Idiot Douchebag Oliver Stone on the DVD Format

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Black Locust, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. Black Locust

    Black Locust Guest

    Oliver Stone Epic Fodder for DVD, But He's Not So Hip on the DVD format.

    By Kyra Kirkwood

    The new Oliver Stone epic Alexander, currently in theaters, could be a
    goldmind for DVD extras. Not only does the film have some of today's
    hottest actors -- Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Jared Leto -- but it's
    filled with rich history and lavish sets, spectacular costumes and
    monumental battle scenes. The movie, which took 13 years to bring to
    screen, follows the life of Alexander the Great, a man who conquered 90
    percent of the known world by the time he was 25 years old.

    The Possibilities for disc extras are plentiful from a
    reality-vs.-Hollywood study of the three-hour film and a look at the
    luxurious costumes to Greek mythology features and a behind-the-scenes
    documentary shot by Stone's 19-year-old son, Sean.

    While excited about the DVD future of Alexander, Stone isn't entirely
    enthusiastic about the format itself. Infact, he thinks DVDs will
    destory today's cinematic experience. "It's the end of movie-movies the
    way we know them," he said during a Los Angeles press event for the
    film. "It's like mail-order sex, Internet sex. It's an easier way to
    access the person. It's not good for us." The DVD format cheapens
    movies, he added. "If you walk into a room with 5,000 DVDs, how are
    going to respect movies? How do you know the good ones," Stone asked.
    "It's going to LCD -- the lowest common denominator. It's making movies
    into supermarket-shelf items, which is probably the best you can get at
    Wal-Mart... It's hopeless."

    Recently, Warner Home Video released an encyclopedic collection of
    Stone's work, packed with extra features from 12 of his famous films,
    like JFK, Platoon and Wall Street. Also included are documentaries such
    as Persona Non Grata and Looking for Fidel. So it's not as if Stone
    boycotts the format; he knows the popularity of DVDs is impossible to
    ignore. "Whatever the new technology is becomes the money maker, not
    necessarily rightly," he said. But whatever is next on the horizon could
    rock DVD's stable foundation. "The fact is, this is digital -- it's not
    going to hold. People say analog is the only thing to make it," Stone
    said. This could be a big scam at the end of the day. In five years, all
    your DVDs are going to be worthless... There's no hope. There's only new

    How ironic that Stone says there is no hope for DVDs. That's precisely
    the prospect for Alexander's box office take in.
    Black Locust, Dec 6, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  2. Black Locust

    TB Guest



    Disregarding easy swipes at Stone or his latest movie, he makes some very
    valid points about how technology while making it easier and cheaper to get
    a quality movie experience in a home environment, is cheapening and "dumbing
    down" the content and overall "look" of movies these days. And he's right
    that in probably less then 5 years from now, all those dvds we've bought
    over the last 5 or 6 years will be as worthless as vhs or laserdiscs are now
    because of whatever upcoming digital format.

    I mean, speaking just for myself, why have I had to buy 5 versions of one of
    my personal favorite movies, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" since it
    came out on vhs a couple decades ago? I mean, there's the vhs tape, then the
    1st laserdisc version, then the Criterion LD version, then the "remastered
    version, then the super-duper dvd version, ad infinitum.

    Also, as we've seen, "new" versions of movies are created as an incentive to
    buy the same movie again and again whether it's simply updating the
    soundtrack from stereo to DD 5.1 or matted to anamorphic to a HD transfer
    and on and on or worse, re-editing a movie either subtly or drastically with
    every re-release until the original version is a forgotten memory.

    It's easier for the industry to keep recycling proven "hits" over and over
    in new versions and new formats then to nurture innovative new talent who
    could be making huge strides in the cinema arts, not to mention creating new
    classics. It's no coincidence that as technology vs craft has become the
    dominant force in the arts, the quality of the arts has slowed and declined.
    This is true not just for movies, but music and illustration as well.

