Wednesday, October 22, 2003

You're missing 45% of the movie, you fools!

In case you didn't get enough of me bitching about DVDs over in Get on with Your Nightlife yesterday, here's some more...

When I watched 28 Days Later last night, I was disappointed to find that I had rented the full-screen/pan-and-scan version instead of the widescreen/letterboxed version. To prevent such a travesty from occurring again, when I returned the movie today, I asked Blockbuster to add a warning to my account specifying "please ensure that customer is renting widescreen DVDs, not full-screen." This way, whenever someone there scans my membership card, a little flashing message will come up with my account.

I rented The Italian Job, went home, and popped in the movie. I was greeted with the message that it had been "formatted to fit your screen." Exasperated, I immediately returned the movie to the store.

I talked to the same woman who had checked the disc out to me earlier and explained the problem. I was annoyed, but I was not rude. Her first response, however, was that "The Italian Job" only comes in full-screen. I know that is false. I said that Blockbuster may only carry  the full-screen version, but it does indeed come in widescreen. She looked in the computer, and unfortunately, that was the case. That store only carries the full-screen version.

Worse than attempting to blow me off with her first response, though, the woman next tried to tell me that it was my  fault that I'd rented the wrong version. She said that I could have looked just as well as she. That, however, is beside the point, as I specifically asked for Blockbuster to do that checking for me.

Furthermore, the fact that the movie was presented in full-screen was not  indicated on the rental case. I had no way of knowing that it was not the version I wanted. In fact, I did  check, but since there was no marking as such, I believed that (as with many movies) both versions were included on the same disc.

The fact that a specific request I made to a Blockbuster employee was ignored moments after I made it, disappoints me. The fact that I was then blamed by that employee for her own negligence disgusts me.

Beyond that, I am tired of the stupidy of Blockbuster in only carrying full-screen versions of movies. Supposedly they've since changed their position, but it's obvious that they have not. When I bought my DVD player several years ago, I did so because all movies were conviently offered in widescreen. Now I'm having trouble getting that format at the nation's largest video rental outlet.

If you are one of the misguided people who complains about the black bars on your screen, go to The Letterbox and Widescreen Advocacy Page to learn why you are an idiot. I don't have the patience to explain it again.

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