View Full Version : For DVD lovers (and, uh, haters)...

E.G. Gammon
08-31-2005, 12:32 PM
I don't know about everyone else, but my favorite thing to do - when I'm not writing - is collecting and watching DVDs (I've really gotten into those TV-DVD Box Sets). I'm starting a website where I list consumers' DVD peeves - the things about them that annoy us - in hopes of one day, making the DVD industry better. I was wondering if any of you are DVD lovers (or haters) and what kind of things about DVDs, bug you?

To get the thread going, here are some things that bug me:

-Unprotected Cardboard Slipcases (like the movie The Day After Tomorrow, where the DVD itself is covered in plastic but the cardboard slipcase covering that, is unprotected. I had to shuffle through the shelves to find one where the slipcase wasn't all bent up or to find one that had the slipcase in the first place because people actually take them off)

-Security Stickers that Damage the Packaging Upon Removal (Some DVD companies pick horrible places to put those wrap around sticker things and the little black security buttons, and I've pulled off part of the case sometimes after removing the darn things. I swear, sometimes I think they are put on with super-glue. Those stickers are a huge hassle especially in those big box sets)

-DVDs that Lack Special Features (I can't stand to buy a DVD of a movie that you know is popular enough to create a couple special features from, but it ends up being released without any. OH, I also hate it when they say the DVD has special features and the only thing listed is an Interactive Menu, Subtitles, and Scene Selection. Those aren't special features!)

Hopefully this will get the thread going! And if you want, include some examples of the things that bug you. I could add those to the website, too! And if you know of any DVDs or DVD Sets with more faults than positive things, I want to know what they are because I want to add some kind of review section on the site when it opens.

08-31-2005, 02:59 PM
I hate those black bands at the top and the bottom. Formatted to fit whose screen? Not mine. All I have is my monitor and it's small enough as it is - it's like watching a movie through a bloody gunslit in a palisade. Grrr.

08-31-2005, 03:14 PM
I don't know about everyone else, but my favorite thing to do - when I'm not writing - is collecting and watching DVDs (I've really gotten into those TV-DVD Box Sets).

That's how I watch most TV shows. It's a great way to do it--no commercials, and you can watch a season at your own pace.

I was wondering if any of you are DVD lovers (or haters) and what kind of things about DVDs, bug you?

All the stuff you have to watch when you first load a DVD. Why can't we skip it?

-Security Stickers that Damage the Packaging Upon Removal
Ugh. I hate this too. Even if they don't damage the packaging, they can be hell to remove.

Unique: Sometimes you can buy the full screen version of the movie. Then you won't have those black bands.

08-31-2005, 05:56 PM
DVD cases that don't hold the DVDs securely inside. How many times you open a case and find the DVD has been slogging around, being scratched up by the "knob" thing that's supposed to hold it in place?

Macrovision. I understand the whole copyright thing. But dammit, let me make a backup copy for my own use... (and if they don't make DVD so easily scratchable, sometimes by the DVD machine itself!) The ability to backup CDs doesn't seem to hurt the music industry (in fact, I'd argue it helps the industry because it puts trust into its audience).

OH yeah, the previews and advertisement crap we have to sit through at the beginning. Disney is notorious about that -- I started to boycott their DVDs. If a child wants to see Tarzan (NOW!), he's not going to sit through 10 minutes of crap at the beginning every time!

DVD with crappy sounds and image quality. Like, what's the point? It's cheaper to get a VHS tape.

Packaging that's hard to open. Then they sell you these "package opener" thingies. What a rip-off.

DVDs with stupid add-ons. Commentary is fine. Special features are fine. But I don't really care to watch 3 different theatrical trailers, especially if that's the ONLY bonus features on the disc.

08-31-2005, 07:19 PM
Unique, that is called WideScreen. It shows the entire movie. If you don't want the black bars then get Full Screen. However, it will then be pan and scan because your TV is square and a movie screen is rectangle.

My thing with DVD's is having to push a million buttons just to get to the movie. Not just the ads you can't skip, those suck too, but putting the movie in, getting menu 1, pressing play movie and getting menu 2! what is up with that? I want to see the movie!! Or Show or Music. Why can't they make it so the movie starts quickly and have it so if you want the special option menu to choose menu. UGH.

09-01-2005, 05:22 AM
My biggest peeve is the cardboard cases. I mean, geez, you spend uber-millions of dollars making, promoting and producing the movie & DVD, but you cheap out on the case? Gimme something in plastic that (1) will close securely and (2) gives marginal protection to the DVD. I don't shell out my money for the case to tear up and then scratch the DVD.

