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Old 06-12-17, 03:04 PM   #1
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Best and worst DVD menus?

Hi everyone - I'm working on a project looking at what people think are the best and worst DVD menus and particularly why they are liked or disliked. What is it you look for in a DVD menu?
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Old 06-12-17, 03:12 PM   #2
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

Number one is simplicity. Motion menus that take too long to get to the options are the most annoying.

If was sort of fun when DVDs were first showing off their features but it became tiresome very quickly.

The worst is Disney "Fast-Play". That would send you though a whole round of ads you couldn't get out of.

Whenever the "Fast Play" option comes up I just press "Chapters" and press "Chapter 1" which takes you straight to the movie.
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Old 06-14-17, 12:41 PM   #3
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

Many years ago, I would have said Memento special edition for one of the best. It was somewhat intriguing, matched the packaging and theme, and was unique. Today, if I had to click through to watch the movie, I'd be a bit irritated.

At this point, I just want a pretty simple selection of movie, features, settings. Having an endlessly repeating video or audio clip will drive me up a wall.
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Old 06-16-17, 10:04 AM   #4
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

How do people feel about spoilers? If too much material is included in the menu, what effect does that have?

Also how about sound? Does anyone have any views on loud DVD menus?
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Old 06-16-17, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

The Detroit Rock City menu is horrible in terms of navigation, I remember the First Harry Potter Dvd was pretty bad too. On the flip side the first Harold and Kumar dvd was one of my favorites. They broke the 4th wall cracking jokes at the menu, and they carried it over to the bluray.
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Old 06-16-17, 11:10 AM   #6
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

There was a time when Universal put confusing icons in their DVD menus. They were, at least for me, hard to decipher.
The German DVD of Darkness (2002) (I bought it for the unrated version which was eventually released in the U.S. as well) spoils the ENTIRE movie and shows every graphic scene in the motion menu.
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Old 06-16-17, 04:46 PM   #7
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mndtrp View Post
Many years ago, I would have said Memento special edition for one of the best. It was somewhat intriguing, matched the packaging and theme, and was unique. Today, if I had to click through to watch the movie, I'd be a bit irritated.
I printed out a booklet and put it with the DVD so I could find the stuff I wanted on that set:
http://www.mutedhorn.net/memento-dvd-guide

Region Code Enhancement may be the worst DVD menu ever: If your DVD player tells the DVD it's any region other than region 1, it loads up a menu screen with no options, just text saying that the disc isn't playable in that region. It was basically a "hack" of the DVD menu to try and thwart multi-region DVD players.
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Old 06-16-17, 06:30 PM   #8
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

I like the animated menu for Pink Floyd: The Wall. It's short enough to be entertaining, but not long enough to be annoying, plus there are easter eggs all over it.
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Old 06-16-17, 06:42 PM   #9
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

Watching a movie should be like reading a book. When you pick up a book, you flip past a few pages, and within seconds you have access to the text. The longer it takes me to get to the movie, the worse it is. Criterion does it right.

Spoilers are bad, of course. I once looked at a DVD menu and it completely gave away the big surprise at the climax of the movie. Fortunately, I had seen the movie before, but my wife had not. I was able to get out of the menu before she came into the room. After the movie was done, I showed her the menu. She was similarly outraged. A random technician in the home video department shouldn't undercut what the screenwriter and the director built.
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Old 06-16-17, 08:43 PM   #10
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

On the spoiler front, the DVD menu of Barton Fink completely spoils
Spoiler:
the true nature of John Goodman's character by showing his rampage through the flaming hotel hallway.


Hopefully the upcoming Blu Ray doesn't do the same
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Old 06-17-17, 11:45 PM   #11
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

Since this year marks the format's 20th anniversary, I'd been meaning to put together a collection of notable and memorable DVD menus. Honestly I've always preferred when the disc just starts playing the movie right away, and doesn't show the menu unless you hit the Menu button. It's a movie, not a video game. There's more than a few menus that probably look pretty dated now, besides that.

One that made me groan was "Meet the Parents" which shows Ben Stiller yelling "Can you deal with THAT!" right at the camera when you hit Play- that's actually the very last shot in the movie before the end credits. True that the trailer had it also, and I'd already seen the movie when I got the disc.
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Old 06-18-17, 06:37 AM   #12
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

Keep it simple. Cut right to the things I need to click on to get where I want to go. I don't want to see moving images from the movie or hear audio or music from it. And, where possible, put all items in the Special Features ON ONE PAGE!!!
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Old 06-18-17, 05:46 PM   #13
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

3 types of menus I dislike:

1. The menus which show scenes from the movie as you're presented with the menu options (I don't want to watch spoilers before I've even had a chance to watch the damned movie!)

2. The menus which ask if you want to watch the movie as the good guy or would you rather watch it as the bad guy. I'm assuming it's the same damned movie so what's the point?

3. Science Fiction movies that present the menu options in someone's concept of alien language or symbols. WTF???


Just give me the standard menu choices: Play, Audio/Subtitles, Scenes, Special Features, & Trailers, with a nice picture in the background, I don't need all the fancy schmancy shit, it just complicates things unnecessarily.
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Old 06-22-17, 12:53 PM   #14
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
A random technician in the home video department shouldn't undercut what the screenwriter and the director built.
The box cover to the original Planet of the Apes still irritates me. Yeah, most people over the age of 15 have either seen it, or heard about the "big twist". However, neither of my kids have, and I'm sure many others haven't yet either.
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Old 06-22-17, 03:46 PM   #15
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

I'm with many others in the opinion they all should adhere to the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid!!!).

Best: Titles from WAC (either DVD or BR) as they load a very simple menu with no ads/previews/warnings and a simple "Play" to start the movie or select a episode of a TV season. Most (all?) titles from WB use a similarly simple menu.

Worst: Anything that doesn't fit the Warner mold.

Star Trek titles are some of the worst out there. Animated menus with text that's too small to be read comfortably at a normal viewing distance.

Disney "Fast Play" is the worst of all. Kid puts in the disc and they have a captive audience for up to 15 minutes while ads for other Disney discs plays before the movie actually starts. It's anything *but* "Fast Play!"
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Old 06-23-17, 12:51 AM   #16
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

Some Warner menus are annoying- I think The Matrix was the first overly complicated one they did, and also the first that showed up rather than having the movie play right away after the WB opening which their previous discs did. (Isn't it about time they changed that intro BTW? They've been using it for 20 years now, longer than any of their previous ones!)
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Old 06-26-17, 11:02 AM   #17
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Re: Best and worst DVD menus?

3-disc "Panic Room" was one of the best with the motion menus taking you on a 3D trip through the house via blueprints.
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