Do people like, still blog?

Tag Archives: DVDs

I thought that there was a trend where DVDs were being released sooner and sooner after a movie exited theatres. To the point that you could buy the DVD of the movie as you left the theatre. What happened to that? Now I don’t go to movies anymore, nor do I buy DVDs, but it seems like they are delaying the release of DVDs; some of the summer blockbusters are juts getting DVD releases now. Is it a Christmas-season reason, or do they just want movie-goers to forget that the movie sucked and other associated bad press?

I have heard discussions lately that they are going to tear down Market Village and replace it. Market Village has always been a bit odd in terms of architecture. It fit with the former Cullen Gardens, but once that was gone; it just looked like a former farm and hamlet turned into a mall. Renovations (from 10, 15 years ago?) to incorporate the hamlet part as part of the covered mall made it better, but Pacific Mall has long been the superior mall on that corner.

Now there are plans to drop one billion dollars to create a new mall, with a hotel and condominium attached to it. I guess some Chinese people visited Vancouver and saw how Chinese malls are supposed to look (like the Aberdeen Centre). The concept picture makes it look modern (and there are covered walkways to PacMall yay), but how many more cellphone stores do we need on that corner? Splendid China Tower still has a couple of phases to build!

Perhaps the best part of the article is this line though:

Beside Bratty’s Market Village complex is the 300,000 square foot Pacific Mall, perhaps more famous as a shopping destination for the latest pirated DVDs.

We didn’t get a chance to Canal Street on our first visit to NYC in 2007, but we made sure we walked there when we were in NYC this year. Canal St is known for its knockoff goods; bags, belts and perfumes at cheap prices. Like PacMall’s DVDs, the cops know too and I suppose they have had their issues because the knock off goods are usually hidden in a back room or a low crawlspace below the shop.

With the recent police crackdowns, the shops in Markham have adopted a similar approach with their English DVDs. I went this weekend to replenish my backlog. My haul for $20 was:

  • Quantum of Solace
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • Wanted
  • Milk
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Queen in Montreal/Live Aid (music DVD)
  • Sex and the City (Pauline’s pick)

Also, I still have The Diving Bell and the Butterfly which I bought awhile ago.

I am not too enthusiastic with these (although I had semi wanted to watch them). The shops now only have enough room for the recent hits instead of having a large collection like before. I may have to go more often than once every two years.

I was at the Chinese mall at Sheppard and Brimley the other day and was shocked, yes you heard it here first, SHOCKED to find that they no longer sold (english) pirated DVDs! Yes, it seems that the movie industry has finally cracked down on illegal DVD sales. I even saw one store that was closed (although maybe it was a weekday) with a paper saying that it’s illegal to sell movies with various logos (Disney, Warner Bros, etc).

You would think that being unable to sell English DVDs would break their business, but many are still open. Resorting to selling Chinese, adult and (predominantly) Filipino movies. In fact, the price for DVDs were 3 for $10, 67% more expensive than at PacMall. Perhaps signifying the danger in running this type of illegal business.

Thinking about pirated DVDs makes me want to dig up my Economics course notes; too bad I threw them away. Anyways, I was curious to see that if selling DVDs for $2 each can result in a profit, how much money were they pulling in when they were going for 3 for $20? For brevity, I’m not going to recalculate the costs, even though they were probably higher. I’ll just say that it costs $1 per DVD, which means that at that time, they were making over 500% profit!

As an aside, now I see a lot of random stores selling pirated DVDs as a means to boost their bottom line. You can buy DVDs with your Chinese buns, or get a hair cut and pick out some DVDs. These places probably go through a middleman to get their DVDs, and I’m guessing that after the middleman markup, wholesale cost for each DVD is $1. Which makes selling DVDs a great side business.

