2007: A year of unthinkable releases

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Harry-N, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    As I think back to last year, I have to note a number of releases that many fans thought they'd never see on DVD. The years since the format's inception came and went and for most of these, there wasn't a hint that they'd ever see the light of day. But 2007 brought them into the light. I'd like to list what I think are the remarkable releases - not for the way they they were done - but the fact that they were done at all.

    Night Of The Comet - An '80s flick that initially went nowhere and became kind of a cult film on cable TV and home video. It was forever listed among people's wished-for movies. MGM released a decent version of it in the late winter.

    The Silent Partner - One of those little Canadian movies that a lot of folks grabbed onto. It too became a bit of a cult favorite. It was a title I never thought I'd see on DVD, let alone an anamorphic widescreen version, but the early spring of 2007 saw its release. The box art was pretty strange, but it's the movie that counts, right?

    I Love Lucy Seasons 7, 8, & 9 - The Lucy Desi Comedy Hours finally saw DVD release in this all-inclusive set. After the season releases of I Love Lucy, it seemed like these SHOULD have happened, but as it turned out, this was a release that almost didn't happen. Thanks to those who saved it and got it through.

    The Fugitive, Season One, Volume One - Many consider it the finest dramatic TV series ever, yet it remained conspicuously absent from DVD shelves for all these years. We only got half of the first season, but there's more on the horizon. It's a most-welcomed addition on many shelves, and there are new people discovering its wonders all the time.

    Land Of The Giants - The only Irwin Allen series this far to get a full-series treatment in one release. They pulled out all the stops on this one, with a fancy cage-box to house the goodies, which included patches, cards, mini-comics - and of course all 52 episodes of the series, all meticulously remastered to look fresher than ever. The show is not exactly rocket-science, but it can be fun if you're in the right mood.

    Count Dracula - The BBC version that ran in the US on PBS as part of the Great Performances series. Basically buried for years, this handsome production was unearthed for US viewing audiences on DVD for the first time. The UK had been graced with an earlier DVD that was region-coded and in PAL format. This one was nicely transferred to NTSC and looks better than ever. Boasting a top-notch Dracula character by Louis Jordan, this one gets raves by many of the genre's fans.

    Twilight Zone: The Movie - Long the missing piece in the Twilight Zone puzzle, the motion picture version finally takes its place on the shelves of fans after a long dearth of no news at all. A bare-bones release - but way better than the previous none-at-all.

    Robinson Crusoe On Mars - For years the LaserDisc of this title brought commanding prices in the used market, but 2007 finally brought the full Criterion treatment of this title to DVD - commentaries and all. Though the title always sounds stupid to the non-initiated, the movie is a thoughtful treatment of the subject of man battling the known scence and the unknown dangers on an alien planet.

    Mercy Mission - One of those little made-for-TV movies that touched a lot of people when originally broadcast, this Scott Bakula/Robert Loggia vehicle quietly appeared on DVD in one of those budget two-fers. It's a welcome addition to my library all by itself.

    A Christmas Carol: Ultimate Edition - The Alastair Sim version of the film is beloved by many. Though this is probably the best the film has ever looked, it still looks like there's work to be done for that someday Super Ultimate Edition!

    Three Stooges Collection: 1934-1936 - The boys short film have been languishing for years in untold numbers of budget releases with no rhyme nor reason to them. Finally in 2007, we've gotten the first of hopefully many releases of the films in chronological order and meticulously restored for DVD.

    Blade Runner - What more can be said for the likely release of the year? This long awaited title brings ALL major versions of the film to the fans who've been clamoring for them for years. Available in two-disc, four-disc, and five-disc versions, the release squeaked in for the Christmas season by only a few days. Some are still awaiting delivery of their own at this date in early 2008.

    Thanks to all involved for bringing these titles out and making 2007 a remarkable year for the Digital Versatile Disc.

    Harry
     
  2. DanMel

    DanMel Second Unit

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    Wow I thought this was going to be a list of obscure 30's and 40's movies released such as Marco Polo, Casanova Brown, The Wedding Night that no one had any idea were going to be released or hadn't even been thinking about being released. Most of the one's listed above had rumors about being released for several years and it was only a matter of time. I'm sure that the members here could think of even more releases with all the pre-code movies and such.

