Streaming services offer instant gratification, if you have decent broadband and a good home network. Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and YouTube are examples of services that stream content on demand over the Internet. You pay for the first three, and they offer a good selection of commercial movies and TV shows. YouTube is free, and its video clips tend to be shorter and of a different ilk.
I think it depends on how they label and sell 4K. For example if you buy an SD version of a movie, you have to buy it again in HD if you want it. On the other hand, all HD purchases were upgraded from 720p to 1080p when the HD resolution was change in iTunes.
I recently bought a 4K TV on black Friday so, yes, it does matter to me. Is hard to switch back to 1080p after watching those gorgeous graphics in movies and tv series. My smart TV has youtube and netflix, both support and broadcast content in 4K, a beautiful thing; even another reason to skip Apple TV 4th gen. I will settle with my 3rd gen until then. I guess Apple loves to crash into parties very late.
It turns out that the new HD-DVD players that output at 1080p retail for around $400 (and up) and can be found on sale for about $300. Not bad, but much closer to the Blu-Ray price range. The least expensive stand-alone Blu-Ray players list for $500 but can be found at $350. The "support" packages are similar: 5 free discs by mail with one or two in the box with the player. So price-wise, it's almost a toss-up. But Sony has an ace in the hole: PS3.
When PlayStation 3 was initially released a year ago, it was widely booed. The unit was prone to glitches, there weren't enough games, and the price was exorbitant. A year later, many of the bugs have been worked out, the price has been driven down, and the number of game titles is on the rise. Every PS3 unit has a perfectly functioning Blu-Ray player with 1080p output via HDMI. And it's only $400 (with one disc in the box and the five freebies). So, for only $50 more than the cheapest stand-alone Blu-Ray player or $100 more than the 1080p HD-DVD player, I can get a complete gaming system... I'm not the world's biggest gamer, but I do occasionally use computer and video games for recreational purposes, and this deal is a little too good to pass up, all things considered.
The following titles are being released on Tuesday, Dec. 20, unless otherwise noted:The Banshees of Inisherin (Blu-ray)Details: 2022, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution-Buena Vista Home EntertainmentRated: R, violent content, language, brief graphic nudityThe lowdown: The lifelong friendship between two men living on the island of Inisherin off the coast of Ireland ends abruptly, leading to pain, recriminations, violence and darker tragedy.Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson reteam with their \u201CIn Bruges\u201D writer-director Martin McDonagh (\u201CThree Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri\u201D) for this dark story with comic overtones about the events that follow after Colm (Gleeson) abruptly ends his association with P\u00E1draic (Farrell) without any explanation.P\u00E1draic is befuddled, lost and hurt, looking for an explanation for Colm\u2019s decision. The more he pesters Colm, the more violent consequences ensue.The movie is a memorable meditation on mortality that offers no easy answers nor solutions.The film, which earned an impressive 97 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, features strong supporting performances by Barry Keoghan as a young friend of P\u00E1draic\u2019s and Kerry Condon as P\u00E1draic\u2019s sister, Siobh\u00E1n.Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 2.39:1 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 descriptive audio track; English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.Don\u2019t miss: Bonus content includes a creating the movie featurette and deleted scenes.House of the Dragon: The Complete First Season: Limited Edition Collectible Steelbook (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + digital)Details: 2022, Warner Bros. Home EntertainmentNot rated: violence, sexual content, nudityThe lowdown: This prequel to \u201CGame of Thrones\u201D is set 200 years before the events in that series.The focus is on the reign of House Targaryen, which is ruling the Seven Kingdoms. Even so, there is unrest as a civil war is brewing within its own house.Matters only accelerate when King Viserys (Paddy Considine) seemingly upends tradition by proclaiming his daughter, Rhaenyra (Emma D\u2019Arcy), his heir.Events change when the widowed Viserys marries Rhaenyra\u2019s best friend, Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), and