But back when they were going for $7 each, I’d expect the (true) demand was lower. If you wanted to watch 10 movies a month, maybe you would only buy 3 at PacMall, and the remaining you would rent download or skip. Now, for the same expenditure, you can watch all 10! I’m going to assume that most people operate with a fixed entertainment budget though, and not attempt to buy every movie they want to watch.

While the influx of supply lowered the cost, I think people get caught up in the package deals, so they end up buying movies that they didn’t really want to watch in order to fill up their deal. I guess the DVD vendors get a slightly larger volume to offset the lowered costs, but we as consumers get the better deal for sure since we’ve lowered their profit margin to a much more reasonable 200%.

In the few short days between the wedding and the honeymoon, I went on a shopping spree for animated, comic DVDs. I bought Ultimate Avengers 1, Ultimate Avengers 2, Superman: Doomsday, and Justice League: The New Frontier.

I was particular interested in the Ultimate Avengers series because I never watched a cartoon featuring the Avengers, and secondly this series is supposed to be based off of the Ultimates series which combines the Marvel universe with our real life one, complete with mature themes and scandals. However, after watching both, I was disappointed by the execution. They tried to combine too many back stories into the plot, and watered down the dialogue and story to kid-cartoon level. I don’t think I’ll buy any more Marvel comic DVDs because both of these were two out of five movies.

Superman: Doomsday was better. This movie dealt with the death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday, and was great up to the death part. Then the story took on a turn (couldn’t end the DVD at 30 minutes) and the plot suffered. However, the movie still had the DC experience in cartoon making going for it, and so it wasn’t too bad. Although, Superman had some weird wrinkles on his face for some reason, which he never had in Justice League. Three out of five for this one.

The best was by far Justice League: The New Frontier. This story didn’t really fit in with the current timeline, and is a flashback to the Silver Age of comics. The Americans had just finished fighting a war, and the Justice League did not exist yet. However, a greater enemy brought the heroes together. The neat aspect of this movie was that setting was in the 50s-60s and so had a classic feel. This one gets a three point five.

I was at Pacmall by myself the other day, and had to kill some time. I had visited Canada Computers too many times in the last month so I didn’t want to go there, so I decided to waste some time shopping for DVDs. Did you know that they’re down to 8 for $20 now?? It’s almost retarded not to buy 8 because the next increment is 3 for $10. Did I mention that that price included cases?

So I shopped around. At that price, the difficulty isn’t finding a good deal, it’s finding 8 movies that you wanted to watch. After a few stores, I eventually bought 8:

  • Hot Fuzz (on recommendations from Victor)
  • Pan’s Labyrinth (on recommendations from Aaron)
  • Knocked Up (on recommendations by ?? forgot who)
  • Captivity (wanted to see, but wouldn’t pay for theatre)
  • The Pursuit of Happyness [sic] (Pauline wanted to see this)
  • Children of Men
  • Letters from Iwo Jima (on recommendations from my friend Oscar)
  • The Fountain (wanted to see this because it’s an Afronofsky film)

So that’s a lot of movies! I still have in my backlog:

  • The Polar Express (Pauline wanted to see this)
  • Munich (again a recommendation by my friend Oscar)
  • Kung Fu Hustle (my DVD drives couldn’t read this, hopefully my new computer will have a better go at it)
  • Love Actually (Pauline said it was a good movie so I bought it)

I think I’ll get around to all these movies by 2010. That will be my New Year’s Resolution next year.

I decided to start watching my stockpile of purchased, but unwatched DVDs in lieu of playing more Warcraft. For a while, way back when; whenever I went to Chinese malls, I had this desire to buy the cheap DVDs they had on sale because it was easier than downloading them off the net. In time however, I realized I would just buy them and leave them in my book case, while they depreciated in value from 3/$20 to 6/$20 and so forth. So I decided to stop buying DVDs, but there still remained the problem of my unwatched, but interesting-to-me DVDs.

