Let’s face it: piracy in the Philippines is rampant and out of control. It’s become the norm in a third world country like the Philippines to just download or get movies from torrents. Of, if you don’t have access to a fast enough Internet connection so you can actually download them, you can just walk to your nearby marketplace and get a bootleg DVD for a fraction of the price. And while we’re on the topic of the Internet service in the Philippines, good luck streaming an HD movie here as the Philippines is notorious for being one of the countries that have the slowest Internet speeds in the world, averaging at around 2.8 Mbps, making it the second slowest average speed in the Asia Pacific region; India is the slowest but has more users that have connection speeds faster than 4 Mbps!
Me personally, I do love to copy my geeky brethren in other countries and I do try to buy original DVDs and Blu-Ray movies. I mean, the original stuff usually have more to offer than the bootleg copies. After all, original DVDs and Blu-Ray copies usually have a lot of extras such as slick packaging, director’s commentary, behind-the-scenes extras and more, right? Well, it’s not so in the Philippines! Because it seems like local distributors just love to cut out all of the reasons why a consumer actually buys original copies!
Recently, I went to one of the few remaining local DVD/Blu-Ray/music stores because, sadly, not many people really go there anymore because of the aforementioned piracy problem of the country. They do have a lot of stuff on sale most of the time. But I visited the store for one particular reason: I wanted to get a Blu-Ray copy of the last Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. It’s supposed to contain a lot of extras, like a mini-documentary of the making of the film, how they built BB-8 as well as a few deleted scenes.
All of these juicy extras are supposed to be on a separate disc because, well, that’s a lot of stuff! It looked like a fantastic deal so I went to the store to get Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Blu-Ray (of course). Imagine my surprise when I checked the back of the locally produced copy of the Blu-Ray version that it only contained one disc! The local distributors, in their infinite wisdom, decided not to include the extras! That’s an incredibly stupid thing to do! I know The Force Awakens is an incredibly good movie. But to totally cut out the extras that other regions are getting to, what? Save manufacturing costs for a second disc? That’s just shortchanging the Philippine community that was willing to buy the movie!
Oh, but it’s not just Star Wars: The Force Awakens! They also did the same thing with the release of Deadpool on Blu-Ray and DVD. Because, for one, there isn’t a Blu-Ray version of the film available yet! The DVD version of Deadpool is out and that would’ve been fine but… why? The Blu-Ray was released at the same time as the DVD! Why would they not release them at the same time here in the Philippines as well?
Oh, and if you check out the special features of the DVD version of Deadpool, well, you’ll find out they also removed a lot of stuff as well. I checked the back and the DVD and it only had the Gag Reel and Deadpool’s Fun Sack. I didn’t expect the audio commentaries to be included. But that means they removed the deleted scenes as well as the pseudo “making of” featurettes that’s should also be on the DVD version!
I would really want to start my very own home movie collection. But the local producers of the Blu-Rays and DVD are making it really hard for me to do so! I would want to buy more original Blu-Rays. But the local distributors are trying to defraud potential customers that would gladly spend their hard earned money on a quality product! It’s like the local publishers have just given up on trying to compete with the bootlegs as they’re not even including the things that they can offer that the bootleggers can’t: the extra content!
I’ve already railed against the music industry regarding this and I didn’t really want to write another post saying the same thing about Blu-Rays and DVDs because I didn’t expect this from them. I actually have a few original Blu-Rays. I got Nightmare Before Christmas (which I watch every Halloween ever since I got it). I got Forgetting Sarah Marshall (because it’s a movie I wanted to watch but was never shown in the Philippines because of… we’re afraid of flaccid penises over here, I guess). I have The Dark Knight (as it’s one of the most amazing movies of all time and contained an extra disc worth of extras… which Star Wars: The Force Awakens should’ve had). I also have the first Marvel’s Avengers movie as well as Guardians of the Galaxy as they did come with all of their extras intact.
I got those movies because I felt they were worth the money. They didn’t come cheap as well! But I feel I got my money’s worth. The extras were a joy to watch and a great accompaniment for the actual movie. And I think that’s what local Blu-Ray and DVD producers don’t get. A lot of movie collectors want these extras because we already watched the movie! We would like to watch them again but, of course, we would want a little something extra to keep the experience fresh. We want to see how the movie was made and hear what the director was thinking when they filmed specific scenes.
We want to see all the hard work that went to with the making of the movies that we get on Blu-Ray and DVD and cutting them out is just a dick move on their part. So I do hope the local distributors would stop being dicks and give the Philippine public what we deserve: the extras we were supposed to get in the first place! If you do, maybe, just maybe, you’ll see a lot more people actually buying original Blu-Rays and DVD over here!
Are the extra content of your movies being edited out in your country? Let me know in the comments section below!