I feel like I can't go anywhere on the Internet these days without running into 90's nostalgia. All the 90's kids tend to reminisce about the toys, clothing, movies, and TV shows from their childhood. While I enjoy rediscovering something that I had forgotten about from the first decade of my life, sometimes people get a little obnoxious in their nostalgia, and I'm pretty sure they irritate the heck out of all the non-90's people. I mean, yeah, we DID have way better TV shows than kids do today, but there's no need to be obnoxious about it, and sometimes it's okay to remember the 90's in our heads and not all over the Internet.
With that said, I will now reminisce on the 90's and early 2000's.
Once upon a time in the 90's, movies for home viewing came on a tape called a VHS. It was simple and straightforward- pop in the VHS, enjoy the Disney animated film of superior quality to anything produced today (isn't it a rule that 90's kids have to brag?), and when the movie's over, stop, rewind, eject. I was very good at following the "Be kind and rewind" rule.
One day, sometime very early in the new millennium, a strange new machine came to my house. It was called a DVD player. Along with the DVD player came a small disc that looked like a CD, except instead of music, it was a movie- Shrek. The DVD was so much more than the traditional exercise of play, stop, rewind, eject. You didn't have to rewind a DVD. When you put a DVD into the DVD player, a menu popped up on the screen and you could navigate among options with the arrow buttons on your remote control. You could skip to a specific scene in the movie, put subtitles at the bottom of the screen, watch the film in different languages, watch the film with director's commentary, watch a "The making of" documentary, and (the only one of these options that I really cared about at that age) play games.
The DVD was a game-changer. When you bought a DVD, you bought more than a movie. You bought various special features. You bought the portability of a movie that could be played on laptops. You bought a case that took up less room in your entertainment center. It was great! For a while you could buy movies on either VHS or DVD, but the companies slowly transitioned to only DVD and stayed that way.
That is, until they invented the Blu-Ray.
Nowadays we have option of buying new movies on DVD or Blu-Ray. We also have the option of buying old movies on DVD or Blu-Ray. A lot of the classic movies keep getting re-released on DVD, especially the animated Disney movies I grew up with. I'm not exactly eager to buy the DVD versions because I already own all of these movies-- just on VHS.
Only one problem: Since nobody makes VHS's anymore, nobody makes a way to play VHS's anymore. It's all fine and dandy that I still own all these tapes, but if I don't have a way to watch them, then they're not doing me any good.
I've often discussed this problem with my friends, and I've noticed something silly about the way these conversations tend to go. We've all gotten so used to DVD's and the machines used to play them, which are called DVD players. Therefore, it's not altogether surprising that we ask ourselves, "Where can you find a VHS player these days?" This is very silly, because the machine used to play a VHS is not called a VHS player. It is, in fact, a VCR.
Thinking about modern times and the future... I'm sticking with DVDs for now, since I own a TV with a built-in DVD player. However, if in the future I acquire a larger TV without DVD-playing apparatus included, I'm going to buy a Blu-Ray player. Unless there's something even better about to come out. Like a hologram movie player. Then I'll wait for that.
Note: Earlier in the post when I said the Disney animated films of the 90's were superior to anything produced today: I don't believe that's necessarily true in all cases. In my opinion, the animated features back then are superior to many movies created now (there's a reason they call it the Disney Renaissance), but I'm personally really impressed with the new form of animation that's been the norm for the past couple years. I'm nostalgic for the old days and 2-D masterpieces, but some of the movies that Disney and Dreamworks have been cranking out these past few years have been really entertaining and nice to look at.