DVD Rants

I love DVDs. I never bought a movie before they came out (VHS = bad quality/full screen; Laser=Flipping frisbees every 30 minutes) and am so happy with them in general. However, studios seem to want to mess them up for me. So, studio bosses, listen to my words!

Let me skip or fast-forward! Yes, Disney, I’m looking at you. Even your amazing Disney Fastplay (it’s amazing how you have to give your own name to a technology as simple as fast-forwarding) won’t save the dozen or so DVDs I already have. Remember: People buy these DVDs to watch them repeatedly. In case you didn’t realize this, this means that Lion King 3 3/4 will not be a “Coming Attraction” in two years. The same applies for all other studios. Don’t you think it’s insanely silly that Congress is considering passing a law to force you to allow us to skip/fast-forward through all this? Just a side note: I love watching previews… but I’ll watch them when I want to.

Stop putting spoilers in menus! I’m really tired of seeing clips from the movie in the main menu, especially when key plot points are revealed. Remember, not everyone has seen your precious little movie yet and there’s a reason intelligent people mark off their revealing comments with spoiler blocks on message board: Common courtesy. On the same note…

Don’t use film clips in menu transitions! Not only can they spoil the movie as above, they are really, really, really annoying. Just let me to go the sub-menu without having to watch Trinity shoot me in the head one more freakin’ time.

I’m not going to sue you! So stop flashing signs informing me that the director’s opinion does not reflect the studios. How dumb do you think I am? No, don’t answer that… some of your January movies show me enough. Additionally, the warning isn’t sufficient… you need to show it in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Xhosa, and Sanskrit. If you still feel the need to include disclaimers, you can put them in the stupid DVD insert: CYA and make me happier. What a concept!

Don’t put easter eggs in the film itself! Or if you do, at least tell me about it beforehand! I’ve seen three or four movies, the latest of which was Dodgeball, where, after I’ve watched the entire movie, there’s a hidden note telling me that I missed all the in-movie extras. I’m not going to go through the movie again just to see all those things. Especially if it’s a rental, which I use to guage whether I want to buy it or not.

Don’t release more than two versions of the same movie! I know, I know, it’s your biggest cash cow and plenty of people have ranted about it before. One more time though. You release a simple version to satisfy the impatient, release the special edition for the fans, release the super edition for the fanatics, and then the Ultimate edition so everyone can buy it all over again. This doesn’t even include any (yearly) anniversary editions or boxed sets. I can understand the reasoning for two versions, but beyond that, I am not buying any more of your trumped up excuses with cast diaries, forgotten celluloid, and cheap games. So stop.

So, let me see if I can sum this up quickly. I want to pop in a movie, get taken to the main menu immediately (I’ll allow FBI warning, I guess) that doesn’t give away anything about the movie (Ghostbusters and The Truman Show are some quality examples of main menus), and play the movie. Simple, huh? Then why do so few of you get it?

It’s not that I don’t agree with you, I do. I just have to point out the “why” was answered by you yourself. Because they’re being bought. And we’ll all buy more. So why not force it on us until we revolt and stop buying? (at which point, illegal downloading will be blamed and all new computers will be required to contain spyware for the movie companies to “monitor” for their own protection. My tinfoil hat is at the ready.)

It’s awful. I do like the way Paramount does previews, though. An option comes up first. You can CHOOSE to view the previews or skip over them entirely and go right to the movie menu.

Everything else, right on.

What I hate is how when you put in the disc and then wander off to gather up your junk food, you come back to find the main menu is not loaded - instead it’s waiting to find out if you want to view it in English, or French, or Spanish, or Mandarin or Arabic or Thai or…

Argh!!! Just take me to the frickin’ menu where I can choose that along with all my other options!

If your are going to incluce and extras disc, put something interesting on it. I have the Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection, which is great. I love the movies, however the extra disc includes three today show interviews with Groucho, Harpo and Harpo’s son and don’t even add up to 15 minutes. I was very disappointed with this poor excuse for an extra disc. At least include an old documentary or something.

Yeah, I know. At the heart, the movie is on the disc and that’s what I pay for. It’s almost like an important Senate bill that’s passed despite the horrible rider: If the good outweighs the bad sufficiently enough, people will put up with the bad. The thing is, there’s no (legal) alternative: I can’t make a choice between the non-irritating version and the irritating one. So all that’s left to me to do is rant :wink:

Feel free to add my signature to the OP when you send it to the DVD manufacturers.

I don’t know about anyone else, but here’s another thing that drives me nuts: when the main menu repeats the same couple of bars of music or sound effects over and over and over… Repeat anything often enough and it’s like Chinese water torture! Please, make the menus silent, or else play the theme music once and then shut up about it!

