The Prometheus Review

Prometheus on Amazon Instant Video

Prometheus on Amazon Instant Video

Prometheus is now available on Amazon Instant. I will start by saying that making your purchase from Amazon is not going to be my favorite. It’s available for $14.99 in 1080p, but depending on the device your viewing from, you may be stuck at 720p. Sound output is 5.1. They have a huge list of devices Amazon Instant is able to viewed from, most of them being from internet connected TVs. It’s also able to be viewed from devices such as Roku, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and blu-ray players. Two others to note are Tivo boxes and Google TV.

You are able to take it with you on the road if you own a Kindle Fire or iPad, but your limited to those two options when it comes to tablets. Even though the Kindle Fire is built from Android software, it’s not available on any other Android tablet. It’s also not available on any smartphone. But it is downloadable so you can watch it anytime and don’t have to be connected to the internet. You can also download to a PC after you install Amazons Unbox software.

Here’s my biggest complaint about buying Prometheus from Amazon Instant: there are no extras included. No commentary, no deleted or alternate scenes, nothing. You can get it for the same price on Vudu with two alternate scenes, “The Final Battle,” and “The Engineer Speaks.” Or you can buy it cheaper on iTunes for $12.99 for the movie by itself. Amazon Instant isn’t going to be my favorite service to buy from, but maybe it fits your needs if you own a Kindle Fire.

Prometheus Target Exclusive 4-Disc Set

Prometheus Target Exclusive Blu-ray

Prometheus is an absolutely beautiful movie. The landscapes and production design are amazing.  The big draw of the 3D box set is of course the 3D Blu-ray disc and the promoted 7 hours of extras. I picked up the Target Exclusive 4-disc box set. Mostly covered in screen shoots, this is one of the best looking boxes I have seen. The 4-disc set covers all of your viewing needs.

The digital download accommodates laptops, Mac or PC, and iOS devices, but leaves Android out in the cold.  This may be a result of Android’s more open system. The digital download gives you access to the iTunes Standard Definition download and in addition, you can choose between either Vudu or Flixster. All digital download options are less than HD. They are labelled as Standard Definition, but upon close examination, their resolutions are about 30% higher than regular SD. Comparing the iTunes and Vudu digital downloads, iTunes comes out on top.

At $27.99, it is the most expensive option of all, but the content makes it well worth it. Depending on how serious of a fan you are of the Alien franchise, the Target exclusive photo book may sweeten the experience. There are images of art work, story boards and concept art. Some of the concept art may offer ideas into the Prometheus sequel (just a hunch).  Like the full HD download from iTunes, the Prometheus 4-disc set offers the Second Screen Movie App. We will get a review out on this experience later. The 7 hours of extras is like getting 3 extra movies with your purchase. I have watched some of The Furious Gods: Making Prometheus documentary; it provides interesting insights into the production and creative processes in the film.  But wait there’s more! The Blu-ray extras include 2 audio commentaries, one by Ridley Scott and the other by writers Jon spaihts and Damon Lindelof. Then there is the The Peter Weyland Files  and deleted scenes with alternate beginning and end. The Blu-ray disc delivers 1080p video and DTS-HD 7.1 audio. I wonder what it would have been like with the recently announced 11.1 from DTS. We can only dream . . .

If you have the time to indulge in the experience, the Prometheus 4-disc set is totally worth it and is a must have for any self-proclaimed Alien fan.

Prometheus on iTunes

Prometheus on iTunes

The iTunes version of Prometheus is an 11GB download, 7 GB of movie and 4 GB of extras.  As is typical with iTunes movies, you can watch them on any of your iOS devices.  The download is available in 1080P and the audio is in the standard Dolby Digital 5.1.

With so many options to choose from in purchasing a movie, typically what is going to separate one from the other is the extras.  Sadly, in this area Prometheus on iTunes leaves the buyer wanting.

Lets start with the good.  The iTunes version of Prometheus comes with directors commentary by Ridley Scott.  Its always good to hear from their own mouths what a director is trying to communicate in their work; things that a viewer may miss as they watch the film.  Ridley Scott’s commentary did not disappoint at all.  It is this type of extra that was sorely lacking in the iTunes version of Avengers so I’m glad it was included in Prometheus.

