Bare bones blu rays

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by battlebeast, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    I sure wouldn't have bought the BD if I had known! But I buy a lot of BDs just because somebody (reviewer, the public [gasp!], friend, etc.) says the film is good. When I don't have an opinion of my own, I usually wait until it's very cheap. Yes, there's the odd bit of disappointment, especially when a title has been built up until it's great in my mind...then it isn't. :) Then sometimes I go behind the scenes to see what I'm missing, when I get a glimmer of what might be there to capture me. After that, sometimes the next time I like the film a lot better, often not.

    If I don't get a sense that there's anything at all to the film that's going to make me like it, it's just not for me, then I don't even bother with any of the extras.

    I almost never listen to the commentaries. Except sometimes I do for TV comedy series, mainly because they're short and usually entertaining, not because I expect to learn anything...
     
  2. atfree

    atfree Cinematographer
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    Understood.....I have blind bought a few BD's but haven't had one I really didn't like yet. The closest I've come recently is "Rollerball"; had great memories of it from my youth, but was a little letdown when I watched the BD recently.
     
  3. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    Listening to extras on bluray, ALIENS (theatrical 1986) isolated score tonight. Its nice to hear the details in the James Horner, score that go a bit missed on the film where its competing with dialogue or very loud sound effects.Also extras gives fan a chose of theatrical or extended. The rest of the extras are a bit slim. The meat of the extras are on the box-set DVD or other DVD editions and the CAV laserdic of ALIEN, like to get ALIENS CAV box-set. Not enough films with isolated score extras.
     
  4. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    MGM is notorious for this-- i never bothered upgrading THE USUAL SUSPECT because it didn't come with the great commentary and voluminous extras. I copied the fantastic extras for both MASTER AND COMMANDER and KINGDOM OF HEAVEN -- both of which came out in great special editions and then got ignominiously dumped onto bare-bones Blu-Rays -- and still have the ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK SE DVD sitting next to my Blu-Ray because of the commentaries and the great special features. This REALLY pisses me off.
     
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  5. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    THE USUAL SUSPECTS now that is cool film. got the DVD with extras. :P

    MASTER AND COMMANDER has its lossless dtsHDMA cut off at 30Hz so I'll keep the DVD with extras low end. :P

    KINGDOM OF HEAVEN blimey not played this film since it was released on DVD. Just checked it, I bought single disc with tiny extras.

    ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK DVD has some extras of Snake, pulling the tape out the cassette case and throwing it away, the sound is missing!!Yet listen to one of the two extras of commentary with Debra Hill, and in the background I can hear the tape spool being pulled out when she and other are watching it.Listen to John Carpenter and Kurt Russell, commentary and you won't hear it as they are watching a different version of the film.Glad I didn't sell the laserdisc special edition.
     
  6. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    Master and Commander, Kingdom of Heaven, and The Usual Suspects are perfect examples of what I said about putting BDs from ugly/bare-bones BD packages into the very nice-looking and feature-laden Special Edition DVD packages (especially M&C and KoH). The DVDs are a hard-sell here since the BDs have been so cheap for so long, so might as well use the nicest packaging for something useful, if you already have it (shelf space at a premium here).

    Come to think of it, KoH is one of those MPEG2 titles (another thread here...) that could probably benefit from a transfer upgrade (I really like this movie), not as sure TUS would...
     
  7. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    The earlier days of Blu-ray suffered more from the dropping of bonus features. Most of the major studios have since corrected this in recent years. Sony for a time wouldn't sub-license bonus content even if they sub-licensed the film, but that has also since changed in the last couple years.

    Sometimes there are rights issues with bonus content which prevents them from being carried over, but this is more the exception rather than the rule.

    As for my personal viewing habits:

    Criterion - I watch 90% of bonus content.
    All other releases - I watch maybe 15-20% of content. I usually avoid the fluff pieces / EPK material.

    In short, give me a "look back" featurette or two with a few people who made the film (or an expert on the film) on catalog titles, and maybe a GOOD commentary. For new releases I find that the more "geeked out" a filmmaker is about Blu-ray/DVD the better the bonus turns out (such as the filmmakers Warner gets to participate in their Maximum Movie Mode video commentaries). With few exceptions, I avoid commentaries from the cast and non-director crew.
     
