Saturday, September 26, 2009


While I was in St. Louis for an all-too-short duration last weekend, I found myself in a mall candy store when this found me.

I should have put something up as a size reference, but for the record, this is nearly 4 times the volume of a standard tube of lip balm, clocking in at .58 oz compared to the usual .15 oz. It's probably as close to a Reese's cup as you could expect a petroleum-based product to taste/smell, but suffers from a truly unfortunate color, which luckily doesn't show up when applied.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oh, it's Zero

I heard a radio commercial today for the Jitterbug cell phone, marketed as a simple, easy-to-use phone. One of the features they mention is the ability to "dial oh and be greeted by name by our operator". Um, okay, last time I checked the letter O was located on the number 6. So in the interest of keeping things simple, are they really telling people to dial 6 to get the operator? Or perhaps they actually mean ZERO? Saying "Oh" is not an acceptible substitute for zero, ESPECIALLY when talking about buttons that serve as BOTH numbers and letters!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sigh of relief

Apparently the source of my rant yesterday was bad information:

We're pleased to inform you all that Sony's confirmed that the BD release will actually be Leon: The Professional, and will include BOTH the much-loved international cut as well as the U.S. theatrical version. This is in addition to the extras we mentioned yesterday, which should include 3 featurettes (10 Year Retrospective: Cast and Crew Look Back, Jean Reno: The Road to Leon and Natalie Portman: Starting Young), as well as a BD-Java Fact Track.

Monday, September 14, 2009


DVD has truly been a revolution over the last 12 years in the way we watch movies at home. A lot of us don't even own VHS-machine technology any longer. Blu-ray, while a huge improvement, isn't really a revolution. Nevertheless, it's still incredible the amount of information one disc is able to hold. Some studios have used Blu-ray to give deserving films a royal treatment. Blade Runner was released as a 5-disc set for under $30 with 5 versions of the film, 3 of which are on the same disc using seamless branching. However, this same studio (rhymes with Warmer Covers) failed to do justice to the 1984 Best Picture Academy award winner, Amadeus.

I used to own the 2-sided disc of Amadeus until the 2-disc Director's cut was announced and I bought that one instead. It's a long movie and I've never done a side-by-side comparison, but I recall being told that not only were some scenes added, but one scene was actually deleted from the theatrical cut. It's the theatrical cut that won the Oscar, not the recut, now-with-75%-more-nudity version. While I have no objection to directors releasing different versions of a film, I insist on at least having the option to watch the original (George Lucas). So why have Yakko and Wacko refused to include both versions of the film on the same Blu-ray Disc using seamless branching?

Natalie Portman's first film, The Professional (Léon) is another interesting case. I've owned it on DVD 3 different times. The first time it was The Professional, then when Léon (the longer, international cut of the same film) came out, I bought it, only to find it had been recalled for faulty audio, so I returned it for the corrected copy. For this film, the longer version was not an extended version. Rather, the film released as The Professional was a shorted version of the director's original vision, the internatinally-released "Léon". Apparently the distributor wasn't comfortable showing too much footage of a 12-year-old girl learning to be an assassin, just some of it. Sony, the original backer of Blu-ray, has announced that the forthcoming release of The Professional will NOT include Léon, which again, could EASILY be done through seamless branching.

So I will continue to wait for the original versions of these movies. I refuse to spend my money on these while the possibility, or more likely, inevitability, exists of a Blu-ray release of my preferred version, or better yet, both in the same package.