    TB, Dec 6, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  3. My favorite example of all this is CGI. This technology has pushed good
    story lines to the periphery of film making. And it's also made
    action/adventure films innefectual. There is no thrill in watching these
    films when it's so obvious that what is happening on screen is artificial.
    It causes a psychological seperation.

    I'm hoping this is just a fad and filmmakers will recognize the mistake in
    this. But, the trend of glitz over substance is something I've noticed
    occuring since Batman I.
    Bernie Woodham, Dec 6, 2004
  4. Black Locust

    TB Guest

    A perfect example of this is the recent movie, "Sky Captain and the World of
    Tomorrow." The film looks georgeous but all the money and imagination went
    into the technology and design of the film, not the story and to a lesser
    extent, the acting and direction.

    TB, Dec 6, 2004
  5. Black Locust

    Black Locust Guest

    Not entirely true. The Laserdisc format is essentially dead, but there
    are still LD's selling on eBay for $100 and upwards. Sure, VHS is
    worthless, but wasn't it pretty much always worthless? It was always a
    disposable low quality rental junk product that was marketed to the
    bottom feeders who think Adam Sandler movies are quality works of
    cinema. So I don't buy this "all your dvds will be worthless in 5 years"
    nonsense. Sure, some DVDs will, but many already are even when we're
    still in the formats prime. Look at how many DVDs you can find in
    Wal-Marts bargin bin. It all depends on the quality of the movie, the
    audio/video quality and the bonus features.

    And why is this argument seemingly always used against DVDs, but never
    CDs? We're told to boycott DVDs because something better will come along
    in a few years, but why arne't we told to do the same with CDs? First we
    had vinyl records, then 8-tracks, then cassette tapes and now CDs.
    Oliver Stone says it's because DVDs are digital. HELLO, so are CDs. SACD
    and DVD-A have come along to try and kill the CD and look, the CD is
    still going strong while those formats continue to go absolutely no
    where. Why should it be any different for DVDs?
    Black Locust, Dec 6, 2004
  6. Black Locust

    Dan P. Guest

    You're exactly right. HD-DVDs (or whatever the next format will be) will
    probably not take over DVDs like DVDs took over VHS. The reason is because
    it doesn't offer the same kind of monumental leap in technology and features
    that DVD did over VHS. All that's improving is the resolution of the video.
    And since DVD is pretty damn good (brilliant actually in alot of cases), I
    predict many people won't jump ship to HD-DVD.

    The same thing happened in music like you said. CDs came out and it was a
    huge improvment over tapes. Not only was the sound alot better, but you had
    a ton of extra features: instant track selection, no rewinding, extra
    durability, etc. So it clicked with the masses. But when SACD and DVD-A
    came out, people didn't get into it because it offered nothing other than
    improved sound. But for most people, the sound was good enough already on
    CDs. Heck, the format taking over now is MP3/WMA which has inferior sound
    to CDs. But it's taking off because of the convenience factor and the extra
    features (storing all your music on a device that fits in your pocket,
    accessing your music by artist name, album name, genre, etc.).

    So only a new format that provides a ton of new, useful features will ever
    fully dethrone DVD. In fact, it'll probably be a similar format to MP3/WMA.
    The true next-gen of movies will probably not be stored on any optical disc.
    Instead of going to Best Buy, you'll just download the movie from Then load it up on your PVS (Personal Video Server). Then on
    your TV you'll be able to select which movie you want to watch, similar to
    how you search for a movie on a web site like IMDB (by actor name, by title,
    by director, by year, by genre, by plot keyword, etc.)

    Dan P., Dec 6, 2004
  7. Black Locust

    Jay G. Guest

    I don't know what Stone thinks "Internet sex" actually is, but looking at
    porn online doesn't hold a candle to actual sex. DVDs are not going to
    kill "movie-movies" anymore than the internet has stopped people from
    having real sex.
    Couldn't the same be said of, say, multiplexes? How does anyone know
    whether any film is good? Stone here seems to be deriding the amount of
    choice DVDs give you. I really don't see how having the ability to watch
    thousands of films, which includes hundreds of little-seen and independent
    films, could be anything other than a *good* thing.
    I'd really like to know who these people are who say that. They're
    probably the same people who predicted that CDs would never catch on.

