If you’ve been a frequent reader of the site, you may remember my love fest with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. It remains one of the most fun and wholly enjoyable movies that I have seen in the past few years, and I highly recommend it to anyone of my generation. In the last week, I found myself with $15 in iTunes money burning hole in my virtual pocket. There was little in the way of music I wanted (of course before the Beatles arrived in the iTunes store), so I spent that on the newly released digital copy of Scott Pilgrim. I was laughed at my by friends though. They figured I had wasted my money by 1) buying a digital movie when I could rip it from a DVD for free and 2) getting the iTunes version. But I have my reasons.
The most important one is that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World did not do as well at the box office as I think it deserved. In fact, it didn’t even cover its production cost. That is a terrible shame because the movie deserved to be successful. It drove the medium of movies and games and comic books to new heights all at the same time. Buying the movie is important then because I want to support the movie financially. Sure, I could have gotten a free version from a rip, but I am willing to pay for this movie. Let this be a lesson to all pirates out there, just because we can things for free doesn’t mean we should. Support the makers of content you enjoy, they are giving you a good and a service.
As for buying it on iTunes, here’s the deal: the Apple infrastructure works for me. “Blasphemy!” some may say, but in the end here’s how it breaks down. I get a good quality movie with extras at a competitive price that will work on 90% of the devices I use to watch movies: iPod, iPhone, my laptop, even my Windows netbook. People often get too occupied with the principle of DRM and free content when in reality, what they just want is to be able to enjoy the content.
Rent Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. If you like it, buying it. Don’t rip it. It deserves better than us stealing it.
30 years ago today The Empire Strikes Back, arguably the best of all the Star Wars movies and my personal favorite of the series, was released in theaters. Episode V brought some darkness to an otherwise whimsical genre and started a trend of making sequels in trilogies usually the darkest of the movies. Look at Temple of Doom in Indiana Jones, Dead Man’s Chest in Pirates of the Caribbean, or Mass Effect 2 in the planned Mass Effect Trilogy to see what I mean. Not only that, but Empire has by far some of the best lines in movie history. Who could forget “I am your father!” or “‘I love you.’ ‘I know.'” Great stuff. Not only that, but the movie the introduced Boba Fett and Lando Calrissian into the series for some much needed badass-ery and gave us our first proper look at Yoda and real force powers. Empire vastly increased the cast and scope of the series to make it what it is today: pure geek magic. In celebration of The Empire Strikes Back, I will be watching the movie today and remembering all the good times.
Avatar was set from the get-go to be a movie I was going to study while watching. How can one not be analytical when you’re watching a $400 Million movie made by the king of big budgets – James Cameron – after he hasn’t made a movie in 12 years? A movie shrouded in mystery and using the bleeding edge of technology, it beckoned me to see it and be analyzed. Well, after over 2 and a half hours wearing 3D glasses, having my ears blown to pieces by vicious sound effects, I think I can say this: Avatar was a fantastic movie. But I can say more: Avatar is going to change how movies are made from now on. It has opened the door to new possibilities and will forever redefine how we think a movie can be presented.
People sometimes sum up movies by say “it was like a video game.” It’s rarely a positive phrase, usually meant to insinuate that the movie was shallow, flashy, and involving a lot of action without substance. Usually its an appropriate term as well. Transformers 2 anyone? But as I advocate and any gamer can tell you, it’s not an appropriate phrase because it generalizes video games. The very best video games are truly outstanding pieces of art, deftly combining well thought out stories with impeccable use of technology and user immersion. A video game can be as profound as a movie. But the following question may seem rather out-of-place, so bear with me: can a movie be as profound as a game? Continue Reading