By Evan Erwin | January 14, 2001

But what can I do about it? ^ There are many ways to curb this trend, and I’ll discuss two here.
1. Keep yourself aware of DVD petitions around the net. If you don’t think these work, let me give you an example. “Princess Mononoke,” a wonderful Japanese anime, was planned for a September 2000 video release from Disney. The disc was to feature a new Dolby Digital 5.1 English-dubbed all-star soundtrack, featuring the likes of Billy Bob Thornton and Claire Danes. The hitch was that the original Japanese soundtrack was not going to be included. Once the DVD world found out, the uproar, powered by calls, letters, and petition signers, made Disney change their mind. While it added another two months to the DVD release date and the Japanese option is Stereo Surround only, the fact that the original soundtrack was included at all is a prime example of how the fight was won by movie lovers, not the studio.
2. The solutions to problems dealing with substandard products are always simple: don’t buy it! Don’t waste your money on a Collector’s Edition that will ultimately turn into an Ultimate Edition. Don’t buy discs that keep real content to a minimum and fluff to the foreground. Don’t be fooled by the “Special Edition” moniker. Put simply, what you should spend that hard earned cash on are discs where real effort has gone into them. I’m not just talking about independents here. When a studio goes all out with great packages such as “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” or “The Silence of the Lambs: Special Edition” (from Paramount and MGM, respectively), give credit where credit’s due and pay the man. But when you get a substandard mess like “The Mummy Returns,” “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” or Columbia TriStar’s muck up of “Memento,” write and demand the studios to do better. Or use the one thing that talks the loudest: your wallet.
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