Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot

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Cinefile detritus and movie reviews

August 8, 2003

Harpoon asked me to explain what hacking your DVD is about. First, a little background. First of all, ostensibly to prevent piracy (and no doubt to sell more DVDs), the DVD conglomerate (whatever they're called) divded the world up into six geographical regions. Players configured for, say, region 1, can not play region 2 DVDs. Generally, for people who relocate to a new region, you can switch the region on your player a limited number of times (like 5 or so).

This is a problem for Europeans who purchase/order a lot of their movies from North America. This is also a problem for ex-pats living anywhere, who may want to see their native cinema, but may also want to watch locally-produced DVDs. They obviously can't be switching regions every day or their player would be useless in a week. What's the solution? The multi-region hack.

Basically, using a store-bought universal remote or a PalmPilot running remote control emulation software (that is, not physically opening up your DVD player), you can reconfigure your player to play DVDs from any region. This is handy for those cases I described above. For more information on this process, check out DVD Reviewer.


11:44:49 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Movies Technology

I'm afraid the review isn't online, but I was displeased with the review of the Dave Matthews concert. I didn't go to the concert, and the review, I guess, is generally positive. However, the quality of the criticism is shameful. It's hardly criticism at all. I sent off this quick letter to the editor:

A note to Mr. Mercier on his Dave Matthews review: traditionally a concert review involves actually commenting on the music. Mr. Mercier expends three-quarters of his review on merchandising, the band's dress and the audience's antics. While I didn't attend the concert, I'm curious about how it actually sounded. The best he can offer her is a comment on Matthews 'obviously ailing voice' (which was obvious, as the singer admitted this himself on-stage) and 'some spaced-out base work'. He even gives the wrong title to that famous Bob Dylan song, All Along the Watchtower. Your writer seems to have abandoned music criticism, and written an article about being at the Dave Matthews concert. I can only conclude that Mr. Mercier's expertise lies in another genre of music, or another journalistic beat altogether.

If anybody finds that review in the strangeness that is the Vancouver Sun online, let me know.

As a bonus, here's a piece on why there will always be a critic who will stick his thumb up. It's pretty lightweight, but still an interesting read. It reminded me of the excellent Hollywood Bitchslap.

UPDATE: I had a couple of requests for the review, so I got off my lazy ass and slapped it on the scanner. Here it is. There's a nearly-as-naff review from the Vancouver Province here.


9:29:15 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Movies Music