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All Movie Talk

Welcome to All Movie Talk! In this audio podcast, Samuel Stoddard and Stephen Keller talk about old and new movies, famous directors, historical film movements, movie trivia, and more.

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Super Ultimate Deluxe Collector's Box

It's not even news anymore. Standard practice for DVD releases seems to be to throw out a "regular" version of a movie on DVD first -- ideally but not necessarily with restored picture and sound and anamorphic widescreen unless it's not a widescreen movie to begin with, the trailer, blurbs on the cast and crew, and a worthless 10 minute promotional doc -- and then release a collector's edition later with extra goodies, and then maybe even *more* goodies as part of a boxed set.

Remember the days of VHS tapes, and how, when you bought a movie, you got the movie? That was it, and that was the end of it. Oh, once in a while a restoration effort would warrant a subsequent rerelease, but the inferior quality of VHS tapes in the first place didn't inspire a need to replace an old copy.

Somehow, media companies figured out how to turn what should be a static product into something you have to stay "current" with, upgrading periodically over time, if you want to own the best. Stranger still, they did this with DVDs when they could not do this with tapes, despite tapes being the product that degrades over time, while DVDs seem to have more permanence.

Thing is: those collector's DVD boxed sets really *are* nice sometimes. And even a "regular" DVD feels like more value for the money than a video tape, which you have to fast forward and rewind, which gets fuzzier after every viewing, and can get chewed up by old or dirty VCRs.

I don't know anybody that would rather own a VHS Tape of a movie if they could have a DVD instead. But I also know many people, including myself, that just hate buying a DVD for fear that a better version will come out later. The question is, from a consumer satisfaction standpoint, have we made any progress from the 80s and early 90s, or have we regressed? Do the superior home video products of today make us happier in general with our purchases, or was the ignorance of yesteryear really bliss?

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