Birds of Prey dvd...some thoughts.

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by troy evans, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. troy evans

    troy evans Screenwriter

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    I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of the upcoming release and thought I'd share some of my thoughts. First, as many have reported this is, in fact, non-anamorphic widescreen. While watching this on a regular 4:3 tv will leave you with an incredible image, the image from my 16:9 plasma was stunning. Of course the image is stretched, I use 480p as my setting when watching this and the image fills the screen with no stretching. I do however lose a few inches from all sides. The audio is Dolby Surround. What I really like is the packaging. The case has a cardboard cover with the same art as underneath, but, it's got that metallic foil effect on some of the raised words which really makes it stand out. Inside you have a nice episode guide insert with the 3 ladys in their kick-ass poses. The case itself is clear with reverse art on the insert. Now, here's something I loved, in the case there are 2 flips that hold the 4 dvds. One on each side. I loved that because I'm tired of discs that lay overtop each other and end up getting scratched all to hell. All in all, I really think Warner has given us a damn fine release of this show. Some have been upset over the anamorphic issue, but, that's not enough to stop me. I suck at reveiws, as you've figured out by now, and thought some here may like to know what to expect of this release Tueday.
     
  2. Pete Battista

    Pete Battista Screenwriter

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    I appreciate it Troy...
    Sounds like they used the same case like Sabrina: The Teenage Witch seasons... plus a slip cover. I heard other people complain about those cases... but I like them... they seem safe for the discs... and save a lot of space. [​IMG]

    I am still waiting for my copy to ship from Amazon... but have a feeling they won't ship it till Tuesday.
     
  3. troy evans

    troy evans Screenwriter

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    Don't worry, it's worth the wait. One thing I'm finding is the series is even better than I remembered it and I was a big fan of this show when it aired. I'm more than likely a bit biased where this show is concerned. It came on in a not so good time in my life and made me forget my worries for an hour a week. I'll always have a soft spot for it and defend it to the end. The Gotham Girls shorts are funny/silly and the cast of the animated series provide the voices. That's kinda neat. Aside from the anamorphic issue, I feel the set is fantastic. It's a shame some won't be getting this because of a hardcore stand on it's video presentation issues. Oh well, Their loss.
     
  4. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Well it's impossible to please those people, because this is likely the only release of this show, ever. I hate when people do the silent protest thing, trying to teach the studios a "lesson" by not buying something because it's not 100% perfect, by their own standards. Ridiculous points of view, if you ask me. The dvd looks terrific--any snubbing comes from people who are never happy with anything.

    For me, I have been known to snub a couple of dvds, but only because they were severely edited syndication prints (Mama's Family) or simply had a bastardized aspect ratio (Dark Shadows 1991). For BoP, the anamorphic thing is a minor issue to me, simply because not all dvds are anamorphic, never have been, and it's a minor inconvenience to me at best. The set is inexpensive, and worthwhile entertainment. So therefore, I will buy it.

    We're damn lucky to have it; I think it only came out this minute because there's a Batman movie to tie-in to it. But I also loved this show; true fact: I was an extra in the high school scenes, circa episode #2. I actually walked around in Barbara's headquarters set. The set alone should have won an Emmy--it was better than you think!
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    So when you don't buy something because it isn't up to your standards, that's OK but other people are just 'never happy with anything'? Just because you don't agree with them, that doesn't mean that they're never happy. I agree that this is the only release that Birds Of Prey is going to have and those boycotting are only depriving themselves of something they want but anamorphic enhnacement in 2008 isn't too much to ask for.
     
  6. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    The double-standard I admitted to above refers to the sometimes outright pettiness of a few forum posters who always act like they're not buying anything because of quality issues. There's one person who comes onto the Melrose Place and 90210 threads and complains and complains over the music replacement on those shows, then always turns around and states that he hates both those shows in the first place. I don't get it.
     
  7. troy evans

    troy evans Screenwriter

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    I hear ya. The ones I love are those who complain and yet buy it anyway. However, sometimes I feel it's like they just want to vent and we all do it from time to time. We all have our frustrations over this hobby and if we can't bitch to each other, then who can we? [​IMG]
     
  8. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Cinematographer

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    ^I'll definitely purchase this, but from the description the packaging is very lacking IMO. I detest anything that is not in a amaray or mini-amaray type case. Plastic disk tabs break on these or the glue dries out and the tray separates from the flimsy paperboard "binder". Neither is easy to repair and neither is replaceable in the event of damage. I'll even take a overlapping design (which I also do not like) in an amaray case over this type package.
     
