Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Warner Bros. 'Diamond Lux' Line is Ignoring the Most Important Aspect of a BluRay: The Movie


Buyer beware: Real movie NOT included!
 

There are several new releases popping into retailers this week, but chances are the only one most of you are interested in is "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." The ending of Peter Jackson's (some would say needlessly extended) trilogy based on Tolkien's beloved children's book (which the movies are certainly not made for), this was by far the best installment in the trilogy and contained one of the best uses of 3D any movie has seen to date. The movie is being made available in 3D by Warner Bros. And MGM in a joint effort.  It's sort of funny to think that when 'The Hobbit' was first announced as a 3D trilogy, it was going to be the movie that saved 3D.  While it did get some decent business in 3D, it did not save the format at the movies or at home.

In fact, in the theaters, two films brought a lot more business to the 3D format than any of 'The Hobbit' films did: "Gravity" and "Frozen." Both movies, I'm sorry to say, have been treated with absolute disrespect when it came to preserving their original looks on BluRay.  We've already discussed "Frozen" at great length here and how Disney still refuses to release their high in demand BluRay 3D in America (though they can take time to release a sing-along DVD instead).  "Gravity" has been treated a little better by mere virtue that we got a BluRay 3D release at all.  That is about to change greatly with the "Gravity: Diamond Lux Edition" BluRay Warner Bros. is releasing.  What is 'Diamond Lux?' It's a fancy term for "special edition."

This is a new lineup for Warner Bros. to present some of their classic movies in a package that is fancy, has great special features, and (usually) a newly remastered 4K print of the film.  The lineup is off, as it includes movies like "The Green Mile," "Batman," and "Gremlins," movies that are all very popular, but might be more up for debate on which of these can truly be considered groundbreaking films (if any at all).  I think including "Gravity" in this lineup shows some very smart forward thinking on Warner Bros. part.  However, there is a strange omission when it comes to the release: There is no 3D included.  This is baffling and unacceptable for a number of reasons.  First of all, "Gravity" is a 3D movie. Period. There is no debating this.

It was filmed in 3D, it was built around 3D, and many people who saw the movie in 2D didn't even like it compared to the people who saw it in 3D, which should give you all the information you need to know.  To take the 3D away is the same as colorizing "Casablanca." Yes, you can technically still watch these movies in these forms, but you are not watching the movies the film makers intended for you to see.  Now, unlike Disney, Warner Bros. is not denying you the chance to watch "Gravity" in the way it was intended to be seen, but to make a BluRay edition that is touted as being the definitive way to own the movie (in so many words) while not including a very important aspect of the film is not only wrong, it's outright lying.

How would you feel if you bought Paramount's ultimate edition of "The Godfather" trilogy on BluRay, only to find the iconic opening scene from the first movie wasn't included?  The Diamond Lux edition of "Gravity" looks very nice by all accounts.  It has a new 4K transfer.  It has new audio commentaries and other special features.  The packaging is so very beautiful.  But it does not contain the option to view the film in 3D, which is how the film was conceived and shot.  There is no way any serious movie fan can make the claim that this is the ultimate edition of the movie when the look and feel of the movie itself has been compromised.  Neither can the studio.  Therefor, the Diamond Lux lineup is seriously compromised because Warn Bros. has ignored the most important aspect of the product: The presentation of the movie itself. And that, ultimately, is a huge problem.

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