I am supposed to review "Underworld: Evolution" (sequel to "Underworld") for the "Cinema" magazine. I got the review DVD from the distributor (labelled "Underworld: Evolution movie + trailer"), put it into my DVD player and got "This DVD Cannot be Played" message. I tried putting it into my PS2 and again - nothing.
As a last ditch attempt, I put the DVD into my Linux computer and tried opening it. It was immediately clear why I couldn't play it in the DVD player. It wasn't DVD-Video disc but data DVD-ROM containing only two unencrypted MPG video files. The first was the trailer for the first "Underworld" movie. The second was "Underworld: Evolution" itself. It played without problems on my computer. However, the picture looked like this:
This is not scaled-down, this is 1:1 full-size screengrab of the video. The picture is less than 400 pixels wide, about 150 pixels tall and looks like bad VHS copy. The counter in the corner and the text in the middle of the frame stay there for the whole goddamn movie.
Also of note is the sound quality. This is an MP3 of how it sounds during the whole movie.
I must stress again that this was an official screening copy provided by the official distributor for the purpose of writing the review of this movie. How the hell should I review it when I cannot see what is happening in some darker scenes and cannot hear the dialogue? In their quest to fight the piracy (see also this funny story), the distributors are really overdoing it.
But if they wanted to prevent me from uploading "Underworld: Evolution" to BitTorrent, they certainly succeeded. Thankfully, others already did that.