There has been some smaller news waves as of late, involving the recently revealed decision by either Bad Robot or Paramount, to split up the bonus features content for "Star Trek: Into Darkness" among the three major media sellers: Best-Buy, Target, and Walmart, with Amazon.com offering an extra replica prop but no extra features.
Essentially they have now made Bonus Features an exclusive
to which ever store you purchase the Blu-rays from; which may have been a thing in the past when it concerned certain extra features before a movie came out, and you had to become a subscribed member of the movie's website to see them. But typically I believe those bonus features would somehow find there way onto the DVDs later on. In this case, however, the bonus features may only ever be found on one of the four released versions.
All standard Blu-rays, which are the ones being sold by Amazon.com (thankfully I cancelled my order just in time), include about 40 minutes of 2-9 minute featurettes. The other versions, from both Target and Best-Buy include an extra 30 minutes of 2-9 minute featurettes that are different to each store. However the major difference between them is that while the Target version will have an extra disc with the 30 minutes included on it, the Best-Buy version will have it's 30 minutes downloadable from its affiliated website. Walmart, I believe will be doing a similar thing with the same content as Best-Buy, through it's Vudu service.
There has been a lot of uproar from both Trekkers who enjoy these new films, and from film enthusiasts of all kinds, over this annoying twist of fate. The major argument I'm sure at least one of you will make against their displeasure with this development, is that "Exclusive-store-content" is not a new thing, and has been a major practice of video-game outlets for over 10 years. It has also been common enough to have even entire TV shows and movies only available at certain vendors who have the budget to stock them, and certain stores have exclusive releases of movies available like bundle packs and movie collections, which is a common practice of Walmart as of late. However, when it comes to bonus features, this is really digging deep into a minority of the viewing public. While gamers are a large enough group and would often want to get a leg up on the MMO competition by purchasing a special character or weapon or set of armor and perks from a particular store on a particular game, bonus content has always felt to me more like an educational thing. It gives me insight into the workings of a particular director and his crew and how they put together the movie. It doesn't give me any special advantage over anyone else watching the film. I can't even think of people so petty and socially bankrupt as to want to brag about what bonus content they've been privy to on a particular film. So why make bonus features exclusive unless they're really really worth the effort?
Well, in fact, there is one thing that is not available on ANY
of the blu-ray releases that is
worth the price of a second purchase, and that is the "Director's Commentary," which will ONLY
be available from I-tunes if you repurchase the movie in full. BUT, and this is a big "but," this commentary is not like the normal kind where it's just audio. No, in fact, the commentary is actually a re-cut version of the film with no extra scenes, but JJ and others actually pause, rewind, and replay certain scenes when they want to explain something specific. And so because of this, the commentary is actually it's own entire video, 30 minutes longer than the film itself. So in that case, I actually wouldn't mind plunking down an extra $20 to watch that. I really wouldn't.
But I must stress again, that when it comes to bonus content, film buffs and film nerds, and movie lovers alike all really enjoy watching them. And when people like that and like me realize that not all the bonus features are going to be on the same release; it's kinda like we just bought a college text-book, but realized that the one chapter we actually needed to read was in a different edition sold at a store only located in another state. It's very very... VERY annoying.
Although, I'm not really as annoyed as I could be. I have since come to peace with this realization, fairly quickly actually; and have decided on which version I will be getting. I'm going to go for the Target edition, because they're extra content will be on it's own extra disk. I'd much prefer that rather than paying extra money and going somewhere special just to have to download it later like with Best Buy. But like I said before, I will most definitely buy the I-Tunes version to see that special Commentary edition of the movie, because that I can't go without watching.
Anybody have any thoughts on this possible new trend in home video releases?
And please, I don't want any JJ hate going on here. The movie itself was just fine, it wasn't great, but it was okay: sacrilege to Wrath of Khan aside.