I admit to torrenting Criterions and other R1 releases when they help my ratio on a site, but I plan to buy the films when I’ve got the money (although in the case of major titles like in-print Criterions, only when they hit blu-ray). Nothing beats hard copy.
I pirate a lot of movies, but I limit myself heavily on what I can pirate. It either has to be something that I can’t get, either because it’s not on DVD (frequently with foreign films that aren’t out in America at all) or because it’s been out of print for so long that I’d have to pay exorbitant amounts for a used copy ($100 for a used copy of Begotten? No thanks), or it’s something that I’m very interested in seeing, but I’m really unsure if I’d like it, and there’s no way for me to see it through a friend or rental. I have no problems shelling out some money for movies I haven’t seen though, I bought a box set of Kinji Fukasaku’s Battles Without Honor and Humanity series for $70 without having even seen a trailer. I just like a lot of more extreme films with potentially offputting content and heavily divided reviews (like Visitor Q or 964 Pinocchio) that I want to check out before I buy. Frequently, I do end up liking it and buy it. Even for the first category, I’ll eagerly await the US release and buy it as soon as I can. The only time I downloaded more readily available films was when I had to do a writeup on last year’s Academy Awards Best Picture nominees, and the 5 I hadn’t seen in theaters weren’t available on DVD yet.
I buy most of my DVDs used anyway though, is that so much different? I’m getting a movie for a cheaper price and the studio/artist isn’t getting any of my money.
Reviving this thread because it occurred to me:
If the guy is reviewing the blu-ray transfer, and downloads a COMPRESSED copy of the blu-ray, well then he’s not seeing what the transfer actually looks like. Odds are he’s watching a 720p copy of a film that, on hard copy, would be projected in 1080p. Contrary to what novices will tell you, there is a huge difference between 720 and 1080 – 1080 allows for more defined faces and doesn’t have the strange lagging effect I’ve seen on 720p TVs.
If the guy is reviewing the film, can’t he just Netflix a copy of the original DVD? Surely someone has it uploaded in its entirety to YouTube.
Either way, not a justifiable act of piracy. If he was reviewing something truly rare for its quality as a film, like Markopoulos’ Ming Green or Kaul’s Our Daily Bread (to name two recent films that have had heavy amounts of traffic on the almighty KG), then it would make sense to pirate it. But when he’s supposed to review a canon film’s transfer and is looking at a compression, rather than the real thing, he is failing in his job as a critic, because he’s not seeing the transfer at its best possible quality.