> "We've talked numerous times about the movie industry's love affair with release windows"
Translation: "I've cried endlessly like a little girl with a skinned knee about how my crippling agoraphobia and flatulence keeps me from going to movie theaters and how studios should release DVDs the same day as the theatrical release so I don't need to wait 4-6 months to see a movie and won't feel left out of conversations with people who can go to theaters or won't be spoiled about surprises. When are those stupidheads going to listen to meeeeeeee?!?!?!?"
The movie business isn't evil because they refuse to cater to your hobby horse. Find something new to whine about.
Everyone seems to be thinking, "Look at what you can make for $800 with a Pentax camera," but within 10 seconds of watching the making-of, it's clear that the cheapest item in the production was the camera itself. Putting a SUV on a dolly to simulate motion in front of a green screen; rigging a guy 10 feet above a green screen; compositing an explosion; the cost of all the lenses (which can be more than a camera body) and so on requires more than a MacBook Pro and iMovie to go with the $800 camera. Did they get free stuff from Pentax since the first thing you see in the film is that it was shot on their stuff. Seems sponsored to me.
I agree that the tech costs are plunging, but while it's getting cheaper and easier to produce and distribute films online, as other have mentioned there still isn't much return on investment for these projects. I know it's considered wrong for artists to want money for their works on the "everything wants to be free like beer" Intarwebz, but unless they can cover their expenses (much less make enough to quit their day jobs so they can focus on their art) then it matters little how cheap the cameras are.
For forever EA was known as the Evil Empire, milking franchises with annual roster updates and minimal feature improvements. They had to resort to massive licensing deals (e.g. the NFL) to ice out competition when 2K Games was making better sports games and selling them for 40% of the MSRP of EA's games. Then they started to mellow out, backing original IPs like Mirror's Edge and Dead Space, and generally not being d-bags.
Sensing the void, Activision stepped up and started making even EA's abuses seem mild by running formerly gold franchises like Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk into the ground so ferociously that only a bloody pulp (and plummeting sales) remained. Their last golden goose, Infinity Ward, has been destroyed with all the top talent packing up and heading over to...whoops! EA!...because ACTV figured the best reward for the house that delivered the biggest selling ANYTHING in entertainment was to screw them on promised payments and firing the bosses. Activision is the cancer that Blizzard has to worry about infecting them and Bungie (and Halo fans) are about to find how how terrible the House That Pitfall Built can be.
But lo and behold, here comes EA taking their code cards in new games to the next level by shutting out those who pick up last year's models for massive savings. While not as d-baggy as Ubisoft's "Treat Paying Customers Like Thieves" DRM program, it's still a nasty cash grab in a down economy and people are likely to respond with a hearty "FTS!" to the scheme.
Or they'll pony up. I remember the howls when Guitar Hero II's DLC pricing was announced. The inability to a la carte the tracks; the griping about the pricing; it was all heard and much grousing was sprayed across teh Intarwebz, but then people went and bought the tracks anyway - "It sucks, but I really want to play [song title]" - and the die was cast. Sellouts.
Just when I'm trying to think of a position stupider than Mike's constant diaper-filling because movie theaters aren't offering DVDs at the ticket window, in case anyone would rather not go into the big dark room with all those strangers after driving to the theater, along he comes with his cheerful burbling that "music is free," obviously thinking he's quite the savant.
Many years ago, before the music biz cause was finally, irretrievably lost, some punk on a forum was talking about seeing some band opening at a show and how he was downloading everything they had online. I told him what the singer from Sevendust said about downloading, "At the end of the year, if our album didn't scan [SoundScan] enough copies, I'm back flipping burgers at McDonald's." The little brat didn't reply, but I'm starting to think he aged to become Mike.
You clearly know NOTHING about music because artists like Gary Numan and Divinyls had substantial careers outside of their "one hit." Just because YOU never heard of anything more than "Cars" or "I Touch Myself" doesn't mean there wasn't more behind the hits. Basement Jaxx sampled a Numan song for "Where's Your Head At?"; Divinyls had hit songs with "Boys In Town" and "Pleasure & Pain" YEARS before "I Touch Myself" which came off their FOURTH album.
Even A Flock of Seagulls had several more hits (e.g. "Telecommunication", "Space Age Love Song", "Wishing") than just "I Ran", not that ignoramuses like you would know. Some think A-Ha's "The Sun Always Shines On TV" is a better tune than "Take On Me" and the band is finally packing it in after 25 years of continued European success. Have you heard the whole "Tubthumping" album by Chumbawumba? It's a solid ALBUM though 99.44% only knew the single. Same for Los Lobos, who have been around forever but only hit with "La Bamba."
