Anchor Bay Press Release: Lion of the Desert and The Message (Blu-ray)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    lion of the desert bd email.jpg the message bd email.jpg

    Courage. Destiny. History. To some, these are but mere words. For a rare few, they are just beginning of a heroic journey towards fulfilling a greater purpose. On November 12th, Anchor Bay Entertainment and Trancas International Films present two Moustapha Akkad epics making their U.S. high-definition debut: The Message and The Lion of the Desert. Featuring some of Hollywood’s greatest stars, including Anthony Quinn, Rod Steiger, Oliver Reed, John Gielgud and Irene Papas, The Message and The Lion of the DesertBlu-rays™ will both be available for an SRP of $19.99 each. Pre-book for both titles is October 16th.

    Beginning in 7th century Mecca, The Message tells the conflict between its powerful leaders and Muhammad, who attacks the greed and cruelty rife in this profligate community. After a revelation from God, Muhammad takes up arms against Mecca. Muhammad came to be known as the prophet, the servant, the bearer of good tidings... he unified Arabia under one religion, one God, preaching The Message.

    The Lion of the Desert begins in 1929: Benito Mussolini (Steiger) has been at war with Bedouin patriots for decades, the point of contention being the Italian colonization of Libya. Mussolini has appointed General Rodolfo Graziani (Reed) as governor to Libya, confident that he can crush the rebellion. However, Omar Mukhtar (Quinn) – a teacher and humanist, yet skilled in desert warfare – has assumed leadership of the resistance. Led by Mukhtar, the Bedouin troops fight on horseback, using guerrilla tactics against the formidable forces of the Italian Army.


    The Message Blu-ray™
    Genre: Historical Epic/Drama
    Rating: PG
    Languages: English
    Format: Widescreen 1.78:1
    Audio: 5.1 DTSHD-MA
    Year: 1976
    SRP: $19.99
    Street Date: November 12, 2013
    Pre-Book: October 16, 2013
    Length: 171 minutes
    UPC: 013132612454
    Cat#: BD61245

    The Lion Of The Desert Blu-ray™
    Genre: Historical Epic/Drama
    Rating: PG
    Languages: English
    Format: Widescreen 1.78:1
    Audio: 5.1 DTSHD-MA
    Year: 1980
    SRP: $19.99
    Street Date: November 12, 2013
    Pre-Book: October 16, 2013
    Length: 156 minutes
    UPC: 013132612430
    Cat#: BD61243
     
  2. t1g3r5fan

    t1g3r5fan Stunt Coordinator

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    Will the special features from the earlier DVDs carry over here?
     
  3. Jeffrey:K

    Jeffrey:K Second Unit

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    Oh, good grief. Don't tell me AB is still peddling these 16:9-cropped transfers. Both of these films were shot 2.35:1.
     
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  4. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    My non-anamorphic DVD of LOTD has succumbed to DVD rot. I'm not replacing it with the cropped version. I guess I'll DVR it off TCM sometime.
     
  5. John Stockton

    John Stockton Second Unit

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    Forgive my bluntness but,

    Screw Anchor Bay :angry:

    As much as I love both of these films, I am not paying a dime for these butchered versions. Both of these were shot in anamorphic 2.35, and should be presented as such.

    What was AB thinking, when they made this decision.
     
  6. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

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    Perhaps these are the only masters the Akkad family have? Maybe it's their mistake and not Anchor Bay's?
     
  7. John Stockton

    John Stockton Second Unit

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    The Akkad family owns the original camera negatives. There would be no problem providing the right master to AB. Plus the first Non anamorphic DVDs of both films by AB, were the correct ratio of 2.35.

    Nah..This definitely smells like AB's attempt to cater to the J6P crowd by filling their new 16:9 HD sets. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I don't know, it's not like these titles will sell enough copies you have to cater to anyone.
     
  9. John Stockton

    John Stockton Second Unit

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    Actually they do. These films appeal a lot to the Senior Citizens, and we know most of them hate to see black bars.

    Either way, there is no legitimate reason for AB to butcher these.
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Not to me! It's not like a lot Senior Citizens are going to go nuts buying either of those titles.
     
  11. Everett Stallings

    Everett Stallings Supporting Actor

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    Hey watch it there I am a senior and always want OAR!!!!!. It's the young ones who want to see the tv screen filled !.
     
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  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Isn't it possible that the press release just has the wrong AR info? Not that people shouldn't be suspicious but press releases frequently have errors.
     
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  13. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    I think this is true. Most of the people I have met who have an aversion to black bars are younger people who expect to get the most out of their widescreen televisions and feel entitled to having every program fill the entire screen.
     
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  14. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    THE MESSAGE had the swiftest title change I've ever come across. A week or two before the film was due to open, posters appeared in London advertising the film as MOHAMMED, MESSENGER OF GOD. Following protests, the film and posters were immediately changed to THE MESSAGE. I went to see it at the Plaza and thought it was a 70mm blowup but haven't found any confirmation of that. It had an intermission and a souvenir brochure - as did LION OF THE DESERT. Both films were overlong but worth seeing at least for the splendid photography by Jack Hildyard.
     
  15. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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  16. John Stockton

    John Stockton Second Unit

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    No I do not think so. When the Anamorphic DVDs were announced by AB, the listing said the AR were 1.78. I thought for sure it was a misprint, but it turned out to be correct.

    In fact, I am willing to bet these are the same transfers which were done for the anamorphic DVDs, now recycled for the BDs.
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Now Available For Preorder

    Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.
     
  18. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    I own both titles on Blu-ray Region B and the format for both is 1:78 x 1 the video fills the screen no "black bars". We are now starting to see many titles already released on Blu-ray region B now becoming available for Region A. The studios are not re-doing them they can't afford to these titles will bring small sales they are just using the Region B transfer changing the code to A. The best message to send to the studios is if a particular title doesn't meet your expectations don't buy the Blu-ray.
     
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  19. john a hunter

    john a hunter Supporting Actor

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    Saw it at the Plaza too, Doug. Pretty sure 35mm.
     
  20. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Now Available for Preorder

    Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.
     

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