Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Going Blu!

So my dad and stepmom made it down from Michigan this past weekend, toting Christmas presents for the family. Christmas has become something of a double-edged sword for me. On one hand both my wife and I have divorced parents, which means we get to celebrate multiple Christmases with lots of gifts going back and forth. On the other hand, it also means having to celebrate *lots* of Christmases with *lots* of gifts going back and forth. Kind of makes one appreciate Thanksgiving where you can just have family, food and Lions footb... well, there's family and food. It's a bit simpler and in my, uh, older age, I've come to appreciate that simplicity.

That said, my dad, can always be counted on to overdue the whole gift thing. It's a trait inherited from my grandmother and one that someday -if I ever have a savings account again- I hope to inherit from him. This is all by way of saying I'm now the proud owner of a Blu-Ray player. It's been awhile since I opened a gift of any kind and had the surprise of its contents kind of knock the wind out of me, but that was pretty much what happened. I got the wrapping paper half off and just kind of stared at the box for a minute, wondering if it was some kind of sick joke. As if, inside there were those springy snakes like in the peanut brittle novelty gift can.

Fortunately for me, no snakes.

Instead, a Sony BDP-300 Blu-Ray disc player. If there were any questions about my dad's qualifications for sainthood, I think this jumps to exhibit A in the pro column.

Needless to say, I'm now more anxious than ever for Universal and Paramount to jump off the decks of the Titan... er, HD-DVD platform and go Blu. I'm hoping by mid year for Universal and by year's end for Paramount. And hopefully over the next couple of years I can save up for a 1080p projector, since my current one isn't natively HD. (It looks great, noticeably better than DVD, but it's not true HD. For that I'll have to settle for our 30" HDTV.)

Right now, I have no plans to start replacing our rather sizable DVD collection. That's pure folly. But my Blockbuster online subscription is about to get a very healthy workout after beginning to stagnate the last couple months. We started out with Casino Royale. This is, bar none, the best new Bond film I've seen in 20+ years and it looked damn fine in Blu-Ray. Last night we took in the final(?) Pirates of the Carribean film, At World's End. Perhaps it's because of lowered expectations, but I didn't find this to be nearly as bad as the second film. There's a lot of scholock in there, but I found the end strangely satisfying. On the other hand it's not nearly as good as the first one either. I view this trilogy the same way I view the Matrix trilogy: marvelous potential totally wasted.

Anyway, since Bill took the lead on posting some best of lists, I should probably follow up with some of my own. After all, my selections should be much better.