    Jay G., Dec 6, 2004
  8. Black Locust

    Jay G. Guest

    Tim Burton's Batman was made largely sans CGI effects.
    This isn't really CGI's fault though. The acting and directing could've
    been awful with stop-motion or miniatures. The weakness of a story
    wouldn't have been improved by simply an alternate shooting method. CGI is
    just a tool. When someone misuses a tool, it's the person's fault, not the

    Jay G., Dec 6, 2004
  9. Black Locust

    Jay G. Guest

    How is it exactly doing that, and how is it different "these days" than it
    was with VHS and LD? Actually, since DVDs more often than not come in OAR
    instead of the traditional 4:3 reformatting on VHS and TV, aren't movies
    becoming *less* dumbed down with DVD?
    You never "had" to buy more than one copy. You bought multiple copies
    because, presumably, each one was better in some way than your previous
    one. And studios re-releasing films isn't restricted to new media; there
    were multiple VHS releases of "Close Encounters" as well.
    Certainly studios look for ways to re-sell a product, although they're not
    necessarily looking to re-sell it to the exact same people. New
    soundtracks and transfers are usually considered *improvements* though.
    Again, you don't have to buy the new version simply because it exists, but
    I don't see why we should begrudge a studio for releasing a better product
    down the road. We don't get pissed at TV makers when they release a better
    product the very next *year* as the model we bought.

    Also, I don't think Stone would quite side with you regarding your bitching
    about Director's cuts.
    Studios often funnel the money coming in from DVD sales into making new
    films. It's just another source of revenue, which includes another way for
    a film that say, is struggling at the box-office, to make a profit.

    Jay G., Dec 6, 2004
  10. If you love a movie enough to buy it 5 times, I can't describe that
    as "cheap", either in terms of your wallet or how you treat the movie.
    There is dedication there.

    I find myself disagreeing with a lot of what Stone has said here.
    DVD may turn movies into a commodity, but that damage was done long
    ago, when studios started releasing 16mm prints for private use. On
    the other hand, the practicality of the small shiny disc has allowed
    people to re-visit and reflect upon their old movies at will, with no
    loss in quality.

    And why fault technology for advancing? The technology that creates
    movies didn't stay stagnant for the last century, why would the technology
    that shows them be any different?


    Aaron J. Bossig
    Aaron J. Bossig, Dec 6, 2004
  11. Black Locust

    Larry Guest

    The problem seems to lie in the fact that SOMEONE paid attention to an empty
    headed asshole while he was spouting off about stuff he doesn't know or
    understand.. (Im talking BOTH movies and DVDs).

    Stone hasn't had a clue in YEARS but some writer had nothing better to do
    than scribe his ravings while he was in a SNIT.
    Larry, Dec 6, 2004
  12. Black Locust

    luminos Guest

    Then he should have rejected the music, which is horrible Vangelis crap,
    which cheapened everything. Further, his integrity should have shown in
    everything, which it did not.
    luminos, Dec 6, 2004
  13. Black Locust

    luminos Guest

    Amen to that last comment.
    luminos, Dec 6, 2004
  14. Black Locust

    FAQmeister Guest

    The DVDs themselves may eventually be worthless, but it's possible now
    to store an entire movie collection on a few huge hard disks. Quality
    will continue to improve as new formats come out, but most people aren't
    going to dump their entire movie collection just because they want the
    higher quality.
    FAQmeister, Dec 6, 2004
  15. Black Locust

    Rutgar Guest

    True. Afterall, were talking about Oliver (I wouldn't know the truth,
    if it came up and bit me on the ass) Stone.
    Rutgar, Dec 7, 2004
  16. Black Locust

    John Doe Guest

    He isn't the only. George Lucas is pretty screwed up too!

