Archive for the ‘Doctor Who’ Tag

Blu-ray Vs. DVD: FIGHT!

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

I’ve been antagonising some of my nerdier friends on The Twitter recently with my proclamations that there’s fuck all difference between Blu-ray and DVD.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an idiot – I know that one is read using a Blue laser as opposed to a Red one (hence the name) and I know that if you watch an older DVD and compare it to a Blu-Ray, the picture quality is poor by comparison due to how the definition of Standard Definition has changed over the years. Compare The Shawshank Redemption to Star Wars and you’ll see what I mean.

It doesn’t help that by its very nature, you cannot advertise Blu-ray quality on a DVD (much like you can’t advertise 3D footage on a 2D television). I saw an advert the other day where the ‘before’ picture appeared to have a filter applied to it to make it look worse. You can, however, upscale existing DVDs to high definition in most Blu-ray players just by putting them in and playing them.

These days, Standard Definition looks a lot better than it did, as evidenced by the most recent series of Doctor Who and Sherlock. This makes a small step up to almost-unnoticeable High Definition so very, very unnecessary. Think of the upgrade from VHS to DVD, and now compare the upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray. Almost unnoticeable.

What I don’t understand is why stand-up comedy productions get their own Blu-ray releases. There’s almost nothing gained by it, it’s purely done to get more money due to the price difference between Blu-ray and DVD. I would be less cynical of the studios’ motives if Blu-ray was actually a big step forwards. My best analogy for this is comparing the DSi to the DSi XL. While the step up from DS Lite was a noticeable improvement, the one from DSi to DSi XL was much less so.

So in essence, it’s more expensive, more isolating as a format (as Blu-ray players are more expensive and for obvious reasons DVD players are not forwards-compatible) and the difference is negligible. Why does it exist again?

Blu-ray Facts:

Blu-ray discs have 25GB of capacity. You’d think some of that would be visible!

50 First Dates was a launch title for Blu-ray, a fact so depressing that I want to kill myself now. Should’ve been Failure To Launch! [/snark]

I have precisely one Blu-ray disc in my collection (although with the picture quality these days, I don’t need any): Dara O Briain’s This Is The Show. I was happy with this until I realised that I couldn’t watch it that day due to not having a Blu-ray player in my room.

Blu-ray is trademarked under that name, rather than Blu-Ray. Similar to the way Technicolor is a trademark whatever country you’re using it in.


“Watch This Film? You Dizzy, Blud?”

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

When I heard ‘Mickey The Idiot’ (Noel Clarke) from Doctor Who wrote the screenplay for his own film, Kidulthood (great name), I wasn’t sure what to think. My main thought was ‘oh, it’s another Brit film showcasing the plight of the poor minority/druggies/idiots (delete as appropriate) ‘. Sure enough, that’s exactly what it was, but it was actually pretty good. Clarke played Sam, the tough young black kid, from the block, who knows the streets and who is also from da ghetto (how many white guy clichés were in that sentence? You decide!).

Adulthood (see what they did there?*) is the story of Sam (Clarke again, reprising his role from Kidulthood) seen from his perspective after his release from prison for a crime committed in the first film. The film would have you believe that he is a changed man and that he doesn’t want any trouble.

Unfortunately, where the film falls down is failing to convince you that he should be viewed as a sympathetic protagonist, with the film going almost out of its way to show you that he is in fact a complete douchebag. It’s hard not to be prejudiced when the guy murdered someone who was going to be a father. That crossed some sort of primal line. This same child is mostly in one scene when the mother is talking to Sam at the door of her house. The mother calls the child to the door, mostly so Sam can get a look at her and then she dismisses the daughter. Who then goes and sits in a corner where her main duty is to look sad. Seriously, she’s a kid. Are they telling us that she didn’t have anything better to do in the slightest? Kids like jumping and noise, she could’ve done either of those things!

One main gripe that I had with this film is that the ‘urban’ music (I presume it’s urban, mainly because I do not want to call it ‘black’ music) that occasionally pops up is much louder than the rest of the fucking film. I mean, the rest of the film consists of characters quietly slagging off or beating one another, and then CRANK THAT FUNKY MUSIC, YOU THE MOVIE VIEWER, HAVE UNWITTINGLY ENTERED A RAVE!

Like its predecessor, it tries to showcase the life and poverty of teens and young adults in London. The problem is, it succeeded. How is that a problem, you may ask? Because it made me want to bang my head against a brick wall due to the way they portrayed Black London.

And it is Black London, because out of a cast of about ten to twenty, I counted maybe two to three important white characters. There are a couple of Minor Whiteys, such as Nick Briggs (he who Exterminates Doctors…) and Danny Dyer, who helps contribute a “this is definitely London, ’cause I’m a Cockney, guvnor!” feel to things. Like we needed more of that. Thank you, Danny Dyer**.

My overall verdict, in case it wasn’t obvious by the tone of the review is: Do not watch this movie. It is not healthy for you by any stretch of the imagination and it makes you despise your fellow man. Kidulthood, while much the same, is at least more tolerable and is just a better movie. If you have to, read the Wikipedia synopsis that I have helpfully linked to below.

Here there be spoilers:

*Don’t worry, if you didn’t, the film’s tagline will leave you in no doubt.

** Never thought I’d say that…