bears Viserys a son.Besides the usual violence, the 10-episode series is loaded with intrigue, most perpetrated by Alicent\u2019s father, Otto Hightower, who is Hand of the King, and is plotting to usurp Rhaenyra and place Alicent\u2019s son on the Iron Throne.The cast also includes Matt Smith (\u201CThe Crown\u201D) as Prince Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother of Viserys, uncle to Rhaenyra and her future husband.There\u2019s a lot to digest in the first season of this series. But you have plenty of time to review it all, since the second season reportedly won\u2019t be airing until sometime in 2024.Technical aspects: 4K: 2160p ultra high definition, 2.00:1 widescreen picture; English Dolby Atmos-TrueHD and French, German and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English and German SDH and French and Spanish subtitles; Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 200:1 widescreen picture; English Dolby Atmos-TrueHD and French, German and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital; English and German SDH; French and Spanish subtitles.Don\u2019t miss: Bonus materials include \u201CWelcome to Westeros,\u201D \u201CReturning to the Seven Kingdoms,\u201D \u201CA New Reign,\u201D \u201CReturning to Westeros\u201D and \u201CHeight of the Empire\u201D featurettes; a \u201CBefore the Dance: An Illustrated History with George R.R. Martin\u201D featurette; a look at the various noble houses and familiar locations; and an introduction to all the major characters.Call Jane (Blu-ray + digital)Release date: Dec. 13Details: 2022, Lionsgate Home EntertainmentRated: R, language, brief drug useThe lowdown: Considering the Supreme Court decision of a few months ago, this movie \u2014 directed by Phyllis Nagy, who received an Academy Award nomination for her screenplay adaptation of \u201CCarol\u201D \u2014 could not be more timely.The movie set in 1968 in Chicago, centers on Joy (Elizabeth Banks), a suburban housewife living the all-American dream with her husband and daughter.Her idyllic world is shattered when her life-threatening pregnancy forces her to go outside an unresponsive medical establishment for help.Joy is steered toward the \u201CJanes,\u201D an underground network providing the only available alternative to pregnant women in distress.The group is led by Virginia (Sigourney Weaver) and Gwen (Wunni Mosaku), who not only help save Joy\u2019s life, but change it in a most profound way.Joy is so inspired by Virginia and Gwen\u2019s commitment that she joins their movement to help others as she was aided.The movie takes some dramatic licenses and is not as compelling as the documentary, \u201CThe Janes.\u201D Still, it is a positive experience that earned an 82 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.85:1 (16x9 enhanced) widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH and Spanish subtitles.Don\u2019t miss: Extras include deleted scenes, a making of featurette and a commentary track.\u201CCinema\u2019s First Nasty Women\u201D (Blu-ray)Details: 1898-1926, Kino ClassicsRated: Not ratedThe lowdown: This four-disc set examines the impact of women filmmakers and performers in the early, silent years of the industry.The set features 99 movies from around the world. The movies cover a variety of genre, including comedy, farce, Westerns, melodramas and adventure thrillers.More importantly, they also look at feminist protest, slapstick rebellion and suggestive gender play as women in these movies organize labor strikes, explode out of chimneys, electrocute a police force and assume various identities.The films come from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Denmark and Sweden. Many of the movies dismantle traditional gender norms and sexual constraints.This is 875-minute set is one that fans of early cinema will embrace and use as an educational resource as well as for entertainment.Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English, French and Spanish subtitles.Don\u2019t miss: Bonus materials include video introductions from the curators of this series, 11 more introductions to movies and performers, commentaries on selected films and a 116-page booklet with essays, interviews, photos and detailed film notes.The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray)Details: 1974, Kino Lorber Studio ClassicsRated: R, violence, languageThe lowdown: Walter Matthau heads the cast of this thriller in which four men \u2014 Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo and Earl Hindman \u2014 hijack a New York City subway train, threatening to kill one hostage per minute unless their demands for ransom are met.Matthau