I am currently working on a lengthy movie review post, but it seems to be taking me a little longer than it should, so I thought I would just do a couple quickie posts in the meantime.
My topic today is my love / hate of the Blu-Ray video format. I absolutely love the picture quality for these discs, but I wanted to warn people that if you are fans of special features, especially commentary tracks, you may want to learn a bit more about each and every Blu-Ray you pick up before selling your old DVD copies to FYE.
A great example is the newly released Cabin Fever. Keep in mind that the original release DVD was entirely on one single disc. And on that lone disc was a making of, a trailer, the Rotten Fruit series of animated shorts and 5 (count em) COMMENTARY TRACKS!!!
So imagine my surprise that I went in to Target the other day and saw the Blu-Ray disc in their new release section for the low low price of $14.99. Wow, I thought to myself what a bargain! I picked it up and out of habit immediately flipped it over to see what goodies it has. Ready??...It has all the aforementioned extras except for the 5 commentary tracks. WHAT!?!?! It does however have a brand new one on there from Eli Roth and the cast but would it have killed them to port over the ones from the DVD? What about all the extra space that the Blu-Ray fromat provides? They just decided to say "awww screw it nobody will even notice they're gone"? And consider this: since Cabin Fever is supposed to be a throwback to the '80s style of horror movies, then the pristine picture quality that Blu-Ray provides is kind of secondary when it comes to the extra features. Think about it. You almost want a blurrier grainier picture quality with this sort of flick.
This is a disturbing trend I have noticed lately. Although it doesn't seem to be that case with every movie that comes out (Shaun Of The Dead ported over every special feature and even had a couple small new ones), you do have to be careful of what you are buying if you are into this sort of stuff.
I also find it strange that this has not been considered by the studios: One of the primary reasons the DVD market bottomed out so quickly is that it became quite evident that people were collecting movies voraciously, now that a compact affordable format had proven successful. But like with any other collectible, shelf space becomes limited and runs out completely over time. DVD collections became too large to handle and so people started saying to themselves "Hmmmm, maybe I don't really need to own every season of Punky Brewster on DVD" which resulted in a huge plunge in sales over the last 2 years.
Having said that, what does that say for the people who decide they want to own an upgraded Blu-Ray of Oh, let's say George Romero's Dawn Of The Dead just for the spiffy visuals, but can't get rid of their 4 disc box set on DVD because of the plethora of stuff on it? It means that they keep both. And that means shelf space fills up that much faster. And that means that for the reason mentioned above, the Blu Ray format may not have the longevity that DVD had, or at the very least, won't get as many titles released on it.
For example, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever isn't being released on Blu-Ray. Yet. I guess they will wait til people have shelled out their cash for the DVD first and then put it out on Blu-Ray next year.