Perfection Ain’t Perfect (or The Scourge of Hyphens)

I was in the Sony Store in the mall, looking for replacement rubber tips for my in-ear headphones. While the guy went in the back to retrieve this low-demand, low-cost-but-easy-to-steal item, I watched a bit of Iron Man in high-def Blu-ray on a big Bravia.

I haven’t made the jump to high-def yet. I have a nice 32″ Sony Trinitron (tube) with a Panasonic 5.1 DVD system, but I don’t have cable these days and have a small living room. I also have over 500 regular DVDs. This isn’t about bragging, really. I bring that up so that you realise I pause when I think about re-buying that catalogue on Blu-ray. I did it with a much smaller collection about 10 years ago moving up from VHS to DVD and really don’t want to do it again, even piecemeal.

The thing is, I almost didn’t recognise Iron Man. It was Robert Downey with a Van Dyck and Gwyneth Paltrow with red hair, but everything looked unreal.

The guy came back and handed me the $9.99 item. Really, it should be 99¢. I asked, “Is that Iron Man?”

“Yeah, but it’s just the first one, not 2.”

“Uh huh. It’s weird. I don’t have high-def yet. I look at that image and it’s sharp. Nice TV. But it doesn’t look like the film. It’s like looking at a TV show or an old made-for-video movie. The mood has been lost.” It was true. The lighting was too apparent. It was very obviously staged. The cinematography looked forced.

The guy said nothing.

Beat. One. Two. Thr–

“Okay, then. I’ll just take this.”


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