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David Poland

By David Poland

A Few Blu-Ray Tidbits

The first studio to offer Blu-ray screeners to awards voters?
Not Sony, as you migh expect. WB. The only question is whether The Dark Knight will land before the real Blu-ray DVD release.
Also, WB broke more ground with the release of the Speed Racer Blu-ray, which includes the Blu-ray, a DVD game AND a free digital download of the movie.
In the Disney Blu-ray of Sleeping Beauty… a regular DVD as well (not to mention a host of BD-Live features that I haven’t had a chance to play with yet).
What do people want? All of it.
ADD, Mon 10:55p – What could be more horrifying than an unrated Blu-ray of Forgetting Sarah Marshall?
Is there anyone in need of a clearer view of Jason Segel’s penis? We know that Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis will not be any more naked in the unrated version than in the theatrical release. So what… naked Russell Brand? Help me, Rhonda!

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19 Responses to “A Few Blu-Ray Tidbits”

  1. Actually, the BluRay release of Speed Racer was considered a cop-out in the digital world. It was a BD-25 (not BD-50) and did not contain HD audio. Furthermore, there were hours of bonus material that was not included on the disc because those in charge decided not spend the effort on a box office flop. Plus, to add insult to injury, they partnered with Target to offer an exclusive bonus disc with a couple featurettes, but only available on the two-disc DVD, not the BluRay. Thus, what should have been the demo-disc of the year is simply a half-way decent effort.
    Most people will take the bonus game and digital copy and use them as frisbees. I’m betting we’ll see a double dip on this one within the year.

  2. Spacesheik says:

    Blu-ray is an awesome format for a cinephile.
    Poland, keep the Blu-ray stuff coming, I reckon many of us here use our PS3s (still the best Blu-ray machine) to watch the pristine flicks on our HD monitors.
    SLEEPING BEAUTY is a must buy. Glad you covered that.
    But I’d love it if you could maybe review a couple of new remasters such as PATTON and DIRTY HARRY, among others.

  3. LexG says:

    GET IT?

  4. jeffmcm says:

    Or maybe everybody just knows that nobody wants to read about some other asshole’s boners.

  5. LexG says:

    JEFF MCDOUCHE, a regular Johnny On the Spot.
    Nah, fuck that, everyone here is asexual.

  6. jeffmcm says:

    I was out drinking all night up to right now, Lex. Not my fault if we’re on the same schedule.

  7. LexG says:

    whoa, you DRINK?

  8. Bodhizefa says:

    Most of the releases of new films on Blu-Ray have been unsurprisingly awesome, but it’s in the catalog titles that I’ve begun to truly appreciate the marvels of the format. Jan De Bont’s European style of cinematography has never looked better than on the Die Hard transfer. Independence Day is also very sharp and pristine. I’m looking forward to the release of Iron Man today as well as the holiday line-up of Wall-E, Dark Knight, the X-Files films, The Third Man, Shawshank Redemption and Sweeney Todd. That’s some kind of visual orgy!
    My only real disappointment right now is the lack of Children of Men on Blu-Ray. I had the HD-DVD, but my player broke so I sold all my discs off. It my favorite transfer that I’ve seen on high def thus far, and I miss viewing it greatly.

  9. Bob Violence says:

    There’s a region-free Nordic BD of Children of Men. The transfer is seemingly identical to the HD-DVD — the catches are no extras and no lossless audio.

  10. EthanG says:

    Mmmmm…Jason Segal…yummy yummy screw screw.
    Speaking of hotties like Segal and Kristen Bell, anyone taken aback by Empire’s review of Simon Pegg “Alienating People” that says that Megan Fox can actually act?

