A Farwell to Arms?
Ever notice something minor that just seems to bother you out of all proportion to its physical significance? I bought a DVD at a local second-hand shop, a two-disc pack with three early Gary Cooper movies and a promotional short. Gary Cooper was a popular Academy Award-winning actor with a unique “everyman” style, and who eventually hit a few out of the park, like the classic High Noon. This set included A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway’s depressive look at love in the midst of the opposing traits of mankind. Except for the breakthrough cinematography, it’s a workman-like effort that deserves some respect – especially for Gary Cooper, who’s the reason for the DVD’s issuance by Genius Entertainment, a division of Genius Products.
Now, a lot of DVDs have misspellings on the electronic disc identification, something only the device will see so it hardly matters. This is the first time I’ve seen a DVD menu muffed with a “don’t care” attitude. It’s not so much the slept-through-that-class miscreant who screwed it up, as the lack of any second set of eyeballs to make sure the DVD was good to go before it went into production. Not a soul in the Genius hierarchy nor AMC bothered to expose it to anyone above a party-animal intern or minimum wage go-fer once the lowest-price graphics house puked up their sloppy work. This tends to kick me right into the standard “and this is what’s wrong in this country today” tirade in regard to business practices, but you get the picture, so to speak. For some outfits, the most effective way to promote themselves is to emphasize cost, and not let anyone see their past work.