Warner Archive Discussion Thread (FEEDBACK)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by CineKarine, Mar 21, 2009.

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  1. iDarren

    iDarren Stunt Coordinator

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    Warner Archives - the older bland covers that sucked When I started buying Warner Archive DVD's they were just doing the really cheapo bland covers (not the beautiful ones they offer now). Is there any way to get the newer nice covers for the older titles I have?
     
  2. iDarren

    iDarren Stunt Coordinator

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    Well Twilight Time would be no help as they do not do any sort of restoration or film scanning themselves.
     
  3. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Second Unit

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    Dear iDarren: I didn't say Twilight Time did restorations. I merely suggested Warner might wish to look to them for third party distribution. Money from The Film Foundation and other aforementioned organizations could benefit and expedite the process of getting more classics spiffy for hi-def. To Robin9: Haven't seen Red Dust yet but the titles I listed in my previous posts were hardly miracles of remastering and definitely deserve better than what they received on the archive. PS - I didn't make a blanket statement either that the archive in totem is terrible or even a bad idea for releasing hard to find titles. But some of the titles in the archive definitely need to be revisited with better transfers or (in a perfect world) receive a new hi-def Blu-ray release. Organizations like the Library of Congress, the AFI and the Film Foundation could be instrumental in orchestrating fund raisers to get the ball rolling, while third party distribution from Criterion or Twilight Time could make these harder to find back titles more readily available. It's just a thought - mine. Yours may differ and frankly, that's a good thing! To MattH.: The Student Prince is one of those titles in desperate need of salvation. Look at the color during the second reel, immediately following the "Drink, Drink, Drink" song and going all the way through the talk S.Z. Sakal and John Williams have about a prince taking liberties with a barmaid. Vinegar syndrome in the extreme. The Eastman stock is way too orange and flesh tones have devolved into a piggy pink nightmare. If you don't have a problem with this I'm not sure what to say. This is decidedly NOT the way I want to appreciate and treasure such a fine and sadly underrated MGM musical - the last memorable score sung (in mono no less) by Mario Lanza. We need a new 5.1 DTS remastering of this soundtrack! Finally, my saying that Warner has bitten off more than they can chew isn't a slight on the studio or the men responsible for giving us so much good stuff along the way. But it is a fact. Warner's holdings are epic and sprawling. How anyone in the front office can make sense of what to save and how much to spend and where to place select titles in the cue for general release is, quite frankly, beyond me. If there's been some rush-rush along the way and less than stellar results scattered about it really isn't so much negligence as too much too fast with too little time to properly research alternate materials or do the necessary clean up. I speak here directly of The Enchanted Cottage - a little gem with Dorothy McGuire and Robert Young looking so pale and worn out it was a painful viewing experience to get through. Okay, I'll elect I'm probably one of the only people on these boards whose even heard of that RKO title, but it deserves something better than what it received. No doubt I'll get a litany of replies to this post stating that I'm being too nit picky over movies no one's ever even heard of - ergo - who'll care if they are lost for all time. This point wouldn't even be made if we were discussing a Rembrandt or Degas or a Michelangelo. But film is art - period. Art in a different medium than watercolors, oils or marble with a chisel. But it is ART just the same. Let's never forget that or neglect it in the way previous generations have. Enough said!
     
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  4. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    Many years ago I saw a print of The Enchanted Cottage (can't remember where) and it looked beautiful, enhancing the delicacy of the story. It is a lovely film. I only wish the silent version with George O'Brien had survived. After seeing his sensitive work in Sunrise, imagine what he could have done with the Robert Young role. BTW, I love Dorothy McGuire. Oh, and I feel your pain regarding a poor print of this overlooked gem.
     
  5. jdee28

    jdee28 Screenwriter

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    There are many Archive titles that Warner released in 2009 and the first half of 2010 that I would love for them revisit, including The Enchanted Cottage. Cary Grant titles like Mr. Lucky and the Katherine Hepburn RKO ones are others in need of a new transfer.
     
  6. Danny Burk

    Danny Burk Second Unit

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    Actually, the silent version stars Richard Barthelmess, and it does survive in 35mm. It shows up at film festivals now and then (I've seen it).
     
  7. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    Danny, I stand corrected. Senility kicking in and relying on faulty memories... So glad to know the original version survives; wish it were made more readily available. Barthelmess is one of my favorites as well.
     
  8. jdee28

    jdee28 Screenwriter

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    I just watched The Seventh Cross (1944) today, a strange but great film directed by Fred Zinnermann and starring Spencer Tracy. It was released by the Archive over a year ago. I was really impressed with the transfer for this one! Maybe they had worked on it for a retail DVD release, the quality was that good. Highly recommended!
     
