It's not too often we find ourselves handing out praise to movie studios, but hey, kudos to Warner Bros. for cancelling its planned 3D release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I. Apparently the studio simply ran out of time to properly convert the flick to 3D, The Wall Street Journal reports.
That hasn't stopped other studios from releasing flicks in 3D that really have no business commanding an additional dimension, so it's refreshing to see WB pull in the reigns on what would undoubtedly have been a 3D cash cow, even if sloppily converted. That's pretty much what happened with Clash of the Titans, which was criticized for its poor 3D conversion yet still did well at the box office.
"Despite everyone's best efforts, we were unable to convert the [new Harry Potter] film in its entirety and meet the highest standards of quality," Warner Bros. said in a statement. "We do not want to disappoint fans who have long anticipated the conclusion of this extraordinary journey."
That journey will end with the final Harry Potter movie appearing in 3D, purportedly shot that way (like Avatar) rather than converted after the fact.
You won't have to look like one of these dudes when watching the new Harry Potter flick.
Having trouble playing Blu-ray flicks from Universal and Warner Brothers on your Samsung player? If it's any consolation, so are scores of other users.
Here's the deal. Something funky in Samsung's latest firmware -- version 2.09 -- for its line of BD-Px600 Blu-ray players is preventing the unit from playing movies like "The Hangover" and "The Book of Eli," two must-see movies, by the way, in case you haven't watched them already.
As is predictably the case, the SNAFU deals with copy protection, and once again, it's the paying consumer who pays the price. While software pirates are merrily clogging up their ISP's pipes downloading movies from BitTorrent sites, several Samsung Blu-ray player owners are forced to sit back and wait for a fix. The good news is a fix is on the way, but not until September, the company said.
Does that mean early September or closer to the end? Nobody knows. Samsung BD-Px600 owners may be able to watch their legally purchased/rented Blu-ray movies next week, or maybe several weeks from now. And if we sound particularly critical about the whole situation, consider that this isn't the first time something like this has happened. Earlier this year, Samsung BD-UP5000 and BD-P1400 Blu-ray players coughed up a hairball when owners tried to watch "Avatar" on Blu-ray. Samsung did fix the issue, but is this really the future of HD movies on the home front?
As Netflix continues to steamroll the competition and plow into everyone's living room, Blockbuster could use a victory. Well, the struggling movie rental firm got one, and we're not talking about the moral variety, either. In a deal that has eluded both Netflix and Redbox, Warner Bros. has agreed to make new titles available immediately in Blockbuster's stores, mail, and on-demand.
"Warner Bros. and Blockbuster have enjoyed a cooperative and successful relationship for more than 25 years," Warner Home Video president Ron Sanders said in a statement. "The updated agreement will continue to provide Blockbuster customers with access to Warner Bros. titles the same day they are released."
That can't sit well with Netflix, who isn't allowed to ship new Warner Bros. flicks until 28 days after release. But it's great for Blockbuster, who last week warned for the second time in a year that filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is a possibility.
The new deal gives Blockbuster a four week advantage over Netflix, starting with The Blindside, which was released earlier this week.
Everyone assumed the high definition format war was over after movie studios abruptly bailed on the HD-DVD format seemingly over night, but could it be just beginning? China certainly hopes so, whose China Blue HD (CBHD) just received a shot in the arm from Warner Brother's announcement that it plans to support the format with several films in the first half of 2009.
Like HD-DVD, CBHD players and media are comparatively inexpensive next to Blu-ray. According to the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center (OMNERC), who jointly produced the CBHD format with the DVD Forum, converting an existing DVD production line to CBHD costs just $800,000, significantly lower than the $3 million it takes to switch to Blu-ray. Add low licensing fees to the mix and you have a format that's easier on the wallet for Chinese customers than Blu-ray.
Studios appeared uninterested in backing the CBHD format when the group tried to promot itself in the fall of 2008. With Warner Brothers jumping on board, it will be interesting to see if other studios follow suit, especially since a pricing advantage wasn't enough to keep HD-DVD afloat. And with the announcement of a new Blu-ray licensing firm, which is expected to result in lower priced players and media by mid-year, CBHD's window of opportunity might be closing fast.