portrays transit chief Lt. Garber, who must use his wits to outmaneuver Shaw\u2019s Mr. Blue, leader of the gang. The cast also includes Jerry Stiller, James Broderick, Julius Harris and Dick O\u2019Neill.The movie, directed by Joseph Sargent, is a suspenseful and exciting feature that keeps you engrossed to the final frame of film. The film received an impressive 100 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.Technical aspects: 4K: 2160p ultra high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English SDH subtitles; Blu-ray: 1080p high definition, 2.35:1 widescreen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English SDH subtitles.Don\u2019t miss: Supplemental options include two commentary tracks, a vintage making of featurette, interviews with Elizondo, film editor Gerald B. Greenberg and composer David Shire.The Loneliest Boy in the World (Blu-ray)Details: 2022, Well Go USA EntertainmentRated: R, violent content, languageThe lowdown: Once upon a time, a sheltered loner named Oliver is tasked with making new friends after the unexpected and devastating death of his mother.The unsocialized Oliver decides that literally digging up a few people would be his best move.When he awakens the next day, he finds that his newly acquired friends have mysteriously come to life overnight.This predicament launches living and living dead into a series of misadventures as they try to keep their secret from neighbors, bullies, classmates and social workers.The film is satiric and charming, with dark humor that will amuse viewers.Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 16:9 widescreen picture; English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English SDH subtitles.Don\u2019t miss: A behind-the-scenes featurette is the main extra.Maigret: Season One (Blu-ray)Details: 1960-61, Kino LorberRated: Not ratedThe lowdown: Rupert Davies stars as Georges Simenon\u2019s famous French detective in this three-disc set that features 13 episodes highlighting Commissaire Jules Maigret\u2019s investigative panache.Davies\u2019 performance was praised by Simenon, who called him \u201Cthe perfect Maigret.\u201DDuring this first season of this BBC series, Maigret follows clues to solve murders and other felonies.Though shot mainly in studio, several exteriors were shot in Paris, adding to the show\u2019s authenticity.Most of the episodes were based on Simenon\u2019s novels or short stories.Technical aspects: 1080p high definition, 1.33:1 full-screen picture; English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio monaural; English SDH subtitles.The Last Bookshop of the World (DVD)Details: 2017, IndiePix FilmsRated: Not ratedThe lowdown: Four Europeans from different cultures and fields of art begin a journey to find a remote place to establish the world\u2019s last bookshop.Along the way, they discuss the power of literature and reveal how certain classics have profoundly changed them.The documentary-drama hybrid highlights the almost-lost purpose of books and asks important questions about reading and its importance to individuals and civilization as a whole.Technical aspects: 16:9 widescreen picture; Spanish, French, German and Finnish 2.0 Dolby digital; English subtitles.Other titles being released on Tuesday, unless otherwise indicated:The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales (DVD & VOD) (Fork Films)Paradise City (Blu-ray + digital & DVD) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)T\u00E1r (Blu-ray & DVD & digital) (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, STREAMING or VODBrainwashed (Kino Lorber)Maigret: Season 1 (Kino Lorber)The Super 8 Years (Amazon-Kino Now)Welcome to Chippendales: Episode 6 (Hulu)DEC. 21Echo 3: Episode 7 (Apple TV+)Emily in Paris: Season 3 (www.netflix.com/emilyinparis) (Netflix)DEC. 22The Inspection (A24)DEC. 23Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (www.netflix.com/GlassOnion) (Netflix)The Mosquito Coast: Season 2, Episode 8 (Apple TV+)Mythic Quest: Episode 8 (Apple TV+)Slow Horses: Season 2, Episode 5 (Apple TV+)Strange New World (Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution)Dec. 25The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse (Apple TV+)I am a founding member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. I review movies, 4K UHD, Blu-rays and DVDs for ReelBob (ReelBob.com), The Film Yap and other print and online publications. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow me on Twitter @ReelBobBloom and on Facebook at ReelBob or the Indiana Film Journalists Association. My movie reviews also can be found at Rotten Tomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com. 2b1af7f3a8