"Many of us believe that there shouldn't be any window at all"
No, Mike, YOU BELIEVE that movies should be released on home video the day they hit theaters. Just as with the your insipid Avatar thread, you have decided that the whole world is in tune with your childish impatience and are now spewing baseless dreck based on it. Where the hell in the linked article does it say that "Odeon [admits] the experience of going to its theaters is so bad that it simply can't compete with watching the movie at home."?!?!? Once again, you are projecting YOUR demand that you not be bothered with going to the cinema with the peasants all over any story even tangentially related to movies.
As if the original post wasn't vapid enough, now you're going to double down on your specious and ill-considered thesis? You muddle up your point about catering to customer demands with all sorts of bogus qualifiers - "It's just a sweet old man helping his wife. The movie probably isn't any good." - which speak more about your antipathy toward ANY controls, no matter how reasonable, that cross your rigid anti-establishment ideology.
Let's see if I can walk you through your cluelessness:
• You seem to simultaneously believe that if people could buy a DVD at the theater on release day, people would happily trek out to the show and buy a ticket so they could buy the DVD, yet they want the DVD so they can avoid the hassle of going to see the crappy movie in the first place. Huh? What?!?!? PICK ONE!!!
• You contend that studios are losing money because they aren't simultaneously selling DVDs and releasing to theaters, but you are pulling this assumption out of your nether regions as an excuse for some stupid old coot's stupid actions. "If only those mean, greedy, anti-customer studios would offer that kindly gentleman, who only sought to bring a bit of the movie-going experience to his wife, a DVD to purchase, he wouldn't be forced to take a camera." You really don't understand how addled you sound? Really?
Simultaneous releases of films to theaters, pay-per-view, and DVD have only been attempted a few times - Wikipedia lists three films, including Steven Soderbergh's craptastic Bubble - and been a miserable failure so there isn't enough track record to guesstimate future results. Considering that Avatar has of this posting grossed $2,464,237,048 worldwide, the idea that 20th Century Fox has foolishly left money on the table by not catering to your beloved old man with a camera is laughable. Seriously. We're laughing HARD at you because...
• The DVD is coming on April 22. All your grandpa needs to do is wait a couple of months and he can buy and enjoy Avatar with the missus all he wants. Is that so unreasonable to ask a little patience? Do you think that the DVD is likely to have it's sales impacted adversely because so many people went and saw it in the theater? (Considering the reality deficit of your post and follow-up reply, you may.)
• If you want to see a movie, consumers already have multiple choices as to when and how much they'll need to pay to see it. Seeing it opening night at the theater is the most expensive and inconvenient due to crowds. You can wait a couple of weeks for the crowds to die down and catch a matinee to save money. Maybe you'll wait a couple of months for the second-run "dollar show" to get it. You can always wait for the retail DVD and pay a lot the first week or rent it as a new release or wait a while and wait for the inevitable discounting or PPV copies at video stores. Have you never heard of The Long Tail? You think that unless the studios can Hoover up all the money in the opening frame, all is lost. Bub, cough syrup is not a food group.
• For the cheapest of cheap movie consumers (note that I didn't say "moviegoers") there are the myriad torrent sites offering up everything from crappy grandpa-taped camcorder copies to Blu-ray rips. The opening weekends of a new movie means cruddy cams and maybe iffy telesyncs will be available. When the home video release date nears, DVD/BD-sourced torrents appear allowing impatient, entitled, cheap, thieving twits to help themselves to even better quality copies. What do you think is going to happen when your desired candy stand DVDs provide clean source materials opening weekend? How in blue blazes can you seriously suggest that studios are losing money by not selling DVDs when by early Friday afternoon the Pirate Bay will be awash in "Shutter.IslandDvDrip[Eng]-MAZ" torrents?
The bottom line is that you messed up royally this time, Mike. You are trying to hitch your hobby horse team to an uncontroversial story of a stupid man doing a stupid thing and getting busted. Trying to wrap a commie-hippie poncho of blather in the form of "our natural inclination to share something we like outweighs an arcane set of laws" is specious and stupid. (Kumbayah, my Gaea, Kumbayah...) At what point does "sharing" become "removing the need to go and buy it for themselves?" That you could type that and then try to attack my point about how a person buying a popcorn DVD would share it with all their friends and thus deprive the theater ticket and concession (where the real money is) sales makes me wonder if you're aware of what's happening in your own writing?
As I said before, drooling hippie articles like this do great damage to the cause of encouraging content distributors (note I didn't say "creators") to quit freaking out because their artists' videos are being embedded as free advertising because they seek to excuse the most clear-cut rule-breaking as being mere repression by "The Man."
While I have frequently found common ground with most of your articles, Mike, you are 110% WRONG on this one and the fact you can't man up and acknowledge that you can't honestly defend your point as valid is disappointing. There is no excuse for what Grandpa Cam did; it isn't the fault of the studios; the current distribution isn't broken. You're just wrong. Period. Nuff said!