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  9. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I watched The Glass Slipper tonight, and I couldn't help shaking my head a little bit at how the Warner Archive has their act SO together. This 1954 film is routinely shown on TCM in 1.33. I had never seen it in widescreen even though I knew it should have been framed wide, yet the Warner Archive release properly shows it in 1.85:1.

    The masters used at FMC which are incorrect are the very ones we usually get in THEIR Archive releases. There never seems to be any thought put into what their releases are going to look like.

    True, there was no clean-up on The Glass Slipper, one of the trade-offs one must endure with most of the Archive releases from all of the studios, but at least the WA cares about presenting OAR. I am REALLY grateful for their conscientious effort to do things right.
     
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  10. PODER

    PODER Second Unit

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    I'm sure this will sound very picky, but what's with the Warner Archive just adding more titles each week to New, without moving the previous ones to the main list? There are now 86 titles listed as New. Am I the only one who misses seeing just the NEW titles listed each week as New? (see, I told you this was very picky ...)
     
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  11. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    Yeah, I wish they had a section for just the new titles of each week.
     
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  12. Justin Ray

    Justin Ray Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, it does.
     
  13. riotengine

    riotengine Extra

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    Now that Andrew V. McLaglen has recently passed on, what are the chances of a release of his favorite film, the depression-era drama, Fool's Parade, (1970) which starred Jimmy Stewart, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, and Kurt Russell? It's a Columbia film, and it's had a few cable airings in the past few years, but it's very hard to see. This is a worthy release. One of the only two Davis Grubb novels adapted to film. The other was Night Of The Hunter.

    Just a suggestion for a future Warner Archive/Sony Collector's Choice title. :)
     
  14. cinerama10

    cinerama10 Second Unit

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    Warner's are strange in this respect but you can often find them selling on Amazon etc.
     
  15. battlebeast

    battlebeast Screenwriter

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    If you look on the left hand side of the page, it says the new releases under "new for ____ date". Hope this helps.
     
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  16. williampl7@aol.com

    williampl7@aol.com Stunt Coordinator

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    Ron Hutchinson posted this yesterday on the Vitaphone Project Facebook page;

    Working with Warner Bros and Warner Archives is always a pleasure, and we help each other whenever we can. Recently, WA contacted me to help on their planned DVD issue of the 1930 Olsen & Johnson feature OH, SAILOR BEHAVE! Apparently some of the soundtrack was missing or inaudible, and they needed to track down a Vitaphone soundtrack disk for one reel. Within a day, using our database of over 4000 disks in private hands, we pinpointed a complete set of pristine disks owned by collector --- and fortuitously sound engineer ---- Michael Kieffer. We arranged for Mike to professionally transfer the disks and get them to the folks at WA. All this took just a few weeks. Here are shots of my own disk (pressed in England) and my window card for the film.....

    1.jpg
    2.jpg
     
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  17. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    I watched Strange Lady In Town last night. It's one of the weakest Archive transfers I've seen, particularly the first half hour.

    The film isn't very good either. The screenplay is a mis-judged mess and the acting is pretty bad throughout. Greer Garson is at her most mannered and artificial.

    The film would have been a lot more interesting if the center of gravity had been the brother, played by Cameron Mitchell, and if the film had concentrated on the relationship between the brother and the sister instead of the relationship between the two doctors.
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I've just sample it on my 40" Sony and I don't necessarily agree so I'll have to watch the film in its entirety on my 65" Panny Plasma now. As to the film I watched it many years ago and liked it then so this is an opportunity to see if my opinion of it has changed at all.
     
  19. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    I watched Claudelle Inglish last night. This is a good Archive disc and well worth buying if you enjoy good, old-fashioned melodrama. (I do - a lot).

    The acting is good throughout. I expect good acting from Arthur Kennedy so no surprises there, but I was impressed by Diane McBain who plays the title role. In my teens, I came across several pin-up photos of Diane McBain . . . and my teen-age interest was aroused! I realised she was good-looking but I didn't realise she was quite talented. I think this is the only film during her Warner contract period she was given the leading role.
     
  20. cinerama10

    cinerama10 Second Unit

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    PAL is a superior format to the dreadful NTSC .With bluray however there are no such thing as pal/ntsc formats. If you cannot play a disc because of a different regional coding then you can ( it may be illegal) make a copy on your computer that will render the disc region free. There are free sights that enable you install them in your computer.Most players can have their region/zone coding changed if you can find out the 4 number code for your player. There are internet sights that can give you the code for your player. So simple to do..In Australia most dvd players will automatically play both PAL and NTSC. I have never had a player (video/dvd/bluray) that could not play any film (or format) regardless of the country that I bought them from.
     

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