Posts filed under “Film”

DVD Question

A question for the assembled multitudes here: 
I received a very generous gift — a honkin’ big Amazon gift certificate — from a friend who I helped out some time ago (got him out of a big trade just before it went very bad).

My Audio collection — CDs, MP3s, AACs, etc. — is fairly ginormo. What I don’t have much of are DVDs. I have a few TV collections Seinfeld 1-6 and BBC’s Coupling), a dozen or so concerts, and a few dozen movies. That’s it! (My now defunct VHS collection was many times Couplinglarger).

And yes, I am very much concerned that DVD is a dying format.

So Question #1 for y’all is this: If money were no object, what DVDs would you have to own?  Films, concerts, TV shows, anime, porn — anything on a silver disc is fair game. 

Question 2 is more subtle — do you wait for the next format, or is that still years away? BluRay or HD DVD?Jj_greek


Some DVDs I already own are:

Television shows: Coupling (UK 1-4), Seinfeld (seasons 1-6)
(I also have Cody’s Entourage that I must return!)

Films: Bladerunner, Sin City, Princess Bride, Ronin, Grosse Point Blank, The Fifth Element, High Fidelity, Groundhog Day, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bills, 50 First Dates, and lots of Hitchcock (mostly off of TCM) and a few others;


Concerts: Jack Johnson Live in Japan, Peter Gabriel (Growing Up Live and Secret World Live), Led Zeppelin, CSNY, Sarah McLachlan (VH1 Storytellers and Mirrorball), Talking Head’s Stop Making Sense, James Taylor (Live at the Beacon Theatre and Pull Over) and a few others I am forgetting.


HifiWhat are the MUST OWNs — not just the stuff to see, but the works that MUST be on your shelf for instant viewing 24/7, the stuff thats work so much better on DVD than on Cable/HBO, the discs with with all the great extras — or the simply must own disc that no video loving home should be without?

The oddball and eclectic are welcome!

What say ye?


UPDATE: January 26, 2006 5:53am

Thank you, everyone! I love the suggestions — I’ve seen nearly all of the mainstream and cult flicks suggested (Young Frankenstein, Big Lebowski, Repo Man, This is Spinal Tap, Thin Men Series, Usual Suspects, Caddyshack, Braveheart, Koyaanisqatsi, Matrix, LOTR, 10 Things I Hate About You, Shakespeare in Love, etc.), and everything by Tim Burton.

Two under-rated sci-fi flix are Serenity and Chronicles of Riddick. Of course, Monty Python and the Holy Grail was formative (the wife dragged me to Spamalot this week, which was cute in a derivative way, but not a must see). I love Arsenic and Old Lace, and anything else with Cary Grant. I can watch anything by John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Preston Sturges or Billy Wilder. I saw the re-release of Lawrence of Arabia at the Ziegfeld (astonishing evening).

I am also a big fan of Arrested Development and Futurama, two
prematurely cancelled Fox shows; Sport’s Night is another cancelled too
soon show I adored.


Suggestions: Some of the things I hadn’t thought of were the documentaries, Pink Floyd at Pompei, I did not know about Naqoyqatsi, Firefly (the series), The Devil’s Backbone (Spanish), The Seduction of Mimi (Italian), Kundun, Meet the Feebles, Dogville, Rescue Me, One Giant Leap, Jazz on a Summer’s Day, Magnolia, Horowitz Live in Moscow, The Machinist, Hendrix at Monterrey, Ben Harper Hollywood Bowl and Dave Matthews Band in Central Park, U2 Live @ Red Rocks.

The many suggestions for documentaries were also quite good: Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and Clarke’s Civilisation both look great.

A few people suggested the Amazon page titled DVD Essentials; In clicking around, I discovered Browse DVD Genres.

Got quite a few suggestions for The Wire; The American Film Institute 100 is also a great idea. And I am amazed how many people privately emailed me to gush about the Shield — that has a real cult following.

As a Brit-pop/BBC fan, the Sandbaggers sounds very interesting; And I loved The Larry Sanders Show, but I know I missed a few, so that goes on the list.

Great suggestions all.  Thanks!

