Is BD the worst thing that has happened to cinema recently?

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Ray_Rogers
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Re: Is BD the worst thing that has happened to cinema recently?

Post by Ray_Rogers »

Well this thread has aged slightly like milk. SLIGHTLY. Being multi-region certainly helps as I can pick and choose which release of a title I'm interested in buying or the fact I really don't mind owning more than one of a title from different companies is fine by me. It's the prices.
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Re: Is BD the worst thing that has happened to cinema recent

Post by EvaUnit02 »

Shingster wrote:Sorry but this topic is more than a bit silly Hung, you think this is much different to when DVD took over from LaserDisc? You think us older fans hadn't already seen & collected the likes of Suspiria, 36th Chamber of Shaolin, etc on VHS or VCD or LD by the time their DVDs rolled around? Take Blu-ray out the equation and the progression would have been DVD to streaming, and do you think niche cinema would be treated any better for that? You think Netflix & Amazon would be willing to spend thousands of pounds on new 2k/4k scans and restorations on the likes of Zatoichi & Battles Without Honour series so their streaming customers can get the best quality releases, or woud they stick to standard definition where the file sizes are smaller & the service less strained? Without Blu-ray we probably never would have seen the entire Zatoichi series in any decent-quality digital form here in the west.
4k Blu-ray will probably be the last physical media format, VOD streaming is pretty much the mainstream now. So the format upgrade marathon is coming to end. Disney has restructured their entire company to push their streaming service, even their theme parks will play 2nd fiddle now. Disney are fazing out physical media releases of catalogue titles ( https://archive.ph/sNfaZ ). The future of film physical media is with boutique companies like Shout Factory, Arrow Film, Kino Lorber, Criterion, etc. You'll probably see more catalogue titles from the big Hollywood studio releases being licensed out.

Ownership of physical media is becoming somewhat popular again since over the last year of so, because there's been a new wave of censorship from moral busybodies from both left and right ends of the political spectrum. Eg episodes of Fawlty Towers and Little Britain disappearing off streaming services for having non-PC humour.
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Shingster
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Re: Is BD the worst thing that has happened to cinema recently?

Post by Shingster »

I've got to say that now that streaming services are fully established and most of us here have probably all had a taste of at least one or two of them, does anyone feel Hung's sentiment about Bluray 6yrs back (that it's just the same old shit repackaged and we're moving away from seeing new content coming out) is gonna lead to more or less frustration in the future's streaming-only age once UHD has died off? I mean sure, dedicated streaming channels could lead to a glut of fresh titles being made available to plump up that database, but you're gonna have to subscribe to god knows how many services to gain access to the broad spectrum of films you'll be into if you're a cineaste, and then you're gonna have to contend with services like Netflix/MUBI/etc who shuffle their database periodically so that a good number of the films they "own" aren't available to watch when you want to watch them!

I wonder if there are any members now who subscribe to multiple services? At the moment you're looking at roughly £30ish (if you get the cheaper long subscription offers) for Prime/Netflix/Disney+/Apple, then £10 a month for MUBI for arthouse stuff, then £5 for BFI player for more classics/arthouse and then £5 for Arrow video for cult cinema. If you're a fan of HK cinema then Netflix has the biggest database, but of more recent HK films (last ten years) and if you're a fan of Japanese cinema then really only the Arrow service is going to give you a satisfyingly large database (I'm assuming all their Japanese films are available on there, don't subscribe myself). MUBI probably has about 20 asian films playing per month at any one time and that's about it. That's £600 a year you're spending, so about one Bluray per week say, to not get a lot of access to the Asian cinema classics we crave!

We still need more streaming services, but as BD/UHD starts to die off we should see that injection as boutique labels look to move into streaming or sell their catalogue to established services, but I've got to wonder ten years from now if the likes of MUBI or Netflix are gonna be motivated to make the costly deals with the various Asian studios to buy up any frresh restorations of classic Asian cinema? I guess it will all depend on how motivated the Asian studios will be to restore the classics and sell them abroad without pricing them out of the western market.
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Re: Is BD the worst thing that has happened to cinema recently?

