Studios Announce UltraViolet, New Shared DRM Scheme

As announced yesterday: Six of Hollywood’s largest studios including Lionsgate Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. today announced their support for the UltraViolet service and format created by the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE). So what is UltraViolet? It’s a shared digital rights management scheme (first announced last year). The plan is that you buy a TV show or movie once, and you can watch it on multiple UV-enabled platforms, […]

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The Bechdel Test Becomes a Bigger Deal

I was stunned (in a good way) to see that the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (cover-dated August 13) had a full-page column about this. Mark Harris’ column, entitled “I Am Woman. Hear Me… Please!” (which apparently isn’t available online) attacks Hollywood movies for how often they fail the Bechdel Test. In this simple evaluation, first formulated by cartoonist Alison Bechdel (Fun Home, Dykes to Watch Out For) in this comic 25 (!) years ago, a film passes if it […]

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Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy Due October 26

I know I was annoyed by Blu-ray for a while, but I think we picked just the right time to jump, since lots of our favorites are just now being re-released in that format. And as the studios hoped, since we have a new Blu-ray player, we’re eager for content to feed into it. The latest announcement that has me salivating is that the Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy is due out on Blu-ray October 25th (my birthday […]

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Disney Releases New Miyazaki/Ghibli Special Edition DVDs

On March 2, Disney will release Ponyo on both DVD and Blu-ray. The hand-drawn Ponyo, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, tells of the story of a five-year-old boy and his magical goldfish, who becomes a girl. The film’s “star-studded voice cast” includes Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, and Betty White, although the children are new voices Noah Lindsey Cyrus (Ponyo, the fish-girl) and Frankie Jonas (the boy). Ponyo DVD Special Edition Ponyo Blu-ray List […]

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Disney Continues Desperately Pushing Blu-Ray

First, Disney decided that they would only provide Blu-ray copies to reviewers, because that’s all they wanted talked about. Then, they released the Blu-ray version of Bolt two days early, to goose sales figures. I guess two days wasn’t enough to stack the deck, though, because Disney has just announced that Snow White will be available on Blu-ray almost two months before the standard DVD two-disc edition. That’s right, you can buy Blu-ray October 6 (at a list price of […]

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Disney Eliminates Standard DVD Review Copies for Pinocchio

Here’s another piece of evidence for studios trying to shove the Blu-ray format down the customer’s throat: I just got notified that, when it comes to review copies of the upcoming Disney release Pinocchio 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition, the company will ONLY provide the Blu-ray version. Disney is shipping a standard DVD copy of the movie with all of their Blu-rays these days. As their press materials put it, this “allow[s] viewers the opportunity to enjoy Pinocchio on a standard […]

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Another Example of Pushing Customers to Blu-Ray: Bolt Release Staggered

I knew studios were pushing the Blu-ray format hard in their product announcements, but I was surprised to see them stacking the deck when it comes to release dates. Normally, DVDs are released for sale on Tuesdays. On March 24, Disney’s Bolt will be available in a one-disc edition at $30 or a two-disc version at $33. The second disc contains these extra features: “I Thought I Lost You” music video. The recording of the song. “First-time directors Chris Williams […]

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What Bolt Could Have Been: American Dog

Here’s the sad story of American Dog. Chris Sanders, co-director of Lilo & Stitch, my favorite animated film, originally developed American Dog for Disney until he was fired. Under John Lasseter, AD then became the current Bolt. (Thus guaranteeing I won’t see it.) The last straw, according to the link above, is that original creator Sanders is nowhere mentioned in The Art of Bolt coffee table book. In response, that site has posted their own art gallery of concept art […]

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