Now on to the bad.  The directors commentary is about as good as it gets for the extras in the iTunes version.  There is a short video called Transmission and a few deleted scenes with nothing spectacular…The End.

Overall, I’d say the iTunes version of Prometheus was a disappointment for me with very few extras but the directors commentary included definitely made up a lot of ground and made me feel like this purchase wasn’t a total loss.  If the extras don’t matter to you and you are only concerned about easily watching on your iOS devices then this may be the way to go for you.

TARGET BLU-RAY 

EXCLUSIVE

iTUNES

Amazon Instant

Price

$27.99

$14.99

$14.99

Ways To Watch

3D Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy (iTunes and Vudu or Flixster)

Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, iPod or PC

PS3, Xbox 360, Roku, Smart Blu-ray players, Smart TV’s, iPad,Kindle Fire (HD), Roku

Max Resolution On TV

1080p

1080p

1080p 

Digital Copy Max Resolution 

853 x 454 (iTunes download)

1080p

720p

Audio

7.1 DTS-HD

5.1 Dolby Digital

5.1 Dolby Digital

SPECIAL FEATURES

TARGET BLU-RAY 

EXCLUSIVE

iTUNES

Amazon Instant

Director’s Commentary

Yes

Yes

No

Writer’s Commentary

Yes

No

No

The Peter Weyland Files

Yes

No

No

Deleted and Alternate Scenes w/ Alternate Beginning and Ending

Yes

Yes

No

The Furious Gods: Making Prometheus Documentary

Yes

No

No

Second Screen Movie App

Yes

No

No

Transmission

No

Yes

No

Wrap Up

Prometheus is a visual experience that initiates as many questions as it answers. Primarily because of the content, the disc set is the the best option. Like Amazon Instant video and iTunes, you are covered regarding mobile viewing, but they can not compete with the 7 hours of additional content in the 4-disc set. The extras provide some answers to the questions that come after watching. Even when considering price there is no comparison. The 4-disc Blu-ray box set is the way to watch Prometheus at home!

 

Written by: Lawrence Stansberry, Robert Corrales and JR Sanchez

Google TV Finally Delivers Movies Directly to TV

Google has finally caught on to the obvious and brought movies and tv shows to the Play Store for Google TV. Yes, movies have been available on the Play Store for a while now, but not on Google TV. Better late than never. You now have the option to purchase a movie and play it on your TVand Android tablet or phone in HD (provided you have HD screen resolution). This is great news if your an Android user as previously, most other download options were limited to SD for portable devices from services such as Vudu, UltraViolet, and digital copies included with Blu-Rays. This may become one of the best options for your movie purchases if you’re one of the few who own a Google TV box. Google began rolling out the  availibilty October  8th, and will be available to all in the next few weeks.

 

DTS Neo:X 11.1 Surround Sound Coming to Blu-Ray with The Expendables 2

The Expendables 2

Are you shaking the house off its foundations with your brand spanking new 7.1 home theatre system? Well don’t look now, but you need to upgrade that receiver and plunk down some cash for a few more speakers. In comes DTS Neo:X with an 11.1 surround sound experience. Bring 3D sound to your 3D movies by immersing yourself with speakers low and high. Hear that plane flying over your head, listen as the cars fly by, and be blown away with explosions… That’s what you’ll get with The Expendables 2, the first Blu-Ray to bring you DTS Neo:X. It arrives November 20th, and brings some other nice bonus materials as listed below:

  • Audio commentary with director Simon West
  • “Gods of War: Assembling Earth’s Mightiest Anti-Heroes” featurette
  • “Big Guns, Bigger Heroes: The 1980’s and the Rise of the Action Film” featurette
  • “On the Assault: The Real-Life Weaponry of The Expendables” featurette
  • “Guns for Hire: The Real Expendables” featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel

Check out more from DTS here.

The Prometheus Review- Coming Soon!

Prometheus, the unconfirmed prequel to Alien, is now available for purchase. The digital downloads were released a few weeks ago and the disc yesterday. We are reviewing the best ways to watch Prometheus at home. Check back in a few days for our review!