Post by EvaUnit02 »

Shingster wrote: 06 Apr 2021, 16:53 I wonder if there are any members now who subscribe to multiple services? At the moment you're looking at roughly £30ish (if you get the cheaper long subscription offers) for Prime/Netflix/Disney+/Apple, then £10 a month for MUBI for arthouse stuff, then £5 for BFI player for more classics/arthouse and then £5 for Arrow video for cult cinema. If you're a fan of HK cinema then Netflix has the biggest database, but of more recent HK films (last ten years) and if you're a fan of Japanese cinema then really only the Arrow service is going to give you a satisfyingly large database (I'm assuming all their Japanese films are available on there, don't subscribe myself). MUBI probably has about 20 asian films playing per month at any one time and that's about it. That's £600 a year you're spending, so about one Bluray per week say, to not get a lot of access to the Asian cinema classics we crave!

We still need more streaming services, but as BD/UHD starts to die off we should see that injection as boutique labels look to move into streaming or sell their catalogue to established services, but I've got to wonder ten years from now if the likes of MUBI or Netflix are gonna be motivated to make the costly deals with the various Asian studios to buy up any frresh restorations of classic Asian cinema? I guess it will all depend on how motivated the Asian studios will be to restore the classics and sell them abroad without pricing them out of the western market.
Over the next ten years you're going to see a lot of streaming services close down and/or consolidate, the market can't support all of them. Having a zillion different streaming services just encourages more piracy. Gabe Newell of Valve Software, maker of game retailer platform Steam, once said that piracy is a service platform. Having content spread over a half-dozen services or more is far from convenient (obviously).

The only service that I actively sub to is Amazon Prime Video. For everything else I buy physical discs or pirate.
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Re: Is BD the worst thing that has happened to cinema recently?

Post by Shingster »

I'm not sure how much more consolidation we'll see as far as mainstream cinema goes as I think Amazon/Netflix/Apple/Disney are big enough entities to survive independently for now so at most the big four might become the big two or three, but in terms of arthouse/indie/cult services you've got to wonder how that will change over time, can companies remain separate at a £5 per month model ala Arrow and BFI and still maintain the audience required? I guess time will tell. I know one thing though, if it ends up just being the big four services and all the smaller services fall by the wayside and get consumed, I can't see those big four services offering the kind of foreign/arthouse/cult catalogue that we would find satisfying as cineastes.
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Re: Is BD the worst thing that has happened to cinema recently?

Post by HungFist »

6 years and I love BD now :lol: Partly because the higher quality means more now, partly because this may the be last chance to own anything.

But that frustration hasn't really gone away. The 2000s was amazing Japanese cinema on DVD. Everything was fresh to me of course since I missed the VHS era, but there were loads of home video world debuts too, and pretty much entire genres (re)discovered. Horrors of Malformed Men, the Pinky Violence Box set, a lot of Hideo Gosha films etc...

Unfortunately my wish list remains almost the same since little has been released since then. God bless Arrow for releasing Wolfguy, but that may be the only film in their Japanese film catalogue that was a home video world debut? Of course if you take English subtitle debuts into account, then it looks a lot more positive.

As for non disc formats, Toei Channel on TV is pretty great. I've been recording tons of Chiba, Shihomi and yakuza films that were never even released on VHS. Toei's Amazon Prime channel is great, too. I just wish I could buy those titles on disc. 13 Steps of Maki, A Narcotics Agent's Ballad, The Defensive Power of Aikido, Flower Cards Chivalry...
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Shingster
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Re: Is BD the worst thing that has happened to cinema recently?

Post by Shingster »

Yeah you have the luxury of being in the mother land! In an ideal world the studios would offer an online streaming services so fans around the world could gain access to their libraries for a reasonable price, a bit like what Shounen Jump has finally started to do in the last few years.
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Re: Is BD the worst thing that has happened to cinema recently?

Post by EvaUnit02 »

Shingster wrote: 09 Apr 2021, 06:49 a bit like what Shounen Jump has finally started to do in the last few years.
Speaking of Shonen Jump, do you know if whether or not they ever released uncensored Claymore (by Norihiro Yagi) internationally?
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Re: Is BD the worst thing that has happened to cinema recently?

Post by Shingster »

No I don't unfortunately, not sure if you were asking about the anime or the manga, but I only ever caught the first boxset of the former that was released in the Uk (reviewed it for another site) and the manga I read quite a bit of, maybe about 20vols, and then I just drifted away from it. I can barely remember it nowadays!
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