The Return Of Blu-Ray

Like vinyl, it has found new fans for its betterthan-streaming quality hard-to-find titles, and the joy of watching movies the way they should be watched.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

"Not all new shows – like, er… Mission: Impossible Fallout, Ocean’s 8, Yanxi Palace (with English subtitles!) and Crazy Rich Asians – are keepers. Rent them instead. "

"Rida Video Centre (opened in 1985) boasts a whopping 10,000-plus Blu-ray titles, from classics like Lawrence of Arabia and Some Like It Hot to Home Alone and Blade Runner."

Even cineastes who used to hunt down laser discs of Criterion Collection art-house movies, and who embraced DVDs when they became the prevailing format, were sidetracked when streaming services like Hula and Netflix revolutionised the way we consume movies and TV shows.

But that technology isn’t the promised land. Despite its convenience, it can’t beat Blu-ray discs for their sheer number of movies (three times more than Netflix’s 3,900 titles, as of December 2018), the pristine play (no lagging or blurry scenes), and audio quality (no compression).

Blu-ray discs often include additional “making of” and director’s cuts – extra footage that you usually don’t see in an online movie. And they also – you can’t be more smug about this – don’t ever get removed from a schedule. The disc is there for you to hold and to play whenever you choose – it’s not in the cloud, it’s in your cabinet.

So, the reports of the death of Blu-ray have been greatly exaggerated. Like anything that’s worth a comeback, it’s back – with (omg!) brick and mortar stores like Rida Video Centre leading the charge. This is where shop owner Laurel Khoo – who has an encyclopaedic appreciation of films – holds court and hands out recommendations. “I have customers who’ve been with us since the beginning, and I’ve also watched some grow up and have children of their own,” Khoo says.

Which brings us to one more reason why we gotta love Blu-ray: human interaction – the reason why movies were made in the first place. – NVP 
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