    The Christmas Carol Ultimate eddition along with other Christmas movies seem to be released about every Christmas although the last release was better looking than previous releases.
     
  3. Chris S

    Chris S Cinematographer

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    What a great list! I have to point out one of my favorite obscure releases from this past year. Robinson Crusoe On Mars is a great release and was a very welcome surprise from Criterion.
     
  4. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Alot of the above titles were definitely surprising but the biggest surprise for me was Hearts Of Darkness.
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Where does one start?

    WB cleared rights issues with King Features to finally release the classic Popeye cartoons on video. Alejandro Jodorwsky made amends with Allen Klein, resulting in El Topo and The Holy Mountain escaping bootleg hell. Fantoma released fully restored sets of Kenneth Anger's films (all looking miraculously pristine). Disney put out fully restored Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons with great music scores. Universal put out the first of two volumes of Walter Lantz cartoons. Paramount finally licensed out films to Criterion. Steven Spielberg had a new ultimate edition of Close Encounters of the Third Kind released on DVD and BluRay with all three cuts. Stanley Kubrick's last three films finally received DVDs with the original widescreen matting. Fox released a box set of John Ford silents.

    One or two of these would be neat surprises, but all in one year? Big thanks to the studios and producers who made these happen.
     
  6. seanOhara

    seanOhara Supporting Actor

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    Let's not forget Monster Squad.

    Let's not forget Monster Squad, O Lucky Man and If...
     
  7. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    2007 would have been perfect for a 20th anniversary special edition of the film HOUSEKEEPING. Oh well another year, and my favorite film still isn't on dvd[​IMG]
     
  8. Corey3rd

    Corey3rd Screenwriter

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    Gymkata
     
  9. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately 2007 was a disappointing year. Another year and no DS movies.
    What made it even more disappointing was that it was mentioned as a 07 release in the WB chat. Here I am in 08 wondering what is up? Was it cancelled? Was it something said to get the DS people off their backs? Will
    we get something better than a bare bones release?
     
  10. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    DS?
     
  11. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    I'm guessing that DS = Dark Shadows.

    One man's feast is another man's famine, as the old saying goes.

    I still have the two Dark Shadows movies on LaserDisc. Like all good things, they'll come to he who waits.

    Harry
    ...full of cliches, online...
     
  12. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    To me the arrival of Vitaphone shorts was something of a long awaited miracle.
     
  13. Chris S

    Chris S Cinematographer

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    Wow! I had forgotten how many great animation releases came out this year. One of my favorites of the year being the Tex Avery's Droopy - The Complete Theatrical Collection.
     
  14. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    I still can't believe that I own a half-complete set of Fleischer POPEYE films.

    Quite possibly to date, my favorite release... ever!
     
  15. Richard M S

    Richard M S Supporting Actor

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    For me the mid-summer Criterion release of ACE IN THE HOLE was huge, I have always wanted to see that film.

    And when I finally saw it, it did not disappoint!
     
  16. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    The ones I was most relieved to finally get on dvd:

    Eyes Wide Shut (uncensored)
    I Love You Again
    Royal Wedding (a decent version)
    36 Hours
    Ball of Fire
    Tex Avery's Droopy
    The Prisoner of Zenda
     
  17. CineKarine

    CineKarine Supporting Actor

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    To me, the greatest - and most amazing - surprises in 2007 were:
    Miracle in the Rain (56)
    The 2 Grayson and Lanza musicals (That Midnight Kiss & The Toast of New Orleans)
    Madame Bovary (49)
    A Date with Judy (48)
    With a Song in my Heart (52)
    The Girl Next Door (53)
    On the Riviera (51)
    My Reputation (46)

    My heart still skips a beat just thinking about them!
     
  18. DaveRU

    DaveRU Stunt Coordinator

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    Surprised no-one's mentioned Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which included the very rare original theatrical version [​IMG]
     
  19. WadeM

    WadeM Supporting Actor

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    What I found unthinkable were things like the James Brown westerns that Fox/MGM released... let's see.... Gun Fight is now released, but no Gunfighter...

    I'm sure there must be a fan base out there for these, but it was surprising to me.

    Thanks for the info on Silent Partner....I haven't seen it before, but it seems right up my alley.
     
  20. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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