Converting DVD to Blu-Ray

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but one of the things I have struggled with over the years is when to convert to the next technology.  I was slow going from cassette to CD, and even bought the same album twice so that I could have one of each.  In the 90s I started growing my VHS collection, only to see DVD get released in the late 90s.  I made the plunge to DVD in 2000 when Disney started making its animated features available.  Over the next 4 years my collection grew to over 650 DVDs.  I ended up selling off half of the collection in 2007, but I still continued to add to it slowly.

Avoiding Blu-Ray for the first few years was easy because of the war between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.  Once Blu-Ray won, it was hard to resist the lure.  I managed to reduce my movie buying even more, since I was not in a position to also upgrade my TV and DVD player.  I only bought a Blu-Ray if it also included a digital copy – that way I could enjoy the movie, but be prepared when I finally made the leap in technology with my hardware.

Now that everything is upgraded from a hardware standpoint, I find myself faced with the same dilemma as before: do I upgrade my existing DVDs to Blu-Ray or do I let them go gently into the night?

Well, Warner Brothers made it a little easier for me.  Knowing that people like me dreaded paying the full amount for a movie they already own, WB created a program to allow for “upgrades” at a palatable price.  By going to their site (, you can choose up to 25 titles to upgrade, all for either $4.95 or $6.95.  You then send them the discs and they send you the new ones.

There are some catches:

  • It must be one of the titles they specify
  • They do not plan on changing any available titles
  • You can only get 1 upgrade per title, regardless of the number of copies you have
  • You can only do it from the US and Puerto Rico
  • You are without the movie for 6-8 weeks

I found 12 titles that qualified, so I paid the $70 (shipping and tax are added on).  that’s less than $6 per movie to get the Blu-Ray versus the  retail store costs.

Now, Disney has their own version of this deal at one of their sites (  Their program is little more customer-friendly:

  • No limit on number of titles
  • No limit on number of upgrades per title
  • Instead of sending discs, you send in the Proof-of-Purchase tabs
  • The selection of titles will continue to grow
  • You get to keep the DVD and the Blu-Ray

The only negative is that instead of being shipped a disc, Disney will send you coupons worth $8 per movie.  The idea is that you buy the Blu-Ray at the retailer but save $8 when you do so.  This is similar to what they do with new releases the first week of release.  The problem with only getting $8 off is that the retailers have the Blu-Rays marked close to $30 each, so I am actually better off waiting for sales or not upgrading.

My advice:  Examine each program yourself – the WB one only makes sense if you are getting at least 4 titles; the Disney one only makes sense if you need help with one title….


Some movies are easy to get excited about by just the mere mention of a title:

  • Star Wars – before 1999
  • Indiana Jones – before 2008
  • Transformers – before 2009
  • James Bond

For some movies, this would bother me.  For months I would hear the title “Avatar,” but no one could tell me what it was other than some geeks were going crazy over Internet rumors.  Snakes on a Plane was another that had no details shared other than Samuel L. Jackson, snakes, and a plane.  So, you can just imagine how I was reacting to hearing “Inception” and not much more.

Then I saw some poster images, where the guys over at Ain’t It Cool News where pointing out similarities to poster art for The Dark Knight.  That’s when I found out that Christopher Nolan was directing.  Nolan has definitely earned a lot of credit in my book, given what he has done with the Batman franchise and other films.  He likes to film things on a grand scale and use as little computer-work as possible.  This harkens back to when Lucas and Spielberg were first starting out and actually knew how to do stuff.

Rich and I decided to go see this film at the last minute on a Sunday evening – that meant no good theater; we were stuck with Regal at Waterford Lakes.  After getting in, we were slightly surprised at the packed theater.  Then the film rolled…

Inception is about a man (Leonardo DeCaprio) who extracts information from people’s brains through the use of dreams.  For this mission, however, he is being hired to plant an idea.  What follows is the assembling of a team, designing of a dream, and then the execution.  As with all great stories, to say more would be too much.

I found the acting to be great.  A number of recognizable actors signed on to play supporting roles, including Nolan’s good luck charm of Michael Caine.  Ellen Page does well as the “grounded” person of the team, with none of the ghosts of previous roles popping out at inappropriate times.  Nolan does a masterful job of bringing everything to life, yet leaving you with wanting more.

My advice: see it, on a real IMAX – worth every penny and then some…


Welcome Back, Fearless Readers

Oh, how I have missed sharing my nuggets of wisdom with all of you.  However, life, the universe, and everything conspired to keep me from you.  I had actually been working on several reviews that never made it to fruition when the accident of all accidents happened – the site was lost, along with all of its content.

While I am sad to have almost everything I had written since 2007, this also gives me a chance to do some things that I had been putting off.  First and foremost, we have a new URL – .  That’s right – I have moved the review site away from its parent domain and placed it in its own home in the big ol’ Internet.  I have also started playing with the look and feel of the site.

Well, that is all for now – the 3 new reviews I have for you will not write themselves…