NOT being able to find a widescreen version of a movie. It must be just where I'm buying my movies, but it seems there are about 12,000 more copies of the full screen than widescreen. I have to dig through the entire display to find a widescreen copy.

My last one isn't really a peeve - E. G. mentioned movies with no special features. I don't mind buying an older movie that I really love with no features. What I really hate is when it's a newer movie and they actually advertise on TV that it's got all these great special features only to find that they're only accessible using the disc's DVD-ROM features, and my computer won't play most of them. Grr.


E.G. Gammon
09-01-2005, 06:29 AM
Those are some great ones! I have most of those on my huge list already, because I've been researching this - searching internet sites and message boards up and down, left and right - since November 5, 2004, but I'm glad to see that those peeves seem to be ones many people share. The more people who have the peeve, the more the peeve will get noticed and hopefully explained or fixed by DVD companies.

Like WVWriterGirl, I also hate DVD-ROM only content! Not everyone has a computer, let alone a DVD-ROM. I mentioned The Day After Tomorrow up there in my original post, and I believe that film's DVD also has a great deal of DVD-ROM only content.

And Ray mentioned DVD cases that don't hold the DVDs in there properly, which could lead to damaging scratches. I especially hate this, because a great percentage of my DVD collection is made up of multi-disc sets (TV Show/Movie Box Sets, which each cost - on average - 10 bucks per disc, and one of my sets has 9) so if the packaging is faulty, and you scratch a disc, replacing it can be pretty pricy. I have many peeves regarding 'packaging.'

09-01-2005, 08:41 PM
How about movies that come out on DVD, you buy them, and a mere 3 months later they come out with a new version with more or different special features? What, they think I'm going to buy it again?

Unnecessarily complex jewelcases. I can't be the only person to take five full minutes to realize you have to slide the little clear tab a quarter inch, or press the black tabs at top and bottom, before the freaking box will open. (Even more fun if I've already dimmed the lights for ideal movie viewing.)

The center hub or whatever it's called refusing to flex enough to actually release the DVD it's holding so securely. If I have to bend the DVD to free it, that can't be good.

The 2-sided DVD with full-screen on one side and wide-screen on the other--and the lettering differentiating the two so small that even teenagers can't make it out without a good light and sometimes the magnifying glass.

The occasional DVD label that faces the opposite direction of all the others. Hello, have you people actually seen the competition?

Maryn, who loves her DVDs nevertheless

09-01-2005, 08:47 PM
Unskippable Copyright and logo screens. Maddening!

09-01-2005, 08:54 PM
I. Can't. Stand...the previews and such you have to watch. I hated this on VHS tapes, too. It's obnoxious--I didn't pay for 'em and I don't want 'em. Different companies approach this in different ways. Some actually let you skip previews and go right to the main menu. As Ray said, Disney doesn't. Universal (I think) is attaching a montage of other movies currently available at the beginning of the actual movie--you can avoid the previews, but not this (unless you go to scene selection instead of play movie, then select the first scene). Good Times Entertainment is even worse than Disney. There is no way through the previews; you can't even fast forward through them. Yuk.

Rob :)

09-01-2005, 10:18 PM
DVD commentaries that add NOTHING to the appreciation or understanding of the movie. Just bunch of actors or producers giggling in the background about how clever they are, or how they fool the audience. Sure, thank you for duping us.

Wide Screen movies that don't fill the whole HDTV aspect ratio. There shouldn't be black bars if I'm watching it on a wide-screen HDTV!

(this really has nothing to do with DVDs)... Subtitles that are unintelligible. I have news for you -- black on black screen or white on white screen doesn't work.

ultra-thin or ultra-thick discs that won't stay in the player... they spin out, get scratched by the machine... GRRRRR!

DVD menus that are just TOO clever... it's like a puzzle... you have to figure out where to click to get to the right menu. Worse, there are menus where the "selected" indicator is hard to read... (eh, that pink dot looks the same as the light purple dot on my TV!)

09-02-2005, 12:45 AM
Oooo Oooo I have another one.

Not having a PLAY ALL Feature for extra scenes or music videos. I hate that!

09-02-2005, 12:47 AM
Discs that have 50 scenes/chapters on them and you have to go through 10 menus to find scene 43.

09-02-2005, 01:38 AM
These are all great! I also hate obscenely high priced disks with little or no special content: can you say STAR TREK anyone?

