There’s always been this debate between physical media and streaming services like Netflix or Disney+. One lets you sell your movies, watch them even if you’re offline and ‘own’ the movie. Another lets you watch them at any time, on nearly every device you can think of and gives you access to thousands of options for just a monthly fee.
I’m not here to say which is better, but to say that Blu-rays (or 4K UHD discs or whatever formats the future brings) should complement your online streaming service of choice.
Wait Sal…that’s just a waste of money! Why would I buy physical media if online streaming gives me everything I need?
That’s the catch!
Online streaming services don’t! You’re only getting the cinematic equivalent of the movie meant for home consumption!
With a few exceptions, streaming services only pack the main editions of the movies. Go ahead, hop on to Netflix or Amazon Prime video. I’ve checked.
Most of the times, it isn’t so bad…but there are instances where it sucks.
Take the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogy for example. I reviewed the 4K streaming versions a while back, noting that the extended editions are pretty much what the original movies should’ve been.
However, if your movie consumption begins and ends with Netflix, you wouldn’t even know that you’re missing out on THE definitive versions of the movies.
Netflix does have the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it’s just the vanilla theatrical cuts.
You not only miss out on the expanded story, but also the hours upon hours of extra context that show the making of the film, interviews and much more trivia that any fan would love to see.
It’s not just the Lord of the Rings movies either…Pretty much every blockbuster movie release on physical media has tons of extra stuff that’s not present on subscription streaming services!
Did you know that there are two radically different versions of Alien 3 or Superman II? Or that Terminator 2 has THREE different versions, all with their own differences and in some instances, endings as well?
There are a LOT more movies like this (Blade Runner, Apocalypse Now, Suicide Squad to name a few) and I can’t think of a single instance where multiple versions of the same film are on the same subscription streaming service.
All absent from subscription streaming services.
Netflix has attempted to fix this somewhat, they’ve been adding in ‘Making of’ features of their in-house productions like for The Irishman and The Witcher. I doubt however that this will be for everything but their most high profile releases.
That means if you have a favourite film or series, you owe it to yourself to track them down on physical media…or barring them, get them on VOD services like Vudu. In fact, most physical movies even come with free digital copies now!
So you’re literally having your cake and more.
Do yourself a favor. The next time you find yourself liking a movie, don’t just wait for it to hit streaming services.
Go online and nab yourself a physical version too (one that preferably also comes with a free digital copy) so that you can not only enjoy the movie, but also enjoy the extras that come along with it!