Edition - Available Now - CinemaWise Productions
by Bill Hunt, editor of The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A/A/C+
Specs and Features
12 mins (main program - approx.), NR, letterboxed widescreen
(1.78.1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, single-layered, keep case
packaging, 8 Dolby Digital trailers (Canyon,
Rain (Short), Temple
and Train), calibration test
material (color bars, pluge test, resolution test, overscan test,
grayscale steps and audio test), 100 trivia questions available
randomly in program or interactively through menus, animated menu
screens with music, feature access, languages: English (DD 5.1 &
DTS 5.1), subtitles: none
you've spent a lot of time and effort (and probably money) building
yourself the perfect home theater. You've got the popcorn machine
and the drinks dispenser, you've got the nice red velvet curtains
and you've got the high-tech remote that controls everything in your
house but the toilet. What more do you need to add the ultimate
touch to your movie viewing experience? A Movie
Night: Custom Edition DVD. Trust me, this is a disc you
serious home theater-philes are going to love.
The whole purpose of the disc is to act as a preamble to your home
theater viewing. When you go to a theater these days, you're often
treated to a barrage of trivia questions, badly transferred TV
commercials, preview trailers and "feature presentation"
animations. The Movie Night
DVD is designed to replicate the best aspects of that experience,
without all the annoying commercials. The idea is that, once all
your guests are seated in their custom, over-stuffed theater chairs,
you spin this disc in your DVD player and let it run while you whip
up a hot batch of popcorn and pass out the soft drinks.
With a trumpet fanfare, a logo appears welcoming your guests to
your theater (more on this in a moment). Then an animation plays
that takes your guests through the lobby of a movie theater, into
the theater itself and right into the movie screen as the show is
getting ready to start. The curtains part and a countdown ticks
down. Then the screen goes black. An animation plays (just like in a
real movie theater) saying that the show will start in 10 minutes...
and wouldn't everyone like some snacks to enjoy during the show?
Once that's done, 10 minutes of randomly selected trivia questions
are shown for your guests, while a subtitle clock counts down to
showtime. There are some 100 trivia questions that the program draws
upon, and the player randomly selects 15 questions (never the same
twice) and eventually displays the answers to each. These are no
easy questions either, I can tell you. Some of these are hard-core
movie fan stumpers. Once the 10 minutes counts down, a message (from
"the Management") appears asking the audience to please
turn off all cell phones and pagers - a nice and funny touch given
that, when you go to a real theater these days, you can almost
always count on 2 or 3 phone calls per movie. And finally, you're
shown a wild, roller coaster animation that announces the feature
presentation. Then the disc stops, and you can start the actual
movie (by which time everyone has their snacks and drinks and is
ready to go). It's a really cute addition to the fun of showing
movies in your home theater.
But it gets even better. The whole disc is presented in anamorphic
widescreen video. And you have your choice (via a main menu) of full
Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 surround sound for the entire program
described above. Not only that, you also get a complete set of 8
Dolby Digital sound trailers (see the full list above), as well as a
set of 6 audio/video test patterns to help you make sure your system
is perfectly optimized for proper viewing. And an addition 80 trivia
questions (for a total of 180 in all) can also be accessed
interactively through the main menu, broken into 8 categories (Guy
Movies, For Laughs,
Be Serious, Star
Trek Only, Scared Silly,
Chick Flicks, Sci-Fi
Mania and McFly!).
You go through the questions, answering via your remote. When you
get one right, you get the answer and can move on to the next one.
Get one wrong, and a screen will pop up asking you to "try
again", at which point you'll have to start the questions again
from the beginning. The reward for correctly answering all the
questions in a category is that one of the Dolby trailers will play.
And here's the ultimate kicker... CinemaWise Productions, which
manufactures the Movie Night: Custom
Edition disc, will actually customize that opening
graphic for you so that it says whatever you want it to: "The
Smith Family Theater", etc. It's a personalized touch to the
experience, designed to really blow your guests away. And there are
a variety of logo options to choose from (CinemaWise says they can
even work with you if you have a custom business logo or other
graphic you'd like to use). I've included a few sample screenshots
from the disc below.
The Movie Night DVD is
available in a less expensive, Basic
Edition in addition to the Custom
Edition. The Basic Edition
sells for $24.95 and doesn't include the custom logo and the DTS
audio option, whereas the Custom Edition
is $49.95 and includes the custom logo as well as both audio
options. Turn around time is very quick on the Custom
Edition (just a few days unless you make a special logo
request) and your player must be able to handle DVD-R media.
CinemaWise has an F.A.Q.
on their website that should answer all your questions.
The reality is that this disc probably isn't for everyone. But if
you're a serious home theater enthusiast looking for the added "theater
experience" touch that CinemaWise can provide, then the Movie
Night: Custom Edition is a real bargain. I've seen
similar custom DVDs selling for 2 or 3 times this price. And if
you've already spent thousands of dollars on your anamorphic HDTV or
projection system, your 5.1 or 7.1 speaker array, your THX-certified
player and receiver, and your plush theater-style seating and
curtains... what's $50 more to personalize it all? Sure, it's an
indulgence. But that's what home theater fun is all about.
Here for the CinemaWise Website