My number one pet peeve about a specific disk has to be the special edition of STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE. This doesn't have to do with the DVD format per se, but is similar to the comment above about releasing a movie, then releasing it again. Dear Paramount: if you're going to re-release a movie in a special edition, the least you could do is MAKE THE BLOODY SPECIAL EDITION BETTER IN SOME WAY THAN THE ORIGINAL!!!!!

The new scenes on this disk have a starship Enterprise that looks like I rendered it myself at a 256 colour depth using the paint program that comes with Windows. The damn surface of the ship looks like shiny grey rubber! Bleah! What a freakin' ripoff.

I have to admit, it's funny watching the extras where the guys who totally messed the movie up are bragging about what a wonderful job they did 'enhancing' it.

09-02-2005, 01:48 AM
These are all great! I also hate obscenely high priced disks with little or no special content: can you say STAR TREK anyone?

The ST:TNG box sets contain some decent features.

09-02-2005, 09:55 PM
The ST:TNG box sets contain some decent features.How would we know, we can't afford them.

E.G. Gammon
09-02-2005, 10:40 PM
How would we know, we can't afford them.

That's true. The ST:TNG sets are very overpriced at $139.99 as the suggested retail price. Six of the seven seasons have 7 discs, while season 2 only has 6. By today's DVD standards, most of DVD sets' suggested retail price are determined with $10 per disc in mind. The SRP (suggested retail price) is DOUBLE the average price it would be if it were like most other sets... And even with Amazon.com's discount of either $111.99 or $125.99, the sets are still way overpriced.

09-02-2005, 10:54 PM
And even with Amazon.com's discount of either $111.99 or $125.99, the sets are still way overpriced.
Where I am, you can get a set for about $80 USD, according to today's exchange rate. I wonder why they're so expensive in the U.S.

E.G. Gammon
09-02-2005, 11:58 PM
Where I am, you can get a set for about $80 USD, according to today's exchange rate. I wonder why they're so expensive in the U.S.

Hmm... I don't know. I'm as curious as your cat looks in your avatar... I'll have to do a little research. I follow Region 1 releases (North America) and I'm not that educated on releases beyond that.

Mike Coombes
09-03-2005, 03:47 AM
I can live with most of those peeves.

My biggie - Classic old films which have made their money 1,000 times over, only to come out on DVD at a premium price - often higher than 'top ten' movies, which are usually discounted. Turns out I have to pay 50-100% more for a film made in 1940 than I do for a current one.

09-03-2005, 12:13 PM
I can cope without extras as long as they are cheap films. Often there's a choice, like I bought Gattaca for 5, a basic version, but my friend spent a few ponds more and got an extra features disc, so it's nice to have the option.

What I hate is when the DVDs are so tightly packed in the 'hub' than even when you hold it down and try and lever it out at the same time, it still bands the disc a little.

I suppose my biggest peeve is the fact I'm obsessed with buying DVDs, and if I order early in the morning, Amazon can have my discs with me the next day, and I also live near a Virgin outlet store, and can get things at amazing prices....if I ever declare bankruptcy it'll be all the DVDs fault!

E.G. Gammon
09-04-2005, 10:22 AM
Well, it seems like this thread is pretty much dying. Hopefully more peeves will come in, but I'm going to take your suggestions (some I didn't have before) and add them to my long list, and get the website finished. I'm hoping to have it all completed and posted by Tuesday (day after labor day) - to coincide with the highest anticipated release of the year: Lost - Season 1. The website will be at DVDPeeves.com (obviously) so, keep sending in peeves, and once you see the website, you'll get a better sense of what I'm trying to accomplish and what I am looking for from DVD consumers, to add to the website.

It also seems like some "peeves" have two very understandable point of views, and I may start a special feature in which I debate the "problem," listing the pros and cons... Like double sided discs or widescreen/fullscreen to name a few.

By the way, a DVD peeve not mentioned above - one that will be included on the website - is stores that sell DVDs before their release dates. And because of a very recent experience, I plan to make this peeve a HUGE deal. I can't talk about what I mean right now, but it will all be explained when the website debuts.

Thanks everyone!

