The high definition format war of Hd-dvd vs. Blu ray seems a lifetime away, even though it's only a few years ago. As an early adaptor of both formats via a US imported Toshiba HD-A1 player and a US 60GB Playstation 3, the war was irrelevant to me, it did provide me with amusement at the never ending childish bickering among the online fanboys on both sides.
Having purchased a steady stream of titles for both red and blu, I had no preference either way. However as time went on and more HD titles became available it soon became clear to me Hd-dvd was the better format from a practical point of view. Why? Firstly and most importantly the red format was region free, so as titles were released here in the UK I had a choice of where to buy from. This was a huge advantage over blu ray. Secondly, the format was basically finished from the beginning, every disc played and all the features were there from the start. This was far from the case with blu ray, where a format revision was required rendering early players limited in capability, constant firmware updates were required to play newer discs and usb sticks were often needed for some features.
When news broke of Warner's decision to fuck over Toshiba by stopping releasing titles on Hd-dvd in favour of blu ray, I couldn't help but feel the wrong decision had been made. Despite Hd-dvd having smaller storage, the quality was just as good (with the exception of fewer red titles having lossless sound), with the added advantages of being region free and actually working!
The good news is, since then blu ray has improved beyond all recognition. With the format established, the prices and quality of the players and discs are significantly better now. This took along time due to a format war that could have been easily avoided, how many times does this have to happen?
The upside of the red side's defeat was the clearance of the discs and players. Many titles were sold off for only a few pounds, as a result I ended up with a few titles I wouldn't have ever dreamed of buying (Poseiden remake anyone? So I'm a Kurt Russell fan!) but many more excellent discs. I also snagged a top of the range Toshiba HD-EX1 player for peanuts as most bailed on the format as quickly as possible. I have around a hundred or so Hd-dvds, having not added any for a while I checked out what was still around and picked up the following titles.
Kevin Smith's underrated second movie Mallrats, don't get me wrong it's hardly a classic but I do find it very funny thanks mainly to Jason Lee's fantastic performance. Smith seems to be getting plenty of shit these days but I'll watch anything he makes (except Cop out!)
One of the few Jet Li movies I haven't seen, not sure why really considering the cast.
Remake of one of my favourite of all John Carpenter's movies, not expecting it to be anywhere near but hopefully it'll be a solid action film and like Unleashed it has a good cast.
Not my usual kind of thing but I've heard some great things about Stardust, looking forward to checking it out.
I'm a huge fan of Walter Hill and this is one of his movies I haven't seen, again I've heard great things about Streets of fire and like most things it can only benefit from being seen in HD.
Until well into my teens I was really into King Arthur and the stories related to him. When I saw John Boorman's Excalibur during this time I really didn't know what to make of it, I barely remember any of it so it's a good time to revisit.
Any readers have opinions on the red/blu war?, do you still have/buy reds?