A Look Back at 2013

Happy New Year to all our fans!

2013 has been a pretty good year for movies. I was pretty happy with the selection this year. There were quite a few disappointments, but there were also a fair number of gems. They did make way too many superhero movies. There’s only so many of them that I can watch a year.

2013

Our top 10 most watched trailers for 2013 include:

  1. Man of Steel
  2. Iron Man 3
  3. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  4. Elysium
  5. Pacific Rim
  6. Thor: The Dark World
  7. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  8. Star Trek Into Darkness
  9. Gravity
  10. The Wolverine

A few notable events:

  • We posted our first 4K trailer!
  • We began posting trailers with 5.1 audio!
  • We’ve made some changes which drastically improved performance on our site.

Thanks to fans like you, 2013’s been a pretty great year for us! We look forward in continuing to provide you with excellent sources to download HD trailers from.

Quick Update on Yahoo

Status

Yahoo! appears to have done a complete revamp of their movies site. At this time, no new Yahoo HD trailers will be posted until I understand how their new site works. Unfortunately after a quick glance, I’m not sure you can even play videos in HD anymore…

Existing Yahoo! HD trailer links still work and one can only hope 1 of our 3 biggest sources of HD trailers doesn’t go away.

STOP SOPA AND PIPA!

Today is officially SOPA Resistance Day. If you haven’t heard about SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) or PIPA (Protect IP Act), don’t let their names fool you as they’re anything but.

Learn why Wikipedia, Google and many other sites are protesting against these 2 bills.

I had emailed my 3 congressmen sometime in December:

I understand that a similar proposal to the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act called Protect-IP will be up for voting in the Senate early next year.

Given the huge opposition from the people against SOPA, I implore that you understand the implications of Protect-IP and not only vote against it, but convince your peers to do so too.

Thank you.

Of course my email to my House rep was worded a bit differently since SOPA is the House bill and PIPA is the Senate bill. Unfortunately I no longer have a copy of that email.

So far I’ve received 2 responses and all I got out of it was “Thanks for your expressing your view. Please sign up for my newsletter.”

So contact your representatives TODAY. Don’t wait till tomorrow or when you think you’ll have some spare time.

Hopefully as more and more people contact them, we’ll be able to stop the destruction of what made the internet great.

Here’s Rep. David Reichert’s response:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the protection of intellectual property on the Internet. I appreciate hearing your views on this matter and welcome the opportunity to respond.

U.S. law enforcement agencies may protect against violations of intellectual property rights when perpetrators are acting within the United States. However, the Internet provides a way for businesses to expand across borders, and poses a challenge for the enforcement of intellectual property rights when violators are acting outside the U.S. Currently, U.S. authorities cannot reach foreign websites offering pirated or counterfeit goods to U.S. citizens.

In response to these concerns, Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) introduced the PROTECT IP Act (S. 968) on May 12, 2011. This legislation would authorize the Justice Department or an intellectual property rights owner harmed by an Internet site “dedicated to infringing activities” to pursue a cause of action against either the registrant of an infringing domain name or an owner or operator of one. Moreover, the bill allows the Justice Department to pursue such actions against registrants, owners, or operators of foreign domain names as well. The bill has been placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar for consideration. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) in the House of Representatives on October 26, 2011. This legislation would also authorize an action by the Justice Department against registrants, owners, or operators of foreign infringing sites. Though both bills would increase the criminal penalties for those that sell counterfeit goods of certain categories, like counterfeit medicine, the House legislation includes military equipment as a special category.

Promoting and protecting innovation is critical to U.S. businesses remaining competitive in the global economy. Many industries, from pharmaceutical companies to recording studios, depend on intellectual property protections. These industries contribute greatly to the U.S. economy and serve as significant job-creators. At the same time, some have expressed concern that this legislation goes too far, and would lead to government overreach resulting in the chilling of free speech online and the stifling of innovation. As a result of these concerns, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) have released an alternative proposal, called the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act, which would authorize the International Trade Commission to investigate, and if necessary, take action against foreign websites involved in the advertising or selling of counterfeit products. This proposal is based on the premise that the International Trade Commission would be better suited to investigate such issues because of its current investigative role in determining whether certain imports into the U.S. violate U.S. property rights. Rest assured, should this legislation come to the House floor vote a vote, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to get in touch with me. Your interest and input are valued and I hope to hear from you in the future regarding other matters of importance. I encourage you to visit my website and sign-up for my monthly e-newsletter at http://reichert.house.gov to learn more about other issues impacting the 8th Congressional District and our nation. You can also follow my work online and receive frequent updates on legislation being considered in Congress by visiting me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/davereichert) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/repdavereichert).

Sincerely,

David G. Reichert
Member of Congress

Here’s Sen. Patty Murray’s response:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act , which is currently pending in the United States House of Representatives. I appreciate knowing your views on this matter.

In the Senate, this legislation would fall under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee. While I am not a member of that Committee, I want to assure you that I will be following the progress of this bill and will keep your views in mind if this or related legislation comes before the full Senate for consideration.