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  8. AshJW

    AshJW Supporting Actor

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    Paramount is a riddle to me.
    In Europe they released films like "Chinatown" or "To Catch A Thief" bare bone, in the US they got all the extra stuff.
    That's why I kept the DVD of "To Catch A Thief" and combined it with the German BD and did not buy the BD of "Chinatown" to this day.
     
  9. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    "...Commentaries are useless IMO unless they're organized and moderated."How many have you listened? I mean that is like saying that all people talk the same. And want the same "info" when they listen to those commentaries.To me the real question is that why studios drop the old extras from the BD releases. They have already produced, released etc. I doubt that the studios think: "Ah, we read from the internet forum that some people don't care about the extras. Let's not include the old extras so that the new BD sells even more! We only have 25-50gb space anyway!"
     
  10. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Cinematographer
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    I've listened to enough bad ones. To me, a "bad" commentary is one where all people do is pat themselves on the back, tell you what's happening on the screen (I'm not blind), talk over each other or don't say anything at all for long gaps. Many times, participants start to say something interesting then they're cut off by someone, at which point I'll just shut it off out of frustration and just watch the film. But, bottom line, I find commentaries in general to just be wastes of time. Time being the factor here - there's just not enough time to watch a movie while listening to a commentary.
     
  11. SeanAx

    SeanAx Stunt Coordinator

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    That pretty much describes my practice as well. Criterion is the king of the well-curated supplements package. They find great archival interviews and documentaries and other goodies that have direct appeal to anyone who is interested in learning more about the film, and their original pieces are well made and full of information.

    There are a lot of great packages with excellent collection of supplements, but so many now just put nominal featurettes that played on cable as promo filler. And after decades of listening to commentary (going back to the laserdisc era), I just don't care for most of the new ones unless the participants are particularly prepared or engaged (Ridley Scott is one of those guys who is very engaged and interested in sharing both his creative ideas and the technical process) or unless it is a well-produced critical track with someone who did their research. Even then, you want someone who is engaging as well as informative.
     
  12. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    I will say the two bonus discs on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition is the best, most comprehensive bonus I've ever seen. 10 hrs, not a ton of repeated info, great presentation, and the love of the filmmaking process by the cast and crew during the whole of production is ever present.
     
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  13. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

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    I avoid bare-bones Blu-rays as much as possible. With all that available disc space, why leave it empty when the content exists from earlier releases?Sometimes I'm not in the mood to watch the entire movie again, but I do want to spend time immersing myself in it otherwise. This means watching making-of documentaries, trailers, or viewing all or part of the movie again with a commentary track.If these alternatives are unavailable, the movie itself feels cheapened to me.
     
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  14. ScottHM

    ScottHM Second Unit

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    After recently buying Red River and Foreign Correspondent I've decided to forgo any more Criterion Blu-rays unless I know they're in plastic keep cases. Those big cardboard monstrosities are for the birds.

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  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    To each his own, but I would never allow packaging to stop me from purchasing a great film on BD.
     
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  16. battlebeast

    battlebeast Screenwriter

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    The commentary on Chang: a Drama of the Wilderness was one of the best I've ever heard.

    I have also taken to combining my Blu Rays and DVDs, putting them into the impressive looking DVD packages from the flimsy, crappy recycled blue blu ray cases.

    Besides, some of the paper extras in the DVD cases wont fit in the Blu Ray case!
     
  17. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Screenwriter

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    I agree, the extended Hobbit AUJ is worth it just for the bonus discs.
     
  18. ScottHM

    ScottHM Second Unit

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    If I already have the film on DVD it's not that difficult to pass it up a new disc in sorry packaging.

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  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Having it on DVD isn't the same as watching it in 1080p. Anyhow, it's your personal decision.
     
  20. AshJW

    AshJW Supporting Actor

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    I like featurettes like the ones where the cast/crew come together and talk about it, especially when the film or series lies years behind them, like Star Trek TNG or right now Twin Peaks.
    These things are worth to watch. :)
     

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