All valid points. Allow to add my minor contribution. Would it be to hard to put the frigging format of the movie on the front of the packaging ? You know, retailers like to package movies in a fashion different to the way you send it to them. I can’t count how many times I didn’t buy a movie that interested me, because I couldn’t find if it was widescreen or full screen. Also, Canadians and other film distributors, would it kill you to indicate, anywhere on the packaging, the format of the movie inside ?

Another minor one to add to the list:

If you’re going to release a movie in widescreen format, why are all of the menus in pan & scan?

Of course, the answer to your problems is to rip the DVD to your hard drive, rip all the extras and extra bits out (no, I won’t be needing the Spanish DTS track, thank you), and burn it to disc again.

I ummmmm… have this friend… yeah, a friend… that’s done that with several rentals and I… I mean, he really enjoys just being able to put a disc in the player and having the movie start. No menus, no user-prohibited operations… just the damn movie.

Of course, this is a huge pain… and come to think of it, he’s never watched one of those movies for a second time anyway, so the whole thing was a damn waste.

But I too would sign the OP’s post if he or she ever sent it in.

I dunno about you, but with my Lion King Platinum Edition, I can simply press “Title” when the previews show up and jump to the main title screen. Though that way-too-long-for-its-own-good extended opening with the CGI Zazu really bugs the heck out of me.

Stay away from the Shrek 2 DVD, then – far as I can tell, you can’t skip the previews at all. Even fast-forwarding at maximum speed isn’t good enough for me, since I still have to see scenes from the excreable Shark Tale.

I just buy whatever edition gives me anamorphic widescreen and a commentary track or two, unless there’s only one version of the movie on DVD. I’m still holding out on Lilo & Stitch because the word is Disney plans to re-release it with a director’s commentary later this year.

My brother takes this to an extreme – he waits five years until the last DVD release comes out, then buys a disc.

Me too.

Nothing worse

Yeah that is bloody annoying, especially in one called Jon Safran vs God where you get a death metal “Hate Priest” over the entire menu and on the second disc it then ends with a scream.
it really gets on your nerves.

I’d be pissed too if the menu for Shrek 2 weren’t so damn funny.

Wrong terminology. “Pan and scan” refers to the method of converting a widescreen movie to a full screen television aspect ratio (1.33:1), in which the television image scans left and right across the widescreen image according to where the bulk of the on-screen action is occurring. It does not refer to the menus, which are computer generated. Call the menus “full screen” but not “pan and scan”.

But why should the menus be letterboxed to the same aspect ratio as the movie? They’re not part of the movie.

Also, the disclaimers that the opinions heard on the commentary track are not the opinions of the studio or DVD distributor are not to keep you from suing them. Those disclaimers are there to keep away personnel who may feel libeled by the commentary. For example, if some director says what an absolute pain Val Kilmer is to work with, the studio doesn’t want to be sued by Val Kilmer.

And the notice appearing in numerous languages is the copyright violation notice, not the commentary disclaimer notice. Given that DVD piracy is an international problem, this is not unreasonable.

Because I like to see the entire width of my TV being utilized.

You’re a little confused there, Duderdude2. The menus are full screen. But zoog wants the menus to be letterboxed.

More than just a rumour - I already have it in Region 4 with commentary. Actually, the documentary that it comes with is outstanding too, especially if you like hearing from the animators themselves.

And those disclaimers seems to work sooo well to curb DVD piracy … not.

I can understand that they want to have that note in there somewhere. But could we at least get to fast forward/skip past it? I mean do we really have to see it every time we insert the disc? In several different languages?

I too would sign the petition.

My beef, in addition to not being able to skip through the previews is this:

If you show scantily clad women on the box cover, there had better be equally scantily clad women in the movie! Sure, it makes your cover more attractive to see some fox on the cover barely able to stay in their dress, but if all the women in the actual movie look like Janet Reno in a burkah, then that is false advertising!

Actually most DVD menus ARE pan & scanned if you are playing them on a 4:3 television. If you play them on a computer or widescreen television, you will notice that most menus are in widescreen (24 season 3 is the most recent example that comes to mind, although this seems to be true for most DVD’s), although the part that is PSed out is usually just extra art with nothing that is selectable.

those automatic previews are the worst thing that has happened to DVD. I remember back when everyone was waiting around for Disney to stop dicking around with DIVX, and then when they finally did, they invented the idea of forcing the viewer to watch 6 minutes of previews, with the menu button locked (and occasionally even the FF button) before they could get to the main menu. I guess Disney never realized that not everybody is going to be watching their discs for the first time when they load them, and that even then, not everybody wants to watch previews for OTHER movies instead of the movie that they bought. Eventually they decided to add a “press the menu button to get to the main menu” graphic, but it would still make it SO much easier if they buried these previews in the “special features” menu, or even put a previews button on the main menu (just as long as PLAY is still the default highlight).

In a way, Universal’s old method of playing previews AFTER you select PLAY from the main menu (Jurassic Park comes to mind) is even worse, although I think they had enough sense to figure that one out on their own…