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Opinions Obliterated?

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by D'Snowth, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I mean I've known real pessimists in my life, I know what it looks like, it ain't pretty. And I really don't think anyone here fits that profile.
    D'Snowth likes this.
  2. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    And to say that this isn't the place for bringing up any personal problems we have because it's not related to Muppet discussion, isn't that basically what the Friends and Family board is for? Yes, we have some positive threads, "What Made You Smile Today?", "What Made You Laugh Today?", "I Saw Something Weird Today", "How Are You Today?", etc, but we ALL have off days for one reason or another, and when we need somewhere to go, maybe to blow off a little steam, or seek advice from people who care about you, or just to escape reality in general, what better place to turn to than the Friends and Family board?
  3. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I agree with that. It's when that sort of sharing starts wandering into abuse. When the first inclination is to chip away at things. It's more muppety to explore! That includes negative and positive elements. I've been seeing a lot less of the second thing here.

    Believe me, there's a lot that irks me in the world of Muppets. I make one terrible cheerleader...well, that's not entirely true. Most people believe me to be perpetually happy. [Breaks out in a spirited rendition of "Life's a Happy Song"]
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'd gladly pay extra for extras if there was a 2 disk standard edition. I'd gladly pay twice as much. But it's not so much that fact as the whole politicking deal to get us to buy more hardware that, let's face it, some of us not only can't afford and don't want, but find unnecessary, especially for one DVD. Disney could have handled it a LOT better. I'm going to have to buy a disk I can't even use unless a friend actually gets one or until they completely go obsolete. I don't see how that's unreasonable. It's a complaint as a consumer who feels cheated that I'm forcibly left out because of some idiotic gadget that was basically invented for video game systems. If it was a VHS/DVD thing, I wouldn't mind as greatly. But it's similar technology.

    Think of it this way, you're all invited to a birthday party and we're not. Feeling left out isn't a great feeling, and even if I DID have a Blu-Ray, I'd cry foul on this.
    Muppet fan 123 likes this.
  5. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Fowl? :cluck:
    Bill Bubble Guy likes this.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Yeah! Throw a chicken at them.

    But other than that, the ONLY major pessimism should be used where it's most welcome on this board...

    Everything Henson doesn't actually do.
  7. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I get that. (Skip ahead a paragraph those of you who don't want to read this brief statement about blu) However, the extra payment required to see the special features on Blu-ray is $60 for a Blu-ray player. Not ideal, but certainly affordable to anyone with enough free time to hang around here. ;) For some reason there's a myth that the discs or the players are more expensive than DVDs but that isn't true anymore. And they're very much for movies. The capability of Blu-ray is amazing. The interactive interface is something that digital downloads have yet to achieve. Blu is only like DVD in that they are both discs. Some people don't think they should have to buy a new player to watch their favorite movies, but there you go. I felt the same way when LaserDisc died and I had to repurchase everything on DVD format - actually an inferior format. It sucks, but such is life. Anyway, we've had that discussion and this thread shouldn't be turned into that one, so I'm shutting up on that.

    I just get weird when false information has been presented as fact. A good example of this is when a few people have mistakenly claimed that widescreen gives people less picture when the fact is that (even in the cases where they shoot wider) directors plan for that wide format. Or that there's a lack of merchandise. Every Walmart, Target, Walgreens and Toys 'R Us has a few Muppet items right now. There were none on their shelves a year ago. I agree that there could be much more, but sometimes that takes an initial exposure of retail interest to secure the production of more merchandise. Especially with a brand that has had a spotty track record over the last decade or so.

    There's sometime a rudeness here and the interference in my recent communication with a moderator perfectly outlines that:

    I'd mentioned to a good moderator friend that he'd like a particular program. Another member (with absolutely no information to the contrary) butt-in with nothing constructive to add. Instead he said that no, that moderator wouldn't like it. It was a statement about his personal taste. Stating one's own opinion is fine, but that is not what was done in that case. It was rude! It's not like that member had taken enough interest in that moderator to know his personal taste. That's exactly what I'm talking about. Not a difference of opinion, but a pessimism with its only purpose to tear down. I noted the behavior at the time then let it go. I have only mentioned it here (withholding name of the oft-suspended perpetrator out of respect) due to some of the recent confusion on this thread. This is common behavior now at Muppet Central and is not the sort of thing that requires an "Opinions Obliterated" thread.

