Will Blu-ray prices come down as quickly as they did when HD DVD was around? No. Will consumers buy high definition Blu-ray discs at $29.99 and higher for new releases? No way.
Sure you have the early adopters, the one who bought players for $1200 and didn’t mind paying $35 for a disc. And, you have some who were waiting for the format war decision to be made, and are now willing to pay $399(Sony BDP-S300) for a player. But for the mass consumer, Blu-ray is still too expensive.
Toshiba announced today it would end production of HD DVD players, as well as drives for computers. They plan on ending any shipments of HD DVD products by March 2008. “We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called ‘next-generation format war’ and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop,” said Atsutoshi Nishida, president and CEO of Toshiba.
Could this be the end of HD DVD? Today Walmart announced it would promote Blu-ray Disc as the high definition format. This could possibly be the final blow to HD DVD, as earlier in the week both Netflix and Best Buy announced they would be promoting Blu-ray Disc exclusively.
A Hollywood Reporter article written bysays that the “format war has turned into a format death watch.” Industry sources say that Toshiba is widely expected to pull the plug it’s competitive hi def format HD DVD. However Jodi Salli, VP of marketing for Toshiba America says, “Given the market developments in the past month, Toshiba will continue to study the market impact and the value proposition for consumers, particularly in light of our recent price reductions on all HD DVD players.”
Here is an actual letter to a Netflix subscriber. They are going completely Blu-ray. Looks like HD DVD is on it’s way to a slow and painful death. Dear …,
You’re receiving this email because you have asked to receive …
Home Media Magazine writes, “Studio executives are looking at 2008 with guarded optimism. The high-definition disc format war may be nearing its end, given Warner Home Video’s defection from HD DVD. That means they can focus not on fighting each …
Most people have already declared Blu-ray to be the format war’s victory and our recent talks with Toshiba and Universal seem to suggest that the HD DVD camp might be ready to pull up stakes. The crazy part is this: …
The first signs of HD DVD ultimate demise may be coming from the UK on March 10. After the news on Universal and Paramount abandoning the exclusive HD DVD deal, it seems that Amazon UK is listing three Paramount Blu-ray …
With the upcoming 2.0 player profile requiring Blu-ray players to be networked, Sony finally gets to play its trump card: the PlayStation 3, which has clearly emerged as one of the best Blu-ray players on the market—and is likely to …
At the Hi-Def awards in Century City, Blu-ray’s James Bond film “Casino Royale” won for best live-action high definition DVD. But on the HD DVD side the comedy “Hot Fuzz” won. How can two films of different genres win the same award?
Black Snake Moan
Featuring: Samuel L. Jackson, Christina “Exploit Me” Ricci, Justin Timberlake and Kim Richards
This lurid title, redolent of the old miscegenation fallacies of the old American South is actually a morality tale whose title is taken from a blues song written in 1927 by Blind Lemon Jefferson. Other than that, this tale of a sex-addicted young woman named Rae (Ricci, in an shockingly immersive performance) and the religious ol’ bluesman who helps her find herself and overcome her mean demons, is a familiar yet off-beat redemption story told with originality and dramatic heft by the seasoned performers. Director Craig Brewer, of Hustle & Flow fame, continues to fuse his Southern Gothic influenced storytelling sensibilities with gritty, contemporary plotting to come up with engrossing stories that often had me rooting for folks that normally I wouldn’t give an iota of care about.
Imagine being a visitor from another planet (go ahead, imagine it!)… your approach to Planet Earth would be breathtaking in its scope as the small fuzzy blue dot becomes a blue-green and white sphere where obvious weather activity is taking place, but on closer inspection… wait! there seems to be spectacular changes taking place right before your eyes.
The Patriot: The Extended Cut (Sony)
Features: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Chris Cooper, Tom Wilkinson and Jason Isaacs
Based, extremely loosely, on the exploits of the Revolutionary War veteran Francis Marion (aka “The Swamp Fox”), this tale of a father’s love for his sons and his country plays with history the way a child plays with Legos… building whatever comes to mind regardless of what the factual directions say must be built. As historical action movies go, this Roland Emmerich film (his follow-up to the fairly awful Godzilla) is a fairly slick affair on par with the best of Edward Zwick’s historical film output. Centering on the father/son relationship between Benjamin Martin (Gibson), a musket-to-plowshares veteran of the French and Indian Wars, and his headstrong coming-of-age son, Gabriel (Ledger), The Patriot takes very little time in establishing the characters in the period of the American Revolution before plunging Martin’s large family into despair as the violence of war comes to their town in South Carolina. While his father knows of the brutality and misery of war, Gabriel feels it’s his duty to join the Continental Army and fight for freedom against the British… of course, things go awry as the prodigal son returns home bringing trouble with him.
Bridge to Terebithia (Buena Vista)
Featuring: Josh Hutcherson, Robert Patrick, AnnaSophia Robb, and Zooey Deschanel
Fantasy and reality collide in this second, bigger-budgeted film adaptation of the classic Katherine Paterson children’s novel. The story, updated to the 21st century’s pop-culture aesthetic hardly takes any real liberties with the book and instead stays faithful to it— not only in essence, but throughout scene after detailed scene. The child performers (Hutcherson and Robb) are wonderful, and miraculously the film doesn’t pretend all adults are insipid villains ready to make children’s lives miserable, rather each character comes across as genuine, especially when tragedy occurs and must be faced and dealt with. In his first live-action film, Gabor Csupo (of Klasky-Csupo animation studios), acquits himself well… making the film a fantasy with a firm footing in everyday reality, making the characters rounded and sympathetic, while creating a believable child’s world view of conflict resolution and grief. It’s a wonderful family film that doesn’t rely as heavily on CGI elements to tell its tale.
Blood Diamond (Warner)
Featuring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, Arnold Vosloo and Michael Sheen
The movie that the De Beers company loves to hate, Blood Diamond actually received less mainstream press than I thought it would upon its premier last year. I figure most of the outrage against “blood” or conflict diamonds has already been generated from years of media reports covering the West African conflicts and South African profiteering that occurred during the 1990’s and eventually ended up in a process for ferreting out illegal diamonds mined out of war zones in order to illegally finance insurgent forces and their respective warlords. This process, called the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (with “Scheme” sounding kinda sketchy, don’tcha think?) is supposed to create transparencies in the diamond trade and make those declaring their effusive love each other feel good about putting a high-grade, 4-C rock on the ol’ ring-finger. And that, with the development of character archtypes we care about, is basically the plot for this earnest film that offers plenty of bloody action for the gung-ho and grim reminders for the socially conscious.
Featuring: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandie Newton, and Brian Howe
I didn’t see this film on it’s theatrical release… I’m generally not into manufactured feel-good flicks, but on its video run, The Pursuit of Happyness turned out to be exactly what I thought…