film

Where is it?

Remember back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s when the media and content providers claimed we would be accessing content from the four corners of the earth?

Well, it’s nearly 2020 and we’re still having serious distribution issues when it comes to music and film from Europe.

This may not be a problem for most english speakers in this country, who primarily look at Hollywood blockbusters and the odd independent film from the states, Canada, Britain, Ireland or Australia. But when you wander on the Internet Movie Database and encounter films that feature actors and actresses you know from some of those films, you may notice that these have not been made available to North Americans, regardless of the major award nominations or wins these have accumulated.

In my case I have been encountering dead ends trying to rent or purchase recent music and films from Denmark and Finland, that i’ve been searching for since the release of the Academy Award winning film “In A Better World” in 2011.

This excellent Danish drama is available on blu-ray in North America and can be downloaded via Google Play and iTunes in Canada and the United States. But Canadians will not be able to find “Someone You Love“, another Scandinavian drama featuring Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt, or Danish teen horror flick “Danny’s Doomsday“, which features William Jøhnk Nielsen (one of the young, lead actors in “In A Better World“).

Those films were made available on DVD and blu-ray for a short time after their original 2014 theatrical release and are still available for rental and purchase in Europe via several services, including iTunes and Google Play. But only “Danny’s Doomsday” has made it “across the pond”, exclusively to Prime Video in the states.

I’ve contacted iTunes, Google Play and Amazon/Prime Video repetitively in regards to several other European films and the response is pretty much “we’re slowly adding to our catalog so it might appear online soon”, the response i’ve received for over a decade in response to my requests for several classic french films i’ve wanted.

The delays in regards to the french films i’ve asked for are understandable because they’re rather obscure outside of Quebec and the other parts of North America where french isn’t common. But I won’t lie and say I don’t find it rather irritating to see soundtracks from the more recent films being featured on those services instead.

Seriously, I had purchased some of the music off the “Urban Family” soundtrack from iTunes four years before randomly encountering the Finnish musical on some obscure channel on my Roku a few weeks back. And to make matters worse I have also yet to be able to purchase “Uusi Ullottovuus“, a catchy tune by the Brotherus Brothers, the young sibling trio that features Johannes Brotherus, one of the lead actors of that film!

There are also no guaranties that a foreign film will remain available for a long time in North America, which is made apparent by the disappearance of the multiple award winning films like “Good Bye Lenin!” and “I’m Not Scared” from our store shelves and content providers. And all we can do is add titles to our wish lists on the latter, occasionally checking with JustWatch to see if a film pops up somewhere online.

Yes, you could try to find these films on DVD or Blu-ray on eBay or Amazon and use an all region DVD or blu-ray player if these discs aren’t coded for our region but this can get quite costly because of the shipping and handling costs per disc, although the later is more bearable if the DVD or Blu-ray you’re purchasing is compatible with your current player ; Consult your DVD or blu-ray player’s manual for details.

Personally, i’d prefer paying the foreign film producers directly to rent or download their films, when no distributor is available. But there are usually contract issues lingering in the background that keeps that from happening, unfortunately.

I have managed to secure some foreign films on DVD and blu-ray, that were produced in North America. But i’m guessing these are going to get rarer as more and more people just stream or download films legally.

I guess we all need to be patient about these things. But sometimes…

Argh!


Ultraviolet Closing

The UltraViolet digital locker service will be going offline on July 31st, 2019. And Canadians may encounter issues when attempting to download their library off this service.

I’ve personally tried to access my library via the Sony Picture Store and Flixster but was only able to access and view a few of my films. But the Official UltraViolet site states that “movies and TV shows will remain accessible at previously-linked retailers” after the cutoff date, “in the majority of cases“.

Yes, those last few words do make me nervous.

I’d seriously hate loosing access to my films, four of which I consider to be my very favourites. But I guess all we can do is wait as they work things out.

I will of course keep an eye on the issue and post updates, if need be.


Netflix Canada Price Hike? Really?

Netflix has decided to raise their monthly subscription plan prices by three dollars, days before the departure of Disney, Pixar and Marvel films from their service.

Yes, I am as baffled as you are in regards to this timing. But apparently they think they have enough material to keep their current customers, which in my case is quite the risk.

