July 15, 2005

Audio Blog

Check my website Movie Patron for a very first ever AUDIO edition! Yay! Check it out.

July 05, 2005

Interactive DVD Menus...AAAAaarrgh!

     I've decided to rant about something that has bugged me for a while now. As you may or may not know, I'm a fairly impatient person. Whether that's a product of our "fast-moving" society or just who I am, I don't know. Part of what I love about DVD technology, is it's speed and simplicity; but of course studios have to make their products flashy and annoying...like Budweiser billboards. This is what I hate: overly elaborate and complex user menus. Long, drawn-out and completely useless animated menus. They're supposed to look flashy and fun, but all they are is annoying and slow. It's bad enought that I have to be force read through the FBI warnings in several languages; of which I used to be able to fast forward through on my VCR. Granted I can still do that on some of my older DVDs. But many of the new ones do not allow you to skip those. So anyway, after I get through reading the French version about how I will go to jail and how much money I will be fined if I hook my DVD player up to my VCR then sell the tape for $5, I have to watch a public service announcement about how bad it is for society and the poor Hollywood community if I download a movie on the internet. Not to mention how guilty I'll feel for committing such an atrocious crime. By the way, this is on a DVD that I bought and/or rented. Thanks for giving me an idea though. You mean I could've just gotten this mediocre crap-fest of a movie for free!? On the internet!? Why didn't they tell me so before!? So after all this general nonsense, I get to watch previews for movies that came out over 3 years ago. At least these I can fast forward through.

     So finally I have arrived at my destination...the main menu. But wait, what is this? My TV screen is flashing various parts(usually dramatic or funny lines) of the film in front of my eyes before I've even seen the picture yet. Also, is it me, or is this taking a really long time to get to the usual choices? Anyway, after finally seeing the building explode, the villain make some nasty comment regarding the plot of the film and our hero flying an airplane that he made from old parts from a Huey 370 and a '79 Ford Mustang; I finally see my choices on the side of the plane. How clever! So since I'm watching this movie with my latina girlfriend, I click my remote control on the language options icon. WHOOOOSH! The plane starts moving again and this time we follow along in a harrowing chase through the caverns of Necros and into the belly of the beast (which we're not even supposed to be seeing as it is supposed to be a major surprise antagonist towards the end of the film). So finally, after narrowly missing a giant stalactite, the plane containing our hero sweeps out of the opening of the cave with a witty remark straight from the film by the rear-seat passenger. Now we're back to themain menu again and all I have to do is click the "start movie" button. I do this as an amazing orchestral extravaganza begins playing and a witty line from the film is spoken, i.e. "If you're going to go that way, you should've brought the telescopic lens!" Well, that line in the film has just been ruined for me. Plus, all of these shenanigan's have taken approximately 2 minutes of my time on top of the 10 minutes of FBI warnings, PSA's and movie trailers. I am tired of this nonsense. Maybe it is a trivial thing for most, but for me, it is bonkers up the wall and through the roof! Just show me the menu with my choices and get on with it. I don't need all of these half-ass theatrics and sound from the movie that I'm about to see. I don't need to see the dramatic photo-montage of all the characters merging together in a blurry fashion that inspires awe and wonder at the greatness of Cate Blanchett and Jason Statham. In conclusion, stay away from any DVD that, on the back, says something along the lines of fantastic 3-D interactive menus. Just steal that movie from the internet; because chances are, the studio is trying to make up for something by incorporating these neat-o menus that make you think, "Wow! This is taking forever and I wish I could just start watching the film."