  11. Dave Vernon says:

    “What could be more horrifying than an unrated Blu-ray of Forgetting Sarah Marshall? Is there anyone in need of a clearer view of Jason Segel’s penis?”
    What a stupid, homophobic comment. There has been, historically, so much female nudity in film. Why is it that straight men absolutely have to keep shrieking at the sight of a penis?
    What could be more horrifying than an unrated Blu-ray of Forgetting Sarah Marshall? Hmmm, lots of things. How about a Blu-ray of a piece of crap movie like Speed Racer, for one.
    Is there anyone in need of a clearer view of Jason Segel’s penis?” Ah..yeah. Gay guys. Women. People who find him attractive.
    You can get off the table now, Dave….the penis is gone.

  12. yancyskancy says:

    I am neither gay nor female, but the penis shots in Sarah Marshall aren’t intended to titillate (though they may indeed have that effect on some). They’re intended to be funny. Uncomfortably funny perhaps, but funny. No one’s obligated to find them funny, of course.
    But it’s definitely been amusing to me the way some folks have reacted to Segal’s penis. Many seem to think the male member has no place on the screen, end of story. They’ll never see the humor of its use in this movie and don’t understand why others do. Most objections I’ve seen boil down to “I don’t wanna see some guy’s penis.” Well, I wouldn’t want to see one on the subway, or in the cubicle next to me, or in a dark alley, but I can take it in a raunchy comedy. Perhaps this “extended” DVD (Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Bigger, Longer & Uncut?) will feature hours of deleted pecker shots, but in the original version I doubt it was visible for even 2 of the 112 minutes.

  13. MarkVH says:

    Elaine Benes said it best – “[The male body] is HIDEOUS. The female form is a work of art. The male body is utilitarian. It’s like a Jeep.”

  14. jeffmcm says:

    So is this what it boils down to?
    Male body appears naked on screen: “They so crazy!”
    Female body appears naked on screen: “Pardon me, I have to masturbate now” (exception: Kathy Bates)
    So everyone watching movies is male or Lesbian?

  15. David Poland says:

    Kinda dramatic there, DV.
    Have you done the survey that says all gay men want to see Jason Segel’s penis in Blu-ray?
    And women? Are they anxious to see Kristen Bell simulate felatio for a longer period of time while the man is uninterested… women LOVE that!
    Have you seen porn in hi-def… don’t need that either… all bag lines, veins, and acne… HOT!
    I don’t care about whether a penis is in a movie or not. I wouldn’t be making the same comment about Taxi Zum Klo or Wild Things or Superbad or Knocked Up or this week’s Little Britain USA or other films. This was a specific comment about a specific movie that is offering an “unrated” version like it is some great benefit. No need to make it into a political statement.

  16. Joe Leydon says:

    Does anyone else remember that period in the 1980s when Richard Gere was whipping out his schlong in just about every movie he made? I mean, to the point where at least one wag cracked: “Yeah, I guess we’ll have to start calling him Dick Gere.” Jesus, he made me feel so… inadequate.

  17. yancyskancy says:

    But aren’t all unrated versions promoted as though they’re “some great benefit?” Just a marketing gimmick usually, isn’t it? Is this case different in some way? Is that third Sarah Marshall disc comprised of nothing but penis shots or something?
    I suspect folks will buy the Blu-Ray because they liked the movie, not because it offers a sharper image of Segal’s junk.

  18. Spacesheik says:

    You are absolutely right, Joe. I remember…GOODBAR, GIGOLO and especially these two: THE HONORARY CONSUL with Michael Caine…and BREATHLESS.
    Speaking of CONSUL that was one underated flick, Caine playing a disgruntled, world-weary British diplomat stuck in South America in a love triangle with Gere (come to think of it, pretty similar to the more recent QUIET AMERICAN).
    You know what’s shocking – finding out he shot *two* Harry Palmer sequels in 1995/6 called BULLET TO BEIJING and MIDNIGHT IN ST. PETERSBURG – did they ever get released? Did you ever see them Joe?

  19. Joe Leydon says:

    Spaceshiek: Alas, no. And, mind you, I’m a fan of the first three Harry Palmer movies (yes, including Billion Dollar Brain). I think both went directly to video in this country — and I’m not sure if either is available on DVD.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
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“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon