So I just bought a copy of Howl’s Moving Castle. I love this movie. In fact, I’m one of those guys (i.e. nerds) who loves all of Hayao Miyazaki’s films. They’re just so imaginative and filled with amazing animation and compelling stories. I love the airships, the magic, the whole spirit of it. So what’s the problem?
Well, I’ve got no beef with Miyazaki or the film. Both are top notch. But when I put in the DVD and press play, what do I get? A preview-For Howl’s Moving Castle! Wait. What?
But I just put Howl’s Moving Castle in, why are they showing a preview of it? Oh I see, they’re doing one of those, “From the Director of the Academy Award winning Spirited Away comes three other great films.” So we are seeing clips of Kiki”s Delivery Service and something else and this. But I bought this movie. I’m looking at it right now. Why is it one of the three movies I am previewing? I already know about it, because I’m about to fucking watch it.
I hate previews before DVDs or VHS or any of that shit. It’s the worst. One of my favorite parts of watching a movie at home is skipping the previews for movies that have usually been out for a year or ten. So why are you showing me clips from the movie I am trying to watch tonight? It kinda ruins it I think. What if I had Netflixed this movie and had NOT seen it? Then I might watch the previews in whole and know half of the film before I actually watch it!
This isn’t an isolated incident. After watching Howl’s Moving Castle (you should see it if you haven’t) I Netflixed Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Another classic Miyazaki. I only saw it once and was dying for a second viewing. So I put in the DVD and guess what comes on first? A preview for Nausicaä! ARRGGHH!
I can’t stress enough how I hate this. Why couldn’t the marketing geniuses behind these DVD releases (these are American releases-I’m not blaming Studio Ghibli for this at all) figure it out? Put the Howl’s Moving Castle preview before Nausicca and Nausicca before Howl. That way I can watch my movie without first seeing all the best parts.
It’s like those extended menu selection screens before DVDs. Who thought, “People are going to want to watch a scrolling preview of Lord of the Rings on the their menu before they press play?” It’s absurd. I never would want to sit down, get my shit together for watching something, and meanwhile have a continual montage of the movie I’m about to watch running over and over again. It goes on infinitely, and then if you don’t press play, some of them start playing anyways. What the Fuck?!?! I didn’t tell you to play you little piece of shit.When I want you to play I will goddamn let you know you son of a –
(Calm down Charlie, it’s just modern technology, it doesn’t know any better.)
It’s like, do you remember the VHS tapes of the X-Files? They would put two episodes on a tape and each tape also had a special interview with the creator Chris Carter? Well, for five full minutes they play Chris Carter yammering on and on about absolutely nothing, while they played clips from the very two episodes you were about to watch. Why?
They’d even play the scariest, most intense parts of the episodes. Like in Little Green Men. They play the scene where the alien is standing in the doorway. YOU’RE RUINING THIS FOR US.
It’s just common courtesy. I don’t sit in a dark theater telling the audience the best parts of the film we’re about to see. Only a complete jack ass would do that. Well, video companies, you are complete fucking jack asses.
They would do this before a lot of shows actually, and movies. I can remember special interviews with George Lucas before a VHS edition of Star Wars, complete with the best shit, like Han getting frozen in Carbonite or Luke screaming “That’s impossible.” If I only had five minutes but still wanted to get the whole Empire Strikes Back experience, I’d watch these, but I don’t. I put the tape in to watch the movie, not clips and then the fucking thing. Makes me sick.
They did this with X Men the Animated Series, they did this with Ren and Stimpy. I have old, really old cartoons of Superman and Batman from the 60’s or 70’s and they’re doing it there too. And even if you’re pressing the fast forward button, you can still see it. It’s going by fast, but it’s still there. I can’t ignore it. I have to look away just so the upcoming viewing experienced isn’t sullied by these abominable previews. But if I look away, I won’t know when to stop fast forwarding! It’s like a circle of Hell. I’m in Dante’s seventh level, constantly having to dodge quick glances in vain hopes of actually starting the film or TV program when it should be started.
You know what format doesn’t have previews? What format doesn’t bother with overly long menu screens and stupid “interviews?” Laserdisc mother fuckers. That’s why it’s the only obsolete viewing format worth having. Go Laserdiscs Go!! I love ya!