Furthermore, these DVDs seem to be burnt on the newfangled DVD+Rs, which the aging DVD-ROM on my desktop cannot read properly (reason #42343245 to get a new computer). So I am reduced to watching these DVDs on my 12″ laptop (although I suppose I could watch it on my 15″ work laptop, but then I would have to take it out and plug it in — ahh so much work). This long and irrelevant introduction leads into my review of Sideways, which follows a middle-aged, divorced, middle-school english teacher as he accompanies his freshman-year roommate on his bachelor party/vacation before he gets married at the end of the week.

I bought Sideways when it was nominated for an Oscar in 2005 (two years ago!) mainly because it had a lot of hipster hype. It was billed as a comedy which follows Jack, who has second thoughts about his impeding wedding, and Miles’ journey to get laid one last time. The first thing that struck me when I watched this movie was that both Jack and Miles were old — this wasn’t the 20-something American Pie, it was about two 35 y/o going on 40! The second thing that I realized was that the focus, which was what all the buzz seemed to talk about (that is aside from the wine), was not on the actor Jack, but on the depressed Miles. Miles was a tragic character. He was the guy that took a wrong turn in life, and sees the dead end in front of him. He’s recently divorced. He’s trying, very hard, to write a book which can’t get published. He’s stuck in a lifeless job and has to steal money from his mother. He’s depressed and on medication. He can’t bed a women, yet his best friend Jack keeps egging him on and trying to hook him up. I thought the character of Miles was a much more realistic and relatable story; he could easily be someone you know (or will know).

Then there was the wine. I’m not a wine connaisseur so I probably missed all the in-jokes. In fact, for a lot of the parts, I felt like a girl watching a Star Trek Transformers movie. I had heard that people avoided Merlot after watching this movie, but really, there was only one scene about it! Why the hate?? In addition to the wine, this felt like a southern California commercial. A lot of time was spent driving around wine country, and seeing the sights. Perhaps it feels odd because I have recently seen a lot of summer blockbusters which requires that scenes be cut in a way where there is always stuff happening. Sideways is a low-key movie that tells a story. I didn’t think it was as great as reviewers felt it was, and give this three out of five stars.

ever since i came back from seattle, i’ve been wasting my money buying knock off english dvds from chinese places. for the longest time, i’ve been wondering why they don’t pirate north american material (well aside from the police backlash) because it would make them so much more money. well now, they’ve finally started pirating movies that i would actually pay money to see in theatres; so if i’m going to pay $10 to watch them, i might as well pay $8 to own them. anyways, the kicker is that they print out high quality labels and those cardboard sheaths for each dvd so they look almost good enough to sell second hand (damn chinese lettering). i guess it’s back to dvd buying. nooooooo

top albums of 2004

1. franz ferdinand self titled
2. the killers’ hot fuss
3. ted leo & the pharmacists’ shake the sheets
4. keane’s hopes & fears
5. the thrills’ let’s bottle bohemia

top singles of 2004
this list was pretty hard to do because the songs are different and hard to rate against each other. also these songs are taken from a list of songs i first heard in 2004 (e.g. the strokes’ room on fire was released in 2003)
1. the strokes — 12:51
2. britney spears — toxic
3. the strokes — reptilia

4. franz ferdinand — take me out
5. jet — are you gonna be my girl?
6. maroon 5 — she will be loved
7. the thrills’ — whatever happened to corey haim?
8. dido — white flag
9. ashlee simpson — pieces of me

10. hilary duff — come clean
11. janet jackson — just a little while
12. enrique iglesias — not in love
13. kanye west — through the wire
14. avril lavigne — don’t tell me
15. d12 — my band

top movie of 2004: the incredibles, hero and shrek 2 are honorable mentions.

money spent on CDs: $477.60 over 90 CDs.
money spent on DVDs: $196.13 over 13 DVDs.
money spent on movies: $87.88 over 9 movies.

list (can’t rank em!) of cool experiences this year:

the “if you told me one year ago i wouldn’t have believed you” change of the year: music preference = indie rock now?!

new years’ resolution: (find time to) read more (but not on the web).