The Avengers Review

 

The Avengers on iTunes

The Avengers on iTunes

If you choose to purchase the iTunes version of The Avengers in HD (1080P) the first thing to note is that it is a 10GB file download, 8GB of movie (both the HD and SD versions are downloaded) and nearly 2GB of iTunes Extras, so make sure you account for the space needed.

Since this is an iTunes Purchase you can view it on all your iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod,) and the Apple TV.  The audio is in Dolby Digital 5.1 which is common and will meet the needs of most.  For those looking for 7.1 to take advantage of their extensive home theater setup, it’s not currently available.

This download comes with several special features that you will find in the Blu-ray version, but the big omission is the director’s commentary.  If the director’s commentary is a must for your movie watching pleasure then this version is not for you.

Included in the special features are a short film related to the movie, a couple of behind the scenes videos of the actors and locations, a gag real and deleted scenes.  The deleted scenes I found interesting as they have an alternate intro and ending that gives the character Maria Hill more screen time as well as some cool “raw footage” of the viaduct fight scene.

Also in the special features was “The Avengers Initiative: A Marvel Second Screen Experience”.   This is the feature I was most looking forward to checking out.  This is a Free app you can download for your iPad or iPhone. It can be synched through the movie audio so that it shows pictures, trivia, and short behind the scene videos on a timeline that coincides with what is happening in the movie.  Although I liked the behind the scenes looks in the short videos, overall I was underwhelmed by the experience.  Maybe I expected too much.

If missing the directors commentary isn’t a deal breaker for you then purchasing Avengers through iTunes is a good choice especially if you have other apple products you typically enjoy watching your movies on.

Unfortunately there is NO directors commentary with this version of The Avengers on iTunes.

The Avengers on Vudu

The Avengers on Vudu

The Avengers on Vudu  is a great streaming experience. If your plan is to stream directly to your internet connected TV or  through a streaming box (such as a Roku, Xbox 360, Blu-Ray player etc.), it couldn’t be any easier or faster. It streams in glorious 1080p with 7.1 surround sound.  And it comes with some nice extras like the short film, Marvel One-Shot: Item 47, deleted scenes, and a few more. If you’re looking for more than streaming, however, the fun stops there.

However, if you want to download the movie, you might not be as satisfied as you were streaming it. Downloading to a PC or Mac will take you to a flashback of the olden day as it is limited to standard def. To add to that, you can only play it on Vudu’s software, Vudu to Go, which must be downloaded and installed to your PC first. Want to take it with you on your iPhone or iPad? There’s an app for that, but standard def only. Little green robots need not apply, Vudu leaves Android left out in the cold completely.

The Avengers Target Exclusive

The Avengers Target Exclusive

Full disclosure: I loved seeing this movie in the theater. Many comic book super hero flicks have been disappointing and mediocre. Marvel’s The Avengers was one of those rare movies where it all worked: the characters, the relationships and the action. The build up from all of the individual hero movies was genius. Enough gushing . . . This release had a lot of buzz around it.  There are nearly a dozen unique Collector or Exclusive releases. For our review we will consider Target’s exclusive 4-disc set.

To start the case is really cool. If you are into tangible, tactile experiences you will not be disappointed. All of the characters are embossed, bringing me back to a childhood experience of enjoying simple embellishments.

Now regarding the content: the box includes 4-disc plus the “Building A Cinematic Universe” 90 minute Target exclusive disc. Excluding the forthcoming 10-Disc Limited Edition, this is the most content you can find on any release. After ordering the set from Target’s website for $32.99 I saw that the price was dropped to $19.99 (refund please!). It appears that this exclusive quickly sold out, because it is no longer available on the website or in stores. Disc 1 is a 3D Blu-ray. Yay! disc 2, a 2D Blu-ray, Disc 3 a DVD, Disc 4 is a Digital Copy with Digital Music Download and Disc 5 is the 90 minute exclusive video.

One of the big draws for buying the disc is the Director’s commentary and 3D. I really appreciate  hearing some of the thoughts behind the creative process.  This is a huge draw over most downloadable options. Even though iTunes has started to add this feature, most digital downloads do not. iTunes continues to add features, such as, scene selection and director’s commentary, but I do not believe that a 3D option will be offered through the online store in the near future.

