Buying bootleg DVD's is never a good idea. If you do decide to take the risk of buying a DVD from a guy selling movies on a street corner out of a black plastic bag for $4, you should realize what you're getting into. Nine out of 10 times the movie was video taped in a theater and you're likely to have heads pop-up every few minutes and listen to teenagers munching on popcorn. It's just not worth it. If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
This is something every person must learn on their own. I learned this the hard way freshman year of college when I bought Fahrenheit 9/11 for $3 while shopping for shoes in the fashion district. I watched about six minutes until I finally realized the poor quality wasn't because something was wrong with my TV.
Today, my mom and sister learned this inevitable lesson. Unfortunately for them, they didn't just buy one DVD, they bought five. After realizing their poor purchase, they asked me why I didn't warn them about the scam - as if I would think to tell them about every scam I came across in L.A. while I was in college! Perhaps I should also mention when the homeless people downtown say they want money for the bus, what they really want is drugs.
On the way back from my dad's b-day dinner, the following convo about 'the great deal' ensued:
MOM: We can all watch the movie 21 when we get home!
ME: That movie isn't out yet, mom.
MOM: Molly and I got it from a guy on the street.
DAD: Hunny, you're kidding right?
MOM: I just hope it's in English. He said it was.
JONATHAN: I bet it's a blank disc.
ME: I bet it's filmed in a theater.
DAD: I bet you put it in and there's a picture of a sucker across the screen ... Then you go to Chapter 2 and it says, "You get what you pay for."