I expected all you bloggers to answer this “if you told me one year ago i wouldn’t have believed you” change of the year question on your blog too 😉

over the last several days, there’s been a booth at the student life centre on campus selling sealed and legit (but shady) dvds. everything was priced at $20 with no tax including recent titles such as underworld, pirates, italian job and various disney movies. older dvds were even cheaper. there were many that i wanted but due to the incredible strength of my willpower, i only bought one. it wasn’t really an impulse purchase or anything, i’ve had it on my list of dvds to buy for awhile but just never found a good price for it or anything.

i don’t like how this trend is going, for awhile, i thought i had kicked my habit of dvd buying, but recently i’ve bought the two towers, titan ae and now, out of sight. that’s 3 more than i wanted to buy and i keep using the excuse that i should buy them as they’re at a good price and i’ve been thinking on buying them for awhile anyways. i don’t think i can handle crazy cd buying AND crazy dvd buying at the same time.

the past few months i’ve stayed away from dvd stores in an attempt to resist my urge to buy dvds. it’s hard because everytime you browse thru the selection, you see a few more that you’ve always wanted to watch; they aren’t all that expensive either so when you dash towards the cashier, it’s hard to have second thoughts. i had the opportunity to go looking for dvds today, and it was hard not to come home with $200 in dvds. they say that people tend to buy dvds because comparatively they’re a cheap form of entertainment. I don’t really see it that way. say you drop $25 on a dvd; that’s going to last you 2-3 hours, if you watch it a couple more times let’s say you get 20 hours out of it at most. indeed, it’s cheaper for a couple of people to buy the dvd than to watch the same movie in theatres (ignoring the difference in size & sound), i can’t argue with that. i just think that it’s not really as good a value as people make it out to be. let’s compare dvds to cds. for the same price, you could buy 1 to 1.5 cds. even if i only listen to say 4 of the 12 songs, i could easily get 20 hours of listening out of a cd during it’s lifespan. as it is, cds themselves are too expensive but i still get more out of them than dvds; a single song can lift your spirits and change your day around, some movies can do that — if you spend two hours watching it. on the other hand music is not really a social activity (not that movie watching is much of one), you can’t “listen” to music with other people, but you can listen to music while doing other things. that leads to another problem with collecting dvds. in order to enjoy a dvd, you have to pay attention and watch it. i’m a casual buyer but i think i’ve already amassed 20-30 dvds within a year. i would guesstimate that at being 150 hours of viewing time (i have a few seasons), that’s 50 nights at 3 hours per night. sandwich those nights between the ones where i have stuff to do or when i don’t want to stare at a tube and it would take me a long time to make my way thru my collection. it all comes down to time, if you have a large collection (which i’m positive i will in the future), it’ll take you a long time to even watch you entire collection once, let alone watch it till its worth it. you’re better off renting both to save money and not to waste time feeling guilty about not getting your money’s worth. yet that doesn’t faze people, they keep buying and buying as more and more dvds come out. i must admit, i succumb to these guilty pleasures myself. i think that releasing seasons of shows is a great idea, for a hundred bucks anyone can become an instant fan or if you’re already a fan you can watch the episodes any time you want. need a laugh? just watch a couple episodes of futurama. an insomniac? no problem, just watch an episode or two of buffy. but how many times will you actually watch the episodes? it seems to me that people reminisce about a show (say…star trek), spend some money to buy the series on dvd (in this case around $2000 for tng & ds9), watch it once right when they buy it and store it in their dvd shelf. oh they say they’ll watch it in a few years but by then they’ll have other things to watch (like star trek: enterprise on dvd). that’s just the tip of the iceberg, it’s the top of the can, the exposition of the story. there are so many more arguments about how the industry is suckering you into paying to shift your collection to a new format, about how much space it’s going to take up in your house, oh and did i mention how much money and time you’re going to waste. yep, it’s a dystopia, and i’ll try to avoid it. but when i see that dvd of tomb raider 2: the cradle of life sitting on the shelf a couple of months from now, that devil on my shoulder’s gonna be whispering “oh it’s only $25, what’s one more dvd to your collection anyways?” and you know what? i’m gonnabuy it. oh it’s because of the cool case.

