Archive for May 20th, 2011


The Blu-Ray Question: To Double Dip, or Not To Double Dip?

Last weekend I did something I’ve been resisting for quite some time: I purchased a Blu-Ray set that I already owned on DVD. Although I have begun buying Blu-Ray for movies heavy on the visuals I have not re-purchased anything before. I like a movie to look and sound great, don’t misunderstand, but the difference isn’t worth it to me to drop twenty, thirty, fifty bucks on something I already own. I didn’t have this problem when I went from VHS to DVD, because I never really collected VHS tapes. Oh, I had a few, mostly Christmas and birthday presents. I never really bought a lot of VHS myself. When DVD hit, though, I felt the urge to compile my own video store.

I finally broke and repurchased for three very important reasons:

  1. The Blu-Ray in question was the complete set of Joss Whedon’s Firefly, one of the greatest and most criminally underrated science fiction television series of the past decade.
  2. Amazon had the set on sale for $24, less than I paid for the DVD set back in the day and really cheap for a full season of a TV show (even a season that only lasted 13 episodes).
  3. My girlfriend Erin (hi sweetie) virtually commanded me to do so.

That said, I don’t plan on making a habit out of this. There aren’t a lot of properties that can make me turn out money twice. There are, however, a couple of releases coming out later this year that are making me think about it…

Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology will be released in just a few weeks, and you are all under orders to report to me the cheapest price you can find. This set will include all four Christopher Reeve Superman movies, the Richard Donner cut of Superman II, the film Superman Returns and the documentary Look, Up in the Sky. That’s one of my all-time favorite movies, several other movies that I enjoy to one degree or another… and Superman IV. If I could find this for a decent price, I would consider it.

Coming out at the end of June is the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-Ray. I loved these films, but I easily resisted the Blu-Ray edition of the theatrical cuts. The extended cuts, though… first of all, I don’t have all of those on DVD, so this wouldn’t be a complete double-dip. Also, this edition comes with a digital copy of the trilogy, and I like having the digital copies available to take anywhere. Like the Superman set, if I can find this at a good price, I’d consider it.

But one set I will not get on Blu-Ray, much to the consternation of one of my Showcase co-hosts? The Star Wars: The Complete Saga box set. To be fair, I don’t hate the prequel trilogy the way that a lot of people do. (It’s clearly inferior to the original, but I think the films have some merit, and except for Hayden Christensen’s performance, Episode III is actually quite good). But there is no way in hell I’m going to spend any money on this set, and mainly because I feel like is another blatant cash grab by Lucasfilm. First they put out the DVD of the original trilogy, but only the “special edition” versions. Then a few years ago, they finally released the original versions on DVD, but not in anamorphic widescreen. (WIDESCREEN IS THE WAY TO GO, PEOPLE.) They also released the prequels as they came out, which is to be expected. This boxed set? No original version of the original trilogy — again, only the “special editions” — which to me speaks of a plan to release those again at a later date, sucking cash away from the fans again. The set also lacks any real additional special features, meaning you’re just paying for something you already have all over again. And that says nothing of Lucas’s plan to re-release all six films in 3-D in a couple of years, which you know will be followed by yet another Blu-Ray release. Forget it, Lucas. As long as I own a device that can play the discs I already have, I’m not dropping another dime on those six movies.

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