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Original or SM?

I bought a couple of original DVD’s from a shop at Rob yesterday: Precinct 13, starring Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne; and Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker, starring Ewan McGregor.

If you know me, than you guessed it! I rummaged through the “on sale” rack. Each cost me 250.

Interesting that one line of DVD’s said 2 for 350; another said 2 for 400. Would the shop have allowed me to buy one from the 350 line for 175 and another from the 400 line for 200? I didn’t bother to ask…

Of course, there’s every possibility that both movies I purchased had already been run by HBO or Star Movies. Or that I have actually seen both but just cannot recall…

There was one, Rush Hour 3, that is fairly recent; and one I know I have not actually seen. I’m a great fan of the Jackie Chan-Chris Tucker combination, and saw the first two releases. But haller naman… 695?

For somebody as barat as me, that’s jumping into my death! That’s 5 pesos shy of 700, and these shops think they are all fooling us with the numbers! If I waited two years, the shop would probably be practically giving it away at 100, and I am a very patient man.

As an alternative, I can always go SM – Sa Muslim… I’m sure the term is not meant to be derogatory. It is just that so many of these alternative shops are owned by our Muslim brethren from the south.

Needless to say, there is every risk of purchasing movies that have shadowy human figures moving across the screen; or those from which you hear laughter when one of the actors says something funny. But then, a copy only costs 50 pesos…

Those who have gone to Divisoria say even the 50 is still expensive…

You can test DVD’s for resolution; and these shops all have 12” or 14” television sets handy. Hardly surprising, even the lowest resolution movies show up brilliantly on small television screens!

Then you go home to get irritated by the pixel-ated images… Still, for 50 bucks? How can your irritation last?

It is said that you only get what you paid for. True, but that said, there are some really, really good copies available as well. ‘Pag naka-tsamba ka

It’s become habitual to call the legit DVD’s “original.” Of course, whether you bought your DVD’s from a legitimate distributor or from SM, they’re all copies…

Eventually, everything comes down to Economics… Particularly, one that the pundits call utility, or the satisfaction one derives from something one has purchased.

I know I can always laugh for an hour and a half at Chris Tucker’s rapid-fire inanity; but then live with the regret of knowing what other things I could have bought with the 695! Blame the aremuhunan culture for that!

One day, the movie moguls in Hollywood will just have to realize that they will have to price their products so that people who are not dollar earners can also enjoy them.

The Chinese business model is based on volume and turnover. Now, imagine the number of people the world over who will be buying the so-called originals if these were reasonably priced.

[This story was first published on Facebook on 8 November 2008.]

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