Friday, February 19, 2010

The (Self-Inflicted) Death of Blu-Ray

I have been meaning for some time to write about the horrible Star Trek 2009 blu-ray experience that I had, but sitting through the ten minutes of previews that you cannot skip has been too terrible a thought.

Yes, when you start the DVD (at least the blu-ray version), it plays ten minutes of four previews. You cannot skip this. You cannot go to the main menu. You cannot play the film until you have played these four previews. You cannot control your TV. You cannot control your DVD player. You cannot control your blu-ray DVD.

Additionally, it is a terribly written film. I don't say that as a Trek fan, which I am, I say that as a writer. Using time travel to write whatever they want is a horrible, cheap gimmick, and then to connect it to the canon (after pointing out how they were avoiding the canon at every step) is insulting.

And the sound balance is all off, which is true of the theater version as well. I had to hold the remote in my hand the entire film, adjusting between the impossible-to-hear dialog (had to set it to 35 volume) and the deafening explosions (quickly, down to 20 volume). That is inexcusable.

If I had been thinking straight, and not been so shocked, I would have returned the DVD. I am certainly never going to watch it again. If I get another one like it, and it is doubtful I will buy another after that, I will return it and say it is defective, because it would be. My TV. My DVD player. I control them. End of story.

But, luckily for me, I don't quite have to sit through the terrible ten minutes. Cory Doctorow and Mark Frauenfelder over at boingboing have two posts on terrible DVD issues today: Infographic: buying DVDs vs pirating them and Disney's Fast Play is the slow way to the DVD feature. The Trek blu-ray isn't mentioned, but it's the same issue.