E.G. Gammon
09-04-2005, 06:46 PM
Okay, I don't know if my experiences have to actually do with what you were looking for, but I just have to share. I'm a major movie & DVD freak, so this is long-winded:Lecture:

I hate:

1. On the commentary track: obnoxious actors/actresses, who can't do much more than yell or groan something completely illogical and stupid whenever they are on screen.
Example one: Keira Knightley on the "Pirates of the Caribbean" DVD commentary. That girl is a brat, who doesn't even let her fellow actor speak. I haven't been able to finish the commentary she's on, because her snotty screaming and talking on top of her fellow actor annoys me so much.
Example two: Christian Slater on the "Robin Hood -Prince of Thieves" commentary track. Pretty much all he says is: "Ahh, there he is, look at him!" or "All angry, now there's one angry young man!". "He", referring to his character, of course.
When I watch a commentary, I want inside information about the filmmaking process and the actors' working routines, and maybe even funny anecdotes. But not mindless blabber ("Oh, I look so awful there!"/"Look at my wig!"/"And there it is, my big moment!") or loud retelling of the story (I can see what happens, thank you very much).

2. Over-talkative (screen) writers on commentary tracks. I have several DVDs where the writers completely lose it and start talking weird, pseudo-psychological babble about the world (as they see it) and whatnot, instead of following what is going on on the screen and commenting on that. Annoys the peas out of me, especially if there is only one commentary track on a DVD that I really love. I'm not interested in their world view, I want inside info on that particular movie and the making of it.

3. Silly filmmakers/DVD makers who feature the goodlooking twits on the extras and commentary, instead of the really talented, if not so famous/hunky/etc., actors. My recent annoyance is from the same "Robin Hood" DVD (because I just bought it). In the Behind the Scenes feature, they passed the BRILLIANT baddie Alan Rickman with just a few senteces and gushed over...Kevin Costner:Wha:
I rest my case.

4. When I click on a Menu, a long animation before I actually get what I was after. Harry Potter DVDs are some of the worst in this aspect. I click to subtitles, and have to endure a long owl hoot/whatever and a background animation/whatever before I get the language list.

Phewwww....that felt good! :banana:

Yep, that's just the kind of stuff I'm looking for. Thanks for being so specific. The more detailed the better.

On the website, there will be a page called "The Peeves" where I will have a long list of the peeves and when you click them, you will be taken to a page that details the peeve, explain why it annoys us and list examples.

Here are a few I have on my growing list to give you more of an idea of what I would like. (I have plenty more where these came from and they all range from MAJOR peeves to the obsessive nitpicks):

-Re-Edits of TV Show Episodes, Eliminating Before-Commercial Transitions

-Releasing Syndicated Versions of TV Show Episodes
(The Cosby Show Season 1, Roseanne Season 1)

-Unfinished TV Show Releases
(Boomtown, Mad About You)

-Post-Release of Individual TV Show Sets, Releasing a Special "Complete" Set
(Sex and the City, & most recently: Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

-Lack of Bonus Material
(I could probably list hundreds here)

-Security Stickers That Damage Packaging Upon Removal
(No real examples, just a peeve)

-Incomplete Box(ed) Sets
(The Chucky Collection, The Harry Potter Box(ed) Set)

-Nonuniformity or Drastic Change in Format/Style of Release
(The O.C., Alias)

-Multiple Cover Designs of the Same DVD/DVD Set
(fat actress, Sin City)

-Unprotected, Cardboard Slipcases
(The Day After Tomorrow, Hide and Seek, Dawn of the Dead)

-Stores Releasing DVDs Before Their Release Date
(I'll give an example of this when I release the site)

09-04-2005, 08:30 PM
If you use any of the posters' suggestions, make sure you give them proper credits.

E.G. Gammon
09-04-2005, 11:34 PM
If you use any of the posters' suggestions, make sure you give them proper credits.

I didn't make this clear with my initial post but one of the site's main goals is to get consumers' voices heard, and I'd have to be pretty arrogant, not to include the names of the people who sent in the examples. On each "peeve" page, there will be the "description," "reason it's a peeve," and "examples" and I fully planned to post a credit line under each example, providing the person's name (if they want me to print it) or username and any other information they want to provide, including their company, title or position, age, city, or state. Because the website has been in development since November of last year, I have carefully made sure everything is perfect and that credit is given where credit is deserved. I was going to PM those person(s) who provided examples and peeves I didn't have and ask them about their credit line during the weekend, but got sidetracked with my Stories of Strength submission. So, thanks for reminding me.

09-11-2005, 02:42 AM
The fact that childrens' DVDs have more pre-movie ads than those made for adults. I don't have any children (except dog children) but have a few movies that are good for "It's 3:30 a.m. and I can't sleep or think"; such as Monsters, Inc. or Chicken Run.**

** Not that I am saying that these are guilty of the offending ads, it's just they are the only ones that I can think of right now**

:flag:Time to go drink some more caffine now I'm apologizing for my dislikes.