If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=GetEmailUpdates. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Sincerely,
Patty Murray
United States Senator

Update: At least we know Sen. Maria Cantwell is on our side: Internet Censorship Bill Coming Up in Senate in Three Weeks

Nevertheless, Wyden has at least three colleagues from both parties opposed to cloture – Jerry Moran, Maria Cantwell and Rand Paul. They will need a lot of help to block the 60 votes needed to clear cloture and get PIPA to the floor.

How Netflix Screwed Up With Its Pricing Changes

Netflix I don’t usually blog about stuff that are unrelated to HD trailers or about my site here, but I was really annoyed when I found out today that Netflix was changing their pricing structure. It’s not the fact that Netflix is increasing their prices that annoyed me, but how they’re doing it, especially to existing customers.

For those who have not seen the new pricing or read their press release, here it is: Netflix Introduces New Plans and Announces Price Changes

Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month
Plan 2: Unlimited DVDs, 1 out at-a-time (no streaming), for $7.99 a month.

The price for getting both of these plans will be $15.98 a month ($7.99 + $7.99). For new members, these changes are effective immediately; for existing members, the new pricing will start for charges on or after September 1, 2011.

The highly rated user comments are definitely things I agree with.

Basically what’s happening is that they’re splitting the DVD rentals subscription and the streaming subscription into 2 separate plans and if you want both, you have to pay for both plans.

Now that I’ve had some time to cool down and analyze why I’m so irritated by this news, I’ve come to the following conclusion:

I’m not against a price increase. I understand businesses need more revenue to expand and to provide a better service. I fully understand why I need to pay $2 more per month for blu-ray access. When they raised their prices last year to provide streaming, I was totally fine with that.

What I am against is the drastic price increase to maintain a similar level of service. People currently on the 1 dvd plan will be paying 60% more per month (from $10 to $16). I currently also get access to blu-ray to take advantage of my HDTV so my subscription will increase from $12 to $18. Netflix has generally been great about treating existing customers well, but this price change stinks.

For those who are already streaming, the price hike won’t affect you. For those who don’t care about streaming, it’s even gotten cheaper for you. But if Netflix’s goal is to convert DVD renters into online streamers, this is the wrong move.

There are no savings to get both the DVD plan and the streaming plan, giving customers fewer reasons to get both subscriptions.

The online selection may be large, but most of it is crap. By the time you can actually stream a video, it’s usually at least a year since it was released theatrically. It’s great for watching movies you want to rewatch, but for most new releases, I still rely on DVD/Blu-ray to get my fix. Even though I currently have unlimited streaming, I definitely spend more time watching the DVDs/Blu-rays than from Netflix streaming.

Here is a list of things Netflix could do:

  1. Provide a bundle discount when you get both subscriptions. I’m not even asking to be grandfathered in at a particular price. I’m just asking for a discount when I subscribe to multiple services from the same company.
  2. Provide DVD only subscriptions with a small # of streaming hours, so people can try out their video streaming service. When the selection gets good enough, people will eventually switch over.
  3. Provide a limited streaming option (e.g. 20 hours per month or 10 movies per month) for a lower subscription fee. I stream less than 10 hours/month via Netflix and wouldn’t mind paying $2-3 more for it.

As the way things stand today, I’ll most likely cancel my streaming account once September 1st hits as I just don’t use it enough.

YouTube HD Trailers

As some of you may have already noticed, we’ve posted a couple YouTube trailers on our site this week (e.g. Donkeys). Many have suggested their inclusion in the past, but I’ve always been against it due to 2 main reasons:

  1. The quality tends to be lower due to the way YouTube does compression
  2. There isn’t an easy way for us to provide you with a download link

We can fix reason #2 by downloading the trailers ourselves and hosting it, but because of reason #1, we prefer to wait for official releases with higher quality. However, we have come to realize that certain HD trailers will only be on YouTube. With that in mind and wanting our site to be the central hub for all movie HD trailers, we came to a decision to include them.

Update: To make our intentions a bit clearer, the only YouTube trailers we’ll be posting are for trailers we cannot find a higher quality for. Secondly, we won’t stop posting trailers from Apple, Yahoo, etc. This will only be in addition to what we’re currently doing.

Unfortunately we can’t provide direct download links to YouTube videos, but we have provided a link to KeepVid, which will provide you with direct download links. It’s a bit annoying when you get that Java prompt, but I notice even if you click NO, the download links will still be provided.

There are also other browser extensions/add-ons and download utilities that one can use which will make downloading YouTube videos easier. I’ll probably be writing up a tutorial on how to download from YouTube sometime later. I’m also looking into getting JavaScript to download the video you’re watching.

One might argue why anyone would come here to search for YouTube trailers. Our reply would be our target audience isn’t really searching for that trailer, but instead is browsing our website checking out new trailers for movies they’ve never heard of.

We won’t be posting these YouTube trailers on our blog, but if there’s enough demand, we might reconsider. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please do leave them below. We’d love to hear from you.

The Bridge (Short Film)

The Bridge PosterA young soldier, separated from his regiment, joins a small squad on a dangerous patrol in Nazi Italy where they all learn the true meaning of loyalty. (Source)

YouTube: 480p, 720p

My friend Sheldon Schwartz directed The Bridge, a short film that takes place during World War 2. It’s done extremely well and on a very small budget. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend checking it out.

Find more trailers and clips on our homepage.