"To be honest, if the movie industry stopped with its silly "windowing" concept, this wouldn't have been a problem at all. The studio easily could have released Avatar on DVD at the same time as the movie came out."
Some geezer stupidly tries to record a movie so the missus could see it without paying for a ticket and it's the MOVIE STUDIO'S FAULT for not having simultaneous DVD release?!?!?!? Are you daft?!?!?
I understand criticizing stupid corporate decisions like record labels forbidding embedding of their advertising videos for their artists or video game publishers imposing Draconian DRM restrictions on their paying customers, but what you're doing is slamming a studio for not catering to every foreseeable instance where someone could infringe.
If you can't afford concert tickets, why can't your friends take a Flip and record the show for you? If a book is too expensive in hardback, why not download an eBook copy since those greedy anti-consumer publishers didn't cater to the public by making a cheaper paperback immediately available. Why should anyone sell their goods in the manner they choose if it doesn't suit Mike?
Why isn't a DVD available at the popcorn stand? How about because it will be in stores in 4-6 months? Sure, this old guy and the wife may not live to see the home release at their ages, but so what? How are the theaters supposed to make money if a theater goer can buy a ticket, then buy the DVD, and then that DVD gets passed around to 20 friends of that purchaser? Money earned: One ticket and DVD sale. Money lost: The 20 tickets NOT sold because instead of saying, "You guys have got to go see [movie name]. It's awesome!", that one guy says, "I just saw this awesome movie! Check out the DVD!"
It is insipid twaddle like this that gives those who want REASONABLE copyright rules a bad name because of the snotty, entitled attitude expressed by the likes of Mike. No, Mike, the studios aren't wrong to put their movies in theaters exclusively before eventually selling DVDs of them. It's not silly; it's business, and business is not automatically evil.
Disney is the prime driver of copyright law overreach for one simple reason: If they didn't keep buying extensions from their puppets in Congress, Mickey Mouse would've already become public domain; allowing anyone to do anything with him including making movies with him doing anything the makers wanted including having graphic sex while committing genocide.
Of course, the irony is that Walt Disney built his empire by making movies of public domain stories like Snow White, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, etc.
General Larry Platt is a genuine civil rights pioneer; hardly an "idiot." Perhaps some people should take a break from visually inspecting their colons and try learning about the people they mock and what their target's point was with the song.
"As for Obama issuing a rule saying that breaking the law is legal... how does that work? "
He views Himself as an Emperor Messiah, a philosopher king, who has deigned to descend from Heaven to remake the United States into a more perfect (Soviet) Union as a favor to us puny humans. If you're unhappy about anything He does, it's because you're RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACIST!!!
I saw a poll today that 77% of American investors view Dear Leader as being "anti-business." I wonder how many of those chumps voted for him ignorant of the fact that he was a Marxist and that all of his anti-freedom moves were easily foretold, though unreported by his sycophantic media lapdogs?
As to identifying who downloaded a copy of the film and who uploaded a copy, it depends on whether the copy was watermarked. Individual copies used to be identified when they were provided on VHS because it was easy to do. Apparently it is more difficult and expensive to do on DVD. Yet, it is still done fairly often.
I used to review DVDs for a major media site and there were several instances where we were provided with watermarked, serial numbered discs made by DeLuxe where some sort of interference pattern was added to the copy to make it identifiable. The problem is the watermarking borked the image quality by adding artifacts. (The first time I encountered one of these, I thought it was merely a horrible transfer and encode.) Since the most important aspect of the reviews to some readers was the A/V quality - who cared what we thought of the film itself? - it sort of defeated the purpose of doing early reviews of new releases. Most of the time, we'd eventually get a retail copy to screen and update the review, but a few remain incomplete because the studios were so paranoid that we'd hand out copies of their product.
When the Kindle was announced, it was an immediately dead letter for me because it only allowed you to download their "books" to their reader and that content was locked to the device with no provision to sell or give away your copy. The analogy I used to explain it to a friend was it was like buying books from Borders that could only be stored on an approved Borders-supplied bookcase and that you couldn't lend them to anyone, sell them, donate them to a church book sales, etc., and if you ever wanted a bigger bookcase, you'd have to throw away all the original books to buy again for the new shelves.
The same goes for just about every form of digital media. I can trade in my old CDs or DVDs or videogames for cash or credit toward new ones. I can lend the same discs to a friend to listen/watch/play, but the versions I've bought from iTunes, Amazon, or Xbox Live Games on Demand are permanently stuck to me with no option to unload for any reason. Every buy a crappy CD/DVD/game that you couldn't wait to unload and recoup some of your investment? In the all-virtual wares world being crammed down our throats - yet some love in the name of false "convenience" - you're stuck.
