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The implicit meaning in all this extraneous clutter is plain enough: We don’t trust you. You’re unworthy of trust. And although that’s not what you want to be conscious of when watching a re-enactment of the love life of Dylan Thomas or an excavation of hidden passions among Mexican Mennonites, it can be easily set aside as nothing personal. The same meaning, after all, comes across at group press screenings where security personnel guard the door with metal-detecting wands and, in your peripheral vision, patrol the darkened auditorium on the lookout for verboten recording devices. But at least they don’t get in the way of the screen. Obstructions to your line of sight are not so easy to set aside. If it matters so little what a movie looks like — if the single thing that matters is what “happens” in it — why not just print out a plot synopsis and ask the reviewer to judge it on the basis of that? Are movies a visual medium or not?

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Dragonfly April 30, 2009 @ 8:27 p.m.

Perhaps it's time to stop talking about DVDs and to start talking instead about Blu-ray Discs. With Blu-ray, the visual gap between home theater and movie theater is closing fast. I personally don’t find that I'm missing much if I see a film only on a 52" HDTV Blu-ray screen accompanied by good quality sound, and the minor home theater degradations of size and quality are more than offset by the lack of degradations from talkers, paper crumplers, chair-kickers, and the like. DVD was always a compromise; Blu-ray not so much.

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clarkjohnsen May 2, 2009 @ 10:53 a.m.

"Pirates might prove to be my strongest allies." Thas' funny, mon, ver' funny.

Let it be said of the theatre experience, that for myself screen size is not the operative factor, but the presence of an audience -- or rather, my own participation in that audience.

Can anyone imagine sitting in a "legitimate" theatre (i.e. live actors on stage) alone? That would be ridiculous. Yet when a movie is watched at home, it's usually at home alone. That is not how the makers imagine a film, or how they direct its effects.

Mind you I've never sat in an audience of reviewers, which might be a pretty chilly affair. But I'd like to think that Duncan at least could laugh out loud or wail his sorrow.

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