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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando



blades-of-glory.jpg

News to celebrate or to groan over? Blades of Glory comes out on HD DVD only.

Is it time once again to replace your movie collection? Well maybe. According to The Hollywood Reporter , on Monday Paramount Home Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation showed their support for the new HD DVD format, just a year after declaring they would release movies in both the new and the standard DVD disc formats.

According to a press release: "Paramount and Dreamworks each declare exclusive support for HD DVD. Movies distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment including Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Animation SKG, DreamWorks Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films to be released exclusively in HD DVD."

The press release goes on to say: "The companies each said that the decision to distribute exclusively in the HD DVD format resulted from an extensive evaluation of current market offerings, which confirmed the clear benefits of HD DVD, particularly its market-ready technology and lower manufacturing costs. Paramount Home Entertainment will launch its exclusive HD DVD program with the release of the blockbuster comedy hit Blades of Glory on August 28th and follow with two of the biggest grossing movies of the year Transformers and Shrek the Third . These three titles alone represent more than $1.5 billion in box office ticket sales worldwide."

HD DVD players will also play standard DVDs and CDs as well as well as "upconvert" your standard DVDs. I'm not sure what that means in terms of the image quality since standard DVDs are not made to make maximum use of HD technology. HD DVD players can also be capable of recording on to discs that have more storage than standard DVDs or CDs.

I don't think Blades of Glory , with its gaudy skate costumes, bland white ice and goofy looking stars, is likely to make people run out and buy that HD monitor and HD DVD player so they can enjoy the film in all its cinematic splendor (but then maybe you do want to see each and every sequin). But the decision is likely to make people start thinking about the future of their movie collection and wondering if they'll have to "upconvert" the collection that they had just "upconverted" from VHS. New technology is making movie watching better and better but the the rapid changes in technology, possibly prompting new formats every few years, may put a strain on consumer budgets, and make some people take a wait-and-see approach and not buy anything for awhile.

If you are interested in seeing Blu-Ray high definition DVD (which is not the particular HD DVD format Paramount uses if I understand the different flavors of the format correctly), The Walt Disney Studios announced the launch of Disneys Magical Blu-ray Tour, which will visit eighteen malls nationwide beginning August 17. The announcement was made by Bob Chapek, president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. The press release states "Disneys Magical Blu-ray Tour, sponsored by Panasonic, is an interactive exhibit designed to educate consumers about the new high-definition home entertainment technology and will feature interactive kiosks, viewing stations and a special presentation theater where consumers can experience first-hand the amazing capabilities and benefits of Blu-ray Disc technology. Disneys Magical Blu-ray Tour will also focus on providing clarity for the growing consumer confusion around high-definition home entertainment and educating them on the benefits of Blu-ray Disc technology."

The Disney Blu-Ray event comes to Westfield North County Mall in Escondido August 31 through September 2.

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