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David Poland

By David Poland

It's BLU!

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale just landed on the doorstep… a Sony direct-to-DVD in Blu-ray.
Also landing today was Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day, also in Blu, which got a theatrical via the Apparition output deal, and grossed $10.3 million.
And Planet 51, from Sony Animation, turned up with a different Digital Copy offer on the box, specifically offering a transfer to a PSP via your (assumed) PS3. Interesting. When I looked in the blu box, it did offer the PSP download, but a computer download as well.
Looking at the blu-ray of 2012, the digital copy proposition was “pc, psp, mac, or ipod.”.. but the internal instructions were the same as Planet 51.
“What about This Is It?”, I thought. No digital download at all.
Going a few months back, to Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, the digital download offer and instruction was PSP only.
Of these four titles, two offered regular DVD playback (Planet 51 and Cloudy) and two did not (2012 and This Is It.)
Meanwhile, Old Dogs just arrived from Disney and their pitch is 3 discs… 1 blu-ray, 1 regular DVD, and one digital download disc to “watch it anytime, anywhere on your computer and portable device.”
I know that everyone is trying to formulate the most effective sales pitch and offering for the Blu-era. But when it comes to establishing consumer habits, wouldn’t it be a lot more effective to just pick a standard for your studio, whatever that may be… and indeed, a standard for all the studios in some reasonable amount of time?
In my household, the only “regular” DVD player left connected to a TV is a region-free player. And if I ever decide to cough up for Blu region-free, that will be gone too. But most people I know who have dipped their toe in may have one big HDTV with a blu-ray player and another with an upscaling player and even a non-HD tv or two elsewhere in the house.
It’s like we all know that post-theatrical is going to be all-access in every room of your home and your portables… so why are studios still trying to hold off the dying light?

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5 Responses to “It's BLU!”

  1. Tam says:

    David, which region free player do you own, if you don’t mind my asking?

  2. LexG says:


  3. Eric says:

    You’ve described exactly the type of consumer they’re targeting– they’ve got one Blu-ray player and it’s hooked up to the big HDTV in the living room, but they’ve also got DVD players scattered throughout the house, etc.
    I think the “bonus DVD copy” is probably also big for parents, who want a copy that can get manhandled by the kids and also played in the DVD player in the minivan.

  4. movielocke says:

    “so why are studios still trying to hold off the dying light?”
    Because they will not go gentle into the night and will rage rage at the…

  5. EthanG says:

    From the director of “My Life is a Dog” comes “Hachiko: A Dog’s Tale.”

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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.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“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