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Seen in HD 38 – Netflix backs cutting Sat. mail, Green Zone/Tae Guk Gi reviews

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It’s worth noting that as this was recorded, Phil was under a tornado warning, and near the end of the show, his family made its way into the basement to take cover. Eventually, a tornado was reported to have touched down just a few miles northeast of his house. All ended well.

Onto the news. The U.S. Post Office has been flirting with ending Saturday delivery for some time, and now it has a pretty big ally in its pocket in Netflix. The red-enveloped company has said it backs a plan to end weekend delivery.

Elsewhere, Dish Network and AT&T have both shown their grumpy sides. Dish has dumped four Disney-owned HD stations in a squabble with the Mouse House, while AT&T has made (some would say empty) threats about ending U-Verse expansion if the FCC moves ahead with Title 2 regulation.

In streaming news, CinemaNow says it will add 5.1 DTS surround sound by the end of the year. Sears and KMart, meanwhile, jump into the streaming game, signing on with the same service Best Buy is using.

Marketshare/Sales

After a strong first week for Blu-ray, the negative numbers came back out for the week ending June 13. Revenue fell $12 million from last week and was down 2% from last year. Marketshare, however, was 14%, a bit better than average for the year.

Sales-wise, Alice in Wonderland held tight to the top Blu-ray spot, a testament to the weakness of sales this week. Shutter Island, the only new release of note, was second with 87% of Alice’s sales. Deep discounts on Hurt Locker pushed it back into the top 10 at #7.

Combined DVD/Blu-ray sales looked very similar, with Alice and Shutter 1-2 on the list. However, Blu-ray share of the top five titles was much lower than last week.

Blu-ray Review Green Zone | Doblu.com review

Vitals: MPEG-4 AVC, 2.40:1 aspect ratio, DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, digital copy

From the group that brought you the Bourne movies, Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon team up again for this Iraq War film. Video noise is pretty strong throughout during night scenes, but this is not the fault of the disc itself, but a style choice. Daylight scenes are highly detailed. Audio is crisp and at times commanding, with exceptional surround action and well-balanced dialogue. A commentary from the director and star round out a very solid disc.

Bonus Blu-ray ReviewTae Guk Gi |  Doblu.com review coming soon

It was a coincidence that we choose this week to look at this 2004 Korean War film, also known as The Brotherhood of War, as it is also the 60th anniversary of the start of the conflict. The film was made in Korea for a sparse (by Hollywood standards) $12.8 million budget. What you get is a powerful, visceral and unflinching look at what at times seems to be a forgotten war in America. The film, which enters the conversation for top 10 war movies, follows two brothers as they are forced into military service. Their journey through the three-year conflict is at times difficult to watch. Despite the spartan budget and 1080i disc, the production values rival some of the big-budget films in recent years. Video is softer than normal, due to the lower bitrate and 1080i video. Colors purposefully desaturated in all but a few scenes. Audio lacks the pop you would expect out of a film of this variety, again likely due to budget constraints. But in the end, the story makes this movie great.

Gaming

We look at the newly announced Xbox 360 family pack, and what it means for households with multiple Xboxes. From what we can see, Microsoft hasn’t yet said if the family pack can be used on multiple machines (though they haven’t said it can’t either).

What we’ve seen/are watching

  • Geek Tonic’s listings features a new cop show from ABC called Rookie Blue (ABC 9 p.m. Thursday), new episodes of Futurama in HD (Comedy Central 10 p.m. Thursday) and premieres of HBO’s Hung and Entourage starting at 10 p.m. Sunday.
  • As for the HD Sportsman, the US win over Algeria on Wednesday means the team will play Ghana in the first round of elimination play in the World Cup (2:30 p.m. Saturday, ABC). Wimbledon also kicks off this week, with ESPN coverage during the week and NBC on the weekend.

Blu-ray deals/Releases

The Blu-ray releases for June 29 are, well, there. Hot Tub Time Machine leads the way for not a small list, but an underwhelming one. It’s worth noting it was during this part of the show that the weather at Phil’s house went from “man, it’s pretty stormy” to “holy crap, I hope we’re still here when the show finishes” so it might look like we rushed a bit at the end, because we did.

Deals were very light this week:

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[tags]blu-ray, Seen in HD, War of the Worlds, Life, Google TV, Apple TV, Hulu, Xbox 360, PS3, podcast, Avatar, E3[/tags]

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