Scarecrow Video (previously), also known as "the largest independent video store in the world", announced back in August that they were closing its doors. But Wait! There's More! Scarecrow also announced their plans to soon after re-open as a non-profit. And after a successful Kickstarter effort that ended two weeks ago, they have now launched the first phase of The Scarecrow Project with the "singular purpose of protecting the invaluable collection of Scarecrow Video under a four-pillared mission of preservation, access, education and community".
Between the limited amount of titles on streaming services and the fact that Netflix seems to be shifting away from DVDs altogether, are you just out of luck if you want to watch a non-blockbuster like "Sweet Sweetbacks' Baadasssss Song" or "Raising Arizona"? KQED investigates.
"I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation." Netflix has lost 26% of its value after raising prices and splitting their DVD and streaming services (previously); they'll lose lose 600,000 subscribers by September 30 instead of gaining the 400,000 they predicted. Now Netflix is spinning off their DVD-by-mail service into a separate web site, Qwikster. [more inside]
New streaming entertainment service Zediva is streaming new-release movies, avoiding the waiting period you get with Netflix, Amazon or iTunes. How? Instead of converting movies to files on a hard drive, they're renting out actual DVDs being played in actual DVD players - remotely. That means if the movie you want is being watched by someone else, you're gonna have to wait. Launched in November, the company is supposed to exit its beta phase this week.
Movie-Censorship.com is a resource to provide amazingly detailed comparisons between different versions of movie releases. [more inside]
[FlickrPoolFilter] Crappy Bootleg DVD Covers: Here, you will find Tom Cruise's hit movie, Pepe Likes Tacos. In this universe, Star Wars features Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dustin Hoffman stars in Lost in Translation; witches, pirates, and hobbits inhabit the same world. Titles are improved upon. Reviews are refreshingly frank (if they make any sense at all). Your DVD may also contain subtitles in French, Chinese, Spamsoc, or Martian. (Don't say there was no warning.) Remember, kids: Piracy Creates Jobs!
Netflix is dead....or so claims Robert Scoble (others disagree). Wal-Mart couldn't do it, Amazon couldn't do it; has Verisign produced a Netflix killer?
It's still about the means of production, you see — but in the overdeveloped world, at least, it's not about the production of goods and services anymore. Today's virtual revolutionary is happy to leave all that to capitalists. The virtual revolutionary wants to control the production of meaning — representations of herself and her world as she wants them to seem. Or be. Or whatever. That's all she asks. Or, rather, takes. Thomas de Zengotita welcomes the big world of the small screen. Peter Bogdanovich, instead, still mourns that last picture show.
"It is nothing less than a generation-defining event.... It is this era’s 2001: A Space Odyssey." Even as the second, shorter cut of Terrence Malick's Pocahontas epic is slinking out of theaters, The New World is dividing and confounding critics, audiences, and bloggers: "The New World is my new religion." - "The New World separates the wheat from chaff." - "The first necessary film of this young year." The Village Voice's J. Hoberman observes the growing cult, Dave Kehr of the New York Times weighs in and gets testy. Matt Zoller Seitz responds. In the meantime, Malick is reportedly preparing a third, longer cut for the DVD.
These days you can get your self-published book printed on-demand, anything you want on a single t-shirt or mug, and a CD pressed of the indie band that only three people have heard of. Seems like the only medium that's missing is movies, but oops, now we've got that too. IndieFlix accepts masters from independent filmmakers, puts the title up for rating and discussion, and lets people order DVDs full of movie that would be hard to come by otherwise. Filmmakers get a third of each sale to put towards their next work of genius.
Movie to release DVD within FOUR DAYS of theatrical release : This is of interest as a shift in marketing strategy that could be highly significant. Consider the implications.
Have a region free DVD player? Just love movies? DVD Beaver reviews DVDs and compares releases from different countries so you can be sure you're getting the best print/audio available.
DVD File is reporting that Michael J. Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame will be providing audio commentary for an upcoming re-release of Reefer Madness. Will this mark the first time a DVD commentator openly mocks the film?
So how do you make an X-Men DVD without mentioning the comics? Fascinatingly candid interview with the producers of the new X-Men 1.5 DVD describing the bizarre issues involved with putting together special features on this and other DVDs, including the afformentioned anomally, a side effect of the current legal situation between FOX and Marvel Comics.
Amateur DVD commentary. The site is a little rough around the edges, but it is a fascinating exercise in voracious fandom nonetheless. Roger Ebert is heralded as giving the idea to the masses [NYT article], but as always, there seems to be prior art. ;)
The MF thread about Buckaroo Banzai a couple days ago triggered me to revist my list of "waiting for DVD" movies, and lo, I discovered that the freaky 1966 Frankenheiner/Rock Hudson Seconds is finally coming out in January as well. But still on my wait list are a Japanese elegie, a sweet western by Peckinpah, a nice little literary film and a dark comedy featuring Jerry Lewis, of all people. What's on your "waiting for DVD" list?
Yet another reason to avoid the Battlefield Earth DVD: A brand new "feature" called Regional Coding Enhancement, or RCE. Having the word "enhancement" in the title might make us think that we, the consumer, might actually benefit for this technology, but that isn't the case. The only people to benefit are the movie studios who, not content to gouge us on DVD prices (DVD's are cheaper to press than video tapes) have made it impossible to backup a DVD, or play a foreign DVD on a North American DVD player. Now, thanks to RCE, if you own a region-free DVD player, guess what? You can't play Battlefield Earth on it!
The wait is over (well, almost) -- Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox are finally going to release Episode I on DVD. This despite the fact that up to now they've been denying that they'll release anything on DVD for "the foreseeable future."
Tetsuo! Kaneda! Akira on DVD!
A new era in movie piracy. These guys managed to hack Microsoft's MPEG 4 codec, and have provided a means of ripping DVD movies to this new format (check the readme file). The little program they have on their site will "update" your Windows Media Player to be able to play the new divx format. The compression is comparable to current .avi and .mpg formats, but the image quality is near-DVD. Wow. I just watched "Disturbing Behaviour" in this new format and I must say I'm very impressed. No ugly chunky blocks like with MPEG. I dunno if I'd ever pay to see movies in the theatre again. Heh, sure sounds familiar eh? (*cough* MP3 *cough*) Looks like there might be some big new players joining the RIAA real soon. :)
The fans have spoken and Lucas has listened. Seems that Episode I is coming out on DVD after all. And Lucas says the web campaign on various sites encourage him to change his mind. How does this affect popular politics on a grander scale? And when will politicians jump on board the bandwagon?
(probably my last post about Magnolia) There were a few 'easter eggs' in Magnolia worth mentioning. What may be the first non-555 phone number in a movie was mentioned, but I can't remember it, if anyone tracks it down, please post. There was the 1-877-TAME-HER number that was mentioned on every ad done by Tom Cruise's character. You can call it and hear a special message. If you don't feel like leaving your computer, you can use dialpad.com to make the call. Also, at the end credits of the gameshow, they flash a URL, wdkk.com, which maps to the Magnolia website. At one point, a audience member of the quiz show has a sign that says 'Exodus 8:2' which I looked up, and it reads 'And if thou shalt REFUSE to let [them] go, behold I will smite all thy borders with frogs'. Usually when I see a movie, I don't pick up on these things, I guess Magnolia really was that good.