We were all new at this at one time I would not even think about some of the things I thought you could do with a burner when I first got it and then learned just how little I knew about it.
Need more info to really help What do you mean by crappy? and most of all what what program you were using.
If I was you I would post the following then someone could help you better.
What movie of yours were you trying to backup like say superman
What program did you use to get it on your hardrive?
What program did you shink it with if you had to shink it?
last what program did you use to burn it and at what speed.
One thing I will tell you is that I have learned if for programs I do not let the program set the speed to max burning. I have a pioneer 109 and burn either 8X or 16x disk using many different programs such as nero, clonedvd, and dvd decrypter and I always set the disk that are *8x to burn at 8x and the 16x to burn at 16x and not let program set it to max. I had bad burns letting like clonedvd brun on the max setting which should have burned at 16x but for some reason the max setting was giving bad disk they would stop at times during the movie. I used to always burn at half the max speed for the burner but now the new burners seem to work better at close to max speed for the burner.
Also very importand defrag your hardrive I do not know why but even with cds if I went months without do a defrag of the hardrive I would start getting bad burns. MOST OF ALL KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THE COMPUTER WHILE BURNING DO NOT BE ON THE INTERNET OR PLAYING SOLITARE WHILE THE BURNING IS GOING ON.
I would invest in a couple of dvdrw disk for testing until you get your dvd burning down that way you can write over them each time and not waste disk. I have both cdrws and dvdrws that I use just for testing when I have a problem got tired of wasting disk that cost 50 cents each.