Ah, yes. Where every blog should start. A little word about what this will be about. Starting with all the hope in the world that this becomes a thing. And I do hope I stick with it. No guarantees though. Time is precious.
Recently I have re-discovered my enjoyment for collecting and watching movies. I have been an avid collector in the past; VHS movies when I was a teenager and DVDs in my 20s.
I fell out of favor with the hobby when “bit torrents” became a thing on the dark web. “Free” bonded well with my nature to be sensible (frugal) when it comes to spending money. I was also annoyed while HD DVDs and Blu-ray duked it out on the free market to become the next format to follow DVDs. I felt that it was too soon for DVDs to become obsolete after hardly a 10-year run. It left a bitter taste in my mouth. When Netflix eventually switched to mainly a streaming service, suddenly a “legit” source of film became convenient and I was content with that for a while.
Recently I have been focused on collecting video games (I still do plan on collecting and making videos about them) and any funds or time put towards movies seemed like I would be taking away from that. But, that was before I burnt out on collecting games about six months ago. I enjoy going to the trade shows and working on deals on games, but I have only been thrift shopping less than a handful of times in the past six months. Video games have become an expensive and competitive hobby over the past five years. Last time I went to Value Village it was close to opening and there was one guy who ran into the store and went directly to the video games.
I don’t derive much pleasure from competing for items and that is why I need to step away from video games until the market cools off. I’ll still buy the odd game and review what is in my collection, but damn, I want to thrift and find the good in what others want to throw away. It is a cheap thrill for me and Blu-rays are where it is at right now.
Blu-rays, or movies in any physical format, really, have become passe and gosh darn it, I think that is a bit of a shame (especially since I can easily find them at a bargain!). There is something to be said about the uncompressed format a Blu-ray can deliver. I find that even the best quality download or stream does not quite look or sound as good as a solid Blu-ray.
This venture is also about taking command of my time and movie selection again. I can’t tell you how disappointed I have been with Netflix’s movie selection lately. As their new shows take off (and some of them are amazing, I will give them that), the film part of Netflix seems to be taking a back seat. I go and look for something specific and it is not there. I then spend 40 minutes sifting through crap to find something to watch because I’m in the mood for a movie and not starting a 13 part program.
So, the idea behind this blog is for it to be my way to catalogue what Blu-rays I have in my collection and those I have watched. A bit of a long format way to go about it, but I have a terrible memory. A lot of times I can only remember if I like a movie or not. I can’t tell how I liked it or sometimes even what it is about. So this will be my way to go back and jog my memory of not only the film, but the quality of Blu-ray as well.
I do concern myself with having the definitive version available of a film as well, so this will help keep on top of it any remaster release, etc.
My Set Up
I think it is important to let you know how I am watching these films since hardware does play a role in the presentation.
Xbox One. Plays Blu-rays fine via HDMI. I see no reason to get a dedicated player. I also have a PS3 and PS4 to play Blu-rays as well (Like I said, I am a gamer), but the media remote for the Xbone was about $25 cheaper than one for a PS4 and the PS3 is in another location for game capture.
LG 42″ 1080p TV. Scoff if you like. I know LG is a bit of a cheaper brand in the USA, but LG Canada is aces in my book. I got it for its refresh rate (60Htz was a must in 2010!) and its game picture setting to eliminate input lag (like I said, I am a gamer). This setting removes all filters so that is how I will watch these films. Also, its optimal viewing distance is just under 6 feet which is perfect for my set up. The bulb is supposed to be good for up to 60,000 hrs so we still have a ways to go with this baby.
Pioneer 5.1 surround sound receiver. It does have the ability to output 7.1 but I find most films do not take advantage of it. 5.1 is fine for me and what most people who still bother with surround sound use anyway. It can pass through uncompressed PCM audio as well as handle any THX, DTS, Dolby II, etc formats. I got nice speakers with a big sub woofer that can make the room shake. So, I’m quite content with the audio part of my set up.
No plans for 4K anytime soon. I may upgrade to the Scorpio (The new 4K Xbox console coming out this fall) depending on how it is received. But really, 4K discs are pricey and I’d need to upgrade the TV as well…. kind of takes away from my wish to collect on the cheap.
The Review Format
So this is the format I will follow for reviewing Blu-rays. It may change over time as I adjust and grow as a Blu-ray reviewer. But as of right now, this is how I plan on tackling these discs of cinema goodness.
Something about my history with the film to give the rest of the review context.
How the Blu-ray looks. I’m no videophile but I find grainy films should be a thing of the past. This will be good to go back and check to see what I thought of the video quality and will help me decide if I need to upgrade when a remaster is announced.
I’m definitely a bit of an audiophile and sound is another thing that can be updated in a remaster. It will be good to keep track of what formats are available on the disc and what I thought of the audio quality.
Sometimes it is worth upgrading to a new remaster or anniversary edition just for these. Or it might be worth hanging onto an old edition if a special feature is not included in the new one. Documentaries, deleted scenes, and my wife Sarah’s favorite, the blooper reel are important when deciding “Should I keep it?”
This is where I’ll talk about the film itself. Is it good, or bad?
Sometimes they’ll be something good, sometimes bad. It will be a fun section to read.
Final Verdict and Overall Rating
This will be the part you want to skip to if you just want a quick summary.
OK. Sounds exciting, no? Well we will see how this goes. I know better than to make promises of a weekly release or anything. I might only get a few reviews in before becoming bored. Or I might still be writing these 10 years from now. Welp. Only one way to find out. Time to end this and start working on the first Blu-ray. Thanks for reading.