tobyaw: (Frogmarch 2002 - Whitby)
This afternoon I watched Disney’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) with Beth and [livejournal.com profile] kateaw. It looks pretty good in HD on a big TV. I don’t think I’d seen it since a childhood cinema visit; I recall seeing various Disney animated films as rereleases in the late 1970s. Beth hadn’t seen it before either, although the 1990s live-action film 101 Dalmatians is one of her favourites, so she was familiar with the broad strokes of the story.

The film dates from a time when making animation was very expensive; as a result it has a concise running time of 79 minutes, and one feels that everything that appears on screen has been designed and animated with both deliberation and quality. At the same time the script feels gently witty, the action is exciting, and the couple of songs integrate well within the plot.

This is a Disney film that has no singing, dancing, inanimate objects. Which is good.

Of course it misses subplots and subtleties of the original novel, but it works within its own bounds, and will bear rewatching. This is an attribute we appreciate, as I expect it will be added to Beth’s roster of frequently watched films.

There is a joy in watching a film with an eight-year-old who is absorbed by it. She echoed the emotional journey of the film; there is real pleasure in seeing and feeling excitement, happiness, shock, sadness, and laughter expressed by the person sitting next to you. Once you have a high-definition screen and digital surround sound, I recommend your next home cinema upgrade be an enthusiastic child to watch films with.

I bought the film from iTunes in a two-for-one deal with The Lion King. I haven’t seen that yet, but Beth and Kate watched it a few weeks ago, and since then Beth has watched it multiple times. Using a cost-per-view metric, it was pretty good value.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 05:56pm on 03/11/2012 under , , , ,
I enjoy watching films. Over the years I’ve bought more than my fair share of video tapes, laser discs, DVDs, and Blu-rays. But the days of physical media are over for me. I’m now happy to exist in a world of Netflix and iTunes, where I can stream or download films to my various devices, and without shelves full of dusty boxes.

Now that iTunes allows purchased films to be re-downloaded as desired, it seems like a practical way to buy films. The immediacy of downloaded content beats mail-ordering discs, and to my eyes the 1080p downloads compare reasonably with 1080p from a Blu-ray.

In practical terms, we have nine or ten devices in the house that can play Netflix or iTunes media, compared to the single Blu-ray player connected to the TV. This is particularly useful when Beth develops cinematic obsessions. (How many times can an eight-year-old watch The Lion King in a weekend? How many times do we want to watch it?)

But more importantly, I have developed an intolerance for the preambles and introductory material that pervades films on physical media. Why on earth would I want to watch adverts, trailers, copyright warnings, menu loading screens, or, for that matter, use menus that look like 1990s multimedia presentations? When I want to watch a film, I want to get the film as quickly and painlessly as possible, without hassle or interruption.

We wouldn’t tolerate record companies putting guff like that at the start of CDs, so why do we put up with it with films?
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 08:03pm on 09/09/2010 under , ,
I noticed that the iTunes store has the first ten-minute episode of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Motion Comic. Looks interesting. The animation style is like the comic come to life, but at times seems a little frenetic. The voices aren’t by the original cast, but aren’t bad.

As an experience I find it more pleasant than trying to read a comic book. I find comics rather frustrating; if I read at my normal pace I tend to read the words and ignore the artwork, but if I spend my time looking at the artwork I get bored with the whole process. One can’t accuse the “motion comic” of a slow pace.

They promise a new episode every week. I’ll look forward to episode two.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 08:03pm on 09/09/2010 under , ,
I noticed that the iTunes store has the first ten-minute episode of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Motion Comic. Looks interesting. The animation style is like the comic come to life, but at times seems a little frenetic. The voices aren’t by the original cast, but aren’t bad.

As an experience I find it more pleasant than trying to read a comic book. I find comics rather frustrating; if I read at my normal pace I tend to read the words and ignore the artwork, but if I spend my time looking at the artwork I get bored with the whole process. One can’t accuse the “motion comic” of a slow pace.

They promise a new episode every week. I’ll look forward to episode two.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 07:00pm on 02/09/2010 under ,
The latest version of iTunes includes a social network called Ping. I guess it will be a bit like Spotify’s people list. Despite the Ping welcome email saying that one can find friends using a Facebook connection, that functionality doesn’t appear to be enabled. Anyway, if you want to connect with me on Ping, you can find me by searching for “Toby Atkin-Wright” in the people search.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 07:00pm on 02/09/2010 under ,
The latest version of iTunes includes a social network called Ping. I guess it will be a bit like Spotify’s people list. Despite the Ping welcome email saying that one can find friends using a Facebook connection, that functionality doesn’t appear to be enabled. Anyway, if you want to connect with me on Ping, you can find me by searching for “Toby Atkin-Wright” in the people search.
location: St Andrews, Scotland

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