    Again, we all could do better by one anther. I include myself in that. Another member was offended by one of my silly (and kind of sweet) graphics that was supposed to be humorous and I've already apologized for that. I still believe that something else, something peripheral was going on there because I see no wrong-doing in trying in my putting a cute muppety-spin on a gloomy conversation, but for whatever reason my intent did not match the result and that always deserves an apology at Muppet Central Forums. That matter has dropped.

    Being thoughtful of others doesn't mean being a goody-goody, loving everything and never expressing a dissenting opinion. That sort of statement is an extreme reply that clouds a legitimate issue. We all need to consider our intent before hitting the Post Reply button. What are we trying to do? Are we arguing just for argument's sake? Are we trying to win and have other people lose? Are we really trying to share and explore issues? The number of active forum members who haven't fallen into this trap can be counted on one hand! I'm working on my 13th year here so of course I've fallen into it before. :eek:

    That's the point here. No one has been silenced or had their opinions obliterated. The fact this thread exists is evidence of that. We could all be better neighbors here. More thoughtful neighbors. We should strive to state our complete heart-felt opinions without stepping on toes or creating a gloomy atmosphere. I'll certainly keep that in my mind from this post, on.
    theprawncracker likes this.
  8. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    See I think actual pessimism would be if we all bought Blu Rays and said "Ugh, not enough special features, what a rip off!" But to point out a manipulative marketing ploy is not pessimism, it's reality. And yeah I'd feel the same way even on the off chance I could afford a Blu Ray player. :)
  9. Sgt Floyd

    Sgt Floyd Well-Known Member

    Just like this thread's title is taken wrong, including "No Pessimism Allowed" in a thread title is taken as different opinions are wrong. A different phrasing such as Happy Thoughts, Everyone! or Lets celebrate would be less offensive and less likely to be taken wrong.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'd kill for 60 bucks right now... but I would have a LOT more things on the list than something to see one movie's special features on. I get it, but it's still an upsell. I agree that digital download hasn't quite got what Blu-ray has yet, but it's all on the doorstep. I don't think I want to spend 60 bucks or more on something that's going to be a door stop in a couple years. I just got a new standard door stop for that last year. I get what you're saying, but it comes off, and I mean no insult by this, quality snobbery. That said, I don't think it really it compares with VHS to DVD or Laser Disk to DVD (Laser Disk never caught on anyway... I've seen LD's sell in like 2 stores in my lifetime, and even then, in small cubby holes). There's only a slight amount of things Blu does that DVD can't, and that's mainly higher picture quality and sound which can't be fully appreciated unless you have a large, high quality TV... the rest are interactive things that a DVD can't handle that I really could care less about. Special feature videos AREN'T one of them.

    At the end of the day there's 2 problems...

    1) it's a weasel technique that involves back door deals with Sony and the entertainment company. Every company pulls this garbage, so Disney is NOT singling anyone out, nor are they singling out Muppet fans (they pulled the same crap with the Lion King re-release)...

    2) Those who don't have this technology feel left out, and that's bad enough... but those who have it either give us
    • "Oh, it's ONLY X dollars"
    • "Yeah, it's unfair, shut up so I can enjoy it and you can't"
    • "Why can't you be happy for us? We get to see something you can't! We're getting something, and that's the most important."
    It's exclusionary. I know limitations and I deal with it. I don't have cable and have to watch half that stuff legally or otherwise online. I'm fine with it. I don't have an X-Box Kinect or any major new video game systems. If a new Muppet game or that Sesame Street game come out, I can't play it, but I can deal with it. Weasel tactics I can't.

