection. Yes, I am that old) and growing.

Speaking of VHS (yes, again, I AM that old, thanks for being boggled by that fact), I am not exactly the fastest person when it comes to new technology. I still have a VHS deck (no, that is not anything like a patio deck… although they are roughly the same size) that plays my brick-like VHS tapes and I still have a regular DVD player, despite the fact that the great DVD corporations with their giant evil leather chairs and Persian cats are trying to force everyone towards the all-mighty Blu-Ray. I mean, I don’t even have a cell phone with a screen that can show anything more than the number I’m dialing, so I wasn’t exactly rushing out to the store to get a Blu-Ray player.

Frankly, if you’ve read my previous article  about them, you know I’m not exactly a fan. The extra cost, for the same product packaged three times, all stuffed into one case, is a bit unreasonable to me. So color me embarrassed when I found myself forking over the cash for a Blu-Ray player.

Why?!

Well, if you believe the hype about Blu-Ray, it would be because of a clearer picture, better movie viewing experience, and the extra bonus features.

Now, it might be because my TV is not a state-of-the-art, high def, flat screen TV, but I don’t notice too much of a difference between a Blu-Ray disc and a regular DVD. I might be convinced that it looks a tad nicer, but I couldn’t swear to that. However, let’s not be petty: I’ll give the point for clarity to them. But what about a “better movie viewing experience”? Since my Blu-Ray player doesn’t serve up poptarts and popcorn or keep my cold drinks cold, I’m going to have to call that a marketing ploy.

So, the “clarity” is nice and all, but why did I really do it?

For the bonus features, of course! Sure, it’s nice to watch the movie over and over and over again (admit it: we all have our “top five” that we’ll watch no matter how many times we’ve seen them), but what I really live for is those “behind the scenes” moments. I love to see how or why the filmmakers did the certain things that they did. I’m the sort of person that collects “Art of the Movie” books and pours over them or listens to two-hour long interviews with animators on YouTube. If you happen to get entangled in a conversation about movies with me, I’ll go on and on until I’m practically foaming at the mouth. Movie trivia is how I open most conversations. I am a movie person.

IMDB is great, but when it comes to trivia and behind the scenes, it can only go so far. Most movies are too full of incredible moments and in-jokes from the cast/crew/director/peoples that it all can’t simply be collected properly. That is why there are behind the scenes options and that is why we shell out the 25- to 35 dollars for the DVD when it comes out! But with the introduction of the Blu-Ray player, that meant a new shift in media, one that DVD companies felt the need to force people towards. Since the jacked-up price is pretty annoying, how can they ever make people shell out the extra cash?

Why, remove the bonus features of course and only show them on the Blu-Ray version! But that’s no reason to be bitter and boycott Blu-Ray DVDs… right?

I love movies because they are an experience made up of hundreds and thousands of moments, all chopped up into single frames incidents, and sent out into the world for people of all nations and creeds to enjoy. They are incredible creations that I love to drink up. Like any creation, movies have their evolutionary steps. The 8 mm, the VHS, the DVD, Blu-Ray, and, now that media is transferring towards a purely digital existence, the UltraViolet cloud. It’s pointless to hate one of its steps, since, without that step, it would eventually have stopped existing entirely.

Like moving from grade school to a higher education, Blu-Ray has now moved from the store shelf to my media room. Now, if only they would lower the price!

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