Prison Pete

Friday, April 15, 2005
  At Last, a Good Movie.
Well, they say that good things come to those who wait.

This afternoon I had the privilege of watching "Ray." While the viewing conditions were not optimum, I found myself transported to a positive vibe zone.

The movie reminded me of the strength of the human spirit. It also highlighted what music can do in terms of bringing people together and break down barriers.

"Ray" was able to challenge me to rise above my current environment and at the same time give a broad taste of the entire music spectrum that Ray Charles was able to work with.

Saturday's movie, "Troy", was interesting and obviously a lot of effort went into the production. I do feel that epics like this film lose a lot of their visual presentation when viewed on the small TV screen.

But some of the smaller multiplexes have screens that are not all that large. I remember reading with sorrow of the closing of the last single large screen movie theater in Times Square, New York City. I think it was on 44th or 45th Street just west of Broadway or 7th Avenue. I remember seeing the first Superman movie there many moons ago.

I do wonder how much longer we consumers will settle for entertainment experiences that are less than they used to be and at an increased cost.

While the whole iPod thing is something I have yet to experience, the fact that it is stated that the way to include so much music on such a little space is to strip away some of the music. This reminds me of the Marx Brothers movie where they tear away each paragraph of the contract till nothing is left.

Have we come as far as we can and since we cannot seem to leave well enough alone, we come up with "new and not quite as good as it was?"

It seems at times the entertainment industry in particular has figured out how to market its products based strictly on quantity and not quality.

No longer is it okay to have just one copy of a movie, you need to get the new release when it first comes out, then some time later the Director's Cut with extra scenes and bonus material and then you need the five or ten year anniversary edition.

So one does not say, yes I have "Gone with the Wind", but I have the original issue VHS two-tape edition, the digitally remastered one, the first DVD, and then the 50th Anniversary Edition, and finally the ultimate "I-am-such-a-schmuck-I-paid-for-yet-another-copy-with-gold-raised-lettering" edition!

Now, I do not want to insult any Gone with the Wind fans; I think it is a terrific movie. But you cannot tell me you really get the sense of Atlanta burning on the 27" screen in your living room. Okay, maybe some of you may have larger screens, but it still cannot match the truly large screen of the good old single-screen movie theaters.

The movie companies, although most are wrapped up in the monster corporations, are still taking in lots of money; they are doing it with an inferior product and lower production presentation.

Just my 2ยข worth for the record.
I find the big franchises are the worst for what you describe about releasing films more than once. Take Star Trek, for example. All of the movies are now out on DVD, and are being steadily released on DVD a second time as 2 disc special editions, with extra features such as interviews and out-takes.

It's the same with Star Wars - I bet after Episode 3 comes out they will release a boxed edition of all the movies.

And the Lord of the Rings films were all released twice with extra footage.

It's called "double-dipping", and the only reason it works is that enough people fall for it, in my opinion.

There's nothing to stop them from releasing all these extra features the first time round, is there?
Didn't they leave the "sanity" clause in that contract?
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