Monday, June 20, 2005

DVD Triviata 

This has nothing to do with politics or religion, but it's a big pet peeve of mine, and I'd like to hear if other consumers are as annoyed by it. I'm talking about the bizarre need DVD manufacturers feel to put not one, but three pieces of impossible to remove sticky tape on the packages, top, side and bottom. And this is inside of the shrink wrap that never seems to have a findable "tear here to open" bit.

You know what, guys? If someone wants to steal the damn DVD, they're going to do it, tape be damned. I've read online how to remove a DVD from one of those rental-locked cases in thirty seconds with a safety pin -- and don't worry, it wasn't to steal a DVD. It was because I'd bought a used DVD from a rental store, and they forgot to remove the yellow locking pin.

Anyway, there's a type of DVD case that has one or two locking flaps on the side and, when shrink wrapped, they're impossible to open -- but once you've got the DVD at home, flip flip, it's simple. I've ruined more packages trying to get the tape off. It's not so bad now that most companies have switched over to the hard plastic Amarays (thank you, Warner Bros., for mostly killing that stupid damn cardboard flipper/snapper), but there's nothing worse then pulling the tape only to find out that it's stuck to part of the insert under the plastic, and takes a chunk off with it. (It was worse with the snapper. I have a couple of DVDs in my 400+ collection with big strips of cover art missing because of the damn tape.)

Okay, I rant. But I don't think the DVD manufacturers have a clue about this, and I'm sure it would save them precious pennies in the packagaing process to not have to slap the tape on three sides. Honest people aren't going to steal the damn things; thieves will look at the "security device enclosed" and the tape, and just laugh.

I bring this all up because I decided to watch Private Parts tonight. It's one of those movies I bought because I'd seen it in theatres and liked it, but had never opened it because every time I thought about watching it, I looked at the tape on the package and went, "Eh, why bother." I finally gave in tonight.

But the first few minutes of the movie reminded me that it did kickstart the careers of two great actors: Paul Giamatti and Allison Janney. True, both of them had a number of film roles before this movie, but both of them shined and managed to keep up with if not upstage the King of All Media in his anticipated film debut at the height of his glory. These are two performances that are right on the nose, Giamatti's uptight, explosive "Pig Vomit" and Janney's chain-smoking, prissy Dee Dee, two producers who just didn't get Stern. The casting directors were bang on.

I just wish the DVD manufacturers were half as smart.

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