Rated: PG-13 | Runtime 802 | AKA: Star Wars: The Complete Saga UK
"Blu" Ray Kawolski
Video Jerks Customer
REVIEW: A hearty Ďhelloí to all my fellow home theater enthusiasts out there. I hope that the holidays found you well and Santa brought you a bounty of bodacious Blu-rays™ under your Christmas tree. I know he sure did for me. I canít wait to share my thoughts on them.
First things first. I know people have been chomping at the bit for my take on the arrival of the number one most requested film series on the high definition format.
Let me tell you Blu-fans, Uncle George does not disappoint. "Star Wars: The Complete Saga" is a full nine discs with an absolute dearth of Star Wars content for all you star warriors.
I am well-aware that this title has been available since mid-October at most retailers, but it took me a while to find this rather pricey set (139.99 MSRP) at a cost that I could feel good about. To be honest, just the purchasing was quite the travail.
I first purchased the set online from Barnes and Noble, using a 30% discount e-coupon, combined with their relatively low price of 89.99. I was all set to make my purchase, when I got a phone call from one of my home theater buddies who was having a personal crisis, and needed a friendly ear to listen*. I lost track of time and by the time I was able to get back to the computer to confirm my order, the e-coupon apparently expired. I wasnít aware until I received a confirmation Hotmail, that showed that I was billed the entire $139.99. I immediately went back to Barnes and Noble.com to cancel my order.
I donít know who runs the Barnes and Noble website, but it might behoove them to occasionally check the site for bugs. BandN.com is full of them. I kept canceling my order, only to receive another email confirming purchase of ANOTHER copy of "Star Wars: The Complete Saga". All in all, I got five emails. I tried to call their customer service line, but they said they were closed for the night. I thought about putting on a pot of black coffee and staying up all night, so I could rectify the problem first thing, but I remembered that I was going to Best Buy first thing in order to return the three six foot Monster HDMI high-speed cables for three, three foot cables. I read on a home theater website that using too much cable can result in image dithering and undesired blooming in the cyan color range. I couldnít live with that. I decided to just go to bed.
By the time I got back from Best Buy with my two and half foot Hi-Speed HDMI Monster cables in tow (Raheem at the East Harold Shopping Pavilion Best Buy made a strong point that if I was going for less dither and bloom, why risk the possible electron loss of an extra six inches? Itís sound advice. I had to move some components around and I can no longer store them in my home theater cabinet, but I have yet to see any dither or blooming in the cyan color region. Good on you, Raheem) there were five Federal Express overnight packages on my sun porch.
Needless to say, I was peeved.
I called the 1-800 customer service number and after a veritable labyrinth of options, I was able to track down someone to answer my questions.
First, I told them in no uncertain terms that I was totally unhappy with their website. I told them that I was a hi-definition specialist and that I purchase many Blu-rays™ and that it would be to their advantage to make a potential high-volume customer as myself happy.
The man on the other end of the phone turned out to be quite the home theater enthusiast himself. When I told him about my recent acquisition of two and a half foot monster cables, he was quite impressed that I knew my business about home theater. He also made a suggestion that I place the cables in the refrigerator, prior to watching the movie, to displace any potential signal being absorbed by convection. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical, but I tried it out. You know what? He was right. My copy of "Predators" (2010) never looked better. It was like I was sitting in the Harold West Shopping Pavilion Sexplex on the day it came out. I couldnít wait till I was able to watch "Star Wars: The Complete Saga" with my newfound knowledge.
He told me that if I wanted to return my copies of "Star Wars: the Complete Saga", my best bet was to return them directly to the store. As most VJ customers are aware, the Harold Barnes and Noble has been closed since it sank back into the swamp last winter. My only choice was send them back to Barnes and Noble corporate. I had to eat the cost of shipping to return them because I opened all five of the boxes. Barnes and Noble say I should get my store credit for $699.95 in about ninety days (less 10% restocking fee Ė you canít fight city hall, I guess).
I solved one problem, but the fact is that I didnít actually have a copy of "Star Wars: the Complete Saga" to review. I would have rented one copy from Video Jerks but for two reasons: 1. All copies have been reserved for months, and 2. I donít really like to put rentals in my home theater set up. Iím just worried that a fingerprint might cause the laser in my Blu-ray™ player to misfire and offset my "Video Essentials" calibrations.
I went ahead and put in a special order for a new copy of "Star Wars: The Complete Saga" through the distributor Video Jerks uses, they say it should be here by the end of January.
From what Iíve read on other review sites, people are really going to be pleased with what I have to say about this set.
Until then, keep the definition high (and your cables short and cold)
"Blu" Ray Kawolsky
*My buddy is okay now, but he was pretty angry that his "Spies Like Us" blu seems to be sourced from a 720p DTV master and artificially rendered up to 1080p. Itís a real problem in the industry.