My delight on Friday afternoon at receiving my Region 1 copies of Lost In Translation and Infernal Affairs, both of which are still in the cinema in the cultural backwater that is the UK, but out to buy elsewhere in the world, was slightly tempered by the discovery that the producers of both discs think they know best how their customers will want to watch their films. When I stick Lost In Translation into my DVD player, it isn’t Bill Murray’s sad, wrinkly face, Scarlett Johansson’s bottom, or in fact any part of Sofia Coppola’s picture-postcard-borderline-racist take on Japan that greets me, but SIX MINUTES of previews that you can’t skip. Well done, Focus pictures, because that’s just what I’ll want to watch every time I put the film on, isn’t it? Worse still, the oh-no-you-can’t-use-the-next-button-to-skip-this-sorry section on Infernal Affairs includes an advert for Sony (after much hassle, I discovered that you can actually get round this “feature” on both discs, by stopping them and pressing the menu button). But seriously, which film company idiot thought this would be a good idea?
The film’s quite good though: I give Lost In Translation 4 minutes of DVD-designated-must-watch content out of 6 minutes of DVD-designated-must-watch content (after Internet’s Diary).