  9. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    They'd need to do a new transfer which would obviously cost money. However, considering that almost every widescreen TV or movie release for most of this decade has been anamorphically enhanced (even the smallest indies do anamorphic releases), it can't cost that much money to create an anamorphic transfer. To me, expecting anamorphic enhancement today is no different than expecting the release to be in its correct aspect ratio- they're both so commonplace that I shouldn't even have to wonder about it.

    As I said before, anyone boycotting is really only 'hurting' themselves but I think this time, the complaints are justified.
     
  10. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    I spoke to Warner Bros about the video numerous times, and each time I was told they used the best masters they had available. Apparently they don't have anamorphic masters that can be used. I was also told the archiving of the material was less than great (meaning they had to search high and low for the material).

    I don't know the entire broadcast history of the series, but this was only shown full frame in North America, and widescreen in Europe, correct? Maybe that has something to do with the masters they have.

    I thought the video quality was okay; lots of shimmering in the CGI city shots though.

    Gord
     
  11. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Then they did the best they could but I can still understand that people would be dissapointed.

    I guess that was basically the same reason that Fastlane was 4:3?
     
  12. WhitneyG

    WhitneyG Stunt Coordinator

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    WB was nice enough to get this set to me five days before the release. Even with the music replacements and non-anamorphic video, it was well worth the whole $21 it cost me. Gotham Girls was a nice touch too. Also, I haven't seen these for a few years now, so don't take my word entirely on this, but most if not all of the music seems to be intact except the main opening credits song. When I see something like this where most music is kept, I tend to give the publisher the benefit of the doubt that they had no choice in the matter.

    I watched every episode on either WPIX from New York or KWGN from Denver (I get the strangest assortment of channels via Dish Network). Every single episode was broadcast in widescreen format (and I have my VHS tapes to prove it). Yes, it was an analog, 4:3 broadcast, but with black bars on the top and bottom of the screen to preserve the 16:9 format without any cropping. Widescreen, yes. Anamorphic, no. However, that's just from the broadcast tapes. If that meant the actual masters were in the same condition, then we'd never have gotten the early seasons of Smallville as anamorphic either.
     
  13. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the clarification on the packaging! From the OP's description I got the impression the package was similar to that of B5 or Sliders S4. I'm a happy camper now! [​IMG]
     
  14. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    True enough ... It's still *amazing* to me that a Batman series (without Batman!) can make it to DVD while we're still waiting for the original 1966 Batman series. [​IMG]

    I guess there'll be another Batman movie around 2011 ...
     
  15. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    And hopefully they'll have that Batman rights issue worked out in those 3 years. I still will buy it, even if it does take that long. And by then, everything will be on BluRay anyway, so all the better.
     
  16. Jerry R Colvin

    Jerry R Colvin Stunt Coordinator

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    This is the first I'm hearing that the opening credits music has been replaced. So what was it replaced with?
     
  17. Pete Battista

    Pete Battista Screenwriter

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    Wow! I am shocked. I got an email yesterday that Amazon shipped my copy... and I found it in my mail box today! And I only used standard shipping! It must have shipped from a warehouse close by.

    I haven't had the chance to check the set out yet... but I must say... I do love the packaging! [​IMG]
     
  18. Jerry R Colvin

    Jerry R Colvin Stunt Coordinator

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    I read elsewhere that the unaired pilot on the set actually is anamorphic, unlike the rest of the series. Weird.
     
  19. FrankPitt

    FrankPitt Stunt Coordinator

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    My inner geek took control, so I bought the set yesterday.

    The unaired pilot is indeed anamorphic, unlike the rest of the episodes. That said, the picture quality is pretty good and once I got used to the aspect ratio/window boxed image, things looked great...a million times better than my old VHS tapes.

    My only gripe, and it's a minor one, is that the new theme song is awful. The song is...how can I describe it...? I guess "soft" is pretty apt. More suited to something like a "Gilmore Girls" type of show. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. I'll either get used to it or I can skip it.

    -Frank
     
  20. troy evans

    troy evans Screenwriter

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    Yes, the new theme song is extremely different. It does fit the show in a simular way that Smallville's theme fits. However, the original theme rocked and I do miss it on the release.
     

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