High-definition is not a new thing. It’s been around for a few years now. But I hate it. I think it’s stupid. It’s awful, and it’s making me feel old and crabby. And here is why.
What I hate most about hi-def (and its counterpart, Blu-Ray) is all the old stuff that being converted into this format. Unless it’s a special effects extravaganza, there is no need to put it into hi-def. I watched Cool Hand Luke on Blu-Ray with my brother recently. You know what, it made NO DIFFERENCE. It looked like a waste of money. My movie-watching experience was not enhanced.
I’m fine with clear audio and image when watching certain things, but sometimes if the picture is too clear, it un-suspends my disbelief too much and then I just get bitter. Like watching the original Star Trek in hi-def. Look, we all KNOW William Shatner was wearing a weave and that the doors to the bridge were just painted plywood, but when you have to SEE it in every episode because you can’t not see it thanks to hi-def, it just becomes sad and a little infuriating.
I’m not saying this as a way of saying I’m against film preservation or remastering, because that’s not exactly true. If a film can be restored to something close to its original state, then I’m fine with that. But do we really need all these alarmingly crisp, clear versions of, oh, Easy Rider? Night of the Living Dead? No. We do not. And if we do, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore. Every film does not need to be so crystal clear that your eyes want to retreat into the back of your skull because they just cannot handle the crisp beauty of it all.
Some films and programs look and feel so much better when they’re a little rough around the edges. DVD even pushes the limit to this sometimes. I’m still sad that VHS is officially dead. And film as a format is all but gone as we rush headlong and blind into the digital age and we entrust our cinematic heritage not to people but to machines. I’m concerned that we’re handing over the craft to something soulless, and willingly so, blissfully so. We’re all too happy to go digital, and then season it to look vintage, but ultimately it still lacks warmth.
I got off track here. I guess my point is this: why does this household contain a copy of The Help on fucking Blu-Ray? WHAT IS THE GODDAMN POINT OF THAT.