    John Doe, Dec 7, 2004
  17. Tim Burton's Batman was made largely sans CGI effects.

    As a matter of fact, the person responsible for the special effects in Tim
    Burton's "Batman" was none other than the late Derek Meddings.

    Same guy responsible for special effects in a load of James Bond films from the
    60's, 70's, 80's, and on "Goldeneye," the Superman films, and, of course, Gerry
    Anderson's Supermarionation shows.

    If you wanted someone who could make miniatures look real either by themselves
    or blowing up, he was one of the greatest talents to do it.
    True. As George Lucas comments rather ironically, "Special effects are tools."
    - Reinhart
    LASERandDVDfan, Dec 7, 2004
  18. Not entirely true. The Laserdisc format is essentially dead, but there

    I mean, Compact Disc is a fantastic example of survivability in the face of

    I've yet to see DVD-Audio and SACD put the Compact Disc out to pasture despite
    their superiority over CD.

    As a matter of fact, you could even argue that the bandwidth advantage in
    frequency response and even dynamic range provided by DVD-Audio and SACD are
    really overkill when compared to Compact Disc.

    Unless you have the ears of a dog and your amp equipment won't go non-linear in
    the presence of ultrasonics, then there is no point in having such a high
    frequency response to begin with. Higher dynamic range is a plus, but the
    approximately 96 dB (16-bit quantization with dithering) available on CD is
    more than enough.
    Not really.

    VHS, when it first came out, was inferior to Betamax, but not by that much.
    And, it was a revelation for the 1970s and 1980s.

    Of course, under todays standards, VHS and Betamax are both long in the tooth
    (although I'm pretty much a Beta diehard myself).
    Rental was actually a secondary consideration for video cassettes. VCRs were
    originally designed for time shifting. But because of other profit
    possibilities from home video, movie studios eventually produced prerecorded
    material for VHS and Beta, albeit for a steep price compared to LaserDiscs and
    CEDs. Then rental establishments popped up. Now, watching movies became more
    affordable through rental of tapes than purchase of videodiscs.
    The argument that a format will fail because it's digital is shortsighted,
    ignorant, and, quite simply, idiotic.

    It shows that the person presenting the argument has absolutely no idea in hell
    what they are talking about.

    As for digital versus analogue. Something that is truly constant is something
    that's happening right in front of you at that very moment. The moment that it
    is recorded, digital or analogue, it becomes a reproduction of limited
    capability and limited resolution in comparison to the live performance.

    It's just that digital is a far simpler way to do it. If there's less that can
    screw things up, then it will be better. (Although, this doesn't mean that
    it's mistake-proof or idiot-proof. There are excellent examples of digital
    done badly, just like there are examples of analogue done badly.)

    But, when you get down to it, digital is no different from analogue in basic
    function. All you are doing is taking a signal composed of oscillations and
    amplitudes and turning it into something that represents that signal
    (modulation) which is suitable for storage onto a carrier unit for later
    playback (demodulation). That's all. Again, the process that is simpler is,
    quite simply, better since there's less that can go wrong in the interim.

    Remember the KISS principle.
    Exactly! But, that's all for the animals at marketing to think up. - Reinhart
    LASERandDVDfan, Dec 7, 2004
  19. Studios often funnel the money coming in from DVD sales into making new
    That, and take films that were successful in the theater circuit and make it
    available for sale through home video as opposed to letting the film sit in a
    vault and deteriorate. - Reinhart
    LASERandDVDfan, Dec 7, 2004
  20. Black Locust

    luminos Guest

    Amen to this. In fact, the dynamic range of human hearing is, for all
    intents and purposes, 120 dB...and that is in laboratory conditions
    (anechoic) for the low end of the range. Simply put, 96 dB in standard
    listening environments is more than good.
    luminos, Dec 7, 2004
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.