This is particularly galling with services like Steam where games are tied to accounts. If they know you've got a copy of Call of Warfare: Modern Duty 3 on your account so you can download it to as many computers as you want, there's no practical reason why they can't note that your copy now belongs to someone else's account because you sold it. Sure, savvy h4X0rZ would find ways to copy the cached files and supply cracked exes to run the pirated warez, but they're doing it already. Imagine if Steam offered the ability for people to "sell" their games thru the system to other Steam users, taking a cut from the transactions, but otherwise just keeping the books. That'd sell MORE games, I'd wager, but since it's too fair and sensical, it'll never happen.
Actually, you're the one without the straight facts. M$ banned modded CONSOLES, not XBL accounts. Buy a new Xbox, pop in your profile and get back to honest gaming. I think Kavi was trying to make a lame joke about the RRoD problems the X360 has had. Problem with that is that M$ wasn't trying to have their units fail because I'm sure they would've preferred having the $1.2+ billion dollars spent warrantying for their bagel fund.
The purpose of these actions is to make it abundantly clear that unless you are a sworn loyal member of the Democratic Party's propaganda establishment, you will be considered an enemy of the state. Bloggers are now doing the job the media used to do and these so-called "journalists" are now little more than stenographers for their fellow travelers in power.
60 Minutes didn't walk into a half-dozen ACORN offices and prove that it's a taxpayer-funded criminal enterprise. Dateline didn't uncover that Obama's "green jobs czar" was a self-proclaimed Communist and 9/11 Truther. The NY Times readily exposed anti-terrorism programs and compromised national security and collected a Pulitzer Prize for their (what would've been called in a sane age) treason, but now refuses to cover the ClimateGate scandal in which hackers blew the lid off the multi-trillion-dollar worldwide governance scheme called "global warming" because to do so would require abandoning their statist agenda and religious belief in ManBearPig.
The media is dying because savvy readers have realized that they are being lied to and who wants to shell out hard-earned money for worthless propaganda? Readers are leaving and advertisers have no use for papers without readers. If the media had only done their jobs - report the 5 Ws instead of declaring jihad on Dubya - and not tried to "change the world," they wouldn't be in their predicament. Trying to scare citizen reporters into silence by refusing to protect them under the Constitution is just the statists trying to maintain their grip on power by making sure the sheeple only get approved propaganda lest they start waking up to the scam. To paraphrase Bryant in "Blade Runner": "If you're not approved press, you're little people."
I wonder how many people fawning over Jon Stewart simultaneously wish for Glenn Beck to die in a fire? The Left has their knives out for Beck because he has been taking out Obama regime minions with stunning alacrity by doing something the Obama-worshiping press refuses to do...
Show the videotape.
A half-dozen ACORN offices advising undercover reporters how to set up brothels for 15-year-old illegal immigrants; Van Jones bragging how he is a Communist; Anita Dunn rhapsodizing about how Chairman Mao, killer of over 70 million people (take that Adolf!), is her role model; the NEA offering quid pro quos to artists who make propaganda for Dear Leader's programs; the influence of SEIU cash on Obama and the graft he returns to them; and so on.
60 Minutes used to do the reporting that commentators like Beck are doing now. Why does Andrew Breirbart have to start a website - www.biggovernment.com - to host the work of a 25-year-old kid who blew the lid of the corrupt ACORN that until then routinely fed at the taxpayer money trough? A: The press is allied with Obama's statist agenda and will not do anything to slow down the empty suit they provided the hagiography to get elected.
This is precisely the wrong response. "I don't like what they're doing, so I'm going to steal it and give it away to teach them a lesson." Big man there. Please.
I LOVED COD4 and was seriously considering buying the PC version this time. I really, really, REALLY want to get this tomorrow, but with all their blind arrogance and contempt for the customers, I have decided to buy a USED copy for the Xbox 360 when they inevitably show up in a few weeks, thus denying Activision and IW one red cent of my money.
Way to fail there, chumps! I get to play the game - LEGALLY! - and you greedy f*ckers make NOTHING off me.
If you look at the Sports Illustrated Swimbo issue desk calendar, you'll notice that the majority of the 365 photos are outtakes from the shoots that produced the issue. While still good, they have something or another than disqualified them from print - usually incorrect exposures, unflattering shadows, odd poses - and a few of them are clearly because the girls look *fat*. Not the muffin-top spongy look of normal people, but the "more weight than a supermodel should have showing" sort of thing.
Look at Rebecca Romijn on "Eastwick" - she recently had twins and is carrying her post-partum weight and she sure doesn't look like she did as Mystique, though remember the X-Men movies were made 4-10 years ago.
For someone who has 3 kids of her own, I don't get why Angelina Jolie is so skinny now. Both in "Wanted" and set shots from "Salt", she looks too scrawny to kick ass. She needs to get back to her "Tomb Ho" and "Mrs. & Mrs. Smith" weight where she looked luscious and unlikely to snap her arms while beating the crap out of someone.