Friday, December 19, 2008
Agent Of Chaos Spoils Event...
IT WAS A VERY DARK KNIGHT INDEED.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. We AREN'T tonight's entertainment.
Tonight Warner Bros. held their much hyped BD-Live community screening of The Dark Knight with director Christopher Nolan coinciding with the release of TDK on Blu-ray last week for the first 100,000 people who registered their copy and created a BD-live account to secure their virtual seat to the event. I was excited when I received the invite via e-mail so I did what any red-blooded movie geek would do and called in sick to work, ordered a pizza, and kicked back expecting to spend the evening watching The Dark Knight with Christopher Nolan in my living room. Yeah, right.
What I was expecting from BD-Live and what it turned out to actually be were TWO very different things. In my mind I was expecting some kind of picture-in-picture live commentary with the director as seen on many of the format's better commentary features while answering questions submitted by viewers through the internet. Well, the second part was right. Nolan answered many questions but his presence via a crude onscreen scrolling text message window similar to participating in an internet chatroom. It was very disappointing to say the least.
Unfortunately, the BD-Live community event was, I have to say it, a big JOKE. The event was plagued with numerous networking problems. Several times I had to exit out and log back in which would take several minutes to rejoin the event in progress. A few occasions the network moderator (who has control over your Blu-ray player playback functions) would pause the disc and a message onscreen would say that they were having network problems or just taking a 5 minute break and would resume again in a few minutes. The text window would constantly disappear after several minutes and I would have to exit back out to the login screen and log back in. It was constant start-stop-start-stop again. After staring at a frozen image of Batman overlooking a building in Hong Kong for 5 minutes without having received any further messages from the moderator, I became frustrated and exited back out to the main login screen and had to log back into my BD-live account to resume again, already in progress, having completely missed Heath Ledger's boardroom entrance as the Joker. By that point it just wasn't funny anymore.
This event was a total disaster for BD-Live trying to promote the interactive networking functionality of Blu-ray to consumers through a very crude text-messaging interface. When I registered my disc last week, I perused the online bonus features available which I thought were also very underwhelming: trailers presented in small flash-sized windows, not at full HD resolution, and a series of online comic book flash movies again presented in small windows that I had to squint to look at on my big screen HD display. I was already unimpressed with the BD-Live content available but having been given a chance to participate in the live screening event, I thought that it had the potential to prove itself to be something much greater than it was but unfortunately turned out to be a an Agent of Chaos. I can only hope that whatever bugs in the system are worked out in the future because the potential for live networking interactivity is there, unfortunately the tech just isn't up to even Batman's sophisticated standards.
This city deserves a better class of interactivity.