Category: Digital Media, Film, Television

The Tao of Steve

Category: Digital Media, Film, Music

Apple iPhone: Drool Worthy

Category: Consumer Spending, Digital Media, Film, Music, Technology, Television, Web/Tech

MacWorld’s Big Reveal?

Category: Digital Media, Film, Television, Web/Tech

Preston Sturges: Spectacular DVD Set

Category: Digital Media, Film

Gift Shopping: DVDs

Category: Digital Media, Film, Retail

Edge of Blade Runner

Category: Film

Touchscreen iPod

Category: Film, Music, Web/Tech

Zune, Microsoft and Corporate Culture

What do you think of the new Zune?

That question led to fascinating discussion about Microsoft on Thursday. What they do, how they work, brainstorm, etc. It also covered how Microsoft develops new products (notice I didn’t say innovate).

A few quick thoughts on the Zune: The coolest thing is its owners ability to zap songs back and forth via a Wi-Fi
connection — but those songs expire after "three plays or three days, whichever
comes first," which is kinda poor. The 3 inch screen versus the 2.5 inch on the iPod also looks pretty nice. Other than that, its not a particularly compelling piece of hardware.

Brown? How long til that gets cancelled? 

We don’t know the price yet, but I expect it to be in the $249 – 349 range, and a function of how much MSFT is willing to lose/subsidize each unit.

What I found most fascinating about "This Week in Microsoft" were the 3 separate products that leaked out over the past few days:

• The Zune iPod challenger (in classic "steal the other guys thunder" following Apple’s event)

Soapbox: The Microsoft YouTube Clone;

Live: The Microsoft Google challenger;

Let’s get a few things straight about Mister Softee. First, forget all the chatter coming from Redmond about innovation. They are now and have always been uttery shameless copycats. They do not innovate; They do not create cool products; They are boring code writing cubicle dwelling drones — and that’s what they should be.

The second thing you need to know about Microsoft: They print money like they were a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department.

That is the bottom line for investors, and the cash ain’t coming from all these other products attempting to recapture lighting in a bottle. Its Windows 1st, Office 2nd, and then a big 4 way tie for SQL, Hardware (mouses etc.) Server SW, and then everything else. All these other products — including Xbox, hotmail, MSN, etc. — are what happens when you have more money than God and still want to be one of the cool kids.

And, they’d probably get just as much criticism if they didn’t make all these attempts at imitating other successful innovators. Otherwise, they would just be a mature company milking their monopoly products until the next paradigm shift came along.

Understand my complaint about Redmond: I don’t begudge them these many attempts to stay relevant and hip, to keep pressing buttons until they find the next thing that works. Hey, after you become one of the most successful firms in the history of Capitalism, it becomes hard to repeat that performance every quarter.

I’m just tired of the bullshit about all their terrific innovations (Spare me the techno-babble about multithreading processors or dynamic ram usage).

To understand how Microsoft got to be the "innovator" it is today, you need to have some background into the psychology of its leadership. My favorite example comes via Robert Cringely

If there is a reason, it has to come from the competitive nature of Bill
Gates as Microsoft’s spiritual and ethical leader. Everything is a competition
to Bill, and every competition has a winner and a loser. Microsoft people have
always been encouraged to see the game, not the consequences, and to win the
game even if winning this way makes no sense.

Let me give an example of this behavior. In the early days of Microsoft, one
of the popular games was to see how late the boys could leave work for the
airport and still make their flights. These weren’t people who were habitually
late, they were playing a game. The eventual winner was Bill Gates, of course,
but to win he had to abandon his car [a new Porsche 911] at the departures curb.

Tht pretty much says it all. They are competitive to a fault — its in their DNA. Its also why they have been such a vast money machine. But please: Spare us the sanctimonious garbage about Microsoft the innovator, and keep the focus on Microsoft the moneymaker.

Here’s some more recent ideas out of the innovation factory:

Soapbox: The next YouTube?


MSN Live: Where ever did they get the idea for that interface?

Read More

Category: Corporate Management, Film, Music, Technology

What is Apple’s New Digital Product?

Category: Film, Music, Technology, Television