I already have my favourite Disney, Pixar and Marvel films on blu-ray thanks to the Amazon and the Disney Movie Club. And Prime Video has just recently expanded their catalogue, although it needs to expand further to be compatible with Netflix, especially when it comes to concerts and music documentaries.

My previous relationship with Netflix was on and off due to their lack of material and they’re basically keeping me on with the odd film, stand up comedy program, concert and the American remake of The Office. And unfortunately for them I own quite a few films from their catalog on DVD and blu-ray already.

It would be nice to be able to just store these away and use the service to view them but they’re still not up to par with the American service and they don’t appear to be interested in foreign language films from Europe.

For example, where are the great French performances by Louis De Funes, Gerard Depardieu and Pierre Richard? Where’s the Gaumont film catalogue?

Netflix Canada need more films like “The Train To Busan”, on top of the mainstream classic Hollywood productions. And I suspect that if no major improvements are made that I will be leaving the service again, especially if they subject me to yet another $3 hike within two years.

It should also be noted that DC Universe is also starting its own streaming service in Canada shortly, which will likely cause additional material to disappear from Netflix Canada’s catalog. But I guess all we can do is wait and see what will happen in 2019.

Random Bump : Queen’s “Days of Our Lives”

Apparently people are complaining about the timeline in “Bohemian Rhapsody” so I thought i’d bump the official documentary “Queen: Days of Our Lives”.

This more in-depth, accurate film is available from Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and iTunes Canada. It is also available to stream via Prime Video USA.

Enjoy.

Free shipping at chapters.indigo.ca

The Case For Blu-Ray

Thought i’d bump a blog article I like about how blu-ray is significantly better than streaming. Click here to read it.

The Boxing Day Sales Are Online

The Boxing Day Sales have begun and here are the retailers I usually shop at :

Amazon.ca has Boxing Week specials on various item, notably film boxed sets, drones and various other products.

Best Buy Canada is offering quite a few items on sale, including a large amount of televisions. Not many blu-rays or DVDs but there are a few turntables.

The Brick is offering discounts of Home Electronics including televisions and home audio, including a Sony USB turntable and Sylvania Nostalgia 5-in-1 Music Centre. The latter is discounted, considerably.

Chapters / Indigo is offering up to 50% off various books and merchandise, with an additional 20% if you use Masterpass. This offer ends on the 31st.

HMV Canada is pretty much Canada’s largest remaining entertainment store chain. They offer good deals on blu-rays, boxed sets, vinyl and film/music memorabilia. But always do some comparison shopping. And if you find something today, don’t forget to use coupon code HMV2016 to save $5 on shipping and handling on orders over $25.

Henry’s is a chain that primary sells cameras and accessories. But they also sell drones and video camera accessories. Youtubers may find a deal or two here.

Ikea Canada doesn’t sell televisions or home theatre or audio items. But they do sell shelves and accessories. They are currently offering free shipping on orders over $50 that are placed today, December 25th, 2016. I particularly like the Gladsax picture frame, which is used to frame LP covers.

Like many of Canadian’s major retailers, Leons is mostly offering discounts on televisions. But there are deals to be had in Home Theatre & Entertainment. Shop around for the best deals.

Long & McQuade is a music instrument and accessory store. And they are will be having specials on quite a few item from December 16th to December 31st, 2016. If you’re a musician, you might want to check them out.

Microsoft Canadaicon‘s Boxing Week sale features PCs, the Surface, the X-Box and various accessories.

Newegg.ca had quite a few Boxing day discounts on computers, computer accessories, gaming systems and home entertainment systems. And like Chapters/Indigo they are offering a discount on purchases made with Masterpass, this time $25 off purchases over $200 using coupon code MPBOX25 until Midnight PST December 28th, 2016. Vinyl fans should note that they offer a considerable amount of turntables and accessories.

Sears Canada is offering quite a few items on sale, including headphones ((12/25 – 12/28) Beats By dre headphones – white $129.97) and other daily discounts on specific products. Look for specials in the Portable & Home Audio and Home Theatre, especially on the 26th.

The Source has televisions, computers, tablets, cameras and accessories on sale. But i’ve seen better prices for some of their sale items on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And their record players are pretty much the same price as Newegg Canada.