i bought shrek on dvd yesterday. i think that shrek is the best animated movie so far (yes, even better than spirited away) if not one of the best movies. whereas a lot of other movies appeal to one type of person or another, shrek has something for everyone. it’s funny, it’s romantic, and it’s clever. there are action scenes, and scenes where you actually feel for the characters even tho they are cartoons. but i think most important of all, it draws from childhood fairy tales that everyone knows; not sex nor violenence for once.

i think it’s annoying how some people put javascript blocks onto their page so you can’t right click and stuff like that. it’s dumb, because they probably want to protect their images or other content, but if you really wanted to steal it, it really isn’t that difficult. the frustrating thing is that by blocking right clicks, some people (namely me) can’t surf properly. for example if i wanted to open a link in a new window (i know, i can just shift+click) or check the properties on the page/link, i wouldn’t be able too. it’s kind of the same thing with people who obfuscate the status bar with junk but it’s better to be blind than to not be able to do anything. i know one solution to this is to put sites you don’t want javascript enabled into your restricted zone and ones that you want javascript on for in other. but that’s really too much of a hassle, so i was trying to find a better solution. i was thinking how it would be really useful if there was something like the googlebar for toggling javascript on/off. i know there’s stuff like that for mozilla/opera but no one’s written an equivalent for internet explorer (and i’m sure it can be done).

if you happened to come across a website whose domain is what would you think the site does? well i’ll tell you in a little bit

i finally got the extended cut of fellowship of the ring on dvd. i’m going to try and put off watching it until right before i watch the two towers so everything is fresh in my mind, but i’m not sure if i can hold out for that long…

i’ve been telling people recently that bose speakers are crappy, tho i couldn’t really back it up since i was relying on one of my friend’s listening experiences…but now i finally can. an audiophile critiques one of bose’s better systems; goes thru a lot of techy comparisons and finally equates the sound quality of this $1300USD bose system to other $350USD systems. basically you pay about $150 for parts and then a super-premium for the brand.

i think i have problems with keeping my camera steady, i get lots and lots of blurry shots (like this one), or maybe it’s my lack of skill. but newayz, we went down to the cavalcade of lights for some skating; saw david usher (he did a rendition of pink’s get the party started as an encore! horribly!) and some diva band, who although had no original material, were better than david usher. plus, i think i got my feet on city tv! (i don’t know if they actually show all the footage that they take) yay!

newayz, back to that domain i was talking about before. it’s actually a site for people to find out who represents actors and directors. don’t worry, i read it as whore presents too. i mean it’s not that far of a jump considering all the weird things on the web, pr0n related or otherwise.

woo hoo i got my first dvd for my collection today, the red violin…it’s a pretty good movie but the only thing is that i don’t have a dvd drive to watch it with!!! maybe i should spend my money on that rather than buying movies that i can’t watch…

i went to look at dvd’s today…but i couldn’t really find anything that i wanted to start my collection with…i did find some movies that i’ve never seen before…but i didn’t really want to get them cuz i dunno if they were good or bad…

i’m thinking of starting a dvd collection…it seems like everyone has one now and dvds aren’t that expensive anymore…but then that’s a dumb reason to start collecting them…i think some movies are worthwhile to have my own copy to watch whenever i want…but like my cd collection i dunno if i’m ever gonna actually enjoy them aside from going wow they’re all arranged in order…maybe i’ll start a collection s-l-o-w-l-y…as in buy only on boxing days or big sales or whatever…but then it’ll be hard for me to figure what movies i want!