 

TARGET BLU-RAYEXCLUSIVE iTUNES Vudu
Price $32.99 $19.99 $22.99
Ways To Watch 3D Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy (iTunes or Windows) Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, iPod or PC PS3, Xbox 360, Roku, Smart Blu-ray players, Smart TV’s, iPad, iPhone
Max Resolution On TV 1080p 1080p 1080p
Digital Copy Max Resolution 853 x 478 1080p Standard Definition for mobile devices
Audio 7.1 DTS-HD 5.1 Dolby Digital 7.1 Dolby Digital

 

 

Special Features

TARGET BLU-RAYEXCLUSIVE iTUNES Vudu
Marvel One-Shot: Item 47 Yes Yes Yes
Gag Reel Yes Yes Yes
The Avengers Initiative: A Marvel Second Screen Experience Yes Yes No
A Visual Journey Yes Yes Yes
Deleted Scenes Yes Yes Yes
Sound Garden Music Video Yes Yes Yes
Assembling the Ultimate Team Yes Yes Yes
Director’s Commentary Yes No No
Bonus Disc “Building a Cinematic Universe” Yes No No

 

Wrap Up

All three options have dominant strengths. The Target disc-set has the most features, but like Vudu, mobile-ways-to-watch are lower quality. If you are looking for the best viewing experience across all devices iTunes can’t be beat, but who wants to be limited when they purchase movies? Of the three vendors we covered, VUDU is the best all around purchase. Its price and various viewing options make it a stand out.
Written by: Lawrence Stansberry, Robert Corrales and JR Sanchez

Fry’s is the Bay Area leader

Fry’s San Jose, CA

Recently, I went to purchase some home entertainment items: a 3D Blu-ray player and some HDMI cables. Not wanting to wait for the items to be mailed, I decided to visit the local Fry’s Electronics. I picked up the gear and as I drove home I decided to stop at Walmart. Walmart is known for its low prices on nearly everything. I wanted to know if that applied with electronics. Walmart is not a regular shopping destination for my family, so it had been a while since I last visited. These stores are massive and I was quickly reminded that their goal is to push volume. I went to the back where the electronics are located and started the price comparison. At Fry’s I found a 6FT HDMI cable for $4. The lowest price at Walmart for a similar item was $12. The Blu-ray player was the same price. As I continued to walk around the electionics section I saw an eMachine computer, a brand I thought was long lost. Walmart is great for low prices, except for electronics. If you are in the Bay Area stick with Fry’s for your home electronics.

The Avengers Review- Coming Soon!

The Avengers Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital versions were all released today. The crew here at WaysToWatch is enjoying viewing the many options available. For our first review of options we will be comparing the Target Exclusive Blu-Ray 5-disc set with HD versions from iTunes and Amazon. I know, it seems a bit unfair, but that is what we do. When we are done putting them through our criteria, the three options may fall closer than you may think. We will be posting an unboxing of the Target exclusive. Stay tuned for our first review!

Welcome!

Welcome to WaysToWatch.com! Do you love watching movies? Our options for viewing movies are rapidly increasing. Decades ago, if you wanted to watch a movie at home you had one option, the video cassette. It was simple, everyone had a VCR (sorry Betamax), the only choice was choosing from which store to rent. You could only alter your movie watching experience with a larger television or louder audio system. Portable movie watching was not even a thought. Now, more than ever before, is the coolest time for movie lovers because we have so many ways to buy and experience great movies. We can watch at home and on-the-go across numerous devices. There are numerous places and sources from which to buy. Instead of driving to the store you you can now purchase a movie from home and within a few minutes press play. With mobile devices and wireless tech you can purchase a movie from almost anywhere. This increased accessibility and ease of consumption saves time and can be a great experience, but how do you decide from which online store to buy? There are several from which to choose. And buying a movie can now lock you into an eco-system of devices and software. Depending on your perspective, you can enjoy the easing simplicity of a single eco-system or feel completely trapped and locked down. The possibilities of the digital consumer experience offers instant gratification, but can also be extremely annoying when trying to determine which digital option to choose.

Are you someone who considers the auditory experience as important as the visual experience? Do you primarily buy films to anesthetize your children with iPads and smartphones? Do you like iTunes, but want to watch your movies on your Android phone? WaysToWatch.com will wade through the numerous options and help determine the best choice for you.