    Honestly, there was FAR more negativity when Palisades was making the Muppet toy line, but guess what? They listened to those complaints and addressed them as best they could to improve a product. Disney had the chance to say "yeah, what we're doing is kinda low, we'll throw in the deleted scenes to round it out." They didn't. And while I have to say they've been doing a great job so far, that lack of fan base interest for the sake of gadgetheads and technosneetches with home theaters just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. That's the last I'll speak of it, but man... that was dirty pool.
  11. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Yeah it's really not the big leap in technology we've had in years past. A real leap would be the combination of TV and Internet. Blu Ray is just the last gasp of a dying industry. I'll wait it out. :)

    That's Capitalism. ;)
  12. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I'm glad Drtooth finally added his two-dollar's worth to the discussion. :D

    But after going through what's been said since last night, it looks like we're finally starting to make some real headway here now, I think just about everybody is finally getting the point that was trying to be made.
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    And like I said, a totally unnecessary one. It does a couple extra things and has more storage. When the internet combines with the entertainment industry for real, that's going to be a very big leap... we're probably going to have to buy a host of stupid gadgets and it's going to be exclusionary for the first few years... not to mention we won't quite have the internet we know, and time will tell if its better or worse. We'll basically have something along the lines of hulu Plus, but a billion times better and more visionary. I just hope they don't region code the thing, because that will quash all potential.

    THAT'S the future. Not DVD on steroids. An even then, DVD without steroids can handle a couple bleeding extra scenes. They DID go out of their way to screw those who refuse to comply. The entertainment business is tantamount to the Mafia in a LOT of cases... this is no exception.

    But the thing is, it's maddening because everything cut out of that movie was gold. Why wouldn't Muppet fandom be annoyed that we can't share that? I applaud them for the extensiveness they have brought to the Blu-Ray. I mean, no other Muppet DVD has that much special features on it. VMX was like the closest, and the deleted scenes they gave us (except for the one with Bobo) were, "oh, okay" and easy to ignore. The backstory behind Tex, while the movie works well enough without it, only strengthens the otherwise non-sequitor ending.

    And it's a capitalistic attitude behind that. The "be happy you're being excluded" attitude that just makes no sense. And like I said, even if I had a high quality home theater and refused anything that wasn't on Blu-Ray, I'd be greatly annoyed that we can't share the film the way the film makers intended. A LOT of crap goes on behind the scenes that turns a potentially great movie into a meh one. I'm glad the Looney Tunes BIA DVD had all those deleted sequences that were, frankly, better than what was there in the first place. The I Am Legend DVD (which I don't have, but read up on Cracked about) has the TRUE ending instead of the crap ending that the idiot test marketing audience liked better (which, in turn ruined the movie so much, even the title made no sense).

    Even if they just pulled an MCC and put the full Tex song back into the movie for all versions of home video, I'd be happy. But there was NO care whatsoever put into the standard edition. I wouldn't be surprised if the standard edition disk was a DVD-R with the words "The Muffets" written in sharpee on it. THAT'S why the entertainment industry is failing.
  14. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    It is a little like when politicians say the working and middle class are just "jealous" of the rich. No, they just recognize when the game is rigged. ;)

    Not that anyone here is intentionally trying to do that, it's just how it comes across at times.
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I agree with Sgt Floyd's sentiment. This is the kind of thing you'd expect out of PS3 gamers, but not here. To me, there's a difference between pessimism and reasonable disgust. Like I said, it's not that I'm not happy some of us can see the special features, I'm annoyed that we can't all. You can fit 3+ hours on a DVD. The movie was about 100 minutes or so, we should at least have an hour of room on there... and how possibly long could the deleted bits be? Like, at most a half hour all together. There IS room, there was no need to do something like this, but they did it anyway to help Sony sell something. Sony's obviously more important than the consumer to the entertainment industry. All Blu-Ray proves is that Sony learned a lesson from Betamax. I almost wish the HD/Blu wars were still going on. They'd probably wind up destroying themselves.

    And let's be honest... we complain about EVERY piece of merchandise there ever has been. Remember the 50+ dollar Stieff Kermit plush that looked no better than the one Macy's sold for 15 bucks? How about the proposed Sesame Street line from Fun4All? That was VERY negative. And we got NOTHING out of it, even when the license went to another company.

    The ONLY negativity I have is for Henson's inability to do anything and the fact that we've been waiting 3 years for season 4, and didn't get so much as a reason for the delay. Otherwise, I do indeed think the Muppets are in good hands, but with caveats. Special Featuregate and the fumbling of a bigger merchandising imprint (which isn't all their fault) are caveats.
  16. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Yeah that pretty much says it all.
  17. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    It was important for me to create a thread where people felt free to share good news. A place that clearly weeded out the negativity and that's the path I chose within the forum guidelines. "Happy Thoughts Everyone" could be just as negatively interpreted by others too. We can always nit-pick and second-guess one another. I'll step back and respectfully agree to disagree with you about all of that. I've made my sunshiny thread so see no up-side of continuing down this road. It's up to your own discretion to join that conversation. :excited: You are certainly welcome to do so, of course. Peace. :cool:

    Let us not forget this little factoid:
    In the early 80's, VHS and Beta versions of theatrical movies were primarily released as rentals. The retail price for even the most popular titles was around $90 in order to boost video rentals over sales. It wasn't until the late 80's that studios and the retailers finally started to release big hits like Tim Burton's "Batman" at a price point comparable to today's video market. It's a matter of perspective, I guess. Personally I feel froggin' lucky that we live in a day that a Blu-ray player and HD Wocka Wocka extras pack cost less than the cost of a VHS tape did then...and that's not even factoring inflation!

    (I'm outlining my Blu comments in blue out of respect for those who don't want to read the conversation.)

    It's nice to have the option of both formats with all the features and I actually support that. It's not the way it turned out. For better or worse, America is an incentive-based culture and this is a clear demonstration of that. Muppets are first marketed to kids and it appears that more families with young kids have Blu than DVD these days because the initial cost is now about the same. It takes this kind of stunt (and I do agree it is a stunt) to nudge consumers into realizing that the technology is now affordable to everybody (i.e. if you can afford a new DVD player you can afford a Blu one that does a million times more too) and not just the elite. Otherwise many wouldn't care to notice. It does hurt those who are perfectly happy with the lower def DVD player already in their homes.

    Would i have bought a Blu-ray player if this film's features had also been offered on DVD? Yuppers! As a cinephile I've always planned to get my favorite films on HD. At one time that was LaserDisc...and so it goes. [Kicks my dusty box of special edition LDs in the corner] :sigh: However, a $60 Blu player is worth it to me after seeing the beautiful textures in MTM like I haven't seen them since the theatrical nearly three decades ago! Fozzie's fuzziness has never looked better! :o My $14 Blu-ray of the Dark Crystal with hella extras should be coming to my home today! :scary: (Yes, I have it in VHS, LD, and three pressings of DVD...however, all of those cost more than $14.)

    Technology is still in the Wild West state right now. There will definitely be better digital downloads than the current offering so they're kind of obsolete too and they don't have the sort of interactivity as Blu. Users actually do get a lot for the value and I think that's a big reason why Disney was one of the first companies to sign on some years back. No other hard copy is likely to replace Blu. In fact, I'm sure that several years from now they'll reissue "The Muppets" on Blu-ray and Digital Download with different special features so people will have to double dip into their wallets. Some will complain, but I won't because you kind of have to pay for the extra new stuff.

    Muppet Central forums is first and foremost a place to focus on Muppet related news rather than get side-tracked in peripheral complaints about the state of capitalism for so many posts. Don't get me wrong, that's important too, but shouldn't take the focus away from Muppet fandom.

    By the way, all of the Muppet phone apps are exclusively made for Apple. I've chosen not to assimilate because of the expense and my personal distaste for Apple. It's a marketing strategy that I don't like,but we make our choices and I hope these apps keep doing well.
    theprawncracker likes this.
  18. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I can't afford cable either. I get what you're saying and kind of referenced it in my last post. It is definitely a stunt they pulled and I don't like it either, but it makes sense that they're trying to get people already investing in home video systems to realize that the prices are now basically the same. It's not just for the elite like Laser Discs always were. Their tactic could have been more thoughtful, but would it have been as effective? I don't know.

    This doorstop logic, though...my relatively new and pricier DVD player was turning into an obsolete doorstop already, but yours isn't and I appreciate that. I remember the Muppets Inside video game not being available for Mac when that's all I had many years back and that hurt a lot. It required my imposing on friends to play it.

    I'm not rich by any means, but like you said we prioritize what's important to us. The economy has hit everyone hard. I was juggling three jobs at the same time last year. Two were low-wage ones while I tried to find time for the far more profitable but less stable freelance gigs.

    I still stand by the fact that we live in a day that a Blu-ray player and HD Wocka Wocka extras pack cost less than the cost of a VHS tape with no special features did in the 80's. Probably double that when factoring inflation.
    heralde likes this.
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That's indeed why DVD's are superior to VHS. Same reason why cartridge video games are mostly obsolete (except for Nintendo DS's). A DVD costs far less to produce than a plastic case full of spindles and magnetic tape. And it holds far more footage. We wouldn't have full series or season sets without DVD. Heck, not having to rewind and fast forward to places is all the reason I need. I have to say I HATED spending 10 bucks for a VHS of a cartoon series, sometimes to save money cheap companies would dub everything in SLP. That lead to fuzzy quality and muffled sound. I'm very glad that's over.

    And if the Blu and Standard Muppet DVD's were identical, there's no complaint there. But what superior quality and sound add up to is choice. I don't think being able to see an actors pores makes a movie all that better or enhances the film by that much. Sound? Sure... if you have a good sound system that can make a movie great. But I just care that it looks good enough on my 10 year old 13" crummy television. Like I said before, it's not the format that bugs me, but the business decisions that needn't have been made. I will buy the combo pack, sure... save the other disk for the day I get one of those things. But the fact that I have to buy that is the problem. Especially when I can get a LOT of full season sets that I'm trying to get caught up on (you know I only have the first Fraggle season, right?) for the same price that just offer so much more.
  20. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I think you misread. VHS wasn't more expensive back then due to production costs of the materials. It was marketing. DVD, even though it is digital, is not really much clearer than a video tape. LaserDiscs, even in their analog state, were beautiful! There was definitely a reason to get them if one could afford it. I never did like DVD. That was actually the step backward.

    The improved picture of Blu-ray is about sharpness of picture, depth of field, the closest experience to the theater on one's home television. It's not about seeing the creatures that live inside Krusty the Clown's pores. It can make a difference, but probably not much on a 13" TV. Those relics should be tossed for the sake of the environment and the wallet (but more on why in a minute). In fact, I saw a theatrical screening of "Labyrinth" last year. I was amazed by the exceptional sound and picture only to discover they had projected a Blu-ray disc supplied by the Henson Company. Hahaha! I'd rather pay $14 bucks for a disc with that capability than the same amount for one without (even if the difference appears to be somewhat more minimal in my current set-up).

    I do get what you're saying, but there is quite a difference between DVD and Blu that most consumers should find attractive. You mentioned SLP video transfers. Well, that's kind of what they do to DVDs in order for them to include all the kinds of audio commentaries, Muppetisms like season one of the TMS release and other kinds of features. It would require splitting a film into 2 discs with an intermission in order to get all of the Blu-ray features without altering the picture quality of a DVD. I think we can agree that's a less enjoyable experience. Now if special features aren't important to you that's understandable and that's likely why they're left off of DVDs. However, a companion disc to supplement what is possible would be nice.

    One item that hasn't been brought up is just how durable Blu discs are! This is very important. They have an extra-coating that DVDs do not so they are much harder to scratch. I don't know what prevents DVDs from this coating process, but we all have purchased discs that we've treated with the utmost care only to have them somehow develop a fatal scratch over part of the film. I've had to go through the hassle of repurchasing or returning several favorite films due to the flimsier nature of DVD.

    I wasn't thrilled when TV went HD and we all had to purchase extra bits and electronic rabbit ears, but new HDTVs are incredibly energy efficient. They're good for the environment and have saved me an overwhelming amount on my energy bill to have paid for itself within a couple years! That is not an exaggeration. I am truly amazed by how much smarter appliances have become. Now if I can only remember to unplug my electric toothbrush...sigh